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The Old Guard: Nicky & Joe

Nicky and Joe are two characters from Greg Rucka’s and Leandro Fernandez’s Old Guard two mini series to date. The closing of the second mini series teases a third one to come. This profile contains some spoilers.

The men were fierce and dogged enemies when they met in a pitched battle during the First Crusade which lasted from 1096 to 1099 CE. Nicky (born Nicolo) and Joe (born Yusuf ibn Ibrahim ibn Muhammad ibn al-Kaysamo aka al-Yayyib) fought on opposing sides. Facing off against the other on the battle field where managed to kill one another. They experienced something quite mysterious and confusing when they revived and found the other man alive. They proceeded to kill each other again and again. What they came to realize is that they couldn’t die because their bodies possess astonishing healing powers. This shared bond and the mystery of how death had become such an uncertainty helped them to overcome religious differences and hatred to become friends and lovers for the next 1,000 years.

Nicky and Joe would eventually meet several other individuals (Andy, Lykon, Noriko, Booker, and much later Nile) who also had these healing powers to form a team that came to be like a family thanks to their shared circumstances.

The depths of Nicky and Joe’s love comes into focus when they’re kidnaped by the extremely shady and ruthless Steve Merrick who made his unbelievable fortune in pharma and venture capitalism. Rucka wrote a truly beautiful one page monolog for Joe expressing his love for Nicky which is underscored by the next scene and a later scene in which Joe takes revenge against one of Merrick’s associates. The below panel will give you an idea without spoiling the entire monolog.

Joe is often blunt when he talks though he can also be rather eloquent at other times. Nicky loves to cook whether it’s for Joe and himself or the entire team. They both consider Malta to be a special place though Rucka has yet to reveal a reason for this. It may be related to Malta’s history of the islands being ruled under both Christianity and Islam at different times.

Their first appearance is in issue #1 of The Old Guard: Opening Fire mini series. Their relationship is disclosed in issue #2.

Top art by Michael Lark for a variant cover. Second piece by Leandro Fernandez.

All rights reserved Greg Rucka and Leandro Fernandez

November 9, 2020
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