Nocturna created by Doug Moench and Gene Colan
The girl who became Natasha Knight had a hard childhood growing up on the dangerous streets of Gotham as a 12 year-old beggar. She was eventually found and taken in by the wealthy Charles Knight who acted as her guardian. He named the girl Natasha but he never filed for a formal adoption because he feared the courts would never approve of a single man raising a teenage female plus Charles had many skeletons in closet. Charles' fortune was based on illegal dealings as a criminal gang lord. Regardless, Charles acted as Natasha's adoptive father and Natasha was given a life of luxury.
Charles was later murdered by a rival gang and Natasha finally learned the truth about how her lifestyle was made possible by criminal activity. At Charles' funeral, Natasha met Anton Knight, Charles only son. Anton had just returned from Asia after learning various forms of martial arts. Anton was well aware of his father's crooked life and even embrace it for his own purposes. In as short time, Anton and Natasha grew to love each other.
Natasha used Charles' inheritance to put herself through college and indulged her passion in astronomy. On her graduation night, she went to work at Gotham City Astronomical Observatory. As she studied the properties of stellar light in a vacuum, Natasha became exposed to laser radiation. The exposure had an adverse effect on Natasha. The radiation leached her skin of pigmentation leaving her with a chalky white physique and making her sensitive to light. Natasha depleted her father's inheritance while treating and/ or reversing her condition with expensive medical equipment. Natasha then looked to the Wayne Foundation for help but Anton refused to let the foundation's bureaucrats dither with the severity of his lover's affliction.
Anton and Natasha finally agreed that in order to maintain their lifestyle, they would have to take up burglary. Anton took on the persona of the Night-Thief during his nighttime raids while Natasha operated behind the scenes as "Nocturna", Mistress of the Night. On some occasions, Nocturna would accompany Night-Thief during his heists. She would come equipped with large star shaped earrings that she could use as throwing stars, a faux pearl necklace that contained knockout gas, a stiletto hairpin and a belt that can become a razor sharp whip.
The couple's burglaries were met with success and Nocturna became so emboldened that she decided to exact revenge on the Wayne Foundation. Nocturna started off by interacting with Bruce Wayne during a social function. Bruce was so enchanted by Nocturna that he failed to acknowledge Night Thief's stealthy entrance into the event. Night-Thief then makes his presence known by making the room go completely dark and robs the patrons of all of their belongings.
Fortunately, Bruce was also robbed but his belongings came with a tracer. As the Batman, Bruce tracked the Night-Thief back to the Knight estate where he encountered Nocturna again. Nocturna admitted to the robbery and Night-Thief being her partner in crime. She explains her motives for taking up crime to Batman then she removes a compact makeup kit from her purse. As Nocturna opened the compact, she blew the powder into Batman's face and the knockout powder rendered Batman unconscious.
When Batman woke up, he discovered he was being held captive at the observatory. As Night-Thief came closer to the Batman with his buck knife, Batman managed to free himself from his restraints. Batman subdued Anton with his superior fighting skills but Natasha got away. During her escape, Natasha encounters Jason Todd who recently became estranged from Batman. Natasha took it upon herself to be the mother figure that Jason never had. Nocturna's influence over Jason went as far as family court. Nocturna petitioned to take full custody of Jason from Bruce Wayne but she was willing to drop custody suit if Bruce would be willing to marry her.
During the custody hearing, Bruce argued that Nocturna was unfit to be Jason's guardian because she and Night-Thief were responsible for a string of thefts. Unfortunately, Hamilton Hill was still mayor after the Rupert Thorne scandal with Dr. Phosphorus. Hill was holding a grudge against Bruce Wayne because Bruce was backing another candidate for mayor so he took it upon himself to have the family court judge award full custody of Jason Todd to Nocturna. To make matters worse, Night-Thief testified in open court that Nocturna was never aware of the thefts thus absolving her of any involvement with the burglaries. Nocturna was awarded custody of Jason and Bruce lost his ward.
Nocturna thanked Anton for his testimony but decided to let him rot in prison while she continues her criminal activity with a new cohort. Nocturna's new partner in crime was Sturges Hellstrom whom she dubbed Nightshade. Her latest ploy for committing robberies was hosting horror themed parties at any socialite's home while Nightshade would case the joint and learn the layout. Once the scheme had run its course with success, Nocturna decided to call it quits. Meanwhile, a vengeful Night-Thief is released from prison and believes his time in prison has changed him in an evolutionary way. He starts off by killing his replacement Nightshade. Anton renamed himself as the Nightslayer and Nocturna reluctantly welcomed Anton with open arms.
Natasha started manufacturing a perfume/ narcotic that she could then sell and make millions. Her first subject to test out the potency of the perfume was none other than Batman. When Batman became enthralled with Nocturna and Nocturna didn't mind the attraction, Anton took it upon himself to eliminate the Batman. Anton stabbed Batman but Nocturna saved the Batman by shooting Anton. Despite his wound, Anton was able to escape and now he harbors a vengeful hatred for Nocturna.
