The Non-Quixotic Quest in The Old Guard 5

by Drew Baumgartner

The Old Guard 5

This article contains SPOILERS. If you haven’t read the issue yet, read on at your own risk!

To dream the impossible dream
To fight the unbeatable foe
To bear with unbearable sorrow
To run where the brave dare not go

Joe Darion, “The Impossible Dream”

Is Andy the anti-Don Quixote? Her world-weary cynicism is certainly the opposite of his delusions of chivalry; her bitter pragmatism the opposite of his flights of fancy. But the thing that strikes me most is that Andy is the unbeatable foe, the kind of mythical being Quixote could only dream of. Of course, this gives them different priorities — while he’s focused on those imaginary beings, she’s utterly undaunted by the mortal tilting at her. Sure, the mortal can get in a few good licks, but is more of an annoyance than a nemesis. Indeed, it turns out the only thing worthy of an unbeatable foe’s attention is another unbeatable foe.

I wrote that with Booker in mind, but it might just apply to Nile, too. Booker for selling out her friends, and Nile for bringing some fresh ideas into Andy’s cadre of immortals. This issue is ultimately preoccupied with Booker’s betrayal, detailing the righting of that unrightable wrong, but I actually found myself most preoccupied with the chemistry between Andy and Nile.

Andy and Nile

It’s not quite Sam and Diane — this never feels like anything besides friendly teasing — but it’s an unusually playful mode for this character. If there’s one thing we know about Andy, it’s that she doesn’t love “pure and chaste from afar,” so I can’t imagine this will drag out like Sam and Diane, either, but I like the idea of a character older than dirt still having this kind of flirty repartee. Andy has found her match — something Quixote never did.

The conversation doesn’t stop there. What do you wanna talk about from this issue?

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