By Koppy McFad
May 17, 2008 - 02:23
This miniseries recaps the origin of the Huntress, focusing particularly on her ties to the DC Comics version of the mafia. It reads like a feminist version of 'the Godfather' beginning with young Helena hiding out in Sicily, recalling the rub-out of her family and making contact with her surviving relatives in the mob for what will likely be a search for vengeance.
Although this is the third retelling of the origin of the Huntress, it still manages to look fresh and does not require an encyclopedic knowledge of the character to be understood.
The story does capture the sordid-yet-stately atmosphere of the old organised crime families. The tone is dark yet reserved with an undercurrent of murder running under all the polite words and luxurious trappings.
The art is also extremely good. It doesn't try to impress the readers with flashy gimmicks or stylistic 'touches.' It just captures the mood well and tells the story in a comprehenisible manner.
Two odd things stand out though. One is the heavy anti-male overtone that is virtually troweled on the story. Almost all the male characters in the book are evil, abusive figures who the female protagonist regards with contempt-- including her father. Even male characters who were once depicted as benign are now re-written as complete villains. The few women in the story meanwhile are all silent victims of the men. The few men who are not written as scumbags are cold-blooded criminals whose true crimes will no doubt be revealed before the story is over.
The second odd thing is the lead character, Helena, who will eventually become the Huntress: despite all the bad things she has endured, she does not become sympathetic. In fact, she seems to fit right in with this harsh, brutal world of organised crime rather than the realm of superheroes where she is headed. Apparently the creative team didn't realise that just because we feel sorry for somone does not mean we have to root for him. (for her.)
This issue still gets a decent three stars out of five.