What do you think young Helena would have asked Santa for for Christmas? And what did Bruce and Selina leave under the tree for her?
Young Helena would have asked for a hunting crossbow for Christmas and Bruce and Selina settled for giving her a recurve bow instead.
Bruce and Selina rationalised: ‘well, she’s too young too be pulling triggers, so let’s start her off with a weapon she has to learn how to shoot first. When she’s old enough to handle the more “dangerous weapons,” we’ll upgrade her arsenal.’
And thus marked the beginning of Helena Wayne’s exceptional marksmanship skills.
That’s my head canon and I’m sticking to it. :P
What other blogs would you recommend to follow that either provide similar Helena love or just female characters in general?
First, I just want to say that I visit your page everyday for all things Helena and appreciate your perspectives on the character as I have been a longtime fan of the original Earth 2 Huntress. Having said that, what are some of your favorite story lines or arcs from the Earth 2 pre-Crisis Helena? Thank you for sharing your love and respect for Helena and for allowing dedicated fans like myself to share our appreciation as well.
Thanks! I’m glad my blog has become a special place for fans of the original Huntress to visit, and it’s always a pleasure to hear back from fans like yourself. :)
I honestly have a lot of favourite pre-Crisis Huntress stories, but if I had to narrow down my list to a ‘Top Ten,’ it would be the following stories:
1. America vs the Justice Society
2. The Brave and the Bold #184: The Batman’s Last Christmas
3. Batman Family #17: Scars and The Horoscopes of Crime
4. DC Superstars #17: The Secret Origin of the Huntress
5. Adventures Comics #462 - #463: The Death of Batman
6. All Star Comics #74: World on the Edge of Ending
7. Batman Family #18 - #20: Real Estate Scam story arc
8. Wonder Woman #274 - #276: Huntress/Power Girl team-up story arc
9. Wonder Woman #289 - #295: Crime Lord story arc
10. Infinity Inc #1 - #12: The first two story arcs
What's the worst Huntress story you've ever had the misfortune to read?
I don’t think there is a Huntress story I’d go as far as to call ‘the worst’ I’ve ever read, but there are definitely two that come to mind as ones I’ve had the misfortune of reading. Those being the Huntress/Nightwing miniseries which I can never bring myself to like for various reasons, and the Josh story arc in Birds of Prey which was absolutely terrible. It’s enough to say I’d much rather reread Paul Levitz’ entire run on Worlds’ Finest before I ever catch myself reading that story arc again. Ick! :(
Hi! Just wanted to let you know I love your blog and have been a lurker for some time. It occurs to me that I haven't read your thoughts on Ben Affleck being cast as Batman. Do you think he'll do better as Bruce Wayne than he did as Matt Murdock on Daredevil? Have you seen any movies with him that make you think "yeah he can definitely do Bruce?" I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Thanks! I’m glad my blog has been one of your favourite spaces on the web. :)
On Ben Affleck being cast as Batman, aesthetically, I think he looks the part, though whether or not he can pull it off in the acting is to be seen. I haven’t seen enough of Ben Affleck’s movies to have a proper opinion on him as an actor, but I do think he can pull off Bruce Wayne at least based on his performance in Hollywoodland, where he ironically portrayed Superman actor George Reeves.
As possibly the most active Helena Wayne blog here on Tumblr, do you think Paul Levitz ever reads your comments? And, let's say for the sake of argument that he does, how do you think your commentary would influence his writing?
I honestly do not know how to answer this question. I can safely say that my blogs would definitely be hard to miss since they appear on the first page of a Google search for ‘Helena Wayne,’ and at best, Kevin Maguire did contact me on Twitter once to address an issue that he had with my review for Worlds’ Finest #0. So if he’s aware of my commentary at all, it would probably be through either of those two means.
As to how my commentary would influence his writing, truthfully, I wish it would have positively altered the course of his characterisations of Kara and Helena in particular. I know I can be very sharply critical in my wording when I point out the flaws in his writing, and I can definitely understand needing to ignore constant negativity. But I do think that if he has more than one person consistently pointing out the same problems in his writing, that should be enough to get him to realise ‘okay, maybe I am doing this wrong.’
On the front of character development, he needs to register in his mind that reinforcing clichés and insulting stereotypes about young women is not something that impresses young women. If anything, female fans of both Huntress and Power Girl have been very vocal about finding his characterisations of Kara and Helena offensive on various fronts. As the main target market for female-fronted comic books, young women are the ultimate authority for letting writers know if they are doing a good job at representing our group or not.
