• Highlander: The American Dream #2

    Highlander: The American Dream #2
    Released by: IDW Publishing
    Released on: March 15th, 2017.
    Written by: Brian Ruckley
    Illustrated by: Andrea Mutti
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    “The Story So Far - Since the dawn of time, immortals have lived amongst us. They await "The Gathering," when those who remain will battle for "The Prize." The victor will inherit unimaginable power and influence over all humanity. In 1985 Manhattan, on the eve of The Gathering, the Highlander—Connor MacLeod—has been re-united with fellow immortal Osta Vazilek. A shadow from the past looms over them: John Hooke, one of the very worst of their immortal kind, whom they first encountered and fought during the American Civil War...”

    Picking up where the first issue left off, we once again voyage back to Pennsylvania ten days after the Battle Of Gettysburg laid waste to scores of Civil War soldiers on both sides of the war. Here John Hooke starts killing people in an attempt to get Connor MacLeod and Osta Vazilek out of the monastery where they’ve been hiding. They head out, swords drawn, and Osta tells Connor he will not kill a mere mortal. This means Hooke’s men are safe from his blade, though Hookoe himself is fair game. Outside Hooke’s Confederate troops continue to wreak havoc, their leader unconcerned about local militias sneaking up on them.

    Osta heads out first, and the men open fire on him. This causes enough of a distraction to allow Connor to sneak up on the others. As Hooke attacks Osta, the rest of the men concentrate on Connor. The skirmishes get bloody and just as it appears that Hooke is going to get the upper hand on the monk, a bullet crashes through his head. Of course, it doesn’t kill him but it hurts him enough to put a stop to the fight and Connor is able to save his friend from certain death at the end of Hooke’s sword. Osta, however, chastises Connor for breaking the rules and not doing enough to help the local human population.

    Cut back to where this all began – modern day Manhattan. Or at least as modern as it was in 1985. Here Connor and Osta catch up, discuss the upcoming ‘gathering’ unaware that a white haired man with glasses watches them. Connor makes it clear that he’d love nothing more than a chance to go after Kurgan, immortal who killed Ramirez, the man who trained him.

    Cut to 1955 – a pretty blonde named Rachel flirts with some young men as she walks past. Her boss, Connor, sends her on her way and then has a talk with Osta about why he’s interacting with this young woman in the first place. Later that night they meet at a wrestling match to continue their talk, and then Osta tells him the real reason he’s come looking for him – John Hooke is in town…

    Brian Ruckley does a nice job of building off of what was setup in the first issue and tying this new story into the continuity established in the Highlander movie series. There are a few neat twists in this issue and some interesting plot and character development elements that make this a fun read. We wind up wanting to know where it’s going to go once we get to the last page, and what exactly will happen to Connor and Osta. The writing is solid, it pulls you in and treats the Highlander franchise with the proper amount of respect. Andrea Mutti’s artwork is also solid, presenting a nice amount of detail in both the foreground and the background of each page and portraying both the combat scenes and the more pensive dialogue-heavy scenes quite nicely.