DC History Club: Huntress Topic for June 2020, with Polls Quiz Wiki & Discussions

Re the article

I like the articles because it has many panels showing the deep relationships between Helena Wayne and Power Girl

We will encounter some of these panels again, at least in.the optional readings

But there is author’s intent

Paul Levitz, looking back at what he wrote in his twenties said;

I’ve learned many things in the decades since I wish I knew when I wrote these stories: craft .skills of writing, knowledge of human behavior, understanding of how men and women differ ( I simplified my approach in those early days by assuming that being a superhero was so much different from ordinary humanity than the mere differences that gender offered), and more

He grew tremendously in the following decades, writing a lesbian relationship between Shrinking Violet and Light Lass in the Legion of Super Heroes in the 30th century. Also the Legion contend against Darkseid in his greatest work, The Great Darkness Saga

In his New 52 panels of the early 2010s, Levitz was trying to portray the following situation

Both had seen their mothers murdered, Catwoman and Lois Lane, a little over 5 years earlier.

Five years ago, they were sucked into a space hole, which transported them to the main.New 52 Earth. Just before that, they had heared, through their communication’ devices, the death of their fathers, Batman and Superman, along with Wonder Woman, the only other Super Heroes on.Earth 2, as they defeat the forces of Darkseid in a suicidal mission

During those five years, Helena found a home on.this new Earth, while Power Girl put a lot of their we3slth that.Helena stole from our Bruce Wayne to build a machine to take them home to Earth 2

The machine is ready and they are living their last few days on this alien Earth. Power Girl is confident they will defeat any remaining forces of Darkseid. But Helena has no super powers and thinks she will likely die after they go home, likely a few minutes afterwards.

They have been together, alone, in secret, on.this alien earth, just the two of them.

So they have a deep.bond.and will show strong emotions as they approach the main crisis of their lives.

Another Panel is from Geoff Johns in his Justice Society series. Power Girl has been sent back to another Earth 2 where her Superman.and herself have been missing for several years. Their Huntress, acting completely out of character, is an emotional wreck. She was about to break up with her boyfriend, because she loves some one else, maybe Dick Grayson maybe not, when said boyfriend’s face is disfigured by acid and is barely alive in the hospital. And then her best friend, missing for many years, suddenly shows up

Again maybe strong emotion is called for.

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I have read the Secret Origins and the JSA book. I still have Crisis and the Justice League crossover. One thing I have noticed about Helena Wayne is how one dimensional she is. I can’t help myself but compare her to Helena B. and the difference is glaring. Granted, the JSA book was a Huntress story that featured all action and no real character work. However, the origin story wasn’t bad but it often fell flat. At least, to me. I have the Huntress trade that has Paul Levitz stories collected and I have been reading that as well.

It is interesting that they created Huntress because Batgirl was boring. The one thing Babs has over Helena Wayne is at least keeping the secret from Jim Gordon. It should also be noted that the Birds of Prey TV show’s Helena is the closest we will get to a modern live action Helena Wayne, as the Helena in the show was the daughter of Bruce and Selena. However, it feels like Selena had powers like Patience Phillips from Catwoman (2004) and that where Helena had her powers?

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Paul at that time had minimal writing skills and personal experience as he admits in the forward to the Trade which I included in my Trade Post, Post 9.

In the Birds of Prey TV series Helina Selina Dinah.and her mom were metas.

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I did read the forward from the trade when I started it. I actually ended up reading the origins twice because it was in the trade and then I skimmed it again when I went to Secret Origins. If anything, reading these books only makes me appreciate the evolution of Huntress that much more.

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The friendship between Helena Wayne and Power Girl is one of the most enduring parts of these characters.

They are better together, the Worlds Finest.

In All Star Comics, there are many JSA members and the relationship gets a page here, a page there.

The Huntress backup in Wonder Woman is missing many issues

But Wonder Woman issues 274 to 276 have the two together.

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/367e486b-e1ce-4172-b32f-430741c272f1

It is an optional read for the week.

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Read the Huntress portions COIE 11 & 12 again. Wolfman/Perez is a team of assassins killing every scene they create. In the middle of this giant mega event, they take the time to give Helena Wayne more depth and tragedy than she probably had in her entire character life. Loosing someone is hard enough, knowing they never existed is devastating.

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It is week 2 which means The DC History Club is introduced to Helena Bertinelli! As @msgtv shared Helena Wayne was erased from DC comics during Crisis on Infinite Earths.

