Helena’s adventure in Italy continues as she seeks to halt a human smuggling ring, exploiting young women from Northern Africa. She breaks into a police station to access their computers for clues (and has a little snack). Finding what she needs, she exits, although not without attracting attention. Using the info she gathered, she interrogates someone who may be able to provide more of a lead. She does discover the name of the criminal in charge, Moretti and after touching bases with the reporters she befriended in ‘Huntress’ 1, she goes to thwart one of his smuggling runs. Her mission is successful on several levels. She then sets her sights on the man himself.
Paul Levitz continues depicting Helena as a consummate crime-fighter in this miniseries. She’s excellent at what she does. Her temperament is cooler and more calculating than it ever has been in the past. And Marcus To draws her beautifully! Her costume is sleek, but still armored enough to be practical. Hers is the ultimate, realistic crime fighter’s uniform, with knee pads, shoulder pads, wrist guards and several pouches on her utility belt and side bag that she seems ready for any situation that may arise. This should appease those that were put off by her navel-baring costume that Jim Lee designed for her a few years ago.
The cover to issue #2 (by Guillem March and Tomeu Morey) is much better than that from issue #1, but even so, I don’t know why Marcus To’s gorgeous artwork isn’t being used to sell this series! He really does a splendid job, not just with his interpretation of Helena, but his pacing and storytelling are dynamic and compelling as well. He just has a clean, beautiful style. But back to his rendering of The Huntress, one thing that can’t escape my notice is that while yes he draws her as simply stunning, at no point whatsoever is she rendered in the overly sexualized manner that so many female characters are by other illustrators. She never arches her back. There are no cleavage or butt shots. Nor are there the infamous cleavage AND butt shots at the same time. She never has sloped “bedroom eyes” or pouty bee-stung lips. See? It can be done! A female comic book character can be human perfection, without being some masturbatory sex-bot! Take that, all you ‘Red Hood & The Outlaws’ defenders!
Okay, so now comes the part where I must find fault. All that said, I’m afraid Ms. Betrinelli is coming across as a tad too “Mary Sue.” She’s too flawless. She hasn’t made any mistakes. So far, she’s encountered only minor opposition from Moretti and his men. She’s so efficient, it’s almost kind of boring. In the past continuity, Huntress was a wild card. She got booted from the Justice League! She was like the “bad girl” of the hero set, yet we see none of that here. We find a supremely competent and confident hero, who seemingly can do no wrong. I do realize this is just the second issue, so I’m sure it’s coming, but I’m ready for it to hit the fan and for things to go wrong for her, just to see how she gets herself out of it. I even noticed that neither the first nor second issue ended in a cliffhanger. The endings are just sort of her setting up the next stage of her attack. There’s no tension or, quite frankly, any excitement! The writing is good, she is depicted very well, but things need to get dirty, real soon!
So, while this is a great depiction of a smart, competent female crime fighter, the story is a bit too pedestrian and not that exciting so far, so…
Written by Paul Levitz
Pencilled by Marcus To
Cover by Guillen March and Tomeu Morey