Review: Huck #4

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Publisher: Image Comics

Writer: Mark Millar

Artist: Rafael Albuquerque

Colorist: Dave McCaig

Letterer: Nate Piekos

Editor: Nicole Boose

In this month’s issue of Huck, twists and turns abound as the most plot-heavy instalment of the series unfolds. Delving deeper into Huck’s history and his relationship to his newly found twin brother, Huck opens up its lore in new and exciting ways that capitalize heavily on the teases doled out in the previous 3 issues. There is not much that can be said about this book without giving way to major spoilers. So, this review will be very light on details. Everyone should have the opportunity to look at this book with fresh eyes and ignorance to the secrets that it holds.

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This issue cuts right to the chase. Opening on an intense action scene, answers to Huck’s mysterious past are dropped within the first few pages of the book. This marks something of a tonal shift for Huck. Previously this book has been very light on action, focusing more on character development. This issue reverses this formula to amazing results. While we discover Huck’s secret history right along with him, the book makes a very poignant choice. Typically, revelations like these will alter the character’s behaviour and demeanour. This often reveals some unknown traits of the subject creating a stronger and deeper characterization. Huck shows that this is not the only way.  What we learn about Huck is not how circumstances can change him, but how he can hold his character in the face of all this new found information. Each month Huck is made to be more and more lovable. It is something that can often be very annoying in superhero stories. For example, the unwavering righteousness of Superman can get old fast when reading his stories. Huck is so endearing that this fatigue never sets in, which speaks volumes about the quality of writing. Though it should be noted that the writing is not solely responsible for this. Rafael Albuquerque’s art is largely responsible as well.

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It’s not at all original to say that Albuquerque’s work on this series has been sublime. Month after month he has proven to be expert in human emotion as well creating beautiful landscapes and a world to surround them. This issue is no different. Here, he tackles Soviet Russia which creates a beautiful contrast with Huck’s small farm town. He should also be given credit for his depiction of Huck’s brother. We weren’t given many sightings of him before, but he plays a large role in this issue. You can see some familial ties between him and Huck in this issue. Similarities in their facial structure make their brotherhood all too believable, which is unusual to see in comics.

The twists in this issue are relentless, but not distracting. The change in pace for the series is incredibly welcome and well-timed. This shows how diverse this book can be and even further demonstrates the potential for future instalments. This is some of the finest writing Millar has ever done. It is, however, doubtful that this series has hit its apex.

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