The first new addition to the New 52 is this miniseries starring fan favorite The Huntress, a character many were worried would not exist in the rebooted universe. This series sends her to Naples, Italy seeking to stop Italian criminals from shipping contraband into Gotham City. She sets out to stop them and get answers, allying herself with crusading reporters. The criminals turn out to be extremely nasty customers and Huntress’ plans don’t go exactly as she hoped, but she does make some headway in her quest.
Okay, first thing’s first, Paul Levitz, who created the original Huntress wrote this book, after making some controversial comments about women reading super hero comics that many people, male and female, took issue with. So I know it’s a bit unfair, but I went into this book with a tiny chip on my shoulder, but… the man’s a pro and a legend and he pulled it off. I enjoyed it!
Huntress was always the black sheep of the Bat Family and has been depicted as a loose cannon in the past. Here she comes across as a real expert crime fighter. At one point she wonders “if Batman plans these moments better or is he just luckier?” But she handles herself better than I think I’ve ever seen. You really get that she knows what she’s doing here. The plot is a little generic and the villains are just mobsters. Par for the course on Bat Books, but I would have prefered… y’know a super villain or two. While Helena is confident, she doesn’t display much more in terms of personality, but it’s only the first issue.
The art by Marcus To (as seen above) is beautiful. His storytelling is excellent, the lines are crisp and clean and the action sequences pop! And there’s plenty of action in this book! Two big fight scenes, not the typical– one, followed by lots of talking. With so much action, To renders these scenes with such fluidity, you almost see movement! To draws such a beautiful Helena, I’m confused why he didn’t illustrate the book’s cover. I think his work is much better than that. This is such a silly little comment, but I love how Helena always wears purple or lavender when in her secret identity (except for one scene). I don’t know if that’s to be credited to colorist Andrew Dalhouse of if he was instructed to do it, but I noticed and it was cute. (Yep, just used ‘cute’ in a super hero comic review.)
There’s been a lot of speculation about Helena, along with Karen Starr. DC has confirmed that there is going to be a new ‘Justice Society’ book, but that it was going to take place on Earth 2. They also confirmed that there will be clues regarding that in both ‘Mister Terrific’ and ‘Huntress.’ I did catch that at no point does she identify her last name. Does that mean that this is Helena Wayne, the daughter of the Golden Age Batman and Catwoman? Or is it still, post-Crisis Helena Bertinelli, daughter of an Italian crime boss? That is not revealed here.
Like I said, this book is action packed and gorgeously drawn, so I will definitely be back, despite a pedestrian criminal plot.
Written by Paul Levitz
Pencilled by Marcus To
Cover by Guillem March & Tomeu Morey