I decided to do a little more than the required reading for this era of Huntress, 1986-2011.

I began my Helena Bertinelli binge with the excellent season 1 episode of Justice League Unlimited Double Date. This episode was written by Gail Simone, which in my opinion understands Helena B. and Dinah Lance better than most writers.
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The most interesting thing about this episode is that it does not sugarcoat Helena Bertinelli’s background for the kiddos. Her father, the mob boss, and the killing of her family are all intact, even if everything is not shown on screen. In the episode, Helena teams up with The Question! This ain’t the Renee Montoya version but the Vic Sage version, even though by this time in the comic books Renee was The Question and Vic had died. You can read about that in 52.

On the other side of things, Black Canary is teamed up with Green Arrow to protect the man that Huntress is after. She had planned on killing him but with The Question asking if she wants to kill the man in front of his son she changes her mind. This only brings up another characteristic of Helena B. that is in line with Gail Simone’s run on Birds of Prey. She loves children and her dream was to become a teacher. At one point in Birds of Prey, Babs sets up a teaching job for Helena as a thank you for her work with the Birds.

My next viewing was not required but I wanted more animated Huntress and Black Canary written by Gail Simone. This, of course, leads me to The Masks of Matches Malone! from Batman: The Brave and the Bold season 2. In Birds of Prey fashion, we see Huntress, Black Canary, Catwoman, and Batman all teaming up to stop Two-Face. Helena Bertinelli is shown to have a chip on her shoulder, which is true to her comic book character. There is often an air of superiority in her character, maybe a character flaw but it does help her reconcile her mission of ridding the streets of the people who have killed her family. This is overall a fun watch as you see Bruce Wayne become a crime boss, however, the highlight is the Birds of Prey song. Honestly, there is sexual innuendo that I would not expect to see in a kids’ cartoon but I did laugh at it.

I then went on to read the first few issues of the 1989 Huntress comic series. Historically, this series is important as this is her first solo comic book. This is a pretty short series at only 19 issues. The groundwork for Helena B’s background is all laid out in the first few issues and little has changed since this book. One thing that stands out is there is a familiar post-Frank Miller Batman grittiness in this title.
A page from issue 2:

Next up was Huntress (1994). This is a 4 issue mini-series. I enjoyed the art style of this book and the noir storytelling. The reason this book matters is because it explores the duel life that Helena Bertinelli leads. She sees herself as unstoppable, powerful, and one with no past as Huntress. Meanwhile, she sees Helena as weak, scared, and alone. In this series, Helena is a teacher, which she might have been in the 1989 series as well but I haven’t read far enough. There is also a theme of her wanting approval from Batman, this will be looked at a little deeper in my next post. In no way is this series a must-read but if you want to dive deeper into the psyche of Huntress/Helena Bertinelli this is a good place to start. Oh and the 4 covers make a pretty sweet picture.

I will return very soon to continue my Huntress reading marathon! I will dive into the Birds of Prey books listed, Cry for Blood, and a few other titles not listed.

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@darkstarz thanks for bringing the heat on Helena. Can’t wait for your next deep dive. I’m doing a lot of reading for July, so in your opinion what 2-4 issues from this period should I read in the next few days to get a true feel for her and the era?

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Cry for Blood, it is a 6 issue mini but it fixes a lot of what went wrong in the previous Huntress titles. However, if you are looking for a more light-hearted and team-orientated Helena Bertinelli, the Birds of Prey books that @TurokSonOfStone1950 has listed is an excellent choice.

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Okay, I’ll pick something from one of the lists later today

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Before I look at Huntress in teams like JLA and Birds of Prey I thought it would be a good idea to take a deeper dive of Huntress team titles. I will be covering Robin III: Cry of the Huntress (1992), Nightwing/Huntress (1998), Batman: Huntress/Spoiler - Blunt Trauma (1998), and Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood (2000). What I hope to discover is Helena’s personality with other people and how it changes depending on the situation. I am also hoping to see her character mature, which was something I felt was missing from the Helena Wayne stories that I have read.

