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DC Direct Hush
by yo go re

Originally a fairly forgettable character, Huntress has, in recent years, morphed into something of a hanger-on Bat-wannabe. Her major character trait for quite a while was that she was seeking Batman's approval, though she is starting to get a little depth now that she's joined Oracle and Black Canary to become a regular character in Birds of Prey.

Jim Lee got to give Huntress a major redesign for "Hush," and it really turned out... well, dumb. The costume has some nice elements - the mask, the use of white - but it leaves her way too exposed. A belly shirt and hotpants? She's supposed to be fighting crime, not dancing back-up for Sir Mix-A-Lot. Is the costume sexy? Oh, yes. Does it make any sense? Good lord no! Even Black Canary, whose idea of a good crime-fighting costume includes fishnet stockings, pointed out how bad the whole idea was.

The costume could have been good without the exposed skin - carry the white down to her belt, connect her shorts to those thigh-highs and she'd actually look professional (instead of like "a professional"). At the rate Huntress moves through her fellow superheroes' beds, it may seem like she's on 24-hour Man Patrol, but she's still supposed to be fighting thugs, not trying to attract the boys' attention.

The costume isn't all bad. Huntress has always been a somewhat religious character, so the white cross at her neck speaks to that. Her mask looks a bit like bat-ears, and almost seems like a modern interpretation of the masks worn by Batwoman and the original original Batgirl. Even the little crescent moons that clasp her cape to her shoulders look nice.

Tim Bruckner did a great job turning Jim Lee's two-dimensional costume design - pointless technological embellishments, lots of superfluous straps and pouches - into a decent-looking figure. The semi-contrapposto stance has her lifting her left foot slightly off the ground; she's dragging her toes, but she still stands fine without using the included Bat-base. Unlike the Kingdom Come Wonder Woman, for instance, Huntress's feet are big enough for her body.

The Hush figures all come with a display base shaped like the current Batman logo. Five inches wide and 3" deep, the base is only about ⅜" thick, but looks nice beneath the figure. The footpeg is far enough to one side that she's off-center if you use it.

The only other place to get a 6"-scale Huntress is in the Birds of Prey box set, and that one wasn't very good. "Hush" Huntress moves at the neck, shoulders, elbows, hips and knees. In her right hand, Huntress is holding her strange four-barreled gun, a molded part of the figure. Her only accessory is the 5" battle staff that can be held in her left hand. The staff is made of nice sturdy plastic, which is already one step above other similar efforts.

Whatever you think of the costume's aesthetics, this figure is very good. It's rare that a female figure's long hair doesn't restrict the movement of her neck, but Huntress can still look all around. The figure is balanced well enough that she won't fall over immediately even with her unique pose. There are lots of cool little touches that all add up to make this one fine Huntress.

-- 07/16/04

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