Review: Seven Soldiers: Guardian #1

Interview with Ace Masters

Seven Soldiers: Guardian #1

Book Released: 23 March 2005
Review posted: 20 April 2005

Writer: Grant Morrison
Artist: Cameron Stewart
Colors: Moose Bauman
Publisher: DC Comics


 4.00 out of 5 Stars

Reviewed by Matt Rawson

In this second miniseries in the Seven Soldiers project, we meet Jake Jordan, a down-and-out ex-cop with his own personal demons. His marriage is suffering and he is engulfed in a deep depression, all due to him mistakenly shooting an innocent kid while he was a cop. His


Committed to reworking the idea of what a superhero is, Morrison has started off strong with the first superhero-oriented book in the line.


father-in-law still believes in him, however, and convinces him to answer a want ad in the Manhattan Guardian, a newspaper “where the readers are the reporters.” The job that Jake literally fights through the interview to get is the newspapers very own superhero, The Guardian.

Committed to reworking the idea of what a superhero is, Morrison has started off strong with the first superhero-oriented book in the line. Adding in his signature Morrison-techno-babble such as the man/building editor of the Manhattan Guardian, Ed Starsgard, he gives resonance to his earlier work where imagination was the prime ingredient. Throw in some underground pirates warring over a map of Manhattan's secret subway and you have the opening of the revised vision of DC's Guardian character, whose original identity was Jim Harper, also an ex-cop who fought crime with the help of a group of boys known as the News Boy Legion (in the new incarnation they are known as the Newsboy Army).

The artwork can only be described as solid. The characters have definite weight and motion. Cameron Stewart, who worked with Morrison on the miniseries Sea Guy (published by Vertigo), adds a great look to this revision of the Guardian. He also has a wonderful sense of action. In Shining Knight (the first Seven Soldiers series), however, Simone Bianchi had a certain flow that really jumped out at me. Stewart's art is much more in tone with the standard idea of comic book art. By all means a wonderful effort, but it still lacks that extra something that kept me going back over Bianchi's Shining Knight.

While I found Shining Knight to be more engaging and visually interesting to look at, The Guardian has not diminished, in any way, the scope or feel of the project as a whole. It is treading on more familiar Morrison ground, i.e. quirky dialogue and the not-so-subtle use of imagined technology. Not as out-there as past Morrison project such as The Invisibles and certainly quite a bit reined in from The Filth, this book still offers a pure, unfettered glimpse into the vast imagination of Grant Morrison.