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Review – Huck (Image Comics)

HuckMark Millar. It’s likely that you’ve got an opinion about his work and it miiiiight not be a very good one. One thing that you can’t deny is that he’s definitely made a big impression on the world of comics and that the place they have in the current pop-culture landscape owes something to him. Civil War followed the summer crossover blueprint and renewed it, creating a whole new landscape for “event comics” in the 00s. The Ultimates basically blueprinted the Marvel Cinematic universe. Kick-Ass with John Romita Jr was a huge independent hit (although the publishing was bankrolled by Marvel) which really did a job converting a newly hungry superhero audience (both print and cinematic) into accepting a dash of the real world with their spandex fighty books.

One of the things he gets the most criticism for is coming up with high concept one sentence pitches that are comics just designed to become movies. And that the comics themselves are one note stories, with shallow characters spouting catchy, snappy for the sake of it dialogue.

Me, I can’t get enough of it. I know the previous paragraph sounds critical, but sometimes it just scratches an itch that I need. And Huck is perfectly fine for scratching that troublesome irritation. For me, it sits between his Superman work and Superior, investigating what it means to be altruistically good and what consequences there could be for that. Huck is a bit of a blank slate, but that’s the point: you can’t help liking him because he’s a spotlight in an otherwise grey world.

All of the stuff coming out of the Millarworld imprint is created in league with a glittering array of artists, and this is no exception, with Rafa Alberquerque’s storytelling and characters really shining. Characters have their individual body language and his faces are fantastic, something that really sells the switch between talking heads and fast paced action sequences.

The story of where Huck comes from and what his past means to our present is perfectly entertaining, with a pleasing 80’s movie feel to it. To criticise it for being something that it was clearly never meant to be rather misses the point. It’s not a cutting edge book but it’s a FUN book, I don’t expect it to change the world but you’re happier at the end of it than you were at the start. If you think that’s what you need a bit of at the minute, I highly recommend it.

MT

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