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SYFY WIRE comic previews

First look: Step off the grid with IDW's upcoming survival horror series, Mountainhead

By Jeff Spry
Mountainhead Hero

Have you ever considered simply unplugging from the strangling complexities of digital age life and stripping down your existence by going totally off the grid? Will there still be mochas? No? Okay, forget it.

Mountainhead is an intriguing new creator-owned psychological horror miniseries being released this August by IDW Publishing that follows father-and-son conspiracy theorists on the run from some nefarious organization while fate has destined them to encounter a truth-shattering horror in a remote British Columbia town — and SYFY WIRE has an exclusive three-page peek inside the addictive premiere issue.

MOUNTAINHEAD #1 Cover A - Ryan Lee

Written by John Lees (Sink) and accented with arresting artwork by Ryan Lee (Archer & Armstrong), colors from Doug Garbark, and letters via Shawn Lee.Abraham, Mountainhead follows Abraham Stubbs and his father Noah as they roam North America in a hazardous nomadic existence.

Convinced they are being chased by sinister government agent, Noah has them living off the grid, robbing houses and barely scraping to survive. Elsewhere, on the slopes of Mount Rector, the sole survivor of a doomed climbing expedition staggers homeward, drenched in blood. Both perilous paths are on a fateful collision course with this picturesque Canadian town of Braeriach.

Mountainhead 1

Lees and his creative team invested a considerable amount of time in crafting this surprising hybrid marrying psychological terror and traditional horror.

"This sequence is a very significant scene for Ryan and I," Lees explains to SYFY WIRE. "It's actually the scene we originally used to pitch Mountainhead, and so it was the first scene he illustrated. For me, the core of the story lies in these pages. No matter what mysteries unfold and what strange and frightening turns the narrative takes, at its heart this is a story about Abraham and Noah. It's a story about parenthood, and how much Noah's influence has shaped and defined who he is."

Mountainhead 2

"Here we see the thinking that drives this off-the-grid existence," he adds. "Noah's the one doing most of the talking in this scene, and so we learn a good deal about his motivations and the paranoia that is consuming him. But the real key figure here is Noah: how he's reacting to these words, how they're impacting on him.

"Ryan sells this beautifully with the fantastic 'acting' he brings to Abraham's facial expressions and body language. We get that he's feeling doubts about Noah's ideology, and Ryan also conveys a sense of unease and lurking threat, Abraham slowly coming to the realisation that he could be in danger ... and not necessarily from the outside forces he's been running from for as long as he can remember."

Mountainhead 3

"This sequence should act as a good taster for the vibe of the issue as a whole. It gives us insight into the dynamics of love and fear at play between Abraham and Noah, while also showcasing the suspense and menace that's never too far from the surface, even in a scene that's just a father and son talking in a room!"

What do you think of this sneak peek at Mountainhead #1, and will you be compelled to pick up the first issue when it arrives on August 28?