Huntress is the name of several fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, commonly in association with Batman. The two most well known women of the three to bear the Huntress name are Helena Bertinelli and Helena Wayne, the latter being from an alternate DC universe. Although Helena Wayne and Helena Bertinelli are both superheroes, the Huntress of the Golden Age was a supervillain.
Helena Wayne as Huntress in Huntress #2 (January 2012).
Art by Marcus To.
|First appearance||Sensation Comics #68 (August 1947)|
|Created by||Mort Meskin|
|Characters||Paula Brooks |
|The Huntress (vol. 1) #1 (April 1989),|
featuring the Helena Bertinelli version of the character.
Art by Joe Staton.
|Series publication information|
|Publication date||(vol. 1)|
April 1989 – October 1990
June – September 1994
|Number of issues||(vol. 1)|
|Main character(s)||Helena Bertinelli|
The Golden Age Huntress was a supervillain with the real name of Paula Brooks who battled the superhero Wildcat, first appearing in Sensation Comics #68. She joined the second Injustice Society of America and stole the Plymouth Rock. She married fellow supervillain Sportsmaster.
The character was later retroactively renamed the Tigress in the pages of Young All-Stars. These stories took place prior to her villainous career. At this point, the young Paula Brooks was a super-heroine, and fought both Nazis and criminals as a Young All-Stars member.
The Bronze Age Huntress was Helena Wayne, the daughter of the Batman and Catwoman of Earth-Two, an alternate universe established in the early 1960s as the world where the Golden Age stories took place. Earth-Two was also the home of the Golden Age versions of various DC characters.
Created by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton, and Bob Layton, her first appearance was in All Star Comics #69 (December 1977) and DC Super Stars #17, which came out the same day and revealed her origin. She appeared in Batman Family #17-20 when it expanded into the Dollar Comics format for its last few issues. The bulk of her solo stories appeared as backup features in issues of Wonder Woman beginning with issue #271 (September 1980).
Helena began her super-hero career when a criminal blackmailed her mother into resuming action once again as Catwoman—an act which eventually led to her death. Helena, deciding to bring the criminal responsible to justice, created a costume for herself, fashioned some weapons from her parents' equipment (including her eventual trademark, a crossbow), and set out to bring in the criminal. After accomplishing this, Helena decided to continue to fight crime, under the code name, the "Huntress."
In All Star Comics #72, Helena formally joined the Justice Society of America where she struck up a friendship with fellow new superheroine Power Girl. As a JSA member, she participated in several of the annual JLA/JSA meetings, most of which took place on Earth-One. Helena was also briefly associated with the superhero group Infinity, Inc..
During the 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths, Helena was killed while attempting to save the lives of several children. After Crisis ended, Helena Wayne's existence, like that of her parents and Earth-Two's Dick Grayson, was retroactively erased from the remaining Earth and the world no longer remembered her.
The New 52Edit
In September 2011, The New 52 rebooted DC's continuity. In this new timeline, Huntress is re-established in 2012 in the ongoing series Worlds' Finest, along with Power Girl. In this series, Huntress is in reality Helena Wayne from Earth 2. She and Power Girl, who is Superman's cousin on Earth 2, were mysteriously hurled to the main DC Universe after a battle with Darkseid's minions. A retrospective 'prequel' to the series disclosed that her mother was the former Catwoman (Selina Kyle)
Following the 1985 miniseries Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Helena Wayne version of the Huntress was removed from continuity. DC Comics introduced a new version of the Huntress with the same first name and physical appearance, and with a similar costume, but with an entirely different backstory and different personality.
The Modern Age Huntress is Helena Rosa Bertinelli (also Hellena Janice Bertinelli in the miniseries Robin 3: Cry of the Huntress), the daughter of one of Gotham's Mafia bosses who, after seeing her entire family murdered in a mob hit, vows revenge. During the "No Man's Land" story line she works as Batgirl, but not alongside Batman (whom the citizens believe abandoned them).
