I grew up in a time when Batman was not really The Dark Knight, but more of a dark caped version of Superman, all true-blue and shiny. As an adult, I am enjoying delving back into graphic novels and seeing another side of things - no less idealized, but much darker.
In The Huntress, Ivory Madison has brought a very human anti-hero to Gotham. Everyone has heard the old joke about the guy who's on trial for murder and tells the judge, "I'm sorry, your honor, but he needed killing." In this case, it's very much true. The mob in Gotham is - if anything - darker and more ruthless than the real thing. They cut and maim and kill on a whim, and everyone one of them seems crazed and bent on world domination.
The Huntress has the murder of her entire family to avenge. Top that off with the fact she's met the one man she loves, and he now believes she murdered his father. She might have, but she never got the chance.
This is a rich story with a lot of background packed into a single issue without slowing or stopping the plot and the action. The Huntress makes herself known to the underworld crime bosses of Gotham, and at the same time manages to interact with Batman, Batgirl, and Catwoman. In an odd version of the little devil and little angel on a cartoon character's shoulder, Batman and Catwoman seem bent on turning The Huntress first one way, and then the other - drawing her to, and away, from the law.
I enjoyed this very much, and though the artists took a lot of license with the human form, as they always do, I found myself wanting to know what happens next.
I highly recommend this to any lover of the DC universe.
David Niall Wilson