By Scott Southard. We have all debated over Superman’s barometer of good deeds. Does he save every child from a burning building or every victim of a fall or a crash? He certainly has the ability, but where is the line drawn, or more importantly, whose lives are worth saving and which ones just don’t make the cut?
It’s not a simple query, obviously, but there are certainly informal standards that a superhero would need to adhere to if they were given the ability to save lives. Huck deals with the overwhelming nature of physical philanthropy, and how much one (super) person really has the ability to do.
Huck #4 takes a moment to pause before propelling the main story forward, which is a fine thing considering Mark Millar’s latest treatise on a black & white world moves at a narrative speed that would outpace the audience otherwise. Last issue teased Huck’s brother, now we’re on a cross country trucker road trip with the two of them, in an effort to find their (empathic, in hiding, twenty-years-escaped-from Soviet-Russia) mother.
While trekking across the country, Huck stops the truck for every instance of potential distress. He saves folks from a burning building, but also takes the time to help ducks across the street. This illustration of his indiscriminately helpful character also leads us to the thought that this might be his biggest weakness. (Huck, as a person, is unequivocally good, which has thus far been so disastrous for his personal life it may as well be considered a character flaw.) We see the results of this weakness as he unwittingly leads the long lost Russian spies directly to the doorstep of his mother in hiding.
Huck is an interesting book, precisely because it follows an uninteresting formula. It’s good versus evil, or more accurately, wrong versus right. But it plays with those notions and delivers them to their fully realized extent. Grey areas abound in our life, and when we read such a positively-charged comic book, it’s only natural that some of us would be left feeling a little dirty and a more than a touch dismayed. Can a do-gooder really do all of the good? the more cynical of us may ask. It’s a difficult question with an even more difficult answer.
Written by Mark Millar.
Art by Rafael Albuquerque.
Colors by Dave McCaig.
Letters by Nick Piekos.
8 out of 10