Day 20: Storyline/book you could read over and over again?
I also read Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood often. Sometimes when I’m frustrated with a recent depiction of Huntress I’ve just read or when I simply need to be reminded that great comic stories and characters exist. If all Huntress stories and portrayals were half the caliber of Cry for Blood, she would perhaps be one of the most popular characters in all of comics.
Although Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood is co-billed, thankfully, Batman only makes sparse appearances. Huntress is the star. The love and care Greg Rucka has for Helena radiates. But his love and affection never override that she is a flawed person. He doesn’t make excuses for her, instead, he explores her demons and what drives her. He forces her to examine herself and what she finds, she doesn’t like. His Helena/Huntress is nuanced, not one-noted that some writers are guilty of portraying. Cry for Blood IS character study at its best.
Helena Bertinelli, sometimes referred to as the Italian Mafia Princess, is the daughter of a former mob boss who witnessed the execution of her entire family one day at dinner. It becomes her life mission to wipe out the mob in Gotham. Cry for Blood takes places after the events of No Man’s Land where Huntress more than proved her value as a crime fighter, and love and devotion to Gotham City. Now, Helena is framed for a murder and has to figure out who did it. Along the way, she finds out some shocking and heartbreaking news about herself as well as why she survived the massacre of her family. She also begins to fall in love with a much older and wiser man, Vic Sage, known as The Question. Unfortunately, Helena isn’t in a position to receive the type of love he’s offering, nor reciprocate the kind of love he deserves.
Cry for Blood dismisses some of the stereotypical portrays of Huntress as Batman-crazy and simplistic. Yes, Huntress secretly craves the approval of Batman who inspired her and longs to be a part of his inner circle. But not at the expense of betraying who she is. Cry for Blood is a story about choices. In the end, Helena must choose between revenge and justice and love. She chooses revenge but not without consequence.
Huntress is flawed but her heart is always in the right place. She makes mistakes, has regrets, and she internalizes them. She’s moody. She broods and agonizes. Ignoring the stories with bad characterization, you see she also has a strong sense of self-worth and self-respect which drive her. She’s not perfect or pretentious. She’s always striving to better herself and that makes her relatable. If you haven’t read Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood, I highly recommend you give it a try.