Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The Huntress must go!

It's time for the Huntress to go.

Originally, as most you probably already know, the Huntress was an Earth-2 character, Helena Wayne, daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. I remember buying the comic in which she was introduced (DC Super-Stars 17) in 1977.

She got a little play over the next nine years, but, like most Earth-2ers, was seen only in occasional crossover stories until being killed in Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Despite several post-Crisis attempts to give her new history and raison d'etre, it hasn't seemed to take. I like the original Huntress and I'm tired of seeing her namesake trotted out repeatedly as cannon fodder/loose cannon.

On Earth-2, her best friend was Power Girl, and it's ironic that Power Girl seems to remain popular no matter how she's drawn or what her origin of the week is (Who cares? It's Power Girl!), while Huntress, despite the repeated efforts of good writers and cheesy costumers, doesn't seem to catch the popular imagination. At least, not mine.

Characters often flounder when cut off from their original purpose or context. The Huntress was created to be Batman and Catwoman's daughter. Once she couldn't be that any more, it's been hard for her to find a place. It's certainly not with the Bat-family, where she's been treated like a red-headed stepchild from day one.

She was used, after a fashion, to fill the "Batwoman gap", but the fit was awkward and most readers today don't even remember her heroic role in No Man's Land. And that role is pretty much filled already now ... by Batwoman.

So I say enough is enough. It's time for Huntress to go.

To Star City.

Huntress needs to become part of the "Arrow Family".

Post-Crisis, Huntress has worked best (like many characters) in her role on the JLU series, where she and the Question were friends with Green Arrow and Black Canary (the other "caped couple").

She's a lot like Green Arrow; wealthy background but still considers herself a "woman of the people", rebellious against authority, shoots people with pointy things. Face it, shooting people with a crossbow looks pretty darned out of place in Gotham, but in Star City it's an hourly occurence.

And before one 0f you writes back to say, "But that's why I like her, she stands out so much from the other Batcharacters"... . That's fine, but she's pretty much banished/vanished from all the Batbooks, so rather than letting her go to waste or continually using her as a negative example, I'd rather see her go see somewhere her style fits in.

Besides, I want to see how Helena would deal with a real "woman of the people" like Mia. Or grapple with Ollie's decision to "fight the system" from within. Her possible interplay with Roy and Connor I leave to your imagination. I think putting her in Star City is just the thing the character needs, and a welcome expansion of the Green Arrow Dynasty.

Just don't change her name to "Miss Arrowette".

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That's the best DC-related idea I've heard in months ...
I like this idea a lot, especially if she's going to be leaving the Birds of Prey. And, the use of the crossbow would make her fit right into the Arrow family. Would she have to change her name to the Purple Arrow?
I think that would be Ollie's knickname for her!
Perfect. Where do I sign?
I say send her to Desolation Station (or whatever it is) and let her join the Captain Comet family. Huntress in Space might be pretty cool.
It's a sensible idea, but wouldn't it be better to move her somewhere where a) she'd get some airplay, but b) she'd stand out a bit? Like, I don't know, Washington. Metropolis. Opal City. What's left on the West Coast?

Related question. I searched for this on your site but didn't find it. Is Manhunter a Dynastic Centerpiece?
Martian Manhunter or Kate Spencer?
That's a great idea. If the Question would join her and forget whatever the hell's going on with Montoya, I'd be a happy man.

Now, I know what you think of Catwoman and her story cycle but I'm curious; aren't you just loving the Film Freak? Whenever I read him I think of how self-conscious. I half expect him to cite you and your Rungs of Villainy.
ooops, meant to type "of how self-conscious he is about 'being a character'."
Which brings up another question I've had. I've been hearing a lot about Film Freak showing up in recent comics, and I know he was killed by Bane right before I stopped buying Batman comics. Is this a new Film Freak, or a Superboy Prime continuity punch?
Maybe I'm alone in this, but I first fell in love with Helena Bertinelli as the Huntress outcast from the Batfamily when she slept with Dick. Loved her ever since. That said, I love the idea of her in the arrow afmily, and have even stated before that she would make a DYNAMITE mentor for Arrowette (the play of Arrowette, a hero at heart, trying to control herinner rage, and Helena, finally putting some of that rage to rest). Perhaps a spin off book, Arrows of Rage?
I meant Kate Spencer. She's got a large supporting cast, right? With a few other people with ties to the Manhunter name? I was wondering if it fit your Dynastic Centerpiece model.
I never considered that, but it sounds like a really good fit. Hook her up with Question and I'm sold.
Not yet. She's got a solid supporting cast -- something we see so rarely today! But a Dynasty would require a cluster of related heroes around her.

