Publisher: Image Comics
Writer: Mark Millar
Artist: Rafael Albuquerque
Colorist: Dave McCaig
Letterer: Nate Peikos
Editor: Nicole Boose
This month’s issue of Mark Millar’s Huck corrected much of what didn’t work in the previous instalment. Last month, we learned more of the larger and darker world that is encroaching on our hero, so much so that it distracted from delving deeper into the character of the book’s protagonist. In the third issue of the series, Millar strikes an excellent balance between a deeper characterisation of Huck and a pushing forward the overarching journey Huck is finding himself on.
While Huck is an adult man, he cant quite seem to take care of himself. Even with his powers, his naivety gets in the way of his ability to fully understand the world. Spending some time outside of his quiet home in a farm town, Huck is invited to a party thrown in his honour. The host of this party is a governor whose interest in Huck is entirely self-serving. It’s difficult to see such a kind person be taken advantage of, and Albuquerque’s art excellently captures Huck’s emotional state. Combined with Millar’s fascinating characterisation of the superhuman, the art of this book speaks volumes about the characters on which it focuses.
Despite a wonderfully fleshed out Huck, the newly introduced antagonist (the aforementioned governor) wasn’t quite so intriguing. He is very much a cut and dry bad guy. Just about everything that comes out of his mouth and everything he does is very clearly and definitively evil. The nefarious players introduced last month are nowhere to be found in this issue. We don’t know much about them at this point but hopefully those villains will provide a little more pathos than our newest antagonist. It’s unclear in this issue whether or not he will return, and perhaps it would be for the best if we don’t. His inclusion halted the development of the story’s supporting characters. We only see them for a few panels, but some of the last issue’s reveals seemed to indicate there were more to them than meets the eye.
Huck’s heroics are not left out of this issue. He is taking his role as a hero more seriously and brazenly than in the past. The opening pages see him saving a young woman through more violent means than we have seen him use in the previous two issues. This could be indicative of a loss of patience or merely a side of him that’s always been there and we just have not seen. Regardless, it’s great to see how well Millar can divide up a book of only 20 pages. Here, we get a new villain, more heroics, more characterisation, and another striking cliffhanger.
The last page of the previous issue introduced us to Huck’s brother, who recognized him on a newscast. While issue three doesn’t immediately capitalise on this moment, the final pages make for a satisfying, if slightly frustrating, next step in this plot point. The rest of this book, however, is spent following Huck as he continues his heroics and exploring all the fun and pitfalls of his new found fame.