Writer: John Lees
Art: Ryan Lee
The first issue of Mountainhead was a lot to unpack but has a promising foundation centered around survival. The story hops from the sole survivor of what looks like a bloodied battle scene on a snowy mountain to the chaotic and nomadic lives of Abraham Stubbs and his father Noah.
Like the incredible artwork on the cover, done by Ryan Lee, the story opens with gruesome and incredibly detailed linework. Lee creates several dramatic scenes of contrasting colors for his mountain man but quickly shows off of his skill set by switching to a darker color palette for Abraham and Noah. He paints a gritty portrait of reality without romanticizing anything. His work is not as clean as I’d like for it to be, but it matches the darkness this comic conveys.
Abraham is depicted as a spry kid utterly devoted to the lifestyle he and his father Noah have always known. The father-son team of thieves is a duo constantly on the run and living on the edge of society, too paranoid to stay in one place too long. Despite Abraham’s dedication to him and his father’s survival tactics, it’s easy to see he’s tormented by something. Something’s not right.
Halfway through the issue, there is a shocking revelation that flips Abraham’s world upside down and sends him hurtling toward the quiet mountain town of Braeriach, British Columbia, where his demons follow him. As Abraham looks up the mountainside, he sees extreme beauty and a flash of darkness. It’s here we see the danger and secrets that lie within this story and where we expect he will inevitably run into this mysterious mountain man with a horrific story to tell.
This is the type of story I’m a sucker for. I see an amazingly gritty yet simple cover like Ryan Lee’s and I immediately grab it and hope for the best. So much already happened in this issue that I worry about pacing for the series, but there could be plenty of story left to tell. For now, I’ll tag along, hope for the best, and pray it doesn’t run out of stamina.
John Lees and Ryan Lee create a gritty, fast-paced story of horror and mystery set in Braeriach, British Columbia.