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"Your father hoped to protect you by hiding you in a closet. But you saw it all, Helena. Steven Mandragora killed your parents while you watched. Helplessly. Isn't that what happened?"

Helena Bertinelli, also known as the Huntress, was, briefly, a member of the Justice League after the Thanagarian invasion. She was fired after attempting to murder Steven Mandragora, after which she continued to work independently.


Early years[]

Helena Bertinelli was the daughter of Mafia crime boss and mobster Franco Bertinelli. As a child, she saw her mother and father murdered by Steven Mandragora, who lusted for power. This event sparked her desire for revenge as, years later in her adult life, she would train herself to become the costumed vigilante known as the Huntress.[1]

She was part of the expanded Justice League roster as a faithful member following the Thanagarian invasion.[2] Huntress was also among the teams sent to contain the Dark Heart.[3]

Hunt for Mandragora[]

Huntress is out of the Justice League

Huntress is out of the Justice League.

All this time, she lusted for revenge on Mandragora. She infiltrated his mansion and did not hesitate to kill him by shooting all the arrows she had—only he wasn't there. J'onn J'onzz had discovered her intentions and informed the authorities. Huntress was consequently fired from the Justice League.

In her final moments aboard the Watchtower, she managed to persuade the Question into helping her, in return for information on Project Cadmus. He agreed, and tracked down Mandragora. He was held in a safe house, watched over by King Faraday and his agents, along with Green Arrow and Black Canary, who are on watch outside the building.

But as Huntress and Question were about to make their move, Mandragora's bodyguards, Tony and Cecil, helped him escape. Huntress and Question took on the Leaguers, who informed them that they were there in case Huntress might show up. After a short fight, Green Arrow and Black Canary emerged victorious, though mostly because of Black Canary. Realizing Mandragora was gone, the four examined the house. Question picked up a key, which Green Arrow saw. He took the key, and after recognizing it as a locker key, he and Black Canary headed off to the train station. Huntress berated Question and his "mystery man mojo", but he revealed to her that the key wasn't the clue. He had misdirected Arrow and Canary from the real clue—a shipping schedule. One freighter on the schedule was particularly interesting, as it came from Mandragora's home country. They headed for the docks, but found Canary and Arrow were following them—the misdirection hadn't worked as well as they'd hoped. Question lost them by driving in the Midtown Tunnel; Canary and Arrow had to call for an emergency teleport into a nearby body of water in order to evade an oncoming train.

Huntress and Question made it to the docks at the moment the freighter arrived, but found Black Canary and Green Arrow there too. The couples took on each other and later Mandragora, who proved a tough match. As Huntress wanted to shoot him, a boy ran up. She remembered how she, as a child, had witnessed her father's death, and decided young Edgar should not suffer the same. Instead of shooting Mandragora, she hit a pile of support beams that was suspended from a crane above them. Mandragora was pinned down and wounded, but lived.

Huntress and Question kiss

The beginning of Huntress and Question's romantic relationship.

As the Mandragoras are carried away by police and child services, Huntress learned that Question had never once believed she could tell him anything about Cadmus. Furthermore, Question knew Edgar would be at the scene and trusted Huntress to do the right thing for the boy's sake. Question confessed to going along with her because he liked her, at which point Huntress kissed him and dragged him away, thus starting their relationship.[1]

Cadmus and Question[]

Huntress and Question became lovers and teamed up together. Huntress helped Question break into a Cadmus terminal by fending off security while he downloaded information. However, Huntress snatched the USB drive from Question's hands and held it for ransom. Begrudged, Question agreed to a date.


Huntress grows worried for Question.

After that night, Question cooped himself behind his computer for three days, intent on breaking the files. Huntress tried to reason with him, but after what he saw, he ran straight out. Left behind, she went through the files as well, and stumbles upon a file in which Superman killed President Luthor. She thought it was some kind of simulation, and did not know it was actually footage from another dimension. Desperate to see Superman about this, she kidnapped Jimmy Olsen and used his signal watch to attract Superman's attention.

Together, they went on an off-the-books mission into a Cadmus terminal in Covenant, New Mexico. The two easily broke through the defenses and retrieved Question from his torturer, Doctor Moon.[4]

Huntress rescues Question

Huntress rescues her boyfriend.

While Superman took on Captain Atom, Huntress dragged Question to safety. The fight between the two powerhouses allowed them to leave the compound, where she used Superman's com link to contact J'onn. She filled him in on Question's condition and Superman's fight, and the two were transported to the Watchtower.

In the infirmary, Huntress remained at Question's bedside. Superman wanted to have some words with Question, and Huntress left them to talk. At that moment, an outside force took control over the Binary Fusion Generator and fired it at the Cadmus facility in Covenant.[5]

Huntress and Question

Huntress stays by Question's side.

