Mecha-Robots in the Snow: Yellowknife 2115

Vive la résistance, circa 2115 | Artwork by Steve Skroce

Yellowknife, or at least its surrounding wilderness, is the central setting in a splashy new comic book mini-series launched earlier this month. Written by Brian K. Vaughan, the best-selling, award-winning writer behind Y: The Last Man and the critically acclaimed space opera Saga, We Stand On Guard is a rock ‘em/sock ‘em tale set 100 years in the future. The United States has gorily invaded Canada (Why? One character theorizes that the conflict is over water), and a rag-tag bunch of Canadian multicultural stereotypes have gathered in the woods outside of Yellowknife to fight back against the evil Yanks and their malevolent mecha-robots.

Somewhere near Tin Can Hill, maybe?

Vaughan’s past record is strong, but We Stand on Guard is pretty silly stuff so far (true, there’s only one 40-page issue out to date), mostly focused on what the publishers describe as “hyper-detailed combat between bad-ass freedom fighters and giant f***ing robots.” Dialogue references to hockey, Canadian Tire, etc., abound, the plucky resistance band is called the Two-Fours (cuz they like to drink, eh?) and it’s only a matter of time until a character is depicted eating a bowl of poutine.

The landscape (art is by Canadian Steve Skroce, known for his storyboard work on movies such as Jupiter Ascending and The Matrix) looks more like northern Ontario than anywhere hereabouts — but when it comes to representations of Yellowknife in popular culture, hey, beggars can’t be choosers. Much of Vaughan’s past work has been optioned for adaptation to TV or film, so this might be our best chance to see ourselves, or at least a cheesy, caricatured version of ourselves, onscreen at Capitol Theatre.

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