Some time ago I stumbled upon a review for Huck #1 on this very website and ever since then I’ve been dying to get my hands on this combined first volume. Let me just say now that the story of Huck did not disappoint. Mark Millar has another precious gem here and one I will remember for some time.
Many of us love superheroes but sometimes we forget that it’s not the powers these people have that make them special, it’s what lies beneath, it's their character, their heart that is the true source of their strength. What Millar has done here is take this principle to its logical end in presenting us with a mentally handicapped man with extraordinary strength and an unflinching desire to do good. I fell in love with Huck instantly as he prepares his list of “Good deeds for the day,” which he carries out without even a second thought. He doesn’t grandstand, doesn’t even look for the spotlight, he operates quietly behind the scenes with the cloak of silence from his local community.
Many years ago, little Huck was left on the steps of an orphanage with a note upon which just three simple words were written, “Please love him.” I have no shame in admitting I welled up at that moment. This boy had been raised to always do good but most importantly, he doesn’t do it because he should, he does it because he wants to, because it’s right. Isn’t that the mark of a true hero?
I don’t want to spoil the origins of our titular character, you’ll need to pick up the book and find out for yourself. Trust me, you won’t regret it. What starts off in a small American town eventually opens up to the entire United States and other far-flung countries across the globe. You see, our Huck finds people, that’s what he does and we get to follow him in his adventures. But can he find the one person most important to him? Can he find his mother? This question sets the tone for the rest of the story where we encounter a number of other fascinating characters, including long-lost family members, superpowered robots and mad Russian scientists in the form of Professor Orlov. He’s a rather conventional and cliched character but still exceptionally well-drawn, like the rest of the comic.=
=In fact, I think Rafael Albuquerque might have been my new hero had Huck not just taken the top spot himself. From the very first page I was hooked. There was a richness to the art and the colours being used, it had heart and warmth. No cold, scratchy lines and abstract sketches, just beautiful, carefully drawn panels, it really brought our hero to life. Some pages are bright and colourful but Dave McCaig, like many of his peers nowadays, was still able to use shadow to excellent effect, adding extra mood to select scenes.=
<=There’s a deeper undertone to the tale of Huck: it’s a story of acceptance, about dealing with difference and humility in the face of public adoration. Our hero has found his place in the world, despite his rocky beginnings. He stands for something and brings a little light to all around him in the only way he knows how. His overalls are his uniform, the logo upon them his crest, because underneath all that strength, he’s one of us, he’s a human being. And we all need a little help sometimes don’t we?
“Please love him.”
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Huck Vol. 1
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque
Colorist: Dave McCaig
Publisher: Image Comics
Price: $14.99 Print / $11.99 Digital
Format: TPB; Print/Digital