Comic fans were left polarized by Zack Snyder’s Man of Steel. We got a cold, somewhat selfish Kryptonian who was a far cry from the Superman the world has known for decades. No longer the doe-eyed, all-American boy-scout from Kansas, Henry Cavill’s Kal-El was a cynical alien who was suddenly and unwillingly thrust into a job of saving the world. This portrayal carried over into Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice, where he portrayed a hot-headed hero-in-training, one who was quick to judge, and who lacked empathy and compassion.
An unintended side-effect of Superman snapping Zod’s neck in MoS is that it inspired comic scribe Mark Millar to create Huck with artist Rafael Albuquerque for Image Comics — in essence, their own version of an earnest Superman. If you’ve read the book, you’ve already likely realized that with Netflix purchasing Millarworld, the opportunity now exists to give audiences the altruistic hero that Warner Bros’ DC Extended Universe has yet to deliver, even with Justice League looming in November.
Millar is on the record as pointing to the trauma he felt by seeing Snyder’s depiction of Superman, a reaction that directly drove him to conceive Huck — a mild-mannered gas station attendant with check-list of good deeds he aimed to accomplish everyday. These goals ranged from taking out his town’s trash, to finding lost trinkets, to rescuing cats from trees, along with bigger things such as finding missing persons and saving kidnapped folks from terrorists. No matter the scope of the deed, Huck begs everyone to keep his special abilities a secret, and they all oblige. Well, mostly. But even after he find himself outed, he perseveres. This isn’t a job to Huck; he doesn’t wear a costume, and he doesn’t need praise. This is simply who he is.
With Netflix constantly evolving, offering bigger and grander original movies and series, it’s clearly within the streaming service’s capabilities to helm a pseudo-Superman movie. Even better, there’s no way a Huck film would be viewed by audiences as a Smallville rip-off, despite several arguable similarities, incuding the comic’s small town America setting and “no capes” approach to its hero.
What drives Huck is simply making people happy. Sure, he finds himself tangled up in global politics here and there, but he quickly extricates himself those situations to head home to the people he loves. Even when things get serious in the plot, it never turns bleak or bitter. Raised in an orphanage, when Huck learns out that his mother is alive, and that he and she were products of a Russian super-soldier program, he’s not crushed to torn down — he’s happy. He finally gets what he’s wanted his entire life, and on his journey to meet his mom for the first time, he continues to save people from burning buildings. Huck is relentless and unwavering in his resolve to help people, even when it means delaying his own happiness.
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