Huck #5 (Image Comics)
STORY : Mark Millar
ART : Rafael Albuquerque
The adventures of the somewhat idealised Superman archetype that is Huck continues. Last issue ended with some serious jump in pacing and shifted the narrative into a faster gear than the prior three issues combined as we finally learnt about Hucks formerly Russian super-mom who ran away from the Soviets’s super-soldier science whathaveyou and we learn that his new “brother” is a turncoat that was sent to use Huck to track down his mom by the mad-scientist types. And now we move on.
I’ve been critical of Mark Millar for some time now, not because I don’t like his writing but because I think he became lost in some shock-value, over-kill, Hollywood-baiting mire for a while. But truly, Huck turned out to be a step back to the kind of quality writing that he was once damned good at and in its own way, it has shown a certain growth in his writing as well.
The penultimate chapter of the current Huck story is here and it is actually extremely satisfying. More so than I expected. From the fantastic cast of characters – including two Russian robots and what could have been just another quintessential mad-scientist – to a nicely paced story, this was arguably the best issue of the series since #1. I loved the intensity simmering in our hero as he struggled with being captured and with simultaneously being reunited with his mother, plus we get to see once again toward the end, that Huck is not a total simpleton as some would believe because of his too-good-almost-boy-scoutish nature.
And somehow the art surpasses the story in this series. I’ve always had a liking for Albequerque’s art but not found him with too many comics that did him justice – that changed with this series. In its simplicity and wider style of visual, he is able to get a clean, beautiful look to his great layouts that once coloured, looks utterly fantastic.
THE LAST WORD:
If you are a fan of more upbeat superhero comics – not just the grim-dark ones – and of superhero comics in general, you need to be giving this comic a shot.
It is a great example of how a thing doesn’t have to be too intense, dense, over-blown, gaudy, hyper-anything and can even be drawing on cliches and archetypes and still be smart, innovative and engaging.
STORY SCORE: 10 / 10
ART SCORE: 10 / 10
OVERALL SCORE: 10 / 10