DC just shipped out trade paperbacks collecting the six-issue mini-series Huntress: Year One. Priced at $17.99 (hell, anything more than FREE is too much) I’m not exactly sure who the target audience is for this, but my bet is those who thought the (thankfully) short-lived Birds of Prey television show was totally rad!
Since that doesn’t apply to me, my reaction to this graphic novel wasn’t what you’d call positive. I’m not saying it’s awful. Oh, wait, that’s exactly what I’m saying! Batman: Year One rocked, but do we really need to try and duplicate that success with randomly chosen heroes? Gee, I hope I can contain my hankering for Jack O’ Lantern Year One!
The plot gives us the life story of Helena Bertinelli and her journey from orphan at the hands of mobsters, to avenging killer, to, ultimately, hero. To start out on a positive note let me say I didn’t hate the art by Clifford Richards, Art Thibert, and Norm Rapmund. Compared to the story the look isn’t too bad. That isn’t to say that it’s great. The skintight costumes of Catwoman and early Huntress were a bit too Playboy-esque. You don’t need to make me feel any dirtier for reading a Huntress comic.
The “best” moment of the tale involves Huntress kicking the ass of Bruce Wayne in his own house during a party in which he’s not able to showcase his Bat-skills. Of course that’s about two and a half pages of the entire trade paperback. Yeah…
The rest is your basic mobster revenge tale as Helena attempts to avenge her parents, hunt down their killer, and retrieve her inheritance. In movie terms, it’s The Godfather mixed with Elektra, if it starred Jessica Biel and was directed by Paul W.S. Anderson. Doesn’t that sound worth plopping down $20? No, not so much.
My reaction to Huntress Year One is best summed up not in words but in a single panel taken from the comic itself. Here’s how reading Huntress: Year One made me feel –