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Highland Laddie: The Recap! Starring Brad Pitt as Wee Hughie!

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  • Highland Laddie: The Recap! Starring Brad Pitt as Wee Hughie!

    Note: This review best read while listening to The Proclaimers.

    Our story opens with sheep, which I'm betting will play a prominent roll in the story at some point. Hughie has arrived home, at the scenic coastal village of Auchterladle. I'm heartened a bit that Hughie's home has a name that's at least somewhat plausible for a Scottish town, instead of just being named "Haggistan". Lest we forget we're in Scotland, Hughie and the bus driver exchange some local slang. Google informs me that "Billy" is Scottish Slang for Amphetamine Sulfate, otherwise known to you and I as Speed. So apparently, the Scotts kill two birds with one stone by having your local bus driver also be your local drug dealer. This also is the case in New York, except it's your cab driver that hooks you up.

    Hughie walks home, and we meet his remarkably normal (for now, anyway) parents. I get the feeling I'm being suckered here, because so far not a single bizarre thing has happened. It's all very solid and the mood is being established quite well. I do, however, wonder what the time-frame is, and if this is going to end up screwing over The Boys current storyline, the way that Herogasm did. We shall continue onward and see!

    Inside their quaint Scottish house, Hughie catches his parents up on his life. Kinda. Actually, he doesn't much want to talk about it. I'm really liking the artwork because there's all kinds of subtle things going on in the background. For instance, there are a bunch of "New York" Post Cards taped to a cabinet, and a pile of rubber boots that I'm sure have a name, but us Desert Dwellers have never actually seen or worn. I was a bit surprised to see that Hughie's mom pulls a Trifle out of the refrigerator, and even more surprised to realize that I know a Trifle when I see it drawn in a comic book.

    A conversation about Hughie's friends ensues, which I'm going to guess exists entirely for our benefit. Real people never have conversations like this, because real people don't have to provide exposition for an unseen audience. In any event, Hughie's going to meet up with his sure-to-be-colorful friends, one of which is fat and one of which smells bad because he never washes his clothing. That's what we're getting out of this. Hughie's dad mentions that Hughie's friends have changed a bit, but refuses to elaborate on why. Again, I've never once encountered people like this in the Real World. Normal people have actual conversations, they don't just provide Foreshadowing.

    Hughie and Paw retire outside. Much abuse of the word "ken" ensues. Do Scotts really not realize that the English word for "understand" is "understand"?

    Hughie pops out and heads to see his friends. His first stop is the Bronson household. Apparently, every minor character in this book is going to be a reference to a Scottish character in a movie. The bus driver was "McGonagale", and his friend is "Horace Bronson", so we have "Harry Potter" and "Bronson" covered. I'm assuming Mickey O'Neil and Patrick Connery will be making appearances shortly.

    Anyway, both Mrs. Bronson and her son are wearing gas masks, because their house stinks so badly. Hughie acts as if this is perfectly normal. I'm going to go out on a limb here and guess that Horace is "Det", the friend who never washes his clothing.

    ...which brings us to a Rant. Ennis wants us to just blindly accept that there are human beings on this planet who would rather wear gas-masks than indulge in basic human hygiene. Now, I'm not saying there aren't stinky people who don't bathe out there. I've been to France. I'm saying that they never realize that they smell. They're used to it. And if they weren't use to it, and did realize that they stank, wouldn't it be more logical to just... uh, wash? As opposed to wearing gas-masks? Hell, I feel stupid even writing about how stupid it is.

    That brings us to Hughie's other friend: Big Bobby. Who appears to be The Russian (boobs era) from the pages of The Punisher. I have to say that the local population seems to be handling a large, hairy Transvestite in their midst a lot better than you'd typically assume of a tiny fishing village.

    Hughie seems to miss the life of a small-town fisherman's son. He and his wacky pals sit around speaking in as much Scottish slang as humanely possible, lest we forget we're in Scotland. There is also an abusive Scottish barman, because in the Ennis universe, there is no other type of barman. Apparently, he's angry at Hughie because back in the day when Hughie was part of the Scooby Gang, they foiled his plot to haunt the local lighthouse.

    Now, we take a break for the Conspiracy Theory Workshop!
    In a move obviously intended just to freak out the five of us who post to this board, it is revealed that Hughie is adopted. What does it all mean? Is he' Butcher's long-lost son? Is he Malory's... long lost son? He's obviously somebody's long-lost son!

    Speaking of Butcher... here's that Spoiler none of us wanted. Apparently Butcher DIDN'T kick Hughie's ass and stuff him in a burning oil barrel. I guess we kind of knew that anyway. In a flashback, we see Hughie saying his goodbyes. The Female is now in charge of Jamie, which oddly enough, seems like the safest person he could have left Jamie with.

    The real spoiler here are Hughie's final words to Butcher as he leaves. I'll let you decide what they mean. I have my own theories. It's actually kind of brilliant, because now I REALLY want to read the next issue of The Boys.

