Tuesday, May 13, 2008

FanBoyWonder Comic Book Spotlight—The Huntress: Year One

Greetings sports fans. FanBoyWonder finds ourself in our usual place of late—behind the eight-ball. We are behind with our review of last Friday’s Battlestar Galactica as well as our promised review of the Iron Man movie with our best pal Kemosabe.

The truth is we had a medical emergency in the family and have been occupied with that until now. Not to worry as we strive to return to “normalcy” and hope for the best as we deal with recovery in the long term.

Anyway, we wish to spotlight what we see as a promising new five-issue mini-series from DC Comics that’s hitting stores Wednesday—The Huntress: Year One.

Here’s the Upshot From DC Comics: As the last survivor of a family eliminated by bloody rivalries among the mobs of Gotham, young Helena Bertinelli was sent overseas for her own safety — but began a quest for vengeance instead. Breakout writer Ivory Madison teams with Cliff Richards for a continent-spanning story that reveals one woman's journey from hunted to Huntress!

The Huntress has always been a sentimental favorite to us but it was the Helena Wayne character, not Helena Bertinelli that captured our imagination all those years ago when FanBoyWonder was a wee-laddie.

Here’s the quick lowdown for the uniformed: The Huntress as we knew her was created and introduced by Justice Society of America writer Paul Levitz in the late 70s. Huntress was the daughter of Batman and Catwoman of Earth-2 and she was a product of both their legacies.

Along with Power Girl, Huntress was a fresh, female face among the old timers of the JSA and a fan favorite (at least among this fan) during the annual Justice Society/Justice League crossovers during the late 70s and mid-80s.

In 1985, the Helena Wayne’s Huntress was killed during the CRISIS on Infinite Earths then her entire existence as Batman’s daughter was retroactively erased from existence in the new post-CRISIS continuity.

Following the CRISIS, DC caught to reinvent the Huntress with an entirely new origin as orphaned mafia princess Helena Bertinelli ,but to us, her re-introduction was poorly handled and we never warmed to this new character with a familiar name whom we considered a pretender.

Even as we never warmed to her, we didn’t like how Huntress Bertinelli never seemed to get any respect—especially from Batman—as the “black sheep” of the Bat-family.

It wasn't until Gail Simone got hold of the character in Birds of Prey that the character really took hold with us.

Enter comics newcomer writer Ivory Madison who has assumed the ambitious task of giving Helena Bertinelli the proper (re)introduction that she was denied two decades ago.

"Helena has very strong moral values, believes in honor, and is a loner. She’s principled, smart, and truly—truly—independent. She carries the pain and loss of her family with her at all times, and wants to destroy the mob with an epic vengeance. She doesn’t fit in. That’s the problem. She doesn’t fit in with the mob, she doesn’t fit in with Batman, she doesn’t fit in with anyone,” Madison told Newsarama in a recent interview.

I attempted to capture the essential nature of Helena’s personality by showing readers the crucial moments in her early life, the moments that made her who she is. We have all the exciting Year One stuff: how she got the name Huntress, how she got her costume, why she returned to Gotham from Italy, who really matters to her in her life, and how she realized she was capable of being a hero,” added Madison.

Madison’s enthusiasm has spread to us and we’re eager to give this mini-series chance.

The Huntress: Year One, $2.99, Issue #1 on sale Wednesday (May 14), Issue #2 on sale May 28.


Anonymous Ryan said...

So, what did you all think of Huntress YO #1?

I think Ivory Madison is a star in the making. Cliff Richards art was beautiful. And best of all, folks are talking about Huntress again!

5:45 PM, May 20, 2008  
Blogger FanBoyWonder said...

Hey Ryan,
Thanks for the comment and for reading.
I'm behind on my reading and only just read the book--we liked it for the most part as it didn't disappoint but it didn't blow us away either.

It's not hard to tell that this is Ivory Madison's first time out as comics writer but she has an obvious affection for the character and it comes across on the page.

There is room for improvement but also LOTS of potential.

Keep those cards and letters coming.


5:18 PM, May 22, 2008  

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