Writers: Brandon Jerwa and Michael Avon Oeming
Artists: Lee Moder, Brian Buccellato (colors)
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Plot: The year: 1986. Conner MacLeod joins immortals Tasya and Paul along with mortal Dr. Arman Volkov on a hunt for Russian super soldiers connected with the Kurgen. The soldiers were responsible for a meltdown at the Chernobyl nuclear power facility. Volkov has a connection with both the Kurgen and the soldiers. The soldiers use a rocket launcher to knock the helicopter out of the sky, and they attack the immortals once they are on the ground. When the authorities arrive, the soldiers retreat, leaving MacLeod and crew at the mercy of the Soviet government.
Commentary: The first thing I have to write about this issue is that from the looks of it, this could turn out to be a really neat story.
I admit I had my doubts. After reading the zero issue, I felt that this story was going to either be very good or fail miserably. This is such a dodgy proposition because as much as I am a fan of the Highlander franchise (i.e. I liked the first movie and the television series and think that the three sequels had a good deal of problems, even that Renegade version of the second movie) I always felt that Conner's story was pretty much done with. I like Conner, mind you, but with the way the movies went combined with the way the television series was set up, Duncan always worked better in an episodic manner than Conner. Conner did his bit. He beat the Kurgen. He deserved a rest aside from popping in to pass the torch to Duncan in the first episode of the series.
He really didn't deserve the third movie, but then again, nobody did.
In reading this first issue I am seeing where Conner's story can continue. In fact, this story feels like the pilot to a possible Highlander series if one had been proposed in 1986.
Aside from immortals crossing swords, the trappings of the Highlander universe were present in this story, especially those of the television series. Conner is dealing with something in the present (or at least the present of 1986) while the connecting sub-plot involves flashbacks to 1963. This gave the story a familiar feeling and not in the "I've seen this plot before" kind of way, but more, "Oh yeah, this is how it works." I thought this was a good move on the part of the writers, considering they were not only trying to attract new readers but also fans of the series.
My only real complaint, and it is a very minor one, is the art. Lee Moder isn't doing too much for me on this series. It's nothing against his skill as an artist. I just think, for my tastes, that he wasn't the right choice for this world.
In The End: I'm the type of guy who likes it when he's wrong. I thought this story wasn't going to be all that good, but I was pleasantly surprised by this first issue. The story in concept and execution is sound, and I am really looking forward to seeing where Brandon Jerwa and Michael Avon Oeming take it.
What did you think of this book?
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