• Highlander: The American Dream #1

    Highlander: The American Dream #1
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: February 22nd, 2017.
    Written by: Brian Ruckley
    Illustrated by: Andrea Mutti
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    The first issue of this new Highlander comic series from IDW Publishing starts on the streets of Manhattan in 1985. Osta Vazilek, one of the remaining immortals, visits the antique shop run by Rachel Ellenstein. He’s looking for Connor MacLeod, but he’s not there. Vazilek leaves a message with her for him – “I will be on the bridge.”

    A short time later, Connor meets Vazilek on the Brooklyn Bridge. Both men have arrived unarmed, and so they talk about how many of them are left – possibly six – and how the last days are encroaching on them. Neither of the immortals is aware that they’re being tailed.

    We flash back to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania in 1863, a few short days after the infamous battle. A wounded MacLeod stumbles through the woods. He comes to a monetary where Vazilek lets him in. The man who was chasing him, another immortal, forces his way in and both he and MacLeod draw their swords. Vazilek puts a stop to the fight – mortal combat such as this is not permitted on holy ground. The man leaves, outnumbered, but promises to catch up with them soon. Vazilek helps MacLeod rest and tells him that the man who was after him was John Hooke and that he is a blight upon the land. After Vazilek lectures MacLeod, he tells him of how he made his way from Estonia in 1190, discovering his immortality, his involvement in the Crusades and how he eventually came to be a monk.

    Of course, outside Hooke is up to no good…

    A decent first issue, this inaugural chapter manages to tie into the Highlander series’ past while expanding on its eighties era roots. Ruckley treats the characters well and has a good feel for writing both MacLeod and Vazilek, their back and forth is quite interesting. The background information on their origins that we’re given in this issue would seem to be tying into the bigger picture and the whole ‘end of days’ plot device that Vazilek shows up out of nowhere to talk to MacLeod about. The writing here is good, it offers up even doses of action and drama and the cliffhanger ending leaves us wanting to know what will happen next.

    Andrea Mutti, who recently worked on Dark Horse Comics’ Prometheus: Life And Death series and on Rebels with Brian Wood, does a nice job with the artwork. The characters are nicely defined and there’s good background detail in pretty much every panel. Vladimir Popov’s coloring helps bring the illustrations to life, never going to over the top but instead using a color scheme that suits the gritty nature of the story.

    All in all, this first issue works quite well and should leave fans of The Highlander series wanting to see where it is all headed to from here.