Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Huntress #1: "Darker Still"

Download The Huntress v1 #1

Following the 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Helena Wayne version of the Huntress was removed from continuity. DC Comics introduced a new version of the Huntress with the same first name and physical appearance, and with a similar costume, but with an entirely different backstory and different personality, who made her first appearance The Huntress #1 (April, 1989).

The Modern Age Huntress is Helena Rosa Bertinelli, the daughter of one of Gotham's mafia bosses who, after seeing her entire family murdered by a mob hit, vows revenge. During the "No Man's Land" story line she works as Batgirl, but not alongside Batman. Batman considers her to be too unpredictable and violent.

This is the first issue in a four-issue miniseries.

Chuck Dixon
Pencils and inks:
Michael Netzer
Pat Garrahy
Tim Harkins

Click here to read The Huntress v1 #2
Click here to read The Huntress v1 #3
Click here to read The Huntress v1 #4.

Shortly after uploading The Huntress #1-4, I was pleasantly surprised to see Michael Netzer comment on my blog. After a few pleasant exchanges, I concluded a nicer person you simply will not find. I finally mustered the courage to ask Michael if he would comment on The Huntress #1-4 and perhaps address some of the other commentators' questions and their comparisons to Frank Miller's Sin City and below is his reply:

I had already began experimenting a little with the art in the last issues of Detective just before Knightfall. Scott Peterson, then editor, liked the work and thought it would be good for the Huntress miniseries and offered me to draw and ink it. The script (and we have to remember this is 1993) had a strong Frank Miller writing style, and that's why I decided to pull the work more towards a Sin City look. I was still searching for a look in issue #1, (which is visible), but it came together in the rest. The process was loose layouts on the page and go right to inking. but not in the conventional sense. Part of the fun and challenge was to work more intuitively. So, I'd start each page with rough inking. Then I'd clean it up with white-out. Then another pass of black ink on top of that to sharpen the art. Then another pass of white-out. And so on... The original art was done on DC stock, but when I was done the boards weighed a lot more because of the accumulations of lumpy white-out, which behaved more like acrylic paint. We had to be careful with the boards because bending them slightly would cause cracks in the thick white-out/inks, and even for chunks to fall off. The process was a lot more like painting in black and white only, than it was traditional drawing. I've been drawing almost exclusively on a computer for about 15 years, but this job, more than anything else, reminds me how adventurous working in conventional materials can be - and keeps an itch burning to work with oils on canvas one day. Great solution to blogger limitations, Keith. Thanks much for the enthusiasm and kindness.

By Michael Netzer on Huntress #1: "Darker Still" on 12/21/10

Michael Netzer's own blog can be found here: http://michaelnetzer.com/mnop/


James Langdell said...

Frank "Sin City" Miller would like his black ink bottle back, please. (The first Sin City stories appeared three years before this story, by the way.)

vollsticks said...

Lovely Miller/Steranko-infused artwork but cot-damn that is a pretty bizarre story. Thanks for posting!

Aaron Poehler said...

Netzer really liked Sin City I see.

The Battler said...

Netzer has drawn comic books far longer than Frank Miller. You might remember him under his real name: Michael Nasser.

By the way, you ought to read Netzer's Wikipedia entry as it is very interesting reading.

John Retallick said...

Loved this when it came out. Long since given away. Anyone else notice some simlarities in layouts with JHWilliams Batwoman?

Michael Netzer said...


The Battler said...

Omigosh, my heart just about leaped out of my chest when I saw a write-up of my blog on your blog, Mr. Netzer! I can't tell you how flattered I am by your kind words and I'm going to show off your post to my family later on today. Thank you for subscribing, too!

Actually, those other profile handles are all me. Blogger forced me to create more profiles as I was running out of available memory, but creating and adding new accounts permits me to utilize another 1024MB for uploading scans per account. As for a name, please feel free to call me Keith. I would like use my full name, but considering my previous career (Correctional Officer) I prefer to remain discreet.

Say, I was wondering if I could please talk you into writing a paragraph or two about the work you did for the Huntress #1-4? I really enjoyed reading your replies when some of the commentators compared you to Frank Miller, for example.

Okay, I will go back to feeling semi-famous now, if only for the next ten minutes ;-]

Warmest regards,


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