The Character Spotlight – Issue #1: The Huntress (Helena Bertinelli)

It’s time for the inaugural edition of The Character Spotlight and surprise, surprise, it’s not Batman. No, I resisted the temptation and instead decided to highlight a character that’s going to receive an increased amount of attention after next Wednesday when she makes her live-action debut on the CW’s hit new show Arrow. Over the course of DC history there have been other women who have called themselves Huntress (the villainous Paula Brooks and the daughter of Batman and Catwoman from Earth-2 Helena Wayne) but I’m going to focus on my favourite version: Helena Bertinelli.

DebutThe Huntress Vol. 1 #1 (Cover Date: April 1989)

Biography: Helena was born into one of Gotham City’s most prominent Mafia families. Helena’s age has fluctuated over the years (originally she was 19 but the current origin places her at 8) but the one thing that has stayed the same was her witnessing the murder of her entire family by a rival one. She eventually is trained to fight and aims to seek vengeance on the men that took her family away from her. She is deemed by Batman to be too angry, unpredictable, and violent for his liking and he rarely accepts her into his circle. Eventually Batman sponsors her entrance into the newly restructured Justice League following “The Rock of Ages” in the hopes that it will calm her down. Her confidence grows and she becomes a respected member of the team but is eventually forced to resign after Batman prevents her from killing a supervillain. After an earthquake turns Gotham City into a “No Man’s Land” and Batman seemingly disappears, Helena briefly dons the guise of Batgirl before abandoning it after an argument with Batman. She eventually joins the team known as the Birds of Prey and develops a close friendship with Black Canary. Unfortunately after the DCnU took into effect the role of Huntress has shifted back to Helena Wayne taking on the alias of Helena Bertinelli who in this new timeline is dead.

Notable Series/Key Issues:

The Huntress Vol. 1 (#1-#19)
Nightwing and Huntress (#1-#4)
Batman/Huntress: Cry For Blood (#1-#6)
Huntress: Year One (#1-#6)
Birds of Prey Vol 1. (#56-#127)
Birds of Prey Vol 2. (#1-#15)
JLA Secret Files #2
JLA #40
Batman: No Man’s Land #1
Legends of the Dark Knight #120

Appearances In Other Media:

Justice League Unlimited (TV)
Batman: The Brave and The Bold (TV)
Arrow (TV)

My Take: Huntress has always been a favourite character of mine that I felt was at her strongest when she was in the Birds of Prey. I respect that she stands up for what she believes in and will even dare to stand up to Batman himself. Removing her from the DCnU was a mistake in my opinion. That they outright killed her instead of leaving the option for her to take on the role of Huntress down the road is crazy, something I think they’ll regret once her popularity increases due to her soon to be multiple appearances on Arrow. Hopefully the reports of her death were merely a cover to get her into witness protection and she is still alive and well. I can hope can’t I?

Thus ends Issue #1 of Character Spotlight. Any thoughts/opinions on this character? Comment below!

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2 thoughts on “The Character Spotlight – Issue #1: The Huntress (Helena Bertinelli)

  1. This is the best article you’ve ever written. It’s detailed, written with passion and lets us know the character in full relief using less than 1000 words.
    The thing I liked most is the key issues section: this is exactly what a reader needs to know, when he/she wants to get in touch with a character he/she didn’t know before.
    I hate so much No Man’s Land. It was an incredibly boring and depressive story arc. A crystal clear example of a good idea poorly executed. Which is the most annoying thing for me as a comic book reader, along with good comics not understood by the masses and therefore undeservedly failed. Avengers Academy, Blue Beetle, Generation X, Grifter, Gotham Central, Steel… how many great series gone wasted.
    You’re a Huntress fan, so I figure you felt a similar sadness, when you found out she got discarded. This is the inglorious fate usually reserved to supporting characters: they start peeping out from time to time, they have their quarter-hour of fame, and then they disappear, with 9 fans out of 10 shrugging their shoulders about it. A very few characters escaped from this fate – and most of them are mutants or Batman related characters, if you think about it.

    • “This is the best article you’ve ever written. It’s detailed, written with passion and lets us know the character in full relief using less than 1000 words.” Thank you so much for the kind words. You honor me.

      “I hate so much No Man’s Land.” And to think they were trying to adapt it into an animated TV show: http://forums.superherohype.com/showpost.php?p=21246333&postcount=1

      “You’re a Huntress fan, so I figure you felt a similar sadness, when you found out she got discarded.” Only Batman character that got discarded that made me more upset was Stephanie Brown. Her series as Batgirl was excellent.

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