Batman considers her to be too unpredictable and violent. Others in the Batman family feel differently; Nightwing had a brief romantic fling with her, while she and Tim Drake share a good professional relationship. Early in his career he worked with the female vigilante, and later cleared her name in a murder case. Batman sponsors Huntress's membership in the Justice League, and for some time, Huntress was a respected member of the League. Under the guidance of heroes such as Superman, she grew in confidence, but was forced to resign after Batman stopped her from killing the villain Prometheus.
The emergence of Bertinelli as the Huntress has not kept DC from occasionally paying homage to the Helena Wayne incarnation of the character. During a post-Crisis JLA-JSA team-up, Bertinelli was so impressed with the skill and prowess of the Flash (Jay Garrick), Hippolyta, and Wildcat, she stated humbly, "I wanna join the Justice Society . . . ." Additionally, Power Girl sought her out for someone to talk to, even though the two have never really interacted.
The character was featured in the comic book Birds of Prey from 2003 onwards as a member of the eponymous team. Although she is still depicted as prone to excessive violence, she became a valuable member of the team.
In the final issue of 52, a new Multiverse is revealed, originally consisting of 52 identical realities. Among the parallel realities shown is one designated "Earth-2". As a result of Mister Mind "eating" aspects of this reality, it takes on visual aspects similar to the pre-Crisis Earth-Two, including the Huntress among other Justice Society of America characters. The names of the characters and the team are not mentioned in the panel in which they appear, but the Huntress is visually similar to the Helena Wayne Huntress. Geoff Johns confirmed that it is indeed Earth-2 Batman's daughter, Huntress. As prefigured by comments from Grant Morrison, this new alternate universe is not the original/pre-Crisis Earth-Two and ensuing Justice Society of America exploration disclosed that this Helena Wayne/Huntress was a member of the Justice Society Infinity, Earth-2's merged JSA and Infinity, Inc. and was in a relationship with Dick Grayson/Robin in this world. Since Power Girl briefly visited that world, there has been no subsequent depiction of the new Helena Wayne/Huntress of Earth-2.
In the prequel comics for the video game Injustice: Gods Among Us, Huntress is a member of Batman's insurgency that combats Superman's One-Earth regime and she is very close to Kate Kane and Renee Montoya until she is accidentally killed by Wonder Woman.
In the Arrow tie-in comic, after the death of her boyfriend Michael, Helena goes to Sicily in Italy where she discovers the existence of La Morte Sussurrata (The Whispered Death), an organisation of killers trained by the Hashshashins of Persia when they migrated to Italy. Helena begins to have sex with various members to earn their trust, one of them being Silvio, who trains her to become an effective killer. She uses those skills to take down her father's criminal empire and her father.
In the Arrow: Season 2.5 comic, Helena is released from prison by Lyla Michaels and Roy Harper after Felicity Smoak was taken by Renegades and Oliver having no backup. She helps him to take down the enemies including Lyle Bolton and back Felicity. After their rescuing, they go to helicopter, but Clinton Hogue (former bodyguard of Sebastian Blood) threatens to kill Roy. He is defeated when he is knocked out of the plane towards to the ground. Helena returns to prison, believing that she knew what justice required. As Oliver leaves, she tells him not to let Felicity get away.
In other mediaEdit
DC Animated UniverseEdit
- The Helena Bertinelli version of the Huntress has appeared in the animated series Justice League Unlimited, primarily as the love interest and partner to The Question. She is voiced by Amy Acker and starred in the episode "Double Date". In this episode, Huntress's thirst for revenge against the murderer of her parents, Steven Mandragora, results in her expulsion from the Justice League. Green Arrow and Black Canary chase Huntress only to find her ready to kill Mandragora, until the Question talks her down and Steve's rescued son is revealed. In the subsequent episode "Question Authority", the Huntress helps the Question uncover a government conspiracy against the League. She later rescues him, with the help of Captain Blackard, from the Cadmus Project after he has been captured and tortured for information. In the episode "Flashpoint", Helena rescues Question while Superman fights off Captain Atom and she later has a moment with her injured love interest. In "Panic in the Sky", Huntress defends Question when the Ultimen clones attack the JL satellite (albeit unsuccessfully) until Cpatain Atom has recovered enough to save them both.
