Apparently Helena took revenge by crashing Tumblr last night and I didn’t get a chance to post the remainder the thoughts people had the character. I hope you all grabbed a box of tissues and read Gail Simone’s tribute along with Greg Rucka’s and Devin Grayson’s. And the lovely, personal thoughts that others had.
I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love for the character to be honest. I always liked her and was glad to see her in any book but I honestly didn’t realize just how damn much I liked her until I started doing this. So here are few more submissions under the cut.
Gail Simone wrote Helena Bertinelli in two volumes of Birds of Prey.
I know a lot of people have hardcore love for the Helena Wayne version of the Huntress, but I’d never really read any of her stories, so for me, Huntress was always Helena Bertinelli. To my dying day, whether she appears in current continuity or not, she will remain one of my favorite characters, not just in comics, but in all fiction.
To be blunt, Helena is the shit. I adore her.
The charge was often leveled us, when I took over Birds of Prey, that we had added the Huntress to the book to tie in with the television series that had spun off from the book’s previous incarnation. The truth is, it was my idea to bring her in. The show had already flopped, and DC was in no hurry to be more closely affiliated with the series. So they were not thrilled with the idea of bringing Helena aboard. I made a stern case, aided by a great editor, the fierce Lysa Hawkins, for what Helena would bring to the book; her unpredictability, her untamed nature, her unmatchable will. All of that stuff was true, but had nothing to do with why I wanted her in the book. The truth is a lot simpler.
She was badass.
Completely, unendingly badass.
My first run on Birds of Prey, there’s no question I spent more time on Black Canary’s character. It wasn’t that I loved Dinah more, it’s that I felt Helena hadn’t needed so much rehabilitation. Dinah had been a hostage many times, a wet blanket…it seemed a lot of great writers had no idea what to do with her. Helena was different, writers seemed to know that her value was her uncompromising nature. Nearly every story she appeared in, she kicked someone’s physical or metaphorical ass, even Batman seemed to take a cautious step back in her presence. I loved that, that was a woman I wanted to read about.
In my second run, we planned to focus much more on Huntress, starting with her taking over leadership of the Birds…she earned it, and it felt a natural progression. I was also lucky enough to write the character for some animated shows, and her natural shine made that leap look easy. It wasn’t me, it was all her.
If my career ended tomorrow, I wouldn’t have a lot of regrets, because I know this one little miracle, this little thing I still am somewhat amazed at—I got to write Wonder Woman. I got to write Black Canary. I got to write Homer Simpson. I got to write the Spirit. I got to write Superman.
And I got to write Helena Bertinelli.
You can’t do better than that in superhero comics. I seriously felt writing Birds of Prey was simply the best gig in comics. I had no envy for the Spider- and X- writers, because I got to write the Huntress every month. Huntress, who made Batman smile and Shiva pause. You can’t do better.
I have my favorite Huntress writers, people like Cavalieri, Rucka, and Grayson, but almost all writers seemed to step up to the plate a bit more when Helena was on panel. She had that kind of star power charisma.
It makes me very sad to be writing about her in the past tense. I have no idea what DC’s plans are for her, hopefully her time on the bench will be short.
Love you, Helena, come back soon!
Devin Grayson wrote Helena Bertinelli in No Man’s Land as well as a mini-series.
I really got to know the character of Helena Bertinelli most through Greg Rucka’s writing. I love his take on her origin story, Cry for Blood. After reading that, I wished I could rewrite my Nightwing/ Huntress miniseries to include some of his insights into her character, like how the role of the outsider influenced so many facets of her life. She was unique in so many ways that were never thoroughly explored.
Helena Bertinelli was a rarity in DC Comics, a character who openly practiced her faith. That side of her came up a few times in the pieces people sent me.
Laura wrote of one moment:
While I do love her in No Man’s Land, because that’s one of her best stands, my favorite story with Helena is the one in Streets of Gotham for many reasons (Nguyen’s art, anyone?), but especially because it illustrated the conflict of Helena’s faith—not in a cliched, “oh, let me naval-gaze and ponder the worth of my beliefs” sort of way, but rather by showing the combination of a woman whose faith is, by definition, one of second chances, but who finds it so much easier to make snap judgements and act on them. She didn’t go out of her way to angst about her faith, because she is who she is, and in the end, her actions reconcile with her faith and reaffirm in in a quiet, realistic, and—most importantly—subtle way. Well, subtle for superheroes, anyway. I’m gonna miss Helena B. I’m truly going to miss the character of a loner, undefined by anyone but herself, who only played with others when she wanted to.
