Written by Mark Millar
Art by Rafael Albuquerque
Published by Image Comics
Summary from Comixology: “In a quiet seaside town, Huck uses his special gifts to do a good deed each day. His neighbors return the favors by keeping his abilities a secret. But when a newcomer alerts the media, a firestorm erupts, sending Huck on an adventure that will change everything. This brand-new series from writer MARK MILLAR and artist RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE presents a comicbook unlike anything you’ve read before. Featuring a Feel-Good Movie variant cover by RAFAEL ALBUQUERQUE.”
Mark Millar is at the top of the “comic creator food-chain” right now. Kick-Ass is easily one the best independent series of the new millennium, his series’ Wanted and The Secret Service were made into very successful films (you can read my Kingsman: The Secret Service review here), and his series’ Chrononauts and Jupiter’s Legacy have both been optioned for film adaptations. Oh, also, this book, Huck, it’s also already been optioned for a feature film. Yeah, before the book even dropped the film rights got scooped up. That happens somewhat often in the world of novels, but it’s pretty rare in the comic book world. Huck is not your typical comic though… or, maybe it is, just not in this era.
You see, Mark Millar wrote Huck in response to what he feels is an increasingly bleak direction for the superhero genre. He does a fantastic job of explaining himself in this piece here (and you should absolutely read it because it’s extremely insightful), but to slightly paraphrase, he essentially says that he longed for the days when superheroes excited us because they were upstanding and good, rather than compelling us because of gray-area morality.
He’s not wrong either. I mean, I love those “gray-area morality” characters and stories, but I also don’t think that we should abandon the goodness of superheroes just because we have some delusion that we’ve matured beyond it. So I 100% understand where Millar is coming from and I support his stance.
The character of Huck reminded me a lot of Forest Gump, or John Coffey (Michael Clarke Duncan’s character from The Green Mile). Huck is simple, but he’s in no way inept or incompetent. He’s very kind, and has a very compassionate heart. He also just so happens to be able to run really fast, jump really far, swim long distances without having to take a breath, and punch cruel warlords so hard that they fly back several yards. The people of his small town know what he’s capable of and just want to protect him. They’re not trying to keep him all to themselves or anything, they just want to keep him from being exposed to the vulture-like tendencies of the outside world.
Huck is committed to doing at least one nice thing for someone everyday, and there were a couple of things that stood out to me about that. First, his kindness is not limited to what he can do with his abilities. He doesn’t just lift things for people or stop bad guys. He does do those things, but he also does things like spending his own hard-earned money to buy lunch for all the people in a drive-thru, and writing kind notes. The other thing I noticed is that, prior to punching the cruel warlord I mentioned earlier, Huck firmly requests that the man remove his glasses. Huck’s goodness is so intrinsic that he won’t even punch a violent mass-murderer who’s wearing glasses. It’s almost reminiscent of the “why doesn’t Batman just kill The Joker” debate.
I would be remiss if I failed to mention the artwork done by Rafael Albuquerque. He does an absolutely incredible job. I don’t even know if anything I can say would sufficiently express how beautiful his work is. Every panel is like a painting, and there aren’t too many artist that give you that feeling when you read a comic. The very last page of this issue felt like a Norman Rockwell painting. It’s that wonderful.
Huck #1 made me happy. I loved the character, I loved the story, and I’m really excited to see where it all goes. I also have to say, it’s a surprisingly young-reader friendly book. I gave it to my 8 year old son to read and after he finished it he said, “Is this the first kid friendly book from Image?” I chuckled and said, “You know, it might be.” Now, while there really isn’t anything offensive, I still probably wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s “kid-friendly”. Comixology defines it at being 12+ but if you a have a mature kid between 8 and 11, with well-developed reading skills, I think they’d really enjoy this book.
The real proof of Huck’s invaluable worth, however, is found in it’s ability to speak to us grown-ups. More specifically, the child-like sense of enjoyment that first drew us into comics in the first place. Huck #1 is a fun, exciting beginning to what is sure to be an extraordinary story full of astonishing feats, thrilling drama, and enormous heart. Don’t miss out! Head down to your local comic shop and pick up a copy of Huck #1 today!
Music Pairing –
I really wanted to find something that was positive and uplifting to pair with this book, and after considering several different bands and songs, I settled on “Go Down In History”, by Four Year Strong. It’s a fun, anthem-like song, full of good vibes and sincerity. Just like Huck!