OK, Silver Age Huntress was the daughter of Golden Age Batman and Catwoman (a/k/a Bruce and Selina Wayne). I get that. Golden Age Batman, Superman, the original Flash, Wonder Woman, etc. are/were inhabitants of a place called Earth II, which before the Crisis came along and mopped up all the convoluted storylines and straightend out all the continuity problems. I get that, too. It seems that the Spandex-wearing population of Earth I was aware of the existence of Earth II, as well as Earth Prime, which is where you and I live, and where the Spandex-wearing population is mostly composed of aging hair metal bands. I get that, three.
OK, so what’s up with Silver Age Huntress? I mean, apparently she was a character in Silver Age DC Comics, but during the Silver age, didn’t all the DC action take place on Earth I? How’d she get there? Was Barry Allen involved in any way?
Uh, make that Golden Age Batman, Superman, the original Flash, Wonder Woman, etc. are/were inhabitants of a place called Earth II, which before the Crisis came along and mopped up all the convoluted storylines and straightened out all the continuity problems, was in a parallel universe to the one where all the Silver Age characters lived. I get that, too.
Most, but not all, of DC’s stories featured the main (Earth-1) continuity, but there were exceptions. For example, when the TV show version of Wonder Woman starring Linda Carter came out, it initially reprised the original WWII origins of Wonder Woman. So DC dusted off the Golden Age version of Wonder Woman and briefly had her in some WWII era stories.
FWIW, the pre-Crisis Huntress was a pretty minor character.
Starting in the late 1950’s, Justice League had an annual “Crisis” event in which they would do a JLA/JSA crossover. So Earth-2 characters would have a prominent guest-star role at least once a year. Every now and then, some other magazine would have its star character cross paths with his/her Golden Age counterpart.
I never read many Huntress stories, but as I recall, they were usually short stories used for filler, either to fill out the page count in a Batman comic, or as part of an anthalogy title.
During the 1980’s, DC published a title called Infinity, Inc., in which the children of the JSA grew up and started their own super-group. Other Earth-2 characters often made guest appearances in it.
Most DC action took place on Earth-1 but after the mega-hit that was Flash #123 (which introduced the whole Earth-1/Earth-2 thing), from like 1961-1983 there was a once-a-year Justice League/Justice Society crossover–it was always a two (or three) parter (with one exception) which, given that DC rarely, if ever had continued stories (hell, they often had two or three stories in one issue!) was a big event. It was really special and occured every summer. I used to wait all spring for the annual team-up (the explaination was that the barrier between the worlds were thinnest at that time of year). There were a bunch of other crossovers as well (Green Lantern #40, Flash #129, Flash #135, Atom #20-something (28?), etc). Plus there were a couple of attempts to see if the JSA characters could sustain interest on their own (a couple of Brave and Bold tryouts and a Showcase or two).
In the mid-70s, the JSA got their own book (All Star Comics) which, once Gerry Conway was kicked off (Paul Levitz had to explain some of the bizarre behavior of one of the characters as brain damage which the character had to get surgery to correct!) became a pretty good book that was killed by the DC Implosion. Their remaing stories got crammed into Adventure Comics and the run was finshed off there. That storyline introduced the Huntress (who had her origin in D.C. Super-Stars #17) and eventually was the storyline that had some loser snuffing the Earth-2 Batman. (really, REALLY bad story. He should die from either a lucky shot from a thug or a battle to the death with the Joker…or, I suppose, given that it’s Earth 2, in his bed, surrounded by loved ones. He should not have a cosmic-powered type toast him from a distance).
Anyway, she was moderately popular and got a back-up series in Wonder Woman. (The Earth-2 Superman had a backup series too in Superman Family-“Mr. and Mrs. Superman”). When they stopped doing back-up stories, she pretty much disappered (I think she was in a few of the JLA/JSA crossovers, which by this time were being written by Gerry “Can’t write a team book to save his life” Conway). In the early '80s a new Earth 2 book “All Star Squadron” was started about the adventures of all the non-JSA heroes back during World War 2 (excellent book, btw). That proved popular enough to spin off a new book about the sons and daughters of the JSA members set in the present on Earth-2 called “Infinity Inc.” She appeared in that from time to time, IIRC. Then the Crisis happened and, although she survived it (we saw her in Crisis #12), she was wiped out sometime soon after and the new, kinda psycho Huntreess was created.
