Written by Mark Millar
Drawn by Rafael Albuquerque
Published by Image Comics
Here we have the latest creator-owned release from writer Mark Millar. Although I have been a fan of much (although not all) of Mark Millar’s work, this is a comic-book that I originally didn’t intend to buy. The reason being that, well, the premise sounds quite similar to a story idea that I have had for awhile, but have yet to actually start working on. The idea of a small rural town where one random citizen has powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men, and uses them in secret to help people. The main difference is that my lead character would be Black. So I didn’t want to be even subconsciously influenced by Millar’s story, nor be in the position to be accused of copying it. But then I realize, just the opposite, I probably should read it, specifically to make sure that I don’t copy any of his specific details, even inadvertently. So I got it.
This story takes place in a “the real world,” where there are no superheroes, as far as anyone knows. A young woman named Diane has recently moved into a small, as yet unnamed, town, and is having coffee and pie with a nice older woman named Mrs. Taylor, who proceeds to fill Diane in on the secret a fellow town citizen named Huck. He’s a big quiet young man, who doesn’t talk much, and works as an attendant at a local gas station. According to Mrs. Taylor, Huck was found as a newborn infant on the steps of the local orphanage, where he was raised. Huck grew up and, at some point, discovered that he has various super powers, including superhuman strength, and now uses them to protect the town and perform one good deed a day. He’s apparently been doing this for awhile, and the whole town quietly keeps Huck’s powers a secret, in return. Over the course of the issue, we see Huck performing some of those various deeds, most of which involve citizens of his town, including finding a lost necklace, and taking out all the trash, but he also does get involved in an international incident, taken from real world news. Now, the question is, will Diane be able to resist the temptation to reveal Huck’s secret?
This was a good first issue, introducing us to the lead character well enough for us to be interested in him, but still leaving enough details to make us curious enough to want to learn more. Huck’s true origin remains a mystery, or course, as do the exact extent of his powers, as well as who exactly raised him and when did he discover his abilities. This is a quieter story than one normally associates with Mark Millar, but it’s very well-done. He’s helped immensely by Rafael Albuquerque, whose artwork perfectly captures the smalltown tone of the book, managing to look both modern and retro at the same time. This series is off to good start.