    Back in Scotland, we learn that Compound V gives you high tolerance for Scottish beer. Hughie leaves his friends, and wanders along a beach until running into an old man and having a slang-filled conversation with him.

    Much slang later, the evil Scottish Bartender is spying on Hughie from a car. The ensuing conversation is so monumentally retarded that even the other people in the car comment on it. It's like the book has achieved Sentience and is fighting back against the plot.

    As it turns out, Hughie had quite the reputation as a Boy Detective back when he was a regular on "Scooby Doo". *sigh* This despite the fact that Hughie has never been portrayed as anything other than a clueless, lazy numbskull throughout the entire history of The Boys. Suddenly, the guy that dated Starlight for two years without ever realizing who she was, is now Encyclopedia Brown.

    In any event, Evil Bartender is afraid that Hughie is going to interfere with the importation of "Supe-Sugar", which I'll assume is the same drug the prostitutes were snorting way back in the Teenage Kix arc. He assures his partners that Hughie is a menace, due to his Sherlock Holmes level of deductive skills. His partners, having evidently read previous issues of The Boys, tell him he's full of crap. I'm on their side.

    And with that, we fade to black!
    Last edited by Kamakazi; 08-21-2010, 02:07 PM.

  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Boris View Post
    And this:
    Why would someone living in Scotch Paradise order a Kentucky bourbon?
    "If only there were somewhere in Scotland that we could get a decent Scotch!"

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Kamakazi View Post
    The above quote is reason #3,567 that I love you. In a manly way, of course.
    And this:


    Originally posted by Kamakazi View Post
    Now, I'm not saying there aren't stinky people who don't bathe out there. I've been to France.

    Is the same numbered reason I return. We are a manly match made in heaven.


    Now, I've sobered up, and the issue still makes no sense, nor I can understand Scottish any better. I can even argue that:

    1) I've lost all of the fun in the Believe arc, since it's clear Hughie and Billy will NOT have a bad argument about Annie (but there's hope Billy will show him that nasty video, which will be the reason Hughie's back home in tears)

    2) (wishful thinking) in the last Highland Laddie issue we'll realize it was just a fevered dream by Hughie, who has taken too much of Frenchie's surrealistic stories and he's having bad trips on his own.

    3) I hope Ennis will never set a story in my country (on second thought, it'd be absolutely amazing).


    But still, speaking about alcohol, here's one of the many things in the issue I can't understand: in the pub scene, there's someone ordering a Jim Reed.
    Now, we're supposed to be in Scotland. Why would someone living in Scotch Paradise order a Kentucky bourbon? It's like, I don't know, an Italian ordering sushi in a pizza restaurant in Naples, or a French calling a computer "computer". It's the second "wrong drink" episode after MM's drunk accident with Vought Guy.

    What's coming next? An Italian character not being Catholic or a mafia wiseguy?
    I can't stand Ennis giving up national stereotypes!!!

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Originally posted by Boris View Post
    I've just finished reading it, and my first impression is "What the hell???"

    On second thought, I supposed Ennis must have gone drunk (well... drunker than usual), confused the Highland Laddie script with the Frenchman infamous origin issue and realized it when it was already drawn, inked and sent in the press. Yes, that's the only rational explanation.
    The above quote is reason #3,567 that I love you. In a manly way, of course.

    EDIT: Also, I forgot to give you credit for the "Scooby Doo" connection. I remembered that somebody made it, but I didn't remember who. My bad. But yes, you were 100% on the money. I actually thought it was kind of adorable that he just ran with it. Dumb in terms of plot, but adorable none the less. Heh.
    Last edited by Kamakazi; 08-21-2010, 02:12 PM.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    I've just finished reading it, and my first impression is "What the hell???"

    On second thought, I supposed Ennis must have gone drunk (well... drunker than usual), confused the Highland Laddie script with the Frenchman infamous origin issue and realized it when it was already drawn, inked and sent in the press. Yes, that's the only rational explanation.

    Even worse, I fear Ennis read my slightly critical post about Scooby Doo Endings I wrote a bit ago, and wants to punish me by putting an actual Scooby Plot in his series. That was a bloody low blow, you mad bastard! Now I'm left with a mind-eating doubt: are Scooby Doo and the other folks in the cartoon Scottish? And do all Irishmen have so weird opinions about Scotland?

    Actually, there were a few good bits, like the flashbacks of Hughie and Billy. If it wasn't just a cheap move to build expectations in the main series, I'll have appreciated much more.

    In the end, I must warn you that I am slightly drunk at the moment.
    So I won't annoy you with my paranoid feelings about Hughie being the secret son of Frenchie and Reiner and grandson of Mallory and Maeve, but I promise I'll give it some thought, just after I'll have bought myself a Scottish-Understandable English dictionary.

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  • Guest's Avatar
    Guest replied
    Yeah. I read the first issue, but I'm not impressed.

    Chris

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