Written by Paul Levitz
Illustrated by Marcus To
The shattering conclusion as Huntress, with a billion-euro price on her head and a warrant for her arrest from Interpol, has one last battle to fight before she can leave Italy alive! And don’t miss the surprise guest-star at the end of this issue!
Two months before “Worlds’ Finest” launches, Paul Levitz ties up “Huntress,” and drops some hints as to what we can expect from the Earth-2 heroines in May. But before we get to that, how did the series finale fair on its own? Hit the jump to find out.
This miniseries has basically been Helena in Italy, dealing with sex trafficking. I know that doesn’t sound like the most exciting miniseries of all time, but it has actually been a good way to get to know the character in the DCnU. We see that she has a moral compass (more on that later), we see her fighting style, and we get to see the way she trusts/works with people. This may seem like a silly thing to point out, but since so many of the New 52 books have given us significantly less than this, it is nice to see a book properly setting up a character (without it feeling like it is being spoon fed to us, something the rest of the New 52 has done).
The setting being Italy is an interesting tactic for two reasons. First of all, it is nice to see some international superheroing going on, even if it is implied that Italians possess the power to cook amazing food and little else, since there don’t appear to be any heroes in the boot. But it is also a nice tease, with Huntress previously known as Helena Bertellini, so the Italian setting appears to be a nod to her heritage.
However, that is debunked, not so much in the actual issue, but by the press materials surrounding “Words’ Finest” (incorrectly presented as “World’s Finest” in the issue itself), revealing that this Huntress is Helena Wayne, daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. The end this issue shows Helena and Karen Starr (aka Power Girl) being buddy buddy and calling each other “partner,” leading directly into the next Levitz joint. I am cautiously optimistic about “Worlds’ Finest,” as Levitz, a co-creator of Huntress, has done an able job telling a compelling Helena story, and the lost-between-worlds angle could be a fun one. Or, it could be “Legion Lost.” We’ll have to wait and see.
Levitz will be working with the equally great George Perez and Kevin Maguire on “Worlds’ Finest,” but they, talented as they may be, will probably be a step down from the work that Marcus To has been doing here. To’s pencils manage to present Helena as beautiful without resorting to near-porn styling (he should really teach a class to some of DC’s other artists), and he manages to convey her grace and agility just as well as he does her ferocity and ruthlessness.
Which brings me back to her moral compass. Helena is not afraid to ice a baddie, and does so at numerous points in this issue. This sets her apart from her New Earth daddy, but seems in line with what has been teased about Earth-2’s Batman, who is described as “more ruthless, more dangerous” than his New Earth counterpart. It is a little shocking to see Helena be so unflinchingly murderous, but it does a nice job of setting her up as someone with an agenda different than the heroes we’ve come to know in the New 52.
As for this issue itself, well, it is more of an epilogue than anything. Part of me kept waiting for the other shoe to drop, in terms of who was really behind all of the trafficking, but no such reveal ever came. The miniseries would probably have been better suited for four issues instead of six, and then it might not have seemed so slight a story. Levitz does well enough though, basically enhancing his upcoming ongoing through the nice characterization put into place here; even his Karen Starr, in one page, is given more class and intrigue than in all her interactions in “Mister Terrific.”Continued below
Overall, this was a minor series for DC, but one that hit all the right notes, had some really great art, and sets the stage for how to do a miniseries properly.
Final Verdict: 7.3 – Buy