There are a few library’s graphic novel collections that I scope out, to see what titles they have, and compare my work library’s collection against it as to help me make purchasing decisions. When I spotted this title at my home library, written by Mark Millar who is famous for Civil War, Red Son and Old Man Logan, I snatched it up to read it. Why hadn’t I heard about it? Well…it turns out it is because it is “the feel-good comic of the year”, aka it is saccharine, light and completely forgettable.
Huck is a behemoth of a guy, but a literal gentle giant. We find out he is an orphan who was left on the doorstep of an orphanage, and now works at a gas station. He has secret powers and uses them to do good deeds around his community, whose residents keep his secret. A woman who has recently moved to town spills the beans to the news, and suddenly the world knows about his abilities. A local politician tries to harness Huck’s powers for his own benefit, and to use him as a conduit to the president. However, Huck’s outing has garnered more attention across the world in Russia. Huck, an earnest and trusting man, is contacted by a bearded man who says he is his twin and that they should try to find their mother. Without spoiling anything, it’s pretty obvious this man is not who he says he is, and Huck’s origin story is explained in the last third of the book.
There are obvious parallels to the Superman story, and I did appreciate the uncomplicated nature of Huck, with him being a true superhero without all the brooding and infighting with other heroes, but the story was too predictable. The artwork is attractive with a warm color palette of yellows, reds and oranges, but is fairly standard in layout. There were a lot of close ups of Huck’s face, with him looking confused and/or simple minded, and too much mocking dialogue about how he was only a gas station attendant.
At the end of the story we get a two page “Meet The Creators” spread, which was actually nice, to see the people beside Millar and Albuquerque get shout-outs. But in Millar’s bio it lists his works that have or are in production to be turned into feature films, and Huck is listed as one of them in development. What?? There is not enough plot, for it is paper thin, and seemed rather resolved to me at the end. While this wasn’t a bad graphic novel per se, it just didn’t seem like a Mark Millar story, which are typically more epic in scope. This book will not be making the cut for me to purchase for my library’s collection.