Image Comics 2015
Created & Written by Mark Millar
Created & Illustrated by Rafael Albuquerque
Coloured by Dave McCaig
Lettered & Designed by Nate Piekos of Blambot
We open this issue in Siberia as we see a very pregnant young woman running for her life and being pursued. Now if you haven’t been reading this series, A. jump to it already and B. this is more than likely Huck’s mom. It’s not a huge leap in thinking with everything we’ve seen thus far and the fact that the way Rafael portrays here is very similar to the way we see Huck in action. It’s a beautifully crafted sequence from Rafael.
Back in Maine Tom tells Huck and his extended family about their mother and what she went through to get away from the Soviets. I’ll wholeheartedly admit that while the similarities between the boys is astonishing the entire time you read this the characterization and dialogue screams out a warning to the reader. Huck is so loving and caring so maybe it’s sheer projection on my part but something just doesn’t seem right. How does Tom know so much about their mother and everything she went through?
This is Mark writing one hell of a story that’s not only plausible but raises a boat load of questions. We know that facts mesh and there are plenty of truths but then if Tom’s his brother then how does he all this and yet has no idea where mom currently is? Huck has some abilities that Tom doesn’t the whole Empathy thing where he can find anything at all. Still what Tom tells them is incredibly in sync with the opening.
When the boys set off to find their mother it really is some of the most heartwarming and telling stuff we’ve seen. Huck is such a good man he lives by his own code of rules and is honest and caring in ways we all should strive for. I love seeing Tom watch Huck and be in awe of him, his character and his actions. There are moments throughout their journey that make you think you were wrong about Tom and that he’s on the up and up.
This road trip the boys take is amazingly well done. Mark’s writing and Rafael’s interiors it just has this whole feel to it that’s so opposite of what we think of anymore. Right up to the ending where the boys meet their mother.
This story is beyond what I could have ever expected or hoped for. Mark has proven his mettle and skill time and time again and then something like this comes along and you realize he’s got so much more in him that wants out. From concept to plot to execution there’s simply nothing about this book you can actually find fault with. Heck even with everything he’s given us on the pages we still see more and explore in our minds in ways that may or may not be intentional but are most certainly a key to keeping us coming back time and again.
Rafael too brings his best and brightest yet to the table. The tone, feel and emotions he can eek from a reader through his work here is astonishing. His use of pages and panel layouts and with some background when needed it just moves me as a reader in ways that you didn’t know you could be reached.
This is perfectly flawless in every way, shape and form.