The new Highlander limited five issue series from IDW is here and it’s a kind of magic.
Highlander: The American Dream starts us out in 1985, mere days before the events of the film.
It tells us the story of an immortal named Vazilek, a monk who is mentioned in the film when Connor MacLeod is being interrogated by the police. We also get a new villain by the name of John Hooke, whose savagery rivals that of the Kurgan himself. The story takes place over the course of three time periods: the American Civil War, New York in the 1950s, and New York in the present (1985). Much like the movie, the events of the past are told through flashbacks, instantly throwing the reader into the flow and style of storytelling that worked so well in the film. It also goes into greater depths on Rachel’s relationship with MacLeod and shows the lengths that she will go to to protect him and show her loyalty and love for him. We also get FBI detective Highsmith, who has been investigating the strange murders committed by the Immortals — in particular Hooke’s, who likes to take the eyes of his victims and has a thirst for killing mortals and immortals alike. Highsmith’s dynamic to the story is rather interesting as a conspiracy theorist that no one will listen to in regards to his investigation into the Immortals.
Fans of the film will also be excited to know that another beloved character makes an appearance in the climactic conclusion to the story, which brings us right up to two days before the events of the film. This is all about four of the final six Immortals who have converged on New York City for the Gathering, and about Connor MacLeod and Vazilek’s hunt through time to kill Hooke and ensure that he is not the one to take the prize. After all, there can be only one.
While the artwork can feel rather basic and broody at times, it represents the different time periods of the story very well and has that kind of dark gritty feel and atmosphere that the movie had. Connor MacLeod does not look much like Christopher Lambert, however, and there are some continuity issues with the look of Rachel from 1950s to the 1980s nearly 30 years later.
Brian Ruckley’s battles and the action scenes are epic and visceral, and the lightning effect of the quickening is intense, electrifying, and very rewarding.
Although the dialogue seems to be rather flat at times, Andrea Mutti gives us a rich story that manages to tie into the film seamlessly. Highlander: The American Dream is definitely something that fans of the film will appreciate and settle into rather easily, but may be kind of difficult for people unfamiliar with the franchise to understand what was going on. It definitely has a feel like it was written by a fan for the fans as a labor of love. While it does kind of stay in its comfort zone and doesn’t really push the envelope too much, it does feel like a proper Highlander story, which is what a good companion should do.
This is a solid limited series telling a separate story that intertwines with the events of the film. Overall, Highlander: The American Dream is a thrilling companion to the original film that does justice to the source material. I highly recommend it to fans of the Highlander franchise. It will make you want to watch the original movie again after reading it.