DCAU #146: Duty of the Huntress

IN THIS ONE... Birth of the Huntress when her family is gunned down by a rival mob.

CREDITS: Written by Ty Templeton; art by Brandon Kruse and Terry Beatty.

REVIEW: Talk about burying the lede. You've got the Huntress premiering in your book and this is the cover you go with? Hm. Come on, Ty Templeton! At least she isn't sidelined in the issue itself, which is very much told from her perspective. Her origin story is quite violent, especially for the DCAU, and while she doesn't use lethal means to dismantle her father's criminal empire, her actions to pack a big bang that makes Batman come running. All the way through, she's haunted by her father's hidden face and the need to make amends for his misdeeds. It's a twist on Batman's own mission, but rarely so succinctly put.

Batman consequently comes off as a paternalistic git, finding flaws with this "untrained" vigilante. And to be fair, he outpaces her in every way. He learns her secret identity without breaking a sweat, beats her physically, and completes her life quest in a single night. Boom. And yet, for her, this is hardly resolved. We'll see her again. And she makes enough of an impression that we want her to. Her early, Batmandated retirement creates a sense of closure for this one-off story, but also makes a promise for the television shows ahead.
IN THE MAINSTREAM COMICS: Though of course the Huntress started life as the Earth-2 Batman and Catwoman's daughter (in All Star Comics #69, 1977), this is the post-Crisis version of the character, Helena Bertinelli (from Huntress #1, 1989), and her story is much like presented here, with Helena already fighting age, and though eventually a member of the Batman Family (he even sponsored her membership in the Justice League), is often at odds with the Bat for being unpredictable and violent (let's just say the crossbow in the comics doesn't pack soporifics).

REREADABILITY: Medium-High - A nice introduction to one of the Batman Family's big guns.

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