I would say the reintroduction of Huntress in the New 52 has been both a hit and a miss with me.
On the one hand, I can’t express enough how happy I am to have Helena Wayne back and to be able to read newer and updated stories with her. On the other hand don’t like how it was done at the expense of shafting Helena Bertinelli, who was equally popular with fans.
I would say this is a problem that has more to do with the fact that the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths made the original Helena Wayne’s origin impossible without the Earth-2 Batman and Catwoman, and was given a drastically different origin to make her functional within the post-Crisis continuity. The fact that she was so radically changed from her initial inception made her an essentially different character from the one she was on Earth-2. As a result, I was always of the opinion that Bertinelli should’ve been established as a completely new and separate character from Wayne much in the same way that Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain are completely separate Batgirls from Barbara Gordon.
With regards to Helena Bertinelli’s appearances being largely “focused on who she’s attracting and/or dating instead of who she was,” I can’t say I actually agree with that one. In all the stories that I’ve read with her where she was either in a supporting role or the protagonist, I can’t say this was the case at all. She was very much the star of her own books that focused on who she was (Huntress 1989, Huntress 1994, Cry for Blood, Huntress Year One), and even when she was in a supporting role, you saw MORE of WHO she was, what drove and motivated her, what pushed her berserk button and what didn’t, what was important to her and what wasn’t.
Anyone who says that Huntress (Bertinelli) was largely defined by her relationships either hasn’t read enough stories with her or doesn’t really know her character at all. I also wouldn’t agree that Helena Bertinelli being attracted to men or even having a sex life is the same as being the object of another character’s attraction or being defined by the person she’s dating, both of which are inherently sexist. It’s one thing if a writer throws her into a page snogging with a male character to confirm who that character is sleeping with (or if that character makes an offhand remark on the matter), and another to show her actually taking an interest in men and desiring relationships. Being interested in men doesn’t reduce her or objectify her as a character. Comments like the one Green Arrow made about Hal Jordan’s “threesome” Zinda and Helena on the other hand did as it was less about the three characters and more about the fact that Hal banged two chicks at the same time.
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