Thursday, February 9, 2012

Character Spotlight on HUNTRESS!


Helena Wayne to Helena Bertinelli and back again.

I first discovered Huntress in the backup stories of Wonder Woman when I was a kid in the 80's.  I had never heard of her before, but I was instantly sucked in to the mythos of the vigilante daughter of Catwoman and Batman; Helena Wayne aka the Huntress.  Unfortunatley, it wasn't long before that character was written out of existence and replaced with Helena Bertinelli, mafia-entrenched vigilante out for justice.  While the new version still had a lot of the same elements as the original, I was acutely aware of how much the original Huntress' heroic lineage had contributed to my fascination with her.  (That, plus the fact that I really really really disliked the 1989 Huntress series.)  I was sad that the original was gone, but better to have a revamped Huntress than none at all.  Recently DC Comics has announced a new series, World's Finest, to begin in May, supposedly featuring the return of Helena Wayne.  I'm excited but I have no idea what to expect.

Huntress has received a fair amount of action figure and statue treatment over the years.  What I like best about my mini Helena collection is that all the figures looks so different.  We've had a lot of great interpretations of of her in a variety of different looks.

First up is DC Direct's Hush Series 1 Huntress from 2004.  I like this one because the Tim Bruckner sculpt on this Jim Lee design is very accurate to her look in the storyline Batman: Hush which happens to be the first time I found myself enjoying Helena Bertinelli as a character wholly unique from Helena Wayne.  I liked how she was violent and tempestuous and how Batman didn't trust her, although she desperately sought his approval.


The only issues I have with this figure are (1) her boobs.  It's one of my biggest pet peeves when fabric defies physics in the name of fanboy titilation.  and (2) she's very limited in posing potential.  Her legs are sculpted in a walking position and her hands and arms are very specific for each accessory.  Luckily I think the pre-determined pose is great so I don't mind!


Next up is the Birds of Prey Deluxe Boxset Huntress from DC Direct 2003.  This was the first "collector" figure made of Helena and I was very happy to get her.  Pictures don't really do her justice, she's truly a great figure.


The last of the DC Direct Huntress Figures is the only Helena Wayne figure out there (there's a statue, too).  She is from Crisis on Infinite Earths Series 3 from 2006 sculpted by Sam Greenwell. When this figure was solicited, my jaw dropped.  It was one of the few times when I really thought someone at DC Direct was reading my mind.  I think she looks great.  Very retro, but fits in with the modern stuff, too.  I felt like DC Comics had washed their hands of this version of the character, so to have her in a collector figure was totally unexpected.

My only issues with this figure are that I think she looks odd holding her crossbow in any position but up, and the windblown sculpt of her hair limits the direction her head faces (aesthetically - you aren't physically hindered from positioning however you want, it just looks really awkward in 90% of the poses).

 
 
------- The following figure was Inserted Sept 24th, 2013 -------
 
Here is Mattel's DC Universe Signature Series Huntress in her long-awaited DCUC Style.
She was Sold on Sept 16th, 2013 exclusively on Mattycollector.com.
Her full review is HERE.
 
 


 
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Next up is the DC Direct Women of the DC Universe Series 2 Mini-Bust designed by Terry Dodson and sculpted by James Shoop.  I love all my bat-family mini-busts, I truly do, but this one always left me feeling a bit bewildered.  I guess my problems are that she doesn't really look like the Huntress.  We've never seen that costume or hair (it's kind of a blend of the Wayne and Bertinelli styles).  And frankly it doesn't look designed by Terry Dodson either.  I have three other busts from this series and they are all reminiscent of his designs, but this one just stands out as different.. the face has lots of harsh angle and big eyes.  I really do enjoy this piece and it's a great addition to my collection.  I just wish it were designed differently.  I really was hoping for another Huntress in Series 3 (the Amanda Conner series) because I love how she drew Helena in JSA - oh well.