Helena Bertinelli wasn’t just a cape she was also a school teacher. That dichotomy was noted by two readers.
I really loved that she was a teacher, and that being a teacher was as much her mission as shooting people with crossbows. I love the idea of “capes” who do good outside the uniform.
And wonderarity said:
This, from Birds of Prey #68, is actually my favorite page of Helena of all time. We all know she’s a freaking badass who’ll keep on standing no matter what you throw at her. She definitely is. But I also love that she has a softer side, she’s a teacher, she loves kids and she loves teaching them.
I’m saying goodbye to Helena Bertinelli today and here’s some thoughts from a writer who had a lot to do with the character - Greg Rucka. The creator behind two key Bertinelli stories, “Cry for Blood” and “No Man’s Land”, names his favorite Huntress moment and shares some thoughts on the character:
If pressed - and I hate using stuff I worked on when answering questions like this - but… Helena’s arc during NML was driven by Devin Grayson and myself, and I still am very fond of that story. The moment of Helena standing up to Joker and taking shot after shot is one of my favorites, I think.
Another key moment in Helena History is Hush (alliteration!) as we give the Huntress, Bertinelli version a fond farewell. Here’s a memory from sweetjellybelly:
My first foray into comic books was with vol. 1 of Hush. I was just killing some time in my local library and I grabbed the graphic novel and started reading. It only vaguely interested me until Batman fell and Huntress came to his rescue. She was so vibrant and dynamic. She was hardly in it and yet you learnt so much about her. She was the first hero that made me interested in comic books and I’m so sad she’s been written over. Worse than being shoved in a fridge. She’s just gone.
And lussily shares:
The first comic I ever read was Batman: Hush. Huntress is in like the very beginning of that, and I remember reading it and thinking, who the heck is this lady? I thought I had a general grasp on comics but I had noooo idea who she was. And I honestly didn’t care to look her up. That was my first exposure to Huntress, and what I came away with was this: She’s better than she knows. And she did seem pretty angry and like she was trying hard to prove something, but you know what, I liked her. I didn’t even know her name but I liked her a lot. She’s better than she knows. That’s stuck with me, in terms of how I view her character, and honestly it’s made me love her more.
I’m giving Helena Bertinelli aka the Huntress a farewell salute today. Here’s another favorite reader moment, this one from hallelujah_hippo
I absolutely loved Huntress in Rucka’s Cry For Blood. For me, Huntress will always be Helena Bertinelli, loyal, independent, fierce.
Today I’ll be saying goodbye to the wonderful character Helena Bertinelli, the post-Crisis Huntress. Quite a few people (including some creators) sent me their favorite moments with the character and I’ll be posting them throughout the day. First up is a moment from Birds of Prey noted by SpazzyLazzy
First time I saw the Huntress was in the JLU, but I didn’t really think much of her. What pushed her up to one of my favorite characters was Gail Simone’s BoP run where she (as Helena Bertinelli) invites herself into a mafia meeting and takes her seat with Creote and Savant being badass Russian bodyguards, and announces that she’s taking over.
I love this scene as well. Helena was so confident and in control.
If you follow the news coming out of DC Comics, then you know that there is soon to be a new Huntress in the DCU. The character may wear a costume similar to that of Helena Bertinelli, it is not her.
I’ve spoken about my fondness for Helena Bertinelli in the past and have posted about the character and her history. Why the fondness? Despite the fact that she often treated as the rogue, crazy character in the Batverse or worse a female Batman, under the right writers she was so much more. Passionate, strategic and loyal (so loyal).
So tomorrow when the last issue of The Huntress mini appears. While we’ve known the character isn’t Bertinelli for awhile, I’m making marking this as the end. So I am going to devote a day to Helena Bertinelli. If you like to send your thoughts on the character, favorite moments, quotes please send them.