For a good while, things were settling down until Mad Hatter and Night-Thief kidnapped Nocturna and Jason. Anton promised the Hatter that he could have Nocturna's stolen loot from her illicit enterprises while Anton used his kidnapped victims to lure the Batman. The Batman arrived and subdued the Mad Hatter but Anton got off a shot that grazed the Batman's cowl. With Batman disorientated, Anton decided to immobilize the Batman and take on his persona as the Batman in order to smear his reputation by committing robberies. Fortunately, Nocturna and Jason freed themselves as well as the Batman and then went after Anton.
Nocturna and Jason were able to defeat Anton but when Nocturna openly confessed that she would give up her criminal career, a child welfare representative overheard the conversation. A motion to sever Nocturna's custody over Jason was submitted to family court and Jason was eventually put back into Bruce's safekeeping. At the same time, Bruce was able to expose Mayor Hill's corruption at city hall and his manipulation during the custody trial for Jason. Nocturna eluded the police after Anton was captured and retreated to her observatory with grief. She no longer had Jason so she took solace by observing the star and noticed the red skies.
It seems the red skies were a precursor to the impending Crisis of Infinite Earths but Nocturna just admired the skies for what they were. Batman tracked down Nocturna to the observatory and offered his sincerest sympathies for her loss. Nocturna passionately embraced Batman even though she knew that they followed different paths and that would always cause friction between them. Unfortunately, Catwoman was tailing the Batman because she wanted to get answers as to why the Batman was committing robberies. Selina witnessed the kiss that Nocturna and Batman shared. Catwoman knocks out the Batman and enters into a cat fight with Nocturna. Both women end up injured and when Batman comes to, he rushes both women to Gotham General Hospital.
Anton manages to escape his transport to Blackgate and overhears that Nocturna was sent to the hospital. At the hospital, Jason comforts Nocturna by her bedside while Catwoman rests up in the next room. All of sudden, Anton comes crashing into Nocturna's room and delivers a heavy blow to Jason. Nocturna lashes out at Anton for hurting her surrogate son. Catwoman is awoken by the excitement in the next room and jumps to her feet. Selina enters Nocturna's room and notices the window leading outside has been shattered. She looks out and sees from afar Anton loading Jason and Nocturna into a van. Batman arrives on the scene and Selina tells him that they will work together for Jason's sake.
Anton heads to Nocturna's beloved observatory to end his lovesick torment. Nocturna pleads with Anton to listen to reason but Anton refuses to listen to her pleas and proceeds by stabbing her. In a fit of rage, Jason breaks free of his bonds and attacks Anton. At the same time, Batman and Catwoman come swooping into the observatory thanks to Batman's glider. Batman and Catwoman contend with Anton while Jason gets Nocturna to safety. Jason then notices Nocturna's hot air balloon is nearby. He places Nocturna in the hot air balloon and loosens the rope so she can float to safety.
Batman gets stabbed by Night Slayer and Catwoman enters the fray alone. The fight between Catwoman and Night Slayer takes place near the giant telescope in the observatory. Jason pulls back the lever that lowers the telescope. The giant telescope comes crashing down on the Night Slayer thus knocking him out for the count. As for Nocturna, the cosmic storm that was brewing from the red skies, surrounds her hot air balloon. Within an instant, lightening hits the hot air balloon and Jason watches in horror as the hot air ballon comes crashing down to the coastline. Batman, Catwoman and Jason search the coastline for Nocturna's body but found no trace. It's possible that the cosmic storm engulfed Nocturna and when the Crisis of Infinite Earths was settled, Nocturna was given a new lease on life as Natalia Mitternacht.
Nocturna comes back into the fold but in a different aspect. In Robin #100, Nocturna is actually Natalia Mitternacht or better known as Natalia Midnight. Nocturna then makes a long overdue appearance during the Year One storyline, showing up as an unwanted guest of Green Arrow's and Black Canary's Wedding as a member of the new Injustice League. She would reappear as one of many villains which appeared in Salvation Run, siding with Vandal Savage and his divided group of stranded villains. Most recent she seen as one of Hawkman's opponents in the pages of Trinity, appearing in a more updated format of her original classic version even riding in a hot-air balloon as her form of transportation.
Major Story Arcs
Later briefly making appearances in one shots with the Gotham Gazette: Batman Dead? and Gotham Gazette: Batman Alive?. Here Nocturna shown battling her former friend Spoiler using newly acquired stealth technology that allow her to turn invisible during their fight. However Spoiler defeats her rather quickly and turns her into the authorities.
Night of Owls
Nocturna is shown to be incarcerated in Arkham Asylum when the Court of Owls come to kill Jeremiah Arkham.
Powers & Abilities
Natalia was a brilliant astronomer but unskilled at hand-to-hand combat. Forcing her to rely on others in physical confrontations.
Batman: The Brave and the Bold
Nocturna appears in issue 16 of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold comics. She hypnotizes Teen Titans Kid Flash, Wonder Girl, and Speedy into fighting Batman, until he uses high-frequency sound to snap their trances.
Natalia Knight Nocturna was going scheduled to appear in an episode of Batman: The Animated Series as a vampire, but the episode was the canceled after Fox censors objected to the story line, which would have involved Batman being turned into a vampire and craving human blood. Producer Alan Burnett later recounted the events by saying "We also wanted to do a Nocturna story – Bruce had drawn a hot model of her - but she’s a vampire, which would’ve involved bloodletting, which was a huge no-no for kids TV."