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Robin III: Cry of the Huntress (1992) finds Robin teaming up with Huntress. I have not read many books with Tim Drake as I am admittedly not a big fan of Batman. Oddly, I love the world surrounding Batman. This title came out in 1992 so it was between The Huntress (1989) and The Huntress (1994). The only reason I mention this is because Huntress is searching for a crime boss that she continues to search for in the 4 issue mini-series. Huntress teams up with Robin and the first thing she asks is if Batman has said anything about her to Tim Drake. This fits with her character that I briefly mentioned previously, one of the things that drive Helena Bertinelli is Batman’s approval. This will all come to a head in JLA. However, for the time being, it is interesting that someone who finds confidence in her hero persona seeking validation. I believe this deals with Helena Bertinelli’s insecurities, which I never want to imagine what it is like watching your family be killed by ruthless mobsters.


To no one’s surprise, Robin III: The Cry of the Huntress focuses more on Robin/Tim Drake than it does Huntress. Throughout the book, Huntress complains that Batman never utilizes her and she often comes off as jealous of Tim Drake for being chosen as Robin. As for my purposes, Huntress works pretty well with Robin. You can tell he annoys her and her grievances range from Robin’s age to Robin knowing more about her than she knows about him.

Now onto Nightwing/Huntress from 1998. I am not going to lie, I got a good laugh to see Grayson was the writer of this title. Devin Grayson, that is.
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In an interesting turn of events between Robin III and Nightwing/Huntress, apparently Batman approves of Huntress. It also seems that Huntress has given up on caring what Batman thinks as she says, “You know, that’s your problem right there. You think there’s only one way to things: HIS WAY.” In the evolution of Helena Bertinelli’s character, this is an interesting evolution. However, I think the JLA storyline was before this book so it does make sense.


It should also be noted this the first time Helena Bertinelli is seen having a love interest in the books I have read today. It is nice to see her character grow in more ways than one. After all, I have read multiple titles today where she is seeking for Batman’s approval and not comfortable in her own skin.

I should mention that this romance will later play into a minor subplot of Barbara Gordon trusting Helena in Birds of Prey, as Babs and Nightwing also have a history. To make matters even more complicated, there is a scene where Dick calls Babs from Helena’s apartment and things get a little messy with Helena saying, “Tell Oracle I say ‘Hi.’ Oh, and make sure she knows…” In conclusion, Helena is her own woman and isn’t afraid of competition or confrontations. She has grown a lot from her first series and mini-series. Come to think about it, the sass levels are what I have grown to expect and love from Helena during her time in Birds of Prey.

I do want to say that Nightwing/Huntress is my favorite read of the day, up to this point. There is a lot of character work for Huntress done on these pages. There is also a lot of character work for the GCPD detectives and Nightwing. The crime that Huntress and Nightwing are working together is rather riveting. There are a lot of moving pieces that help give it a noir vibe. The art is also top-notch, then again I am a sucker for the look of late 90s comic art.

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Next up on my Huntress team-up books is Batman: Huntress/Spoiler - Blunt Trauma. This is a “Cataclysm” one-shot according to the DCU description. I have not read anything from the Cataclysm storyline, outside of this title. Needless, to say this title is a part of a greater storyline that I might read one day. This is actually the first time I have read anything that featured Stephanie Brown and I like her a lot. To get back on topic, there is some small chat with Huntress and Spoiler about Robin.


I found this interesting, especially as this was an ongoing conversation between Huntress and Nightwing in Nightwing/Huntress. One thing that stuck out to me was the way Stephanie Brown describes the way Huntress fights:

I am not sure if that whole page will be clear to read so here is the main part that grabbed my eye, “Huntress moves like a tiger. Cold. Professional. And maybe a little bit cruel. Way past anything I’ve ever seen the guys to a hood. With her, it seems more personal.” The question of how Huntress gets the job done has been speculated by the Bat-family…often. Considering this is Spoiler’s first encounter with Huntress, to see her say these things it helps ensure this characteristic of Huntress is a vital part of her character. Regarding Huntress’ teamwork in this story, it is pretty solid. Upon the discovery that the main bad guy is Spoiler’s dad, she remains determined to take him down and to not go easy on him. Her reaction could be because her own father was not a good man or she is just a vigilante bent on taking down the bad guy.

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Now to read something that was actually on the @TurokSonOfStone1950’s required reading list. This was my first real introduction to Huntress. Batman/Huntress: Cry for Blood. I picked up the trade years ago at a comic shop because it was on sale.


To let my tablet charge I will be reading my book. If there are scenes I want to highlight I will be going to my tablet for the screenshots.

The first issue sets up Helena Bertinelli’s origin story better than anything else I have read today and I have read a lot of Huntress comics today. There are details of each crime family and her personal relationship with members of each family. @msgtv asked earlier what books he should read and I would have to say Cry for Blood is the front runner. I also got a laugh out of Helena’s reaction to an artist rendering of Huntress in book 2.


