“Huck” is a new series from Mark Millar, of “Kick-Ass” and “The Secret Service” fame. However, if I had picked up this first issue with no cover and no credits, I would never have guessed his name was tied to the book at all.
Millar’s most well-known titles have generally been gritty, dark, funny, and let’s face it… sometimes a little vulgar or insensitive. It is nearly a guarantee at this point that anything out of Millarworld will have some edge to it. In this new series from Image Comics, however, it seems that Millar is exploring the softer side of his writing in a new way. If the first issue of “Huck” is any indication, it seems that Millar may have left his comfort zone behind and created a book that can be easily digested by a wide range of readers.
The book opens on a small town with a small-town hero. Huck seems simple in a pleasant way and likes to help his friends. He is obviously strong and bigger than the average man, but his deeds are usually small. He finds lost things, he takes out the trash for his whole neighborhood, he buys lunch for people in line behind him. Huck enjoys helping people, and the folks in town love having him around in a quiet, happy sort of way. Huck’s good deeds don’t end at helping ladies find lost wedding rings, though. He stops traffic accidents and saves lives, just as easily as he does normal good deeds throughout his day.
The story is simple and easy to read, focusing more on visual story-telling than swaths of prelude and dialogue. This is where “American Vampire” artist Rafael Albuquerque takes the stage. Leaving behind the horror elements of much of his artistry, as well as not conforming to the harsh, vibrant art we have come to expect from Millar-handled books, Albuquerque’s art complements the quaint, peaceful feeling of this introductory issue.
Though there are entire pages without any dialogue, the panels flow together to create a story readers can easily follow, without feeling as if the printers left off some speech bubbles. The colors, by Dave McCaig, are the perfect binding for the story line and art style. Every new panel of color is a surprise. Much like Huck’s innovative small-town hero, the color palette is simple and expressive. Even without dialogue on the page, it is easy to feel when Huck is happy to be helping people, or when things are about to get a little more action-packed.
Overall, the first issue of “Huck” was extremely promising. The book is a happy, beautiful example of what a real-world Superhero could look like- what if Clark had never left his small town and his simple life? What if Superheroes are truly among us, manifesting themselves in kind neighbors and friendly good deeds? The world may not every really know, because it seems that Huck might not be able to avoid the big-time Superhero life for long.
The first Issue of Huck has already hit the shelves, with #2 coming to your local comic book shop on Wednesday, December 16th. I heartily recommend picking it up to see where Mark Millar will take this everyday Super Man.