FTR, I like my superheroes kinda psycho, especially the non-superpowered ones- when superpowereds and metahumans go off the deep end, you get stuff happening like Hal Jordan trying to uncreate the world and Ollie having to sorta kill him, and this is not good.
I thought Earth-2 Batman was killed by Earth-2 Scarecrow in Batman 200? Alternatively I have this memory of the last issue of Brave&Bold with Batman-2 being killed by someone with red hair? What am I remembering?
Otto, I can at least speak to B&B #200. The main story – by Mike W. barr and Dave Gibbons – features a foe of Earth-2’s Batman, the red-headed Brimstone, in an early adventure fighting against Earth-2’s Batman and Robin, cleaverly drawn in classic 40’s style. Brimstone is defeated by that Batman who survives a diabolical death trap. In the process Brimstone hits his head on a stone statue and is knocked unconscious.
Brimstone later awakens from a debilitating, decades-long coma as an old man coma and learns his Batman is dead. His dreams of vengeance apparently thwarted, he stews in a deep depression until he recalls vague childhood memories of “another” him – his law-abiding Earth-1 counterpart – and reasons if there is another him, might there not be another Batman? Brimstone concentrates and sends his mind across the universal barrier and psychically takes possession of his “twin” and attempts to lure that Batman into a deathtrap.
The plot fails, Earth-1’s Batman knocks the new “Brimstone” unconscious and his hold over his twin is broken. Brimstone metally returns to Earth-2 to discover Batman’s beating has somehow caused paralysis in his actual body and he faces the rest of his life this way.
This issue also contained a great Stephen DeStephano ('Mazing Man) Bat-Mite cartoon and a preview of Batman and the Outsiders.
I was never really clear what the heck happened to Earth-2’s Batman.
Of some minor additional significance, Brave and the Bold#200 features the last appearance of the golden-age Joker (he’s a resident of the same prison hospital that houses the comatose Brimstone, and is the one to bring him up to speed on Batman-2’s death).
The artwork style of the battle between Brimstone and Batman-2 is more Wayne Boring (1950s) than Bob Kane (1940s) and is set in 1955.
But I’m recalling that Huntress and the Earth-II Robin were killed in the Crisis. Around the same issue as Kole of the Teen Titans. And if I’m not mistaken, it was their graves that the JSA were visiting in “Last Days of the Justice Society”. No?
Not only around the same issue, but the exact same panel of the exact same issue (12).
Although their bodies were never found, and it’s axiomatic that comic book characters aren’t really dead unless we see the body, and then oftentimes not even then. Personally I couldn’t care much less about either Robin-2 or Huntress but I always though Kole was a cool character and would have liked to see her back.
He died in Adventure Comics #462. Why there? At the time, the title was an anthology dollar comic that had feature stories of Flash, Wonder Woman, Deadman, Aquaman, and the Justice Society of America – where the incident took place. I think All-Star Comics (which featured the JSA) had recently been cancelled. I’m going off of memory, so the story details are a little fuzzy. An escaped convict named Bill Jensen (who was convicted during Bruce Wayne’s tenure as Gotham City Police Commissioner; Wayne became Commish after Gordon’s death in All-Star Comics #66) appeared on top of the Gotham Trade Building with awesome magical powers that even Dr. Fate and Green Lantern can’t seem to stop. Jensen demands to see Wayne or else he’ll blow up the city. Wayne confronts Jensen dressed as Batman (his last case where he retired was in Batman #300, about a year before) & during the fight, Batman’s cowl is ripped revealing to Jensen that’s he’s Wayne. Infuriated, Jensen’s power goes out of control, kiling both of them. At the funeral, I think Helena (Huntress) tells Dick Grayson (Robin) something to the effect that she doesn’t want him to become Batman, letting the legacy and memory rest in peace. The cover of the issue shows Batman laid out in an open casket with Robin, Huntress, Superman, et al, looking on. I don’t think the open casket was depicted in the story though. In the next issue, the JSA captures Frederick Vaux, the socercer who gave Jensen his powers. Dr. Fate casts a spell on everyone to who did not previously know Wayne was Batman to forget about that. Police Chief Clancy O’Hara (introduced in AS #66) later becomes Gotham Police Commisioner in the Huntress feature in Wonder Woman #281.