She’s either the daughter of a great hero and a great reformed villain or the only survivor of a deadly crime family. Helena Wayne and Helena Bertinelli are both the Huntress but often world’s apart. How do these two people have a connection besides a cool name and a love of crossbows? Let’s find out!
Born on Earth-2, Helena Wayne is the daughter of Bruce Wayne, Batman, and Selina Kyle, Catwoman. Earth-2 was the reality where Batman had his career and eventually retired, letting Robin take over while he and Selina would start a family. Helena was trained by both parents to be a supreme athlete, learning both parent’s styles. Helena hadn’t known her parents’ secret identities until her mother was bribed to return back to a life of crime and would die as a result. Enraged and ready for vengeance, Helena would steal her parents’ old equipment and create her own costumed identity, the Huntress.
After her father died of old age, Helena would move from Wayne Manor into Gotham City and work as a lawyer by day at Dick Grayson’s law firm then go be the Huntress at night. She’d eventually join the Justice Society of America like her father had been a part of, she’d also find out of other Earths from other dimensions and meet younger versions of her parents who were still active. Though it was jarring to effectively see her parents at odds with one another and her mother was still a criminal. Having many adventures with both Justice Society and Justice League over the years, Helena would fight to save the multiverse but die in the process and get wiped from existence as one new reality took over.
When the Infinite Crisis brought back the multiverse, Helena returned as well with some slight changes. The Joker was still alive and seeking to ruin her life, he splashed her would-be fiance, the district attorney, so he could recreate Two-Face. Joker burned him but didn’t get anot her Two-Face and died from years of exposure to his own chemicals. Helena would feel too guilty to leave her fiance even though prior to this attack, she was going to leave him. Meanwhile on Earth-1, Helena would be born to Catwoman, though not with Batman, he would help her put the baby Helena up for adoption to keep her safe from their masked lifestyle. This would lead to Catwoman seeking to become a hero to make amends for the world she brought her daughter into, giving Earth-2 Helena the wish of seeing Earth-1 Selina become reformed like her own mother.
In the New 52, Helena was now much younger and trained to be her father’s Robin, the first and only Robin. Her parents, along with Superman and Wonder Woman were killed by Darkseid and his Apokaliptik forces. She would escape along with Supergirl to Earth Prime and the two would take on new personas to hide out and fight crime so as to not get attention from anyone who may know their Prime counterparts.
Helena Rosa Bertinelli was supposed to be the daughter of Franco and Maria Bertinelli, the most powerful crime family left in Gotham but she was actually the daughter of Santo Cassamento, a rival don. Helena lead a very happy life until she was eight years old, when she’d witness her entire family being gunned down in a mob hit. Terrified and enraged, she’d spend years dedicating herself to training to fighting crime. This sounds familiar.
Returning to Gotham after years away, she’d have gear, a costume, and the codename Huntress ready to be a blight on organized crime. Her anger was almost too much and she’d find herself nearly killing many of her enemies. This got the attention of Batman and the two had an antagonistic relationship at best. While they’d have a tough time seeing eye to eye, she’d get along well with Barbara Gordon and Tim Drake.
During No Man’s Land, when Gotham was left a devastated wasteland the government turned its back on, Helena would take on the mantle of Batgirl for a time but her nearly lethal efforts had her give it up when Batman found her. Meeting an ex-cop with a temper to match hers, she’d help wrangle him from being too lethal and learn her own restraint in the process.
When Gotham was restored, Helena would join Oracle’s Birds of Prey team. While working with the team she’d be given a cover job, a teacher, for her day to day life. She’d find great fulfillment in this as it was what she wanted to be as a child before her family was murdered. While working with the a Birds she’d often fight with Oracle since their methods were so different but they still worked well together and eventually Huntress would be the field leader.
In the New 52, Helena Bertinelli is believed dead to the world at large. This is a lie. Helena Bertinelli works for the spy organization Spyral. She would be the one to recruit Dick Grayson to Spyral and the two would be partners in spy work. Helena would eventually lead Spyral and the two d learn of their nefarious origins to aide an evil man pit his own children against one another. When Spyral is dismantled she would become the Huntress and join Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. In Rebirth, Helena is looking to find out who is responsible for the mob hit that killed her family only to learn it was her mother, faking herndeath, who Helena would have arrested for her crimes.
There you have it! The Huntress is a character many people probably first saw in either Justice League Unlimited or Batman: The Brave and the Bold in animated forms. Both wear one of her two main costumes and she’s also been on Arrow in live action. Will she never make it to the big screen or get to be a regular on the small one? We’ll have to wait and see! See you next time!
DC Super Stars #17
Birds of Prey