Tom Spurgeon's Web site of comics news, reviews, interviews and commentary

Home > CR Reviews

The Highwaymen #1
posted August 30, 2007


Creators: Marc Bernardin, Adam Freeman, Lee Garbett, Jonny Rench, Rob Leigh, Brian Steelfreeze
Publishing Information: DC Comics/Vertigo, comic book, 32 pages, June 2007, $2.99
Ordering Numbers:

The first issue of the five-issue Vertigo mini-series The Highwaymen reminds me of one of those movies that wants to celebrate a genre while at the same time satirize some of its excesses. I'm not sure how much of the latter we're talking about here. The characters and set pieces are broad enough to suggest a parody; there's even a guy with an English accent who calls people "mate." More significantly I think, the plot is set at some future year with references to the rich, glorious past represented by Bill Clinton's presidency, which indicates the prime-time of Vertigo's ascendant period is there to be utilized and celebrated. The execution, however, is more on line with The Big Hit (Hong Kong action films) than it is with Shaun of the Dead (zombie movies); too much at least in this first outing remains unexamined, and there's not enough dissonance between approaches to keep the reader from becoming a co-conspirator in terms of wallowing in the cliches. I found much of the issue kind of boring; I've been there before, and merely putting the tongue a bit in cheek this time around doesn't change the essential nature of the narrative landscape. This is going to require a massive shift in tone to recapture my interest, and I'm not waiting up.