In retaliation for the break in, Cadmus had ordered an attack on the Watchtower. Galatea and an army of Ultimen clones made it aboard the Watchtower. Huntress tried to take some on, but a Wind Dragon deflected all her crossbow bolts. A Juice clone crept up behind her, but was knocked out with a bedpan by Question. The League emerged victorious in the battle.[6]

Meta-Brawl returns[]

Huntress returned to fighting crime on the streets. After witnessing her old rival Black Canary being knocked down, she offered help, only to learn Canary's quarry was a mere pickpocket. Concerned, Huntress decided to tail her. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary, so she contacted Question to talk about it. Nothing comes of it as Black Canary was on the move again; Huntress followed her to Blüdhaven.

The chase ended in an underground parking lot, where she also noticed Fire. She took another elevator upstairs, and after disposing of some security guards, she came to a large lounge. In order to walk around inconspicuously, she changed into a civilian attire. She found herself a guest of Roulette's new Meta-Brawl, the "Glamor Slam"—female heroes brainwashed by Sonar. In the ring, Black Canary beat Fire.

After the fight, Huntress confronted Black Canary, who was still not herself. The two fought and were evenly matched, until Canary's com link was accidentally knocked out of her ear. Huntress stepped on it, causing Canary to wake up from her mind control. Out of caution, Huntress knocked her down, but they were apprehended by Sonar and his henchmen.

Roulette decided that, now she couldn't control Black Canary's mind though the com link anymore, Huntress and Canary should fight two-on-two. They beat Vixen and Hawkgirl by destroying their com links, much to the crowd's chagrin. Roulette had one last ace up her sleeve: Wonder Woman. Vixen and Hawkgirl took on the Amazon powerhouse while Huntress and Black Canary went for Roulette and Sonar. Huntress took on Roulette. After first underestimating Roulette's fighting abilities, she eventually pinned her down.

With the Meta-Brawl shut down for good, Black Canary offered to speak to the League's founding members about restoring Huntress in the Justice League, but she declined. She remained an independent crime fighter thereafter.[7]

Abilities and weapons[]

The Huntress was a world class athlete, gymnast and martial artist, capable of disarming and defeating multiple armed opponents (however, she was slightly less skilled than Black Canary). She carried an automatic miniature crossbow that she wielded with incredible ease and accuracy, as well as a retractable bo staff and other equipment used to bypass security measures.

Background information[]


The initial design for Huntress before her redesign.

  • Helena Bertinelli first appeared in 1989 in Huntress #1, based on the earlier Huntress, Helena Wayne. This new Helena was the daughter of a powerful mob boss. Growing up among these crime lords and losing her innocence at a young age, she became a violent mob buster.
  • Huntress had originally been considered to appear on Batman Beyond, though it never materialized.[8]
  • Years before her appearances in Justice League Unlimited, she made her appearance in a Batman: The Animated Series tie-in comic Batman & Robin Adventures #19. After losing her family at a mob hit of a wedding, she dons a costume and fights mobs violently, so much so that Batman has to stop her.
  • In the comics, Huntress is considered an occasional ally of Batman. However, unlike most of his other allies (such as Robin and Batgirl), she escaped the Bat-embargo.


Justice League Unlimited


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Simone, Gail (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (June 4, 2005). "Double Date". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 19 (airdate). Episode 19 (production). Cartoon Network.
  2. Berkowitz, Stan (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (July 31, 2004). "Initiation". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 1 (airdate). Episode 1 (production). Cartoon Network.
  3. Ellis, Warren (writer) & Riba, Dan (director) (December 11, 2004). "Dark Heart". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 10 (airdate). Episode 10 (production). Cartoon Network.
  4. McDuffie, Dwayne (writer) & Riba, Dan (director) (June 25, 2005). "Question Authority". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 22 (airdate). Episode 22 (production). Cartoon Network.
  5. McDuffie, Dwayne (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (July 2, 2005). "Flashpoint". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 23 (airdate). Episode 23 (production). Cartoon Network.
  6. McDuffie, Dwayne (writer) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (July 9, 2005). "Panic in the Sky". Justice League Unlimited. Season 1. Episode 24 (airdate). Episode 24 (production). Cartoon Network.
  7. Wayne, Matt (story) & DeMatteis, J.M. (teleplay) & Dos Santos, Joaquim (director) (March 11, 2006). "Grudge Match". Justice League Unlimited. Season 2. Episode 9 (airdate). Episode 35 (production). Cartoon Network.
  8. The Critical Eye | Bruce Timm and Glen Murakami (archive.org)

External links[]