When we first got news about DC Comics' complete revamp of its universe before Comic-Con last year, a mixture of different emotions was evident amongst comic fans. Many fans were nervous about the future characterizations of some of their most beloved characters, and others were thrilled at the prospect of major changes that would come our way. The thought of the unknown was new and exciting and a little bit nerve-wracking all at once.
Now, six issues into many of the original "New 52" books, we are just starting to really get comfortable with many of these characters and books. Well, it's time to get a little bit uncomfortable again (or excited, depending on how you react to change in comics). If you're a DC fan who has been following the news lately then you have already heard about the introduction of DC's parallel universe, Earth 2, into the "new DC Universe." One of the big changes coming our way will be the re-introduction of Helena Wayne into current DC comics. That's right, the Huntress is making a comeback, but the question remains how much of her back-story will remain the same? How much of her "bronze age" identity will be kept?== TEASER ==
For those of you unfamiliar with the character, Helena Wayne was first introduced to comics by Paul Levitz, Joe Staton and Bob Layton as an "Earth- Two" character. The Huntress was Batman (Bruce Wayne's) and Catwoman's (Selina Kyle's) daughter and she made her very first appearance in DC SUPER STARS #17 where she took on a cape and cowl of her very own after her mother was blackmailed and died in action. Some of the same passions that fueled Bruce Wayne's crime fighting were evident in Helena who not-so-reluctantly took on a secret identity to avenge the death of her mother; making her a somewhat interesting parallel to Bruce.
Helena is the product of the Golden Age considering Earth-Two is where DC Comics sent all of the Golden Age versions of their characters to evolve. One can think of Earth-Two as the original reboot of the DC Universe, where the idea of a married Batman makes sense considering his history with Catwoman. Where characters can age and where this sentiment of nostalgia can continue to exist and thrive. But is it really necessary? Would the introduction of an Earth 2 Huntress only complicate things? How much of the Earth 2 version of her character will be brought back?
Up until recently, Helena Wayne was supposed to have been, well, dead. The original Earth 2 Huntress died in issue #12 of CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS and an all-new Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) who was completely unrelated to Batman, was introduced. Yet, now that the "crises" never happened, the original Huntress gets to have her comeback. Or does she?
You may have read the recent HUNTRESS mini-series by Paul Levitz which presented a stand-alone story that had Helena chasing some creepy mobsters and human traffickers throughout Italy. This version of the Huntress spoke fluent Italian and had been to Italy previously, and she definitely bore some interesting similarities to Helena Bertinelli. Bertinelli was the second version of the Huntress and the daughter of an Italian crime-family who was a little bit reckless and a little bit of a loose cannon -- both very endearing qualities for any super heroin. These qualities were certainly evident in Levitz' most recent mini series. For a while, the series left readers scratching their heads wondering which version of the Huntress was the one in Levitz' series. The decision to go to Italy to do some crime-fighting made sense if this version of the Huntress was Bertinelli because of her connection to organized crime. Then we discovered that this Huntress wasn't Bertinelli, but Helena Wayne.
So what qualities of the pre-crises Huntress will stick? We're thinking a lot. Earlier today DC unveiled the Huntress's Robin costume, evidence that the character will be connected to Batman. According to DC Editor Wil Moss, this Huntress has spent plenty of time fighting crime alongside Batman.
'Before coming to the main DCU Earth and taking up the mantle of Huntress, Helena Wayne fought crime alongside her father as the Robin to his Batman on Earth-2!' said WORLDS’ FINEST editor Wil Moss. 'But how did she come to be on this Earth? And why did she decide to become Huntress? You’ll get some clues in next week’s HUNTRESS #6, but for the real scoop, pick up WORLDS’ FINEST #1'
The question remains, though, how connected will the two be? What are the chances that Earth 2 Huntress will be Earth 2 Bruce Wayne's daughter? Does she become the Huntress in order to avenge her mother's death? Does she just need a new identity? Considering Paul Levitz; the man behind the original Earth 2 Huntress; will be responsible for penning the character, we think that the similarities between pre-crisis Huntress and this new Earth 2 Huntress will be consistent, but I guess we will have to wait and see. What do you think of Helena Wayne as the Huntress? Do you like the idea of Earth 2 crossing over into the regular DC Universe? Which version of the Huntress is your favorite?