Review by: JumpingJupiter

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community think?

Avg Rating: 3.0
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Size: pages
Price: 17.99

*This made it to shelves a few months ago*

Huntress: Year One written by “full of potential” newcomer Ivory Madison and drawn by Cliff Richards is the retelling of young Helena Bertinelli’s transformation into the Huntress. Helena is the sole surviving member of a once powerful sicilian crime family. Every other Bertinelli falls victim to a “hit” ordered by a rival while Helena is still a spunky little girl. From then on the mafia princess is raised by an allied family of assassins and we see her seek vengeance and ultimately learn who she really is.

Though this has an overall “mafia noir saga” tone, it is at heart a character driven story. Madison not only shows what a horrible tragedy (death of the family) has on the protagonist but more importantly why Helena makes the decisions she does. For fans of the Huntress, this should be a fascinating read as it illuminates the character from new angles. Notably, how Helena appropriates her massive fortune plays a major role in moving the plot forward. Additionally, Madison makes brilliant use of the character’s religious tendencies and mafia past like no other writer before. Somehow Huntress: Year One dovetails neatly with Cry For Blood – Greg Rucka’s popular Huntress mini-series – while staying it’s own entity. Huntress: Year One also has a few Bat-Family cameos. Catwoman being by far the funnest! (Apparently, DC has greenlit a Madison Catwoman story!)

Technically speaking the plotting is clever and tight if not completely streamlined and the dialog is believable and peppered with “lol” moments. On the art side, Richards’ pencils are elegant, Thibert and Rapmund’s inks set the “noir” mood and Jason Wright’s colors are epic. I found myself staring at single panels for minutes due to the intensity of the characters’ expressions!

From gleaning reviews of this book it appears Huntress: Year One is a love it or hate it proposition. I fall in the “love it” category. You’ll love it too if you’re a fan of mafia stories,  street level superheros and women who wear pants. Give it a whirl this Wednesday!

Extras: As with many collected editions of comics this has a few extras. Paul Levitz, original creator of the Huntress gives the writer his blessing. And for keeping the intricate genealogy straight, a character roster is offered. Also of note is that the original slick and consistently designed covers are all included in the paperback.

Story: 4 - Very Good
Art: 4 - Very Good


  1. nice review! i enjoyed this in issues, and agree with you on most of the points, especially the catwoman cameo – that was a highlight. it’s a worthwhile pickup if the story angles (female mafia vigilante) sounds like it’s up your alley.

  2. Thanks Dave! 😀

  3. This was a really fun book, and I don’t feel like Cliff Richards (in general) gets enough credit.  I always enjoy his fill-ins on ‘Buffy’ as well.

  4. Great review, and a great comic book series to bot!

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