To begin this review, I am a fan of Highlander. The original movie was one of my favorites, that I happened to see after getting into the TV series. At one point I even saw the animated series so yes, I like Highlander. When I saw that that Highlander: The American Dream follows Connor MacLeod, my interest was piqued. There have been other Highlander comics out there but this one caught my eye. It is nice to see Connor MacLeod again that’s for sure. Hopefully it lives up to my expectations. Now it is time to grab my sword and make sure not to lose my head as I dive into Highlander: The American Dream #1.
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen anything Highlander, so Highlander: The American Dream is something I have high hopes for.
Here’s something that works to the advantage of old school Highlander fans, you will likely dig aspects of this book. If you’re not an old school fan or have a working knowledge of Highlander, this might be a tough read. Credit to Brian Ruckley in trying to make this work for even new fans of the franchise. That being said, for the older fans it’s a solid if not messy story. It takes place in Manhattan in the year 1985 as an old friend named Vazilek visits Connor MacLeod. You get a good idea as to why Vazilek is there but then to fill in the blanks, the rest of the issue is a flashback as to how they met. The flashback is also where the story starts to get rough.
Yes I know Highlander has flashbacks to explain how characters met, yet this hurts the pacing of the issue. The Civil War flashback had cool moments but it could have been cut down a lot. Instead of getting more into Vazilek and Connor’s connection by the end of the issue I was itching to get back to 1985. I know there’s only so much you can do in one issue but I would have loved a final page in to establish what’s happening in 1985. I am interested in enough in learning more as Ruckley has a great handle on Connor MacLeod. Even Vazilek is well handled and a cool character, yet I don’t have a full idea as to who the villain of the piece is.
On the other hand with Highlander: The American Dream, the comic is overall artistically sound.
Andrea Mutti and Vladimir Popov are a strong art team for this comic. In doing two different periods for both The Civil War and Manhattan 1985, ultimately The Civil War had more atmosphere to it. Manhattan had some shining moments but The Civil War flashback looked great art wise. Andrea Mutti with Popov’s color make for some rocking sword fights, they are a high point of this comic. Vladimir Popov’s colors on the Civil War segments are beautiful overall. Mutti and Popov worked well together. Mutti didn’t work as well for me with Manhattan but as much as the Civil War segment was a pacing killer, Mutti shined. This comic leaves me conflicted in so many between the writing and the art at times.
I wish this book didn’t leave me so conflicted in the end, but Highlander: The American Dream has that effect on me.
Highlander: The American Dream is built for the hardcore fans of the franchise. If I didn’t know the first movie and the franchise as well as I did, I would be lost. It’s not a particularly bad comic, but it’s a little rough even for the hardcore fan. It’s worth checking out at least; not a high recommendation, but I can see some really digging it. As for me, I’m left conflicted by the whole experience. This comic is one that I can easily say, your mileage may vary.