I’ve been anxious to read the second issue of Huck. The first issue will more than likely become my pick for the best single issue of the year and so with that came a lot of pressure on the second issue. Granted, it was pressure I placed upon it. Pressure that was amplified by a year of comics that consistently failed to impress with its second issues. I’m not joking that I now live in fear of second issues. After so many bad turns I get incredibly nervous when the second issue releases. I put a lot of pressure on Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque to deliver what I felt would be a great issue of Huck which is probably the most unfair thing to do to a creator. I said very plainly in my first review that the final page of the first issue scared the crap out of me. It made the direction of the story clear as day, but as I discovered with this second issue Millar still had some surprises.
The first couple of pages confirmed a suspicion that there would be other super powered individuals in the story which was kind of a shame. The inclusion is still good and adds layers to the story, but damnit I really wanted Huck to be the only one with powers. But I can’t judge a book for what I want to be there and again, it’s not even remotely bad. We meet a woman being held captive by a crazy Russian scientist and forced to demonstrate her telepathy in the freezing cold wearing nothing more than a hospital gown.
After that we go to the present and find the media circus that has become Huck’s house. The neighbors that have always protected him arrive at his house to see how he’s holding up and it’s clear that Huck doesn’t like this attention. It does make you wonder why they decided to include Diane Davis in the secret so soon. She’s absent from this issue which was a nice choice as it builds her return for future issues.
Everything changes when Huck sees a woman outside his house crying on the TV. He decides to go out there and pushes past all the media and asks the woman how he can help. From that point on we get the wonder and amazement that Albuquerque captured in the first issue. We get the incredible character that Millar created in the first issue. My god was the issue damn near perfect after Huck’s reveal. I hated it, but I loved Huck for it. I loved his character and how when everyone told him to hide that he instead helped. He fell back to what he knew and that was one good dead a day. It was pretty fucking incredible and gave me a chill.
Then the last page hit and I again got a little nervous. There’s two new characters introduced that could have a huge impact on the story.
What’s still great about this issue is that even though the cat is out of the bag, Huck still is Huck. He still goes about what he did in the first issue that was so great. What concerns me about the final page is that these new characters will eventually interact with Huck and that will change how Huck acts. While that scares me, after this issue I have a new confidence in the story that Millar is telling. This surpasses everything else he’s written in recent memory. Hell, if I’m really honest, this is the best solo title he’s done since leaving the big two behind to write for himself.
This is by far the best work of Rafael Albuquerque’s career thus far. He and colorist Dave McCaig have created a world that looks and feels like ours. I don’t want to visit the world of Huck, because I feel like I’m already there. Albuquerque’s character designs are still wonderful. They capture so many people from so many walks of life. And then there’s Huck. His childlike positivity is like something out of a Norman Rockwell painting. I’m filled with hope and joy when I see Huck’s face. The artwork is emotionally powerful and frankly some of the most magical pages in all of comics.
Huck #2 didn’t disappoint. It takes a very slight dip for me from the first issue, but this second issue pleases in many ways. It has been one of the biggest surprises of the year and it’s a great reminder of what makes comics great. What potential that comics have to tell meaningful and creative stories. Huck is sure to go on to inspire a new generation of comic book readers to become comic book creators and that’s a hell of a thing to do.
Huck #2 Writer: Mark Millar Artist: Rafael Albuquerque Colorist: Dave McCaig Publisher: Image Comics Price: $3.50 Release Date: 12/16/15 Format: Print/Digital