The Old Guard author: Gay characters and immortality made excellent sense

The Old Guard writer: Gay characters and immortality made perfect sense

Netflix’s newest authentic film is The Old Guard, a enjoyable, suspenseful, and surprisingly emotional motion automobile that includes Charlize Theron because the chief of a squad of functionally immortal, largely queer, stone chilly badasses who’ve fought on each battlefield in historical past.

And while you’ve obtained functionally immortal queer folks, that’s an enormous welcome signal to queer viewers who’re bored with the mainstream pattern of queer characters who don’t live to see their happy ending.

Having majority queer leads is a reasonably uncommon trait for a popcorn motion film, however not for the work of Greg Rucka, the veteran comics author behind the unique The Old Guard comedian collection, and the screenwriter of the Netflix adaptation. In truth, The Old Guard is type of an ideal storm of Greg Rucka hallmarks: A hardboiled female lead who can kick the asses of ten males, highly skilled black-ops soldiers, and envelope-pushing queer illustration. It’s simply that this time, it’s a film.

How did Andromache the Scythian (Theron) and the remainder of her Old Guard get fairly so previous, and fairly so homosexual?

“It is straight up malice aforethought,” Rucka advised Polygon with amusing. “It was done with deliberation, and it was done with care.”

For one factor, Rucka needed to point out that even when his characters had been raised with prejudices, their prolonged lives had 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.”

But Rucka stated there was another excuse, one which was rather more about viewers response.

“It was additionally necessary to me, very early on, to make it clear that there weren’t ‘conditions’ that needed to be fulfilled to have this immortality. You didn’t must be a straight white man. That was principally it. The crew wanted to signify a breadth and depth of range. I simply didn’t need anyone coming away from the viewers, or coming away from the ebook, going Ah, so it’s a reward for this type of habits.

For artist and Old Guard co-creator Leandro Fernández, there was one other sensible concern for the crew’s range: The reader had to have the ability to inform who was who, it doesn’t matter what the historic time interval.

Andromache the Scythian ponders how tired she is of life, as we see scenes of her sleeping with men and women across history, and of her dying on battlefields from the ancient world to the modern day.

Andromache the Scythian displays on her many lives and deaths within 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 advised Polygon, “[but] that wasn’t my intention. From the beginning I was focused on making them really easily recognizable, because they’re immortal. They will be seen in different periods of time in history with different fashions. The fashion changes all the time, the clothes, the hair styles; sometimes they will be seen with a beard, with a mustache, without it. They are warriors, and we will see them in different situations; many times dirty, in a trench, maybe covered with mud, with blood. The reader should recognize them, on the spot, really quick. That’s what I wanted for one side. And on the other side my goal was to try to make a really different personality on each one of them. I wanted the reader to feel a different voice when each one of them is speaking.”

[Ed. notice: the remainder of this piece incorporates spoilers for the top of The Old Guard.]

To be honest, the immortals of The Old Guard are solely technically immortal. They don’t age, and so they come again from the lifeless proper up till at some point, they don’t. But when the entire hook of the story is individuals who don’t die, it’s a reasonably stable wager that the majority of these queer characters are gonna make it by means of the film. The Old Guard may have buried its gays — nevertheless it doesn’t. Rucka stated that that was deliberate, too.

“I wasn’t gonna turn around and be like, ‘Well now I’m going to ruin my one happy couple,’” Rucka laughs.

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