I loved the series Brian Cronin of CBR did last fall that chose the five most iconic covers of superheroes. The list included both Batgirl and Black Canary and if you haven’t read them, check them out. As I was doing research a few weeks ago for my post on the history of Huntress’ costume, I spent a lot of time looking at Huntress covers. So I decided to use Cronin’s idea and expand it. Cronin gave a specific definition to what he thought iconic meant:
iconic being determined partially subjectively by what covers are called to mind when one thinks of [a character] but first being determined with a prominent objective standard of whether a cover is homaged a lot or featured a lot in histories of the character
I think the latter part of the definition, “referenced a lot in histories of that character” is what I going to focus on in this post. But I also expanded the selection criteria to include the importance of the issue in establishing or extending the mythos of the character. Hence the use of “important” vs. “iconic”. And these are just my opinions. You can photo reply with any covers you think should be on the list. I’m also going to do Oracle soon as well. So here, in ascending order, are the covers for Huntress aka Helena Bertinelli.
5. The cover, by Joe Staton, to the original 1989 series by Joey Calvalieri that introduced Helena Bertinelli and set up key parts of the Huntress’ mythos. Her origin story would get re-molded by Greg Rucka.
4. Huntress pursues a relationship with Nightwing to become closer to the Batfamily. Discussions of Helena’s motivations in this 1998 mini-series by Devin Grayson still cause fights to break-out in comics forums. Cover by Greg Land.
3. After years of bouncing around the DCU, Huntress gets a home thanks to Gail Simone and the Birds of Prey. This is issue 57 from 2003 with cover art by Ed Benes.
2. The first issue of the mini-series by Greg Rucka that tied Helena close to the Batfamily and gave her the background that defines the character today. From 2000, with a cover by Rick Burchett.
1. The cover to the “Zero” issue of 1999’s No Man’s Land. It’s a beautiful cover (art by Glen Orbik) and references a few defining things about Helena. Her creation of the Batgirl outfit (later worn by Cass Cain) and her willingness and bravery to do what Bruce Wayne wouldn’t do during the initial NML crisis — bring Bat-fear to the devastated city to quell the violence. And, of course, this cover shows Helena becoming finally, if only for a fleeting moment, a “Bat”.