Review: Huntress #1 by Paul Levitz and Marcus To

Huntress #1

Written by: Paul Levitz
Pencilled by: Marcus To
Inked by: John Dell
Coloring by: Andrew Dalhouse
Lettering by: Sal Cipriano

Published by: DC
Cover Price: $2.99

Note: This review is for the digital version of the comic available from DC Comics on Comixology

I was pretty surprised when the first mini-series they announced as part of the DC Relaunch were Huntress, Penguin, and The Shade. This comic doesn’t have a New 52 logo on the front, and isn’t featured on DC’s October checklist, but I do think it’s safe to assume it’s part of the new DC Universe, otherwise that would just make things very confusing. And we all know that DC tries to avoid confusing it’s readers. Please stop laughing.

Summary (contains spoilers): Huntress heads off to Italy to prevent someone from importing illegal goods into Gotham. She quickly discovers that these goods include guns, drugs, and young women. Clearly, these are castoffs from one of Silvio Berlusconi’s Boinga Boinga parties. Huntress helps the girls escape and blows up the rest, which pisses off the local crime boss. He’s so pissed he ends up shooting one of his lieutenants in the head.

Huntress meets with a local reporter she makes as a contact, and decides to set up a sting operation to figure out who is turning these young girls into prostitutes. It doesn’t quite go as planned, and Helena is forced to knock out one of the girls. She is able to use one of the goons’ cell phones to track down who hired him. She kicks some ass, though it’s suggested that this lieutenant doesn’t lead her to the crime boss. The crime boss ends up shooting the lieutenant anyway. Seems like a thing he likes to do.

Review: I actually am glad that DC put up Huntress and Penguin as day of release digital editions. Now if they can just figure out a way to digitally distribute the Legion ring they are using to promote this month’s Legion Secret Origins, I would be a very happy comic reader.

I usually like Levitz a lot, but Legion of Superheroes was one of my least favorite books from DC Relaunch. But he definitely redeemed himself here. This was a great story and really gave Helena a much deserved spotlight.

Like Catwoman and Birds of Prey, it’s nice to see another strong female lead. Huntress was strong, clever, and pretty bad ass. I liked how when she made a mistake, she made a comment wondering if Batman was better than her or just luckier. Unfortunately, I can already hear people sharpening their pens to criticize the fact that Huntress appears in lingerie in one scene. I’m a guy who enjoys hot females in sexy lingerie, so I really don’t see this as an issue. But if you do, please feel free to link to this review and call me all kinds of names, I genuinely appreciate the increase in traffic, and so do our advertisers.

Namor is pissed that someone would dare objectify comic characters like that. Namor has been cheesecake for 70+ years…

My only real issue with this book is that any new reader isn’t going to have any idea who Huntress is, or even why she’s tracking these crimes down to Italy. I’ve liked this version of Huntress for a long time, but for new readers who might be curious about this book, they are going to feel a little adrift. The end of the book also was a little unclear. It was a great action sequence, but without any dialouge, it’s a little hard to figure out if Helena managed to achieve anything here. Sometimes the “silent” fight is cool, but in this case, some exposition was sorely needed.

The art is great, especially on the fight scenes:

And Helena looks absolutely gorgeous in some of the scenes out of costume too:

I don’t know Marcus To’s work all that much, but if this is the quality of work he can put out, I’d love to see him take on the regular art chores of a comic for DC and soon. Maybe even Huntress.

All in all, this was a high quality first issue, and a great new start for Huntress. I really hope that she finds a place in the new DC because I would definitely like to see more stories set around her.  Considering how much I liked Birds of Prey #1, maybe she can join up with Black Canary and Starling eventually.

Final Score: 8.0 – There wasn’t anything particularly new here, but it was an excellent story featuring a strong female lead, and definitely has me onboard as a reader for the whole mini series.

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