Next up is a Huntress statue from the DC Direct Batman Family Multi-Part Statue - designed by Andy Kubert and sculpted by Oluf Hartvigson.  This figure alone inspired me to buy the entire Multi-Part Statue (and chop it up into individual characters).  I clearly have a love for the character, and I had been loving the Cover Girls of the DCU line with a realization that we would most likely never see a Huntress in its roster.  Lo and behold the Batman Family Statue.  She's in perfect scale with the Cover Girls and I really dig her look - stern and stoic.. kinda bored.  I know this may not be everyone's cup of tea but I enjoy her.  I trimmed the base around her feet to remove her from Nightwing and painted the rough edges grey.



Next up is the Eaglemoss Lead figure from Eaglemoss Publications.  She is by far the heaviest of the eaglemoss figurines I own.  Something about her cape I guess.  She isn't my favorite of the bat-family Eaglemoss pieces (mostly due to her simplified face paint), but I wouldn't trade her for anything.  Check out my group pics of the Eaglemoss Bat-Ladies from a previous post.


 
 
------ The following figure was Inserted Sept 24th, 2013 ------
 
Next up is a second Eaglemoss figurine from the DC Superhero Chess Collection #21 (White Rook).
She was released in Late Fall/Winter 2012
 
 





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Next up are two almost identical figures from Kenner in the 90's.  The Blue one is from Kenner's Total Justice line in 1996, and the Black one is from Kenner's JLA line in 1998.  These were the first action figures made of the Huntress and they are a fantastic first figures at that!  I was an extremely happy weirdo when I found these way back when.



Next up is the obligatory Heroclix game piece.  I don't know of many characters that don't have a Heroclix at this point.  They're sloppily painted, awkward to display, but their character selection is irresistable to me.

 
 
------- The following figure was Inserted Sept 24th, 2013 -------
 
And here is a second HeroClix figurine.
DC HeroClix - Batman: Streets of Gotham #14 / #03 - NECA/WizKids 2012
 
 
 

 


 
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Next we have the Mattel JLA figure.  There were two variations of this figure.  The differences were in the stripes on her outift - one came in a 3-Pack, one came packaged alone.  Not sure which is which, but I knew I liked this one better.  This figure is probably the most accessible Huntress toy for most people.  She was a shelf-warmer in my stores for a long time.


Finally, I will show pics of the two Huntress items I do not own.  I think these are the only ones, although I'm always wrong.  They are both by DC Direct.  (1) The Power Girl and Huntress: Legacy Statue and (2) the Ame-Comi PVC Figure.





------- The following figure was Inserted Sept 24th, 2013 -------

Coming in March 2014 is the DC collectibles Cover Girls of the DCU Statue.
Designed by Stanley "Artgerm" Lau and sculpted by John G. (Jack) Matthews
 
 
 
 
 
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If you want to catch up on your Helena Wayne backstories, I highly suggest the Graphic Novel Huntress: Dark Knight Daughter by DC Comics.  Most of her adventures were in little 5-page stories in the back of Wonder Woman and other obscure places, this GN collects most of them with a great homage cover by Brian bolland.


The one disappointing thing about this GN was the total lack of a Table of Contents.  Luckily I'm OCD so I took care of that asap.  Click here if you would like the printable PDF.  It slides in the front cover nicely :)


Group picture time! (sorry so washed-out)


Cheers!

3 comments:

  1. While I've always preferred the Wayne version over Bertinelli, I have to admit I love the character in Simone's Birds of Prey, as well as her role on JLU.

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  2. I liked her in BoP, too. But I had to backtrack to read it all in backissues. Never picked up her JLA stuff. Are you reading her current mini? The art is amazing! Best I've ever seen her :)

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  3. I've been reading the mini-series, but I'm not loving it. The art's good, but the story just seems generic. The whole thing feels like a long set-up for a twist that DC editorial revealed a few weeks ago.

    Her JLA stuff was fine, but kind of a let down. The animated series handled her character far better, in my opinion. The episode where she teamed up with Superman to break The Question out of a government prison was amazing.

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