Though the grim streets of Gotham are by and large known for their eldritch, fantastic and often cockamamie inhabitants, Helena Bertinelli reflects a vital however sometimes underserved part of Bat-lore. Gotham ‘s organized crime syndicates have long been one of the most of the city ‘s biggest and most insidious threats. While the Joker spreads fear via mass mangle and mayhem, the mob destabilizes the city through chancy deals, assassinations and won ton baron grab. But on one fateful day they messed with the incorrect syndicate and created a threat about vitamin a big as themselves. In the pages of The Huntress # 1, readers discovered a despondent young female child who was the daughter of one of Gotham ‘s most mighty organized crime families. The post-Watchmen comics landscape led to many creators exploring colored and more beastly stories, and Helena ‘s was no different as when she was a child, she was kidnapped by an opposing throng emboss, tortured and horrifically sexually assaulted all while she was only six years previous. Years subsequently, Helena would take on the curtain of Huntress after seeing her family killed in a syndicate character assassination. Though her beginning would change throughout her amusing koran career, the loss of her family would constantly be the force storm behind her transformation into the hero known as the Huntress. The alleged New Earth version of Helena Bertinelli established the hallmarks of the character which would define her for decades. A highly trail assassin driven by retaliation, an empathic unseasoned woman traumatized by loss, and finally a champion who turned her back on her ghastly past to become a force for good in Gotham. She even had a ephemeral stint as Batgirl during the No Man ‘s Land crossover voter event, but after failing to protect Gotham against a battalion of Batman ‘s most celebrated villains, she retired from the Bat-Family and took back her own deed of Huntress once again. That would n’t be the end meter that Huntress teamed up with some of the city ‘s biggest heroes, though. In fact, her eventual crime fighting collaboration with Barbara Gordon and Black Canary would make Helena Bertinelli ‘s Huntress one of the most well-known heroes in the DC Universe ( well, to comic readers, at least ). As one of the core members of the iconic female superteam, the Birds of Prey, Helena became partially a found syndicate with Oracle taking Huntress and Canary under her proverbial wing. But Barbara ‘s despair to control and “ localization ” Helena led to conflict which would see Helena leave the team before confronting Babs and late rejoining as a fully-fledged and trust penis.
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In 2014, after Flashpoint and The New 52 took Helena out of legal action for a few years, the hero ’ s path would change for good as she embarked on a newfangled, unexpected career that would put her in the way of one of Gotham ‘s most beloved sons. Just like Helena ’ mho 1989 debut had thrown Gotham into a noir-inspired populace of black gangsters, Tim Seeley and Tom King ‘s Grayson introduced readers to a glib spy-thriller centered around the cryptic agency, SPYRAL. Playing a key function in this complete shakedown of the condition quo, Helena was no longer a dissemble vigilante and was alternatively one of Dick Grayson ’ s partners within the espionage arrangement, hiding from both her syndicate syndicate and the crime fighting authorities of the world. During her time at SPYRAL, Helena would strike up a still-referenced romance with Grayson and end up leading the agency after a serial of betrayals and disasters that left the organization in awful straits. But after discovering the accuracy about her meter with SPYRAL and helping Grayson defeat the puppetmaster behind it all, the heroine would put on the domino mask once again, reuniting with her erstwhile teammates in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey. This clock, though, Babs was back working under her most celebrated mantle and the team was back protecting the city that had made them all heroes. That more or less brings us to where we are now, at least deoxyadenosine monophosphate army for the liberation of rwanda as the comics are concerned. Helena has had a pretty big liveliness outside of them, though. She appeared in several episodes of both Justice League Unlimited and Batman : The Brave and the Bold, including a Birds of Prey-influenced episode written by fabled Birds writer Gail Simone. And it ’ s not just been animation. Although we ‘re about to see Helena make her big screen debut, Bertinelli ‘s Huntress was previously brought to life by Jessica De Gouw in The CW ‘s sprawling Arrowverse, while her Earth-2 counterpart, Helena Wayne ( played by Ashley Scott ), was the drawing card of the network ‘s short circuit lived Birds of Prey TV series.
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Birds of Prey may offer the most true-to-the-comics adaptation we ’ ve seen so far, however, complete with her brutal mob-world lineage. We ’ ll have to see what future this interpretation of the quality may have beyond the Cathy Yan-directed movie. But whether Winstead ’ s take lives on or not—and we surely hope it does, hopefully with the remainder of the Birds along for the ride—there are batch of other places to delve into the twist soul of one of Gotham ‘s most brutal and bright heroes.
Birds of Prey ( And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn ) is now in theaters. Click here to get tickets ! Rosie Knight writes about comics, movies and television for DCComics.com and DCUniverse.com. For more from her, check out her article on DC ‘s history of girl gangs and female ace teams and be sure to follow her on chirrup at @ RosieMarx .