I am the Dark Knight....you may know of me as The Caped Crusader....or as The Batman.
I strike fear into the heart of the Gotham underbelly, keeping the streets clean and sending the inmates to either Blackgate Prison or to the more dangerous Arkham Asylum.
Here is some of my Rogues Gallery:
The Joker has been referred to as the Clown Prince of Crime (or Chaos), the Harlequin of Hate (Havoc), and the Ace of Knaves. Throughout the evolution of the DC Universe, interpretations and incarnations of the Joker have taken two forms. The original and currently dominant image is of a highly intelligent psychopath with a warped, sadistic sense of humor. The other interpretation of the character, popular in the late 1940s through 1960s comic books as well as the 1960s television series, is that of an eccentric but harmless prankster and thief. Batman: The Animated Series blended these two aspects, although most interpretations tend to embrace one characterization or the other.
The Joker's victims have included men, women, children, and even his own henchmen and other villains. In the graphic novel The Joker: Devil's Advocate, the Joker is reported to have killed well over 2,000 people. Despite having murdered enough people to get the death penalty thousands of times over, he is always found not guilty by reason of insanity. In the Batman story line "War Crimes", this continued ruling of insanity is in fact made possible by the Joker's own dream team of lawyers. He is then placed in Arkham Asylum, from which he appears able to escape at will, going so far as to claim that it is just a resting ground in between his "performances".
Batman has been given numerous opportunities to put the Joker down once and for all, but has relented at the last minute. As an example, in one story line, Batman threatens to kill the Joker, but stops himself upon realizing that such an act would make him "a killer like yourself!" Conversely, the Joker has given up many chances to kill the Batman because the Joker defines himself by his struggle with his archnemesis. However, after a man dressed as Batman shot the Joker, Joker became enraged at the fact that his old enemy tried to end his life. Additionally, in a confrontation with a resurrected Jason Todd, Batman admits that he often fantasizes about killing the Joker, but that he will not allow himself the pleasure because he knows that there would be no turning back.
The Joker is renowned as Batman's greatest enemy. While other villains rely on tried-and-true methods to commit crimes (such as Mr. Freeze's freeze gun or Poison Ivy's toxic plants), Joker has a variety of weapons at his disposal. For example, the flower he wears in his lapel sprays (at any given time) highly corrosive acid, poisonous gas, or soda water. In Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker and much earlier in "Dreadful Birthday, Dear Joker!" (Batman #321), or more recent in Detective Comics 866 (June 2010), the Joker has a gun which at first shoots a flag saying "BANG!", but then, with another pull of the trigger, the flag fires and impales its target (in the edited version of Return of the Joker, the gun shoots Joker gas). His most recurring weapons are a high-voltage hand-buzzer, which he uses to electrocute his victims with a handshake, as well as his iconic Joker venom, which will either cause a victim to become