Saturday, December 4, 2010

1989 Mayfair Games DC Heroes The Huntress Character Card

Ah, the Huntress! Regardless of Pre-or-Post-Crisis, I'm a fan. It's funny that a lot of these cards resemble Huntress co-creator Joe Staton's artwork, and this pose looks like it came out of one of his issues of her solo series, yet the art style clearly isn't Staton's.

Anyhow, Huntress' stats reflect the character as she was considered immediately after her Post-Crisis reincarnation, and they're pretty accurate through to the present. You're not likely to find a playable character with less than a 4 in Dexterity, as 3 is an athletic normal human, and you or I would likely be a 2 or less. A 7 is plenty agile enough to press most urban vigilante types. Strength of 3 is about right for a human female that isn't a steroidal body builder. Body of 4 is a respectable human level, and Huntress did get knocked on her ass a fair bit during these years. I could see her at a 5, but that's what they gave Black Canary, and Dinah definitely takes more punishment with grit. Intelligence of 5 is about the best Helena could manage, and it isn't bad. A Will of 6 seems a might low for someone defined by her contrary attitude, so I'd bump her up one or two. Then again, her occasional dances with mental instability could have probably cost her pieces of Mind, so we'll call that a wash. Influence isn't her strong suit, and her Aura is almost certainly too high, but a case could be made for more Spirit.

The Huntress has a nice set of skills, with Martial Artist and Weaponry specifically compensating for her low Strength. I'd argue her Detective skill is an important enough factor in her intelligence that her INT could be lowered. I love Bertinelli, but I wouldn't try to make that argument against her if she were still a Wayne.

Looking at these cards definitely provide perspective on the characters. You see, while I love the Huntress, why would I want to role-play as her? Within the Bat-Family alone, there are plenty of other characters with stronger stats than Helena-- better acrobats, stronger fighters, more intelligent, etc. If you hanker for a silent range weapon, Green Arrow or Roy Harper can do anything Huntress can, from further out, with greater impact and variety. Huntress made a lot more sense when she was the Dark Knight Daughter, the product of and replace for Batman and Catwoman upon their deaths. Huntress gets most of her story mileage today from her gender and attitude, but I don't feel the character will be "complete" without a stronger hook than "the other other Batgirl." Even in Birds of Prey, she plays third fiddle to Black Canary and Oracle. I expect better, Helena. You can be more than this...


LissBirds said...

I didn't expect to see a Huntress card in this game. I definitely would've given her more willpower points.

Nice commentary on how shoehorning a character in a role they weren't conceived for weakens their premise. Between Huntress, J'Onn and possibly Wonder Woman, you're knee-deep in characters who've suffered similar fates.

Diabolu Frank said...

Are you kidding? Wonder Woman was conceived through shoehorning a conceit into a character role. I suppose I have an Irrational Attraction to Conceptually Askew Characters.