Throughout my reading, one thing I have been sure to point out was Helena’s need for acceptance from Batman. In issue 4 more detail is given to show the catalyst for her need for validation.
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I need to mention The Question as he was instrumental in helping Helena when her back was against the wall. The Bat-family are all under the suspect she is guilty of murdering her cousin and a reporter. Vic Sage takes her away to Canada to be trained by Richard Dragonfly and then he helps her clear her name. I should also mention Babs is easily swayed to believe she is guilty of murder. Once again, Nightwing is a factor in Babs’ thoughts as she cannot understand why he would even give her a chance.

One thing that I have wanted to comment on is Huntress’s costume but I have held back. I haven’t really mentioned that she is a very religious person. To be honest, that has not come up too often in the books I have read. However, in Cry for Blood book 5, she mentions that she sees herself as a nun. “Totally devoted to my quest.” With this piece of the puzzle unlocked, seeing her costume there is definitely a nun theme present.

This is not the best drawing but it works as an example:


The 80s to early 90s costume was a variation of Helena Wayne’s costume and a little redder.
Here is another example of the evolution of Huntress’s costume.

While neither is perfect or complete in my opinion it does show that Helena Bertinelli always had a cross on her costume.

I thought I would be done with my Huntress binge reading for the day after Cry for Blood but then I noticed one more book within the modern comic timeframe.
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Huntress: Year One (2008) is okay at best. After reading the great Cry for Blood, Year One just seems unnecessary. It does strike me odd that there was another origin story being told for Helena Bertinelli, especially as this takes place after she has joined Birds of Prey. One aspect of this story that I did like was that it takes a deeper look at Helena’s religious beliefs. Another thing I liked about this story is that we see a little more of Helena’s feminist beliefs at work. There are moments all the way back in the original series and the 4 issue mini-series that this was present. However, it was never discussed as open as it in this series.

I still have the Birds of Prey and JLA books to read which I am saving for tomorrow or later tonight. I hope it was okay to do a deep dive on Helena Bertinelli in the modern age here. I also thank you if you have read everything I had to say about these books. I tried to be as vague as possible to not give away too much but still include as much as I could to show her evolution.

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I skimmed quick, have to take my time to read this. Good stuff

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I honestly did not mean for that to be as long as it is. I was hoping to write a quick blurb about each book and move on.

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I’ll read it all, just when you see one that long you think “need time to take this one in.”

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:drpsycho_hqas: Oh, that I can understand all too well. I am often like that and will bookmark posts that I want to read when I have more time.

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Post 36 Huntress Titles NOT Selected as Must Read for Post Crisis (MODERN AGE. (1986-2011))

I selected as the
Main Reading

2000 Batman / Huntress Cry for Blood 1-6
https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/f6fc4106-ce28-4248-8053-8f640d658713

Though it contains
The canonical Origin Story
The great Greg Rucka
Refers to some of these titles
Principally that
Huntress has met
Bat Family members before
It also
Contradicts
Huntress 1989
That Helena was abducted as a child
And Very Bad Things were done to here
Which is a crucial Plot Point in
Some of these Titles

But if you query
Huntress in DC Universe
You get
Seven other Titles

They are listed below
With commentary
On if you should read that titles

01 1989 The Huntress 1-19

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/862c1445-f429-40e6-b131-e99f9a6fd344

Good Title
Too Long
No way to cut out an arc
At first reading

Can read issues 17 to 19
For Batman Arc
But lose a lot

Complete Arc which
Ends the Huntress Saga

Helena Bertinelli uses the original
Helena Wayne costume
Minus the Thigh Hign.Boots
Looks Much Better

Co Creater Joe Staton artist
Cartoony style but I liked
Helena looks very plain in many panels
Depiction in some panels
Of Appearance of Black and Asian People
Makes me Hesitant to approve fully
Cartoony can lead to stereotypes

Helena has two traumatic events
As child Kidnapped
Very Bad Things Happened to her

Then.Family Murdered when much older

Rucka drops kidnapping
Has Murder of Family
Occur when child
Allows for Training for years afterwards

02 1992 Robin III: Cry of the Huntress 1-6

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/e7907eec-e4d9-4e4c-9a81-07dbef60af45

Terrible Art
Helena looks awful
Villians ludicrous

Helena and Tim Drake work together
Without tension

03 1994 The Huntress 1-4

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/53ce6cf8-d32d-404f-9509-9010907f846d

