She is the sexy gal, with a crossbow and an instinct to kill. She is also the one who stalks villains at night. She is the Huntress.
The Huntress, a.k.a. Helena Bertenelli, is a member of the Bat Family and the Birds of Prey, appearing on a small number of DC media. She appeared on both animated TV shows, Justice League Unlimited and Batman: The Brave and the Bold, while also having a live action appearance on the CW TV show Arrow played by actress Jessica De Gouw.
With such a limited exposure, it is only natural that little to nothing is known about her. But we are here to correct that, so let's jump right into the 10 facts you might not know about the Huntress:
10. She was originally written as Helena Wayne
Back in the days, the Huntress was not the person you thought she was.
The Huntress was first introduced on Earth-2, on December 1977 in the DC Super-Stars #17, and at that time she was not just some ordinary vigilante. Her true indentity was that of Helena Wayne, the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle and the mentee of Dick Grayson.
After Selena Kyle was killed by a crook, Helena took up the mantle of the Huntress to honour both her parents and fight the criminal scum that killed her mother. She was changed after the collapse of the multiverse in the Crisis on Infinite Earths event into Helena Bertenelli, the Huntress we all know and love. She was recently rebooted with the whole Earth-2 universe into the current age.
9. She was raped as a child
Ever thought that Bruce had a traumatic childhood? Well you got nothing on this gal.
If having her family brutally shot and murdered in front of her eyes was not bad enough, fate decided to punish Helena once more . During her childhood, at the age of six, Helena was abducted by a rival crime lord of her father's. During her abduction, she was raped and beaten just to punish her father, Franco Bertinelli. After being rescued, Helena was naturally scared by the incident. To try and mend her broken spirit her family sent her to a boarding school, and to assure her safety, assigned a bodyguard for her 24/7. As expected nothing of these worked and she continued to carry that luggage for a long time.
8. She worked as a teacher
Fun fact about Helena, she loves children. She loves working with children and likes helping them in any way she can.
One such way, is by teaching English classes, in schools. In some versions of Helena, she happened to be the teacher of a superhero or two, most prominately, Jaime Reyes the second Blue Beelte.
She recently became a teacher of the St. Hadrian's Boarding School.
7. She is a devout and religious person
Ever wondered what the Cross on her costume means? Well it much more literal and straightforward than you think. Helena is a devout Catholic and a believer. She considered the martial and spiritual training she underwent to fight crime as her version of being a nun. The Cross on her chest is the symbol of her Holy Crusade against the villainous scum on Earth.
6. She is devout but not pious
While Helene is a devout Catholic and a true believer, she has a very active sex life. While she had some relationships, most prominately with the Question, and a brief relationship with Nightwing, she never shyed away from having one night stands having such affairs with both Arsenal and later on with Nightwing again. She also was implied to have had a threesome with Blackbird and Hal Jordan.
5. Her creation was inspired by The Punisher
Sounds strange right? Well as a matter of fact this is more obvious than you think.
Both of their families were killed by the mafia, they both are of Italian descent, both were frowned upon by the superhero community for killing, both are religous and both Catholic, both wear a symbol on their chest, and both sweared a vow to to kill organized crime. While she shares all these similarities with the Punisher, her costume on the other hand might have been inspired by Hawkeye's purple suit with pointy ears.
4. She plays well with others.
While usually considered unpredictable and dangerous by the bulk of the Superhero community, Helena was a member to a big number of different superhero groups. She was a member of the Batman family, the Birds of Prey, Checkmate, the Network, the Justice League of America, the Outsiders, an unofficial member of the Justice League International and the head of a secret spy organization. She also teamed up with many superheroes including, Nightwing, Question, Batman, Red Robin and others.
3. She has one of the biggest individual body counts for a superhero.(In canon)
Superheroes tend to avoid killing people. Most of the time, the anti-heroes or the villains are the ones that even have an individual body count. Helena on the other hand, is famous for killing people and she did kill a lot. While she has a lot of on-panel kills, her more prominant ones are the kills of Mandragora and the assasins that killed her family, her natural father and a nameless Man-Bat.
2. She was briefly a Batgirl
During the No Man's Land storyline Helena, used a Batgirl costume to fight crime. While using the costume, Helena realised that criminals feared her more as Batgirl, than as the Huntress. Deciding to keep the costumes she continued to fight through Gotham, marking a number of places as her own territory. Batman always knew it was her under the cowl, and finally made her give up the costume and the indentity. Her costume was later used by Cassandra Cain.
1. She is the leader of a secret spy organization called Spyral.
After Dick Grayson was presumed dead, he was sent by Batman to infiltrate a shady spy organization called Spyral. There he met the Matron of the organization, Helena, who was also considered dead to the world. While they had some romantic tension and a lot of fighting they became good partners and worked very well together. But, after the death of Spyral's director, Helena was promoted to his position. Right now, she controls one of the biggest spy organization in the world, employing a giant amount of spies and other staff, and having numerous resources under her disposal.
This is one part of a series of articles about DC superheroes and supervillains:
If you wanna know more about Zatanna Zatara, click here
If you wanna know more about the Joker, click here