Any time I can get a new John Byrne comic, I'm happy. This was one of those new series that I somehow knew nothing about. Knowing Byrne was writing and drawing a space comic was all I needed to know.
There is something fun and exciting about reading a comic while having no idea what it's about. I understand that doing so may not be a luxury or risk many would want to take. For me, Bryne is a creator that I will follow and check out whatever they do. Then make a decision from there.
THE HIGH WAYS is a four-issue miniseries set aboard a space freighter. We are immediately introduced to a new recruit/navigator for the freighter. As he discovers what his new position entails, we get an introduction to this world as well. It's not just a story about some folk hauling items from one planet to another. There is more to the story as a mystery begins to unfold throughout the story.
Byrne's art is great to see here. I've commented before how there are times we don't see a lot of background or just get 'floating heads' having a conversation. That isn't the case here. While most of the issue does take place in a freighter, the backgrounds do have a good amount of detail to make the story come to life.
Normally my biggest complaint about sci-fi comics is the color. Leonard O'Grady's color work brilliantly here. It could be that Byrne's style combined with the colors just works. Too often I find sci-fi comics coming across as too artificial. That was a big fear I had before opening this comic and I'm glad it's not something I had to worry about.
We do have to sit through the introductory stages of the series. Because this is just a four-issue series, it's a little concerning that the 'mystery' doesn't pop up until towards the end of this issue. I am definitely intrigued but hopefully there will be plenty of time to flesh the story out in the remaining three issues. I do like what I've seen here but I wasn't completely blown away. It's the last page that really is the kicker.
There's nothing like a John Byrne comic to lighten up the week. Being a fan from when I started reading comics, it's always a treat to see what he comes up with next. This space story is easily accessible to anyone willing to give something new a try. The set up is well explained and as we get to know the main characters, we start to see there is something else going on in the story, paving the way for the rest of the miniseries. After reading this first issue I'm still not completely sure what Byrne has planned but that is totally alight. I love sci-fi and it's not often I can tolerate the bright colors of a sci-fi comic. The colors combined with Byrne's art works here. Now comes the hard part in waiting for the next issue.