Huntress also appears in the fourth-season episode "Grudge Match", in which she uncovers a plot of Roulette's to use mind-controlled female Leaguers in metahuman cage matches, where her rivalry with Black Canary comes to a boil. She plays a significant role in freeing the other heroes and shutting down the organization behind the brawls. At the end of this episode, Black Canary offers to advocate that Huntress be reinstated as a League member, but Huntress graciously turns her down. Instead, the two decide to get the aggression out of their systems by going into one last, though friendly, round with "best two falls out of three".
- While nothing came of it, there was consideration of bringing Helena Wayne/Huntress into Batman Beyond, as it would make a good alternative to having a Batgirl Beyond.
- Huntress appears in the animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Tara Strong in the episode "Night of the Huntress!" where she, Batman, and Blue Beetle (Jaime Reyes) have to stop the gangster Baby-Face and his wife, Mrs. Manface. The Blue Beetle develops a crush on her in the episode, but Huntress is more interested in Batman. The latter does not reciprocate. The costume she wears strongly resembles the Helena Wayne costume, though this version is identified as Helena Bertinelli. When she isn't performing superheroic duties, she is employed as a professor in Gotham University, the same college Jaime plans to attend. Huntress subsequently appears in the episodes "Death Race to Oblivion!" (when she strikes up a rivalry with Catwoman and fakes her death during the race to help Batman win) and "The Mask of Matches Malone!" (when she, Black Canary, and Catwoman are lowered into a tank of sharks, she saves them by shooting her crossbow so it ricochets and tears Black Canary's gag off, enabling her to break the tank with her scream). Additionally, Helena appears in a non-speaking cameo in the two parts of the episode "The Siege of Starro!", first, among the heroes possessed by Starro, and later, as one of the heroines that have already broken free of Starro's mind control, and battle against him.
- In season one of Young Justice, the Paula Brooks Huntress is a retired supervillain and the mother of Artemis. She is in a wheelchair and is cautious about her daughters safety as an archer. In "Insecurity", Huntress tells Artemis her membership in crimefighting is relieving to her nerves.
- The Huntress's first appearance outside of comics was in the 1979 NBC Legends of the Superheroes TV specials, with actress Barbara Joyce portraying the character. Huntress and Black Canary are the only two superheroines featured among a cast of some of DC's biggest heroes, featuring Batman, Robin, Green Lantern, The Flash, and Captain Marvel.
- The Huntress appears as a featured character in the short-lived live-action series Birds of Prey. This version of the Huntress, played by Ashley Scott, was mostly based on the Bronze Age Helena Wayne version, although she is named Helena Kyle in this series. She is the daughter of Batman, who disappeared after the death of her mother, Catwoman. The Huntress in this series worked with Oracle and Black Canary's daughter as the primary crimefighters in Gotham City. Unlike the previous versions of the Huntress, this series' version possessed low-level superpowers (occasional enhanced strength and agility, accompanied by her eyes turning cat-like) and did not wear a mask or a consistent costume, preferring fashionable black clothing, usually with some kind of long, leather overcoat.
- The CW TV series Arrow features actress Jessica De Gouw as the Helena Bertinelli version of the Huntress. Throughout the first two seasons, Helena Bertinelli, secretly known as the vigilante Huntress, is the daughter of a crime boss set on destroying her father's crime empire, after discovering her father ordered the assassination of her fiancé. She and Oliver (Arrow) become a couple at the end of the episode "Muse of Fire". At the end of "Vendetta", she was shot in the shoulder by her father using one of her own crossbows, but managed to survive with assistance from Oliver. She then left the city, to hunt down her father and kill him, despite Oliver's plea for her not to. She essentially becomes a villain at this point in the series. She returned to Starling City in "The Huntress Returns" to kill her father since he had been captured by the Arrow and arrested by authorities. Helena is arrested by police, but freed from Oliver, only to threatening him and his closest ones once again. Oliver prevents her killing spree and she escapes. In season two episode, "Birds of Prey", Helena once again tries to kill him but is prevented from getting revenge when her father was accidentally killed in the crossfire by renegade SWAT member during her attempt on his life and she is arrested, seemed to be dejected and morose that he died from someone else's actions. Helena is mentioned in season six episode "Divided" by her cousin Jerry who went underground somewhere, hinting that she escaped from prison sometime after the events "Birds of Prey" episode.
