As in Elaine Lee’s debut issue, this Honey West, despite the presence of Bruce, is firmly entrenched in the paperbacks rather than the television series. Ron Sutton and Ken Wolak follow Lee’s lead and fill the panels with inflagrante Honey moments. This isn’t sexist; it’s accurate. Honey West frequently found herself stripping at gunpoint or taking advantage of her foes’ preoccupation with her figure. Sutton and Wolak do however take a few cues from the late, great Anne Francis, Honey’s television portrayer when creating the overall design of the character.
So, this Honey West is definitely not for kids, nor should it be. The television series was pretty tame when considered within our social mores. However, it was never meant to be even a family show. Like its sister television series, Burke’s Law, Honey West could become gruesome, risqué for the period and/or deal with adult subjects like drugs, divorce and, of course, murder — not the clean kind, either.
The murder in the comic book series continues to grow more complicated as Elaine Lee fleshes out the suspects. The director of the project was formerly married to the Zu-Zu Varga, the dead actress. Jealousy toward Honey over her teen heartthrob conquest may be the source to the threats to her life, and the money men behind the production aren’t exactly broken up when learning of a murder attempt at a second actress on set. Perhaps this is all an insurance scam betting on a movie that fails.
Previously the creative team emphasized the perfume Zanzibar. I thought that might be a clue, and it seems those suspicions pan out, as Honey begins smelling the perfume everywhere. That unfortunately means that the perfume could be a red herring. Whatever the case, Lee, Sutton and Wolak keep the reader guessing in this second chapter.