Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Review - Huck #1 (@ImageComics)


"Bought lunch for everyone in line behind me."

Clark Kent is the nice guy persona. Superman is the Man of Steel. Both sides of that coin maintain the same general approach to life in that they're always looking to help as many people as possible. Superman doesn't want the accolades and neither does Huck in Huck #1 from Image Comics. The issue is written by Mark Millar, illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque, colored by Dave McCaig and lettered by Nate Piekos of BLAMBOT.

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.

If you've ever wondered what Superman's arrival to Earth was like in the earlier days, Huck #1 is a pretty good approximation. Millar's experience writing the Man of Steel is prevalent in Huck #1--all the way down to the main character's "aw shucks" personality. Huck doesn't let his abilities define him though; rather, he's more inclined to be an unsung hero as opposed to living in the limelight for his good deeds. And much of the issue features Huck doing a variety of such deeds, all while his small town looks on and nods in knowing approval. Millar's twist on the character is that eventually someone will want to capitalize on his success, much in a way that few could do when it comes to Superman.

There's an alarming cleanness to the work that proves to be Albuquerque's trademark illustrative style. Huck is illustrated as a hulk of a man, completely capable of doing just about any good deed he wants to accomplish. The boyish innocence he sports for much of the issue is a refreshing reminder that he's really that genuine and is believable as a doer of good deeds. Panels effortlessly move from one deed to the other, with Albuquerque punctuating them with journal entries that double as headers for the deeds in question. McCaig provides a color palette rife with blues and greens that maintain a small-town atmosphere rife with rolling blue skies.

Huck #1 is a familiar story to fans of superhero comics, especially those involving Superman. Huck is a small-town hero with a singular focus on doing the right thing, which makes the ending of the issue that much more egregious in many respects. Millar's take on the character is clean and simple, adding in the complexities of human society as an antagonist in many regards. Albuquerque's illustrations are equally as clean-cut, giving the reader a very well-defined character chock full of innocence on full display. Huck #1 is a solid first issue that treads familiar ground in society reacting to a character greater than all of it.

Huck #1 is in stores now.

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