This week it’s a double dose of Image Comics as Robert Kirkman’s Invincible returns with guest artist Cory Walker, and the first volume of Mark Millar and Rafael Albuquerque’s Huck concludes!
Invincible #127 (Image Comics)
After an extended break, Robert Kirkman and Ryan Ottley’s Invincible has returned, and man, does it deliver. After having Mark Grayson travel back in time, relive and change his past, and giving us a cliffhanger leaving us at the moment he returns to Eve and his daughter (who’s now MUCH older than the infant he left behind), Kirkman and guest artist Cory Walker waste no time getting us back into the story.
While Mark was only gone for a few weeks in the past, when he’s returned to the alien apartment he and Eve have been living in he finds out that he’s been gone for five years. His daughter, who was an infant when he left, is now in kindergarten (or whatever passes for Kindergarten on this planet), and everyone naturally assumed the worst about Mark. This plot device allows Kirkman to explore how the relationships between Mark and his wife Eve have changed, and puts a great new spin on Eve’s constant fear of Mark leaving on an adventure and never coming back (which has happened at least once already in their relationship).
Cory Walker was the original artist for Invincible, so him coming in to fill in for Ryan Ottley fits perfectly. While it’s strange to see Walker’s style at first, it slowly starts to blend into one similar to Ottley’s, and Walker’s pencils nail the emotional beats in this story. There are some panels in this issue that will rip your heart out, and the final page will have you shaking you fist at the sky at Walker and Kirkman.
In an industry where Marvel is midway through a relaunch and DC is about to start a new one, it’s refreshing to have a book that embraces its legacy like Invincible. 127 issues is a tall order to catch up on for a series, but it’s well worth it for issues like this. Invincible’s tag line at the top of every cover has been “probably the best superhero book on the stands”. Well, I think it’s time to take that “probably” out.
Huck #6 (Image Comics)
Mark Millar’s latest miniseries reaches the final issue of its first volume with Huck #6, with everything coming to a head for our simple hero. Like many of the other Millar books, this Rafael Albuquerque drawn series has been an extremely awesome ride, and continues to be another great addition to the “Millarassaince” that the creator has been on since Starlight.
Huck’s finally been reunited with his mother, but the catch is that the two of them are now at the mercy of the Russian scientist who created them. Of course, Huck and his mom make quick work of the Scientist and his men, and while this confrontation is over a little too quickly, it’s still great to see Huck and his mother work together to fight off their foe. Mark Millar’s script moves along at a break neck speed, but he wisely gives us some really sweet moments when Huck returns home and introduces his mother to his “good deeds list”. Huck is a great lead, and Millar works in some really charming moments for the character.
Rafael Albuquerque’s pencils have been extremely solid in this series, but he really shines in this finale. Huck’s confrontation with the man who created him is wonderfully depicted, and the layouts for the final moments of the book were great as well. Millar prides himself on working with the best artists in comics, and Albuquerque is definitely one of the best ones to work under the Millarworld banner.
Like will all Mark Millar comics, there’s talk about a Huck movie, and to be honest, if Huck does make it to the silver screen I’ll be first in line. I can definitely see a movie happening, especially after finishing this “volume one” of the story, and noticing how much Albuquerque has made Huck look like Channing Tatum. Like Starlight before it, Huck hits some surprisingly emotional beats, and nails home that some people don’t need a tragic back-story to be inspired to do good. Some people are just inherently good.