Batman Secret Files: Huntress #1 Review

by Carlos R. on July 28, 2021

Batman Secret Files: Huntress #1 Cover Image
Written by: Mariko Tamaki
Art by: David Lapham
Colors by: Trish Mulvihill
Lettered by: Rob Leigh
Publisher: DC Comics

With the Bat-family stuff occupying so much space of the DC shelf, it can get a tad daunting to want to dive in and this series seems to be helping remedy that and making these one-shots accessible to new readers even if they’re tied into current continuity.

This line is turning out to be a lot more fun than I had anticipated. I love this one-shot exploration of the members of the Bat-family. The previous Secret Files was great, I got to understand Duke more and it made for a nice starting point to further explore the character.

Tamaki’s take on Huntress is wonderful and giving the reader insight into Helena’s thoughts makes her that much more relatable while also showcasing her detective skills. And that’s what makes this one-shot work so well, while the central plot is fine and adds into the Detective Comics storyline, readers truly get to appreciate Helena and what sets her apart from the other costumed heroes. Tamaki does well to have readers understand how intrinsic heroic values are to Helena by adding in pages of her in the hospital and barging in through the front door nearly collapsing to show how exhausted she is and while Helena could turn the other way when these visions of a threat appear, she gears up and goes to do what’s just.

Tamaki is accompanied by David Lapham, Trish Mulvihill, and Rob Leigh in the art department for this issue. There may be some alternate universe where this creative team did not work together on this issue, and it is all the lesser for it. Lapham adds in little details that add agency to characters, Doug is constantly doing something like reaching for food or playing with a headless toy and folks enjoying a night at the drive. These details make the world feel real and vulnerable, it adds in tension as the characters are more than just static background pieces. Leigh is as remarkable as ever and making each voice and effect stand out. There’s a panel where an axe is being used and the thin, jagged layout amplifies the terror of this door being chopped down. There’s a layer of eeriness to this book and it’s not just from the creepy worm infection, but Mulvihill’s colors. The green and red hues can be nauseating in the best way, making us feel as unsettled as Helena.

I had a great time reading this issue, it was fun and added a lot to Helena’s character for me. This one-shot will be hard to top but I’m excited to read more from this series.

Our Score:


A Look Inside