Not Recommended

Helena as crazy person

04 1996 Birds of Prey Manhunt 1-4

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/2b126716-2214-4e2f-911a-dbac1415d08b

Pro
Lot of Action
Huntress Blsck Canary and Catwoman together

Con
Barbara Gordon doesn’t want
Canary to work with.Huntress
Not clear why
Haven’t meet

Plot and Villian ludicrous
Canary and Huntress dated him
Seemed nice
Then dumped each
Now is a meta criminal mastermind

05 1998 Huntress and Nightwing 1-4

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/03259876-7a43-4ea8-9af7-95f751cdfa5f

Good take on.their relationship
For shippers
Not a bad plot

06 1998 Batman Huntress Spoiler Blunt Trauma
https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/6155d11d-5811-40b0-bbb0-99d03e16bd46

A fragment
Part of Cataclysm Storyline
Don’t know anything about that story

07 2008 Huntress Year One 1 6

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/93ef9e80-3b89-4e1a-a813-acb7580e91be

Interesting take on Bruce Barbara Catwoman
Revists origin
Father not only
Crime Lord murdered drug dealer
But wife beater
Helena and Brother hate him

Murder of Family
Brings to Helena
A better environment in Sicily
Which is crazy idea

Topics of
What religion means to Helena
Feminism
Doomed Lovers
Anger
Covered here

Interesting ideas
Execution of them not all done well

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Helena B also had some interesting early appearances that I have in my BOP chronology but I thought I’d just point it out here for anyone looking for more of her:

Detective Comics 652-653:

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/detective-comics-1937-652/82bd11f7-64e1-4337-93d9-b77bed9e9c13/

Showcase '93 9-10:

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/showcase-93-1992-9/ec901a11-c105-4103-aa2a-2c14ccbe1c91/

Black Canary (1993) 9-12:

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/black-canary-1992-9/8a90ee68-3a37-4a76-9861-3e9d5a3b2c5a/

Showcase '94 5-6:

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/showcase-94-1993-5/c029454d-361d-48ba-9859-3ecf22ac4ce8/

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Oh and the recent Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular has an appearance by Helena W :slight_smile:

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Post 39 Second Week Post Crisis (MODERN AGE. (1986-2011)) Helena Bertinelli

Mostly Helena Bertinelli

What to Read and Watch?

To Watch

2003 Justice League Unlimited
Double Date
By Gail.Simone
Birds of Prey writer

https://www.dcuniverse.com/videos/justice-league-unlimited/148/season-1ust

To Read

2000 Batman / Huntress Cry for Blood mini

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/f6fc4106-ce28-4248-8053-8f640d658713

2003 Birds of Prey 56 to 59
From 1998 1-127 Birds of Prey

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/b1bc75d1-91c4-4146-8ec3-d0fdf1fd55e1

Optional Read Watch

Birds of prey 104 108

Links Double Date

Double Date analysis
Use Landscape or Simpified View

http://www.websnark.com/archives/2005/07/it-could-be-wor.html

Justice League Unlimited
Question Authority
Grudge Match

Batman; The Brave and the Bold
Mask of Matches Malone

https://www.dcuniverse.com/videos/batman-the-brave-and-the-bold/14

1997 JLA Grant Morrison 39 when
Batman fired her for trying to kill villian
Was member from 16 on

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/c6c0786b-bc23-48a4-812b-1484012e2947

2002 Birds of Prey TV pilot

https://www.dcuniverse.com/videos/birds-of-prey/55

Helena Wayne in
2008 JSA Annual 1
Geoff Johns

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/book/-/1ed5c365-caeb-43fa-81d1-8f3a2440ec21

1989 The Huntress 1-19
https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/862c1445-f429-40e6-b131-e99f9a6fd344

1998 Huntress and Nightwing 1-4
https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/03259876-7a43-4ea8-9af7-95f751cdfa5f

2008 Huntress Year One 1 6

https://www.dcuniverse.com/comics/series/-/93ef9e80-3b89-4e1a-a813-acb7580e91be

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Watched the Double Date episode of JLU last night. First, it’s a great reminder of how this show never talked down to its audience. This is a fully fleshed out story that could have easily been expanded for a live action show or film. As for Huntress, this is a wonderful encapsulation of the character from her origins to her half-in/half- out status with other heroes. Then you add nice character turns for GA, BC and Question and that’s a heck of a show.

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