Wednesday, 27 April 2016

Huck Review (Mark Millar, Rafael Albuquerque)

Left on the doorstep of a kindly childless couple in a small American town, Huck grew up never knowing his birth parents. But as he got older everyone in the town soon realised Huck was special – special because he had super-speed, super-strength, he could jump super high, and could track anyone. Then one day Superman Huck discovers his mother’s still alive! Up, up, and away he goes to find her!

Mark Millar’s latest storyboard superficially features a less cynical Millar character - Huck doing good deeds for the townsfolk just ‘cos - but it still reads like a standard cynical Millar comic. That’s partly because Millar’s lifting the Golden Age Superman and repurposing him into a “new” character: Huck. Even the whole jumping thing is early Superman as he couldn’t fly immediately. 

But, if you’ve read quite a bit of Millar’s output like me, it’s hard to swallow this attempt at guileless storytelling when he’s said in the past that raping a woman is a plot device as well as the kind of stories he’s written in the past – a ‘roided-out Steve Rogers/Captain America screaming “YOU THINK THIS LETTER ON MY HEAD STANDS FOR FRANCE?” springs to mind. There’s a sleazy governor character in the story using Huck for his own selfish purposes that I can’t help but associate Millar with. 

The story is like a lot of the early Superman comics: an evil scientist kidnaps our hero to steal his powers. Nowadays that kind of structure is generic and that’s what it reads like. Details like who Huck is, how his mum got her powers, who his dad is, are all omitted, and, in keeping with the generally accepted superhero rule, Huck doesn’t kill – the ones he does turn out to be, conveniently, robots, allowing him to maintain his purity. 

I’m not even going to look up whether or not Huck’s film rights have already been sold, I’m just going to assume they have, like all of Millar’s recent projects. The reason why the book is written in this broad, sweeping style is because it gives movie people room to take the story in whatever direction they need it to. Yup, cynical ol’ Mark’s still here! 

Rafael Albuquerque’s art is decent if unimpressive. Small town America looking… like small town America. An industrial Russian city looking… like an industrial Russian city. None of the designs are very inspired nor do any pages stand out as anything special. It’s perfectly decent artwork but nothing to get excited about, almost like Millar's lack of effort has rubbed off on his art. 

Yawn, so that’s Huck: Mark Millar’s crapped out another forgettable storyboard on its way to a cinema near you soon. It's a mediocre, completely derivative 21st century Superman knockoff for readers who’re looking for a more “realistic” take on superheroes but who don’t really care for superhero comics. 

Huck sucks!


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