Saturday, October 8, 2011

The Huntress in "Trial by Fire" (October/November, 1978)

The Huntress woke up tied to a chair in a burning building. Using this to her advantage, she threw herself backward, shattering her wooden seat. Still bound by rope, she hung her bonds over the fire, though she also set her cape ablaze. Leaping up to a barred window, the Huntress used her vanadium steel crossbow as a wedge bar to pry herself free.

After taking a shower and leaving her robe open to the navel while arching her back and propping her legs on a desk (is "sideass" an internet term yet?) Wayne decided that she would have to remain presumed K.I.A. until Councilman Gresham made his next move. There was also something about the likelihood of the Councilman having peeked under Huntress' mask and recognizing Wayne, whom he'd previously met at a fundraiser, underneath. Helena threw a blade at a wooden bureau though, just so we didn't forget how tough she was.

A week later, Councilman Gresham finally showed back up in public in anticipation of his touring South Gotham with federal authorities to assess the need and degree of government aid needed in the district. The Huntress set a literal trap for Gresham on the tour so that he could be caught with a bomb actually in his hands. The Councilman slapped the damned thing away, denying everything but his desire to kill this chick already. The bomb was set off by impact from their tussle, Gresham was burned alive, and the Huntress snuck off so no one knew what a boner she'd pulled.

Later, the government aid rolled in, and Councilman Gresham even got a memorial building out of the deal. Police Chief O'Hara, ever on the ball, assumed the bombing was purely accidental, although Gresham's aide Jason Kelshaw took flight before he could be questioned. No further mention had been made to Wayne's potentially compromised identity, and she wasn't shedding any tears over that involuntary manslaughter of hers. Besides, her anthology title had been canceled, so bygones.

This story from Batman Family #20 was by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton, & Bob Layton, marking the end of the artists' uneasy collaboration. While sometimes an awkward pairing, it still meant future installments would be purer grade Staton, rarely a good thing. I think my contempt for this idiocy came through in the synopsis, so I'll pass on elaborating, beyond mentioning I put down my copy of the Darknight Daughter trade paperback for a long while after this farce.

DC Retroactive

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