Netflix’s latest original movie is The Old Guard, an enjoyable, suspenseful, and remarkably psychological action vehicle including Charlize Theron as the leader of a squad of functionally immortal, primarily queer, stone cold badasses who have actually combated on every battlefield inhistory
And when you have actually got functionally immortal queer people, that’s a big welcome sign to queer audiences who’re tired of the traditional pattern ofqueer characters who don’t live to see their happy ending
Having bulk queer leads is a quite uncommon quality for a popcorn action movie, however not for the work of Greg Rucka, the veteran comics author behind the original The Old Guard comic series, and the film writer of the Netflix adjustment. In fact, The Old Guard is kind of a perfect storm of Greg Rucka trademarks: A hardboiled female lead who can kick the asses of 10 men, highly skilled black- ops soldiers, and envelope-pushing queer representation. It’s just that this time, it’s amovie
How did Andromache the Scythian (Theron) and the rest of her Old Guard get rather so old, and rather so gay?
“It is straight up malice aforethought,” Rucka informed Polygon with a laugh. “It was done with deliberation, and it was done with care.”
For one thing, Rucka wanted to show that even if his characters had actually been raised with bias, their extended lives had actually sloughed all of that away.
“If you live 500 years, if there’s one thing you’ve discovered, it’s that people are people, right? And that who they love and how they love isn’t the main nut of any relevance to how they’re going to treat the rest of the world. You want to judge people by what they say and what they do.”
However Rucka stated there was another reason, one that was much more about audience response.
“It was also important to me, very early on, to make it clear that there weren’t ‘conditions’ that had to be fulfilled to have this immortality. You didn’t have to be a straight white guy. That was basically it. The team needed to represent a breadth and depth of diversity. I just didn’t want anybody coming away from the audience, or coming away from the book, going Ah, so it’s a reward for this kind of behavior.”
For artist and Old Guard co-creator Leandro Fernández, there was another useful issue for the team’s variety: The reader needed to have the ability to tell who was who, no matter what the historic period.
Andromache the Scythian shows on her numerous lives and deaths in the over 6000 years of her life in The Old Guard, Vol. 1.
Image: Greg Rucka, Leandro Fernández/ Image Comics.
“It’s not that I couldn’t make them more beautiful than they are,” he informed Polygon, “[but] that wasn’t my intent. From the start I was focused on making them actually quickly identifiable, due to the fact that they’reimmortal They will be seen in various durations of time in history with various styles. The style changes all the time, the clothing, the hairdo; often they will be seen with a beard, with a mustache, without it. They are warriors, and we will see them in various scenarios; numerous times unclean, in a trench, perhaps covered with mud, with blood. The reader should acknowledge them, on the area, actually fast. That’s what I wanted for oneside And on the other side my goal was to attempt to make a truly various character on each one of them. I wanted the reader to feel a various voice when each one of them is speaking.”
[Ed. note: the rest of this piece contains spoilers for the end of The Old Guard.]
To be reasonable, the immortals of The Old Guard are just technicallyimmortal They do not age, and they come back from the dead right up up until one day, they do not. When the entire hook of the story is people who do not die, it’s a quite strong bet that a lot of of those queer characters are gon na make it through the movie. The Old Guard might have buried its gays– however it does not. Rucka stated that that was intentional, too.
“I wasn’t gonna turn around and be like, ‘Well now I’m going to ruin my one happy couple,’” Rucka chuckles.