Huck. Vol. 1: All-American

Rafael Albuquerque & Dave McCaig (illus.). Image. Jul. 2016. 160p. ISBN 9781632157294. pap. $14.99; ebk. ISBN 9781534300804. GRAPHIC NOVELS
Orphaned as a child and raised by small-town foster parents, hulking gas station attendant Huck is considered slow even by his friends, but he's really just quiet, with a simple outlook on life that's uncommonly kind and generous. He makes sure to do one good deed a day, and some of those deeds involve using his superstrength and a miraculous ability to find lost items. After watching the 2013 Superman film Man of Steel, Millar, concerned by the continued darkening of superhero stories—a trend he had perpetuated in books such as Kick-Ass, The Ultimates, and Civil War—laudably decided to create an antithesis here. The book's early pages, recounting Huck's many kindnesses and his encounter with a crass politician who wants to exploit him, are genuinely sweet. Unfortunately, the story eventually veers into more familiar territory for Millar, and gets tarted up with one particularly gratuitous trashy-looking female character. The artwork, likewise, progresses from quite nice to moments of inconsistency and inelegance. Though marked as Volume 1, no continuation has been forthcoming.
VERDICT Huck the character is a treasurable creation; the book, less so.
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