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A regular in Birds of Prey, Huntress is the sort of character who needs a clear origin story. In her typical comic appearances, it's often hard to get a grasp of who Huntress is, aside from being a superhero who likes purple and uses a crossbow. That's a pity, because she's one of the rare superheroes who can defy Batman on his own turf and follow her own conscience. Madison and Richards's take on Huntress is fast paced and coherent-a strong, solid crime story that's a bit Godfather with capes. Helena Bertinelli lost her entire family to Mafia violence, but her family were Mafia themselves. Unlike her equally young and innocent brother, Helena was spared since the killer assumed that a girl was no danger. Obviously, they were wrong, and Helena becomes Huntress. Although she enters the world of the more familiar vigilantes of Gotham, by the time they meet, Huntress has killed without remorse and will kill again, and so can never join Batman's crew. Madison's focused writing, ably assisted by Richards's clean and striking art turn Huntress: Year One into more a mob story of misogyny, money, faith and betrayal than a superhero tale. (Feb.)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.