Highlander: American Dream #1 (IDW)
I love Highlander, faults and all. So you can imagine my excitement when I heard that IDW was going to be bringing Connor MacLeod back to the paneled page. While Connor had a Dynamite series a few years back, that series was quickly canceled after a few issues. Aside from that and rumblings about a reboot movie, it’s been relatively quiet on the Highlander front for the past few years. However, with a new series from IDW from Brian Ruckley and Andrea Mutti, it sounds like Highlander: American Dream will have a focus that should last for some time.
Taking place just before the events of the first movie, Highlander: American Dream introduces some new characters into the franchise, but luckily for us writer Brian Ruckley doesn’t introduce anything that completely breaks the franchise as a whole. In fact, much of what Ruckley brings to the table in American Dream not only fits really well into the story of Connor MacLeod that we know from the movies, they’re also better than the ideas from the numerous sequels that plagued the franchise. While prequels can be a little tricky to pull off, with American Dream it’s a benefit, as Ruckley doesn’t have to try and make his story fit in with all of the crazy crap that the Highlander franchise has gone through.
Andrea Mutti handles the artwork for American Dream, and he’s able to craft pages that are reminiscent of the look of these characters from their movie counterparts, but not so much that they look super distracting or super stiff. Highlander stories are known for jumping through different time periods, and Mutti is able to showcase this aspect of the story really well. However, there’s not a lot of action in this issue, so it remains to be seen how Mutti will be able to handle the swordfights that the franchise is known for.
While the bar wasn’t that high, Highlander: American Dream is easily the best comic book that has sprung from the franchise, and definitely something Highlander fans need to check out. Ruckley and Mutti have crafted a loving nod to the franchise that honors the original movie while also adding some cool new elements to it. The movie reboot may never happen, but as long as IDW is going to put out comics, Highlander fans will have plenty to be happy with. All that’s missing is a rocking Queen soundtrack.