Writers: Brandon Jerwa and Michael Avon Oeming
Artist: Lee Moder
Publisher: Dynamite Entertainment
Plot: Conner MacLeod is called to Paris at the request of a fellow immortal named Tasya. Interpol has captured a mortal who once was an acolyte of the Kurgen, and Conner's expertise is needed. The acolyte becomes crazed and before committing suicide warns that Russia will be razed and reborn. At that moment, news of a meltdown at the Chernobyl Nuclear Facility breaks. Feeling that the acolyte's return and the meltdown are connected, Conner asks Tasya to get him to Moscow so he can put down each and every one of the animals responsible.
Commentary: I realize that the point of this zero issue is to not only serve as a prolonged advertisement for the new series but as also to entice the reader to come back. It wasn't meant to be a full issue, and therefore I can't review it like one. Jerwa and Oeming only gave us a taste, and there really isn't enough here to know if the story is going to work or not. I'm going to assume at this point that the continuity Jerwa and Oeming are going with is similar to that of the television series where the Kurgen and Conner's battle was not the end of The Gathering, and there are still Immortals running around. That's fine with me. I rather liked the television series.
(Though wouldn't it be funny if instead of fighting with swords, The Gathering was decided by several tournaments of Magic: The Gathering? No? It wouldn't be funny? Well, you have no sense of humor then.)
I am a little nervous, though. This could go either way. On one hand, it is kind of neat that the Kurgen had a set of mortal lieutenants, and if the writers are going to use them as means to explore the relationship between Conner and the Kurgen then it could turn out fine. On the other hand, if it's not handled just right, it could go south in a hurry. There is a fine line between the first Highlander and Highlander III. It's all in how it is played.
I'm not sure I like the writer's characterization of Conner either. In the first scene it seemed like Christopher Lambert but later he was way too chatty. From my experience Conner is quiet. His thoughts are often his own, and when he does speak, it has meaning. I don't know if I could see him saying the line about putting the animals down. It doesn't fit somehow. Also the past relationship with Tasya seems more Duncan MacLeod than Conner.
Though I am curious if the arc of lightning in the Chernobyl wreckage was the result of an Immortal being be-headed. Hmmm.
In The End: As I previously mentioned, this is a tough book to review. There really isn't enough to go on, and aside from a few observations, everything I think is merely conjecture. This could turn out to be a really great comic, and I could end up thinking that the writers did right by the franchise. I mean they can't do much worse than Highlander II. The story, while a little clunky, was enjoyable.
I also feel it is worth mentioning that the preview they included of Dynamite's upcoming Lone Ranger series looked absolutely amazing. Just thought I would share that with you.
What did you think of this book?
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