- Helena Bertinelli's name appears in a map in season 2 of Gotham.
- An alternate version of Huntress makes a cameo appearance as one of Superwoman's lieutenants in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths.
- In November 2016, Birds of Prey, based on the female superhero team of the same name and set in DC Extended Universe entered development with Christina Hodson signed on as screenwriter. By April 2018, Warner Bros. selected Cathy Yan as director, with Margot Robbie, Sue Kroll, and Bryan Unkless serving as producers for the project. Robbie will reprise her role as Harleen Quinzel / Harley Quinn, with the film [fully titled Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of one Harley Quinn)] being the first theatrical R-rated installment in the franchise and will be made with a significantly smaller budget than some of the other films. The team roster will reportedly include Quinzel, Dinah Lance / Black Canary, Helena Bertinelli / Huntress, Cassandra Cain, and Renee Montoya. Production will commence on January 15, 2019 in Los Angeles. Mary Elizabeth Winstead will portray Helena in the film. Production will commence on January 15, 2019 in Los Angeles for a February 7, 2020 release date.
Justice League HeroesEdit
The Helena Bertinelli incarnation of Huntress is an unlockable player character in the 2006 video game Justice League Heroes, voiced by Vanessa Marshall. She can be unlocked by paying 53 orange shields on the menu screen.
DC Universe OnlineEdit
The Huntress of Helena Bertinelli features in the MMORPG DC Universe Online, voiced by Claire Hamilton, as an early boss fight for villains or a contact for heroes. She is also available as a Legends character, where players can use iconic characters in PvP battle simulations. The Huntress is also the main character of the solo instance "The Hunt", which lets players explore her origins as she infiltrates a mafia warehouse to confront Santo Cassamento about the murder of her family.
LEGO pieces to create Huntress can be unlocked in the character creation feature in LEGO Batman: The Video Game after obtaining all the mini-kits from the Hero chapters. Huntress can also be unlocked in the Nintendo DS version of the game. In Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, Huntress is an unlockable character in free play mode and can be found by constructing a Gold Brick archway (after collecting the requisite number of gold bricks) on the roof of a building in the south east of the top island on the map, south east of the encounter with Ra's al Ghul. She is voiced by Kari Wahlgren. The Arrow version of Huntress appears via DLC as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham. Huntress also appears in Lego DC Super Villains.
In the game Batman: Arkham City, Huntress is briefly mentioned by Vicki Vale in an interview tape with Mayor Quincy Sharp. In Batman: Arkham Knight, on a computer screen in the clock tower (where the Oracle's base is) the player can see a brief chat session between the Oracle and the Huntress (the screen name in the chat is "HNTRSS").
- DC Super Stars #17 (November-December 1977) at the Grand Comics Database "Origin and first appearance of the Helena Wayne Huntress, who simultaneously first appears in this issue and All-Star Comics (DC, 1976 series) #69, both released August 24, 1977."
- McAvennie, Michael; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1970s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 175. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9.
DC Super Stars #17 (November–December 1977) While writer Paul Levitz and artist Joe Staton introduced the Huntress to the JSA in this month's All Star Comics #69, they concurrently shaped her origin in DC Super Stars.
- Huntress (Helena Wayne) appearances at the Grand Comics Database
- Manning, Matthew K. "1980s" in Dolan, p. 187 "The daughter of Batman and Catwoman from Earth-2 found a new home away from home in the pages of Wonder Woman's monthly title...a regular gig as the back-up feature to the Amazing Amazon's lead story. Handled by writer Paul Levitz and artist Joe Staton, the Huntress faced the villainy of the swamp creature Solomon Grundy."
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