Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque
Colourist: Dave McCaig
Release Date: 13th January, 2016
I love Huck. I do. He is so kind and gentle that it plays up to my maternal instincts something rotten (how’s that for an opening line?). Huck is such a lovely character that you just can’t help rooting for him, which makes this third issue a little bit heart breaking in places.
#3 opens with Huck walking down a street in a particularly shady area of town looking for a girl called Lindsay. Lindsay is the lost daughter from the list he made in issue 2. Huck is fulfilling the promise he made to the girls’ parents that he would find her. He finds Lindsay lying in a filthy drug den and tells her he will take her home, the panel showing Huck holding her thin, sick body is so lovely that it makes you want to cry a little bit. When Huck is threatened by a gang of junkies he throws them all out of a window (as you do). No one is killed, he doesn’t swear and he doesn’t shout; he just calmly walks out with the girl. I love this. I really admire Millar’s decision not to have any gratuitous violence in Huck (so far). It makes for a refreshing change of pace. The next few panels show Huck finding the last thing on his list – a missing dog.
The story then changes direction. Huck is invited to the Governor’s Ball under the false pretence that it is a celebration of the things he has done even though none of his friends are invited. The whole thing is in fact a shrewd political move by the Governor to use Huck as a pawn to keep him in office. They use words like “retard” and “slowcoach” to describe Huck but as the panels progress you can see that he understands exactly what is going on and he is frightened and alone. Huck just wants to help people and be who he wants to be. He wants to wear his overalls, not a tux and feed the stray cats in the alley behind his fancy hotel instead of going to party. He just wants to be Huck and he wants to go home. So he does, but not before one last good deed.
Huck is such an unusual character. He is strong and has a deep moral belief in what is right and what is wrong. He possesses superhuman strength but displays such gentleness that when you see people trying to exploit him you can’t help but feel angry. Albuquerque’s art paired with McCaig’s colouring is just beautiful. Albuquerque captures Huck’s innocence, hurt and loneliness so well that no words are required, particularly in the 5 panels in the hotel room after the Governor’s Ball. I genuinely just want to give him a hug.
The issue finishes on a big twist and I really can’t wait to find out where Millar is going with Huck. I’m really enjoying this comic more than anything I have read for a while and I think it really benefits from the lack of violence and strong language. An interesting direction for Millar and welcome one I would say. The art continues to be outstanding and just reaffirms my opinion that Albuquerque as one of the best comic artists around.
A Huck-cellent 3rd issue (see what I did there?)
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The writer of this piece was: Cat McGlinn
Cat Tweets from @LibraryCat10.