DC’s Powerful New Bat-Team Member, The Huntress, Explained | CBR

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The writers of Batgirls, the new series that features Barbara Gordon, Cassandra Cain, and Stephanie Brown working together, have teased that there may be more heroes joining the team in future issues of the series. One potential candidate for the Batgirls team is Helena Bertinelli, aka the Huntress. Helena tends to be more violent and ruthless than any of the present members of the team and also tends to be harder to get along with, but due to her prior history she just might be the perfect fit for the new team.

During the “No Man’s Land” crossover, Helena took up the mantle of Batgirl. During this story, Gotham was evacuated due to a large earthquake. Those who stayed behind were isolated from the rest of the United States, and the city descended into chaos as its residents fought bitterly over basic supplies such as food and clothing.

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For months, Batman was not seen in Gotham, leading the residents of the city to believe that he had either died or outright abandoned them. Devoid of the threat of Gotham’s Greatest Protector, criminal activity ran rampant. Helena created a Batgirl costume that totally concealed her identity and began fighting crime in the absence of the Caped Crusader, soon discovering that the symbol of the Bat deterred criminals more effectively than her Huntress persona.

When Batman finally returned to Gotham, he was not pleased about Helena using his symbol. However, he reluctantly allowed her to continue her activities as Batgirl under his supervision. However, Helena found it difficult to follow the orders of the Dark Knight, especially when they involved allowing heinous criminals such as the Scarecrow to roam free. She eventually abandoned the costume and title of Batgirl, believing that she could be a more effective crimefighter if she didn’t have to operate by Batman’s rules. The title of Batgirl was soon transferred to Cassandra, along with Helena’s old costume.

Batman wasn’t the only one who disapproved of Helena becoming Batgirl. Barbara Gordon was shocked and hurt by this development as well. Helena was the first person to take up the mantle of Batgirl after Barbara’s encounter with the Joker left her unable to use her legs. Although Barbara now operated under the identity of Oracle, she was upset that someone else had taken the identity.

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Despite the tension between Barbara and Helena, the two women worked together when Huntress joined Oracle’s Birds of Prey. In the most recent incarnation of the team in Batgirl and the Birds of Prey, Helena often clashed with Barbara because she preferred using more violent and lethal methods to stop criminals. Over time, however, she eventually adjusted to Barbara’s way of doing things and the two of them even became friends.

It’s been a long time since Helena operated as Batgirl. These days, she has been working with Batman under her Huntress identity in Detective Comics. Still, her recent history with Barbara and her past experiences make her a natural fit for the Batgirls team. Barbara is much more willing to share the title now than she was during “No Man’s Land,” as shown by her mentorship of Stephanie and Cassandra. She would likely be amenable to the idea of working with Helena again.

When she first donned the mantle of Batgirl, Helena wasn’t prepared for the responsibility that was required of her. Now that she has evolved as a person, she is much more accepting of what her role as a hero entails. Batgirls would provide the perfect opportunity for Helena to use the lessons she has learned for the betterment of Gotham City.

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