“Don’t worry Sir. I wouldn’t let you get hurt.”
Let’s cut straight to the chase, as good as it is, issue two of Huck doesn’t quite reach the heights enjoyed in the opening chapter.
But, what we get in the second instalment is still a deeply satisfying read in its own right. It takes a darker turn from the gentle beginnings, throws in some additional superpowered characters and begins to open up the world Huck inhabits and all its possibilities and dangers. As the second act to such a powerful first, Huck is still delivering.
Act two commences back in 1981, in the chill snow of what appears to be a Russian winter as a woman, dressed in only a hospital gown stands barefoot and unflinching on the cold ground. We are allowed the knowledge that Huck isn’t the only human harnessing powers as the woman demonstrates an incredible gift of telepathy, I’d say guessing what a submarine commander is holding in his hand when he’s a mile below the surface in his sub is pretty incredible. The sequence is a great foundation layer for future conflict, or camaraderie, either way the pieces are beginning to be put into place for the bigger story ahead.
Back with Huck himself, we find our titular hero engulfed in a media scrum for a piece of the superhero action. After the cat was let out of the bag by Diane Davis in issue one it seems all the world’s media are clamouring for the story and Huck is tucked away inside the house under the watch and protection of the town locals. That is, until he spots a teary eyed woman amongst the plague of reporters holding a piece of paper. Huck strides from the house and asks if she needs his help, and I honestly loved that he did. It highlighted that despite the sudden glare of the spotlight, Huck, was still Huck, still the simple, straightforward guy who tried to do one good deed a day.
From here, and for the next few pages we are back in the midst of Huck the humble superhero as he travels far and wide in search of the missing, and the answers those left behind desperately need. It takes us back to issue one as the tempo raises and the action kicks in. There’s also the nice twist regarding one family man who probably didn’t really want to be found. He’s a little explaining to do.
The issue closes with an interesting double dose cliffhanger as we meet two potential major characters for a few seconds, but I’ll leave that here for you to discover yourself.
The artwork from Rafael Albuquerque really needs to be seen and soaked in to truly appreciate. It’s genuinely draw-dropping in its beauty and attention to detail.
Mark Millar has something genuinely exciting on his hands with Huck. I won’t pretend I know his previous work, I honestly don’t, but on the basis of Huck I will begin to seek it out, or perhaps Huck himself can do that for me? But despite this I’m absolutely buckled in tight for the ride with Millar and am thoroughly thrilled to be doing so.