Obsidian helps, but not enough.
As I remember from Kingdom Come, Ollie & Dinah's daughter used a crossbow and had some kind of Huntress-like codename. Foreshadowing? Superboy punch?
I'm a little confused. If the Huntress's problem is that she's essentially a imperfect reflection of the original Earth-2 Huntress, how does moving her to another book help her?

On a more practical level, no character given to Judd Winick is improved by the experienced.
Weird. I can't comment from home any more 'cause I can't see the funky letters.

Anyway... Green Arrow? I dunno. They're both so shrill. Maybe for an issue or two.

I agree that she needs out of the Bat-clan posthaste though.

I'd like to see her go on tour. Pop un in Green Arrow for an issue, Wonder Woman for a bit, on to Superboy. Do like Zatanna did in her fist appearances.
I would love to see Zatanna's fist appearances, but that's my fetish.

Huntress should stay with the Birds. Her beef with Batman (and vice versa) is over with and having Oracle and Black Canary backing her up can only make her a better character. It would be cool to team her back up with Power Girl, like an outsider Superman/Batman team.
I grew to like Huntress through JLA & No Man's Land. Greg Rucka's Batman/ Huntress mini-series is a favorite from recent years. I must be a fickle fan, however, because I can't get over the appalling costume she wears currently.

She can't go back to her late-90s costume because of the events in Cry for Blood, but she should get a new outfit, work with the Question, and be written by Greg Rucka again.

Re Dynastic Centerpiece: while she would fill the role of Black Sheep with the Green Arrow family, I don't know if her "attitude" would be enough of a contrast to Green Arrow's "rebel" persona. Do you see her as the female counterpart?

Incidentally, I *think* Green Arrow's daughter from Kingdom Come was called Red Arrow, but I could be wrong.
You could be the thinking of The Red Hood, Speedy and Cheshire's daughter in KC.
I'm deathly afraid that they're going to kill her off (she was a target of an assassinator in the last BoP), especially since a new Helena Kyle has just been born. Two too many Huntresses?
Just for a second, I thought you were bringing back the Character Donations to Marvel.

Just for a second.
For every person who thinks relocating Helena to Star City would be pure genius, there would be someone else decrying the idea as unimaginative. I can hear it now... "Oh, since she shoots pointed sticks at baddies, we should lump her in with other heroes who shoot pointy sticks? That's like hooking Superman up with Wonder Woman because their outfits are both blue and red!"

I don't know what to do with her, but I would like to see her rekindle a strong freindship with Powergirl. I'd also like to see sparks fly between her and Vic/Charlie/Question/Whatevemonikerhe'sgoingbythesedays. If he survives 52, that is (judging by the sly look he gave Isis, he just might get ripped in half by Black Adam before it's over).
I don't know, Scipio - in a sense, aren't you just asking to turn Huntress from a member of the Birds of Prey superhero team into another female sidekick (for GA, this time)? One of the reasons Tammy and I love what Gail Simone's done w/BoP is because it's an all-female superhero comic where none of the characters are defined as sidekicks or hero's girlfriends - even when a character gets beaten or captured (which does happen), they get themselves out of it rather than waiting for a Big Spandex'd Man-Thing to rescue them...or not, so the BSM-T can go postal in his terrible vengeance (cue refrigerator door opening)....

Tim Liebe
Dreaded Spouse-Creature of Tamora Pierce - and co-writer of Marvel's upcoming WHITE TIGER!
Tim, I don't think if Huntress were in Star City she'd be Green Arrow's "sidekick". If there's one thing that's been consistent about her characters from the beginning it's that she's nobody's sidekick.

I see no reason she couldn't be a crimefighting partner; women can be partners with men, not just sidekicks you know, LOL! And if Ollie doesn't know that by now, I think the Huntress would be just the person to teach him.

That's one of the things I liked about the Barbara Gordon Batgirl; she was never Batman's sidekick (until the demeaning retcon that made her so).
>>That's like hooking Superman up with Wonder Woman because their outfits are both blue and red!"<<

Call me shallow, but that would work for me, at least for a year or so, expecially as a replacement for the World's Finest team. It would have to be more interesting, and plausible, of a long-term team-up than the long-played-out contrast of sunshiney Superman with the grim&gloomy Batman. Plus it would make for jealousy probs w/ Lois, and other soap operatic supporting character interactions. If nothing else, it gives the chance for a bit of misdirection: somebody's in a dire jam and over the horizon comes a blue&red streak to the rescue, and surprise, it's [whichever of the two the reader ain't expecting].
Ach! I forgot...

>>And if Ollie doesn't know that by now, I think the Huntress would be just the person to teach him. <<

If Dinah couldn't get it through his thick blond noggin, in 30+ years, what hope has ANYbody got? That lout is just uneducable.
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