Review: Highland Laddie #1

Published on August 20th, 2010

Highland Laddie is the newest spin off series from Garth Ennis’ The Boys. This series follows Hughie after he decides to take a sabbatical and go back to his home town of Auchterladle, Scotland. As always Garth Ennis does a fantastic job of entertaining me and confusing the Hell out of me at the same.

highlandladdie_1The book starts with Hughie getting off a bus, he then walks through the town, giving the readers a chance to see what kind of town he grew up in. He then walks to a house where his mother is doing laundry and singing Hughie greets his mother and gets a celebratory welcome from his Maw and Paw. The next few pages show Hughie visiting with his parents while I struggle to understand what everybody is saying, then Hughie heads off to meet his childhood pals, Bobby and Det. He goes to Det’s house first, and in case you were wondering Det was given the nickname when they were kids, it’s short for “Detergent” because it was believed that he never used any. Det’s mother answers the door wearing a gas mask to protect herself from her son’s smell, she calls for Det to come out who greets his newly returned friend also wearing a gas mask. The two friends head off to the Pub to meet Big Bobby. If you thought Det being so smelly he has to wear a gas mask wasn’t weird enough you are in luck because Bobby is revealed to be one of the ugliest transvestites you might ever meet. At first Hughie is shocked to see his childhood friend in a dress, but once they start drinking and talking it’s like no time has passed since Hughie left home.

Unfortunately it quickly becomes like old times and Hughie gets reminded of his reasons for leaving Auchterladle. His old pals reminisce about a time when they were all kids and they had Hughie believing  his real father was an airplane pilot who fell out of a plane and survived only to be killed by an icicle of urine that fell from the plane and went straight through his head. Hughie leaves the pub and walks to the beach where he meets a man painting the horizon. The painter is very friendly and the two talk for a while. The issue ends with some unknown characters watching Hughie from a van, the unknown persons discuss if Hughie will be a problem for their plans to smuggle Compound V into the city.

So far I like this series better than Herogasm, the last spin off from The Boys. It started off kind of slow when Hughie is visiting with his parents, I was starting to question if this book was actually written by Garth Ennis. Everything seemed so happy and cheerful, but once Hughie met up with his friends everything fit into place. When compared to Chronicles of Wormwood or Crossed this book seems pretty tame, but I think that’s the point. Hughie has had a rough time since joining The Boys and he’s earned some time off, and I think that’s what Highland Laddie is, a nice vacation for the readers. I don’t see this book as being some huge story where everything changes, I think it’s just going to be a fun story that’s sole purpose is to entertain. The only problem I had with the book was the dialogue, the book takes place in Scotland so all the characters speak with an accent. It’s not as difficult to understand as Shakespeare, but there’s a few words I’ve never heard in the context they use. If you’ve been reading The Boys you’ll probably wanna read this series as well.

Ken Zeider