Seeing as DC Comics rebooted their franchise recently and an upcoming Huntress mini series, I felt now was a good time to start this blog. A little bit about myself, I'm Diane and I've been a Batman fan since I was six years old. Amongst my favourite characters over the years have included Catwoman, Riddler, and Harley Quinn (mostly foes, haha), but as I got into the mainstream comics a few years back, I've started to learn more about the extended Batfamily.
Up until a few years ago, I had no idea that there have been at least two other Batgirls (not including the more recent Stephanie Brown) since Barbara Gordon, and I was especially unaware that Barbara had been paralysed for 20+ years and had been fighting crime as Oracle all this time. Since my first introduction to her character in Batman: The Animated Series, I had always known her as Batgirl! But one member of the Batfamily that really stood out to me that I never new about was the Helena Wayne incarnation of the Huntress character.
I don't remember the exact details of how I became acquainted with the character, other than I was at work one day when a co-worker informed me that Batman and Catwoman had a daughter who fought crime under the alias of Huntress. I of course didn't believe him at first, but a quick google search did in fact confirm that this was true. The next question on my mind then was "okay, if she's the daughter of two of DC's most iconic characters, how come she's never appeared any of the TV shows or movies that featured both of her parents?" One would think that with her parents' statuses as iconic comicbook characters, she would have surely made an appearance by now, but her only known appearance outside the comics has been the short-lived Birds of Prey TV series.
Further research then informed that Helena Wayne's tenure as the Huntress was very short-lived when she was killed off in the Crisis on Infinite Earths mini series, and was replaced with the more modern Helena Bertinelli incarnation. Since then I have been very intrigued by the character and was at the same time saddened by DC's unjust treatment of her character. As the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, she clearly had some pretty big shoes to fill, and there were so many places they could have taken this character. I especially enjoyed Joey Cavalieri's run of her back-up stories in Wonder Woman, as he began to explore some of the characters innermost conflicts, such as a fear of following in her mother's footsteps, or never leaving her father's shadow.
Even though Cavalieri was later responsible for rebooting the character as the daughter of a mafioso (the current Huntress we have today), admittedly it just wasn't the same without the "Batman/Catwoman's daughter" origin for me to generate interest in this newer version. It wasn't really until Helena Bertinelli's appearance in No Mans Land, and especially on Gail Simone's run on Birds of Prey that I actually started to warm up to her. By this point writers started to show that there was more to this character than just "psychotic mafia princess hellbent on revenge who needs Batman to keep an eye on her."
For the purpose of this blog I'll be discussing the publication history of both incarnations of the character, as well as how the character has evolved over the years and the relationships she's had with other characters in the DCU. I'll also post reviews of the upcoming Huntress mini series by Paul Levitz (her original creator), as well as any future stories she appears in. With Justice Society of America being moved back to Earth-2 and Grant Morrison's up-coming Multiversity series, there is a chance we'll be seeing the Helena Wayne incarnation in future stories as well.
It'll especially be interesting to see a more modern take on this character since her initial appearance in 1977, and from what Geoff Johns has established of her character during his JSA run, it looks like she may have more in common with her Bertinelli counterpart after all. She may not be as prone to excessive use of violence like Bertinelli tends to be, but she's definitely a darker, more conflicted incarnation than the more lighthearted version of the Pre-Crisis multiverse. All that being said, can't wait to get started on the publication history! ;)