I can safely say as a young woman in her twenties that I definitely want to read about Kara and Helena as layered individuals with their own distinct personalities (that don’t conform to stereotypes), who also have their own goals and things that motivate them. I think that they should be characterised as mature, adult women who are intelligent and actually skilled at what they do. They should be heroic in their pursuits and don’t just do what they do to pass the time. Any attempts at humour should not call for the complete degradation of either character (especially Kara) for the humour to work, and all jokes should be handled in a way that treats both women (mostly Kara) with respect.
Paul Levitz has developed Kara and Helena progressively in the past and could still incorporate those positive developments into the present. I’m not sure why it hasn’t occurred to him to do that.
As a fan of both Helena Wayne and Helena Bertinelli, one of the things that bothers me most about Huntress fandom is the tendency of fans to diminish one Huntress in favor of the other. As a fan of both women yourself, what do you dislike most about the "superior/inferior" Huntress argument or the need to establish which is the "real" Huntress?
To start with, I think a lot of the ‘superior/inferior’ Huntress argumentation that goes on in fandom is misplaced anger that fans have over the way DC Comics has mishandled the Huntress over the last two decades, and I’ve seen it go both ways.
I’ve seen fans of the original Helena Wayne character lash out against Helena Bertinelli when she made her debut in 1989, and some—to this day—still maintain that she’s the ‘inferior’ Huntress based on how she was originally characterised in the 1990s. Similarly, I’ve seen fans of Helena Bertinelli lash out against reviving Helena Wayne since even before the character was officially reinstated in the New 52, and obviously those feelings were made stronger when it actually happened.
Truthfully, I think it’s a huge disservice to both characters to try and establish who’s the ‘real’ or ‘superior’ Huntress since both characters bring something new and different to the table. Not only does having this argument completely ignore the fact that the Huntress was originally conceived as Helena Wayne and even provided the foundation for Helena Bertinelli’s character, but it similarly turns a blind eye to the positive developments Helena Bertinelli brought to the Huntress’ history as well.
You also cannot fault either character for the flaws of their writers, nor can you similarly use the strengths of their writers as ‘proof’ that one Huntress is far superior to the other. Neither character writes herself, so whether she’s well characterised or poorly handled is entirely subjective to the person writing her. Some writers have had a better handle on the Huntress and others have not, and this has been true for both Helena Wayne and Helena Bertinelli.
I would say a combination of misplaced anger and the reattributing of writer strengths and weaknesses to the characters is what I dislike most about the ‘superior/inferior’ Huntress argument. They’re also never good arguments that can be successfully supported without bringing ones own personal opinion into the mix.
Now that Helena Wayne is back into the mainstream comics, do you think she'll start appearing in the DCAU following the release of Justice League: War? I think it would make sense to start using her since she was a big part of the Apokolips war and Earth 2 was referenced in the comic book counterpart.
It’s possible. I think it depends more on whether or not WB Animation has any plans for her and if they get past their ‘female superheroes don’t sell’ mentality.
At best, I think she could appear in an animated version of the first issue of James Robinson’s run on Earth-2, and she could even appear in an animated version of the Huntress: Crossbow at the Crossroads miniseries to follow up on that story.
If they do decide to animate the first story arc of Worlds’ Finest, they’ll definitely have to do some serious modifications to the script so that the story flows more logically and the dialogue sounds intelligible.
Do you think the Batman/Superman crossover with Worlds' Finest will boost sales for either book, or lower them?
To be quite honest, I think this could go either way depending on the readership.
For people following Batman/Superman, they may pick up the World’s Finest issues to keep up with the story arc, and the same would most likely go for people still reading Worlds’ Finest.
On the other hand, people who stopped reading Worlds’ Finest after being put off by Paul Levitz’ writing, but were otherwise enjoying Batman/Superman may decide to skip the event all together. So it’s very much a 50/50 chance, really.
Despite my own reservations based on what I’ve read so far, I’ll pick up both books in 2014 anyway since it *can* turn out to be good. Plus it’s a big event, so I can’t miss that since it can potentially establish a new status quo for Huntress and Power Girl.
Wow, I got a lot of great questions today!
Just letting everyone know, there are going to be a lot of responses!