Huntress goes after terrorist dictator Mustafa Hasan… hard! Using smoke bombs and her trusty crossbow, she plows her way through floor after floor of the Italian mafia thugs that are housing him on Amalfi, a Mediterranean island that was once a fortress, now a popular vacation spot. Mustafa entertains himself with a woman his people have forced into prostitution until he gets bored and kills her. By then, word has arrived that The Huntress is present and gunning for him, so he sends his son Ibn away and dispatches his men, most notably brick house Inshallah, the “Lion of Kufra,” whom she battled and nearly lost to in issue #3. He almost overpowers her again here, but her quick wits and utility belt help her escape his beefy clutches. Finally, she comes face-to-face with Mustafa and obtains, in her words, “Justice.”
That last bit is left as a cliffhanger, but if she truly executes Mustafa, that would be startling since DC has revealed that this is Helena Wayne, daughter of Earth 2’s Batman. In the mainstream DC Universe, Batman is firmly anti-killing. However there are some very early tales from the 1930s, where he did carry a gun and willingly used it to kill criminals. This is Helena’s father, so maybe this was a darker, grittier Batman. (Plus, her mother is Catwoman, after all.)
This issue is consistent with all prior issues and delivers a satisfying chapter as we head into the close of this miniseries. Huntress is an adept adventurer who really knows her stuff and does her lineage proud. It’s nice to see a female character who is presented as simply a smart, resourceful action hero. There’s no love interest. No cheesy romantic comedy subplot. She’s just a tough, determined avenger on a mission.
There’s absolutely nothing wrong with Guillem March and Tomeu Morey’s covers to this series. This one is particularly dynamic. But Marcus To… oh Marcus To! His interior pencils are so lovely and smooth and dynamic. He’s excellent! I’m not sure why DC insists on having different artists render the covers, rather than the regular pencillers. At any rate, he gets in some really dramatic power shots of Helena in this issue as she plows her way through Moretti’s men. Every shot of her in action–kicking, breaking down a door, throwing smoke bombs– is stunning and dynamic and, take note, not at all sexualized!
Thankfully this book, along with ‘Wonder Woman’ and ‘Batwoman’ and ‘Birds of Prey’ exist in the ‘New 52.’ DC has taken a lot of flack from fans over their treatment of female characters. (I chimed in, in this article.) But let’s give credit where it’s due. When they do female characters right and have creators who care about telling good stories about interesting, multidimensional characters, they put out some great stuff! All four of these books are part of my monthly pull list and I can’t wait to get ‘Worlds Finest’ which will star Helena along with BFF Power Girl! In fact, I’m impatient to get the last issue of this series, so we can get to that one!
Written by Paul Levitz
Art by Marcus To
Cover By Guillem March and Tomeu Morey