Brandon Borzelli’s Geek Goggle Reviews
Jerwa, Rafael, Lopez & Bowland
This issue wraps up the arc and first “season” of Highlander comics. This issue gives us some good action, but lots of loose ends and unrealized potential. For me, this issue basically sums up the whole season. It had all the makings of something great, it just fell short, leaving too much happening off panel and too many tricks left on the shelf un-played. I wanted more. I expected more.
Duncan and his fellows escapees from the immortal combat lair confront the old woman who orchestrated this whole mess of detonating nukes. Duncan starts to have flashbacks from the woman he took her from in the previous issue, Nibila. We quickly cut to the immortals in a helicopter investigating the nuke site. We learn that the immortals are keeping the old woman alive in hopes of unraveling her plan. The two female immortals jump from the helicopter to help those civilians on the ground.
This leaves Duncan, Methos, some French immortal and the old woman in the chopper. Duncan does some more integration and then they spot a cargo carrier that appears to be in with the old woman. Duncan and company land. The bad guys on the boat see that they have the old woman hostage and allow Duncan and the gang to work their way into the hold of the ship.
Once down below, Duncan sees the amount of nukes and begins to question the old woman about the visions he’s seen. At this point, the mysterious French immortal reveals himself to be in cahoots with the old woman. Shocking. With Methos stuck on the deck guarding the door, Duncan is all alone with the French dude. The watchers arrive to assist Methos (how they knew to show I’m not sure about). Duncan and Frenchy do some sword fighting. Methos barges in and advises Duncan not to take Frenchy’s head due to the nukes and all. Duncan opts to buy some time with Frenchy while Methos escapes and then takes his head despite the ghost of Connor begging with him otherwise. The ship goes up with the quickening.
The issue ends with Duncan, all mutated from the radiation and the healing process hanging with Methos and the Joe guy, who may be a watcher for all I know.
Well, let me say that I enjoyed the action a lot. I liked the artwork. I didn’t love it, but it was good. I disliked almost every aspect of the story.
Let’s begin with the old woman. First of all, they found the boat without her. They did use her to get below, but the watchers showed up shortly after, so did they need her alive at all? Also, what happens to her in the end? She coughs from radiation sickness and then Frenchy start fighting Duncan. What happens to her? The character served little purpose in my opinion and yet she seemed so important for too much of the story.
Next, Duncan’s pals. They drift in and out of the story with no introduction, rhyme or reason. Why would the girls just demand to get off the helicopter after insisting to help chase down the bad guys? It seemed like the whole purpose was to just whittle down the good guy numbers before getting to the boat. Joe, the unshaven watcher is barely re-introduced. I cant even remember if he was an immortal or a watcher and in the end it doesn’t even matter. Finally, we still have no ID on the French guy. Sure, he unveils himself to be a villain, but who the hell is he?
Then let’s discuss the dialog. I’m all for lines like, “Pour it on” as much as the next guy, but this issue was page after page of clichés. Starting with “How dare you” to “This is only the beginning” followed up with “You’re not doing it alone” and “Call off your dogs”. I just could use lines more in tune with the characters. It all felt so interchangeable.
Finally, the use of Connor. I really like the idea of Connor being able to talk to Duncan. This is an excellent idea. How about making more use of it then three lines during the climatic scene? This was totally underused while too many other oddities found its way in there. Such as, the visitation of Connor’s grave in end. We don’t need to see the grave, Connor is in the comic!
I expect so much more from this awesome franchise in the hands of the company who brought gems like Lone Ranger and The Boys to life issue after issue. They have so much to play with in terms of timelines and characters. Maybe the next mini-series will be different. It deals with Ramirez’s sword, maybe he’ll make an appearance as well. I’m not done with this title yet.
2 out of 5 geek goggles.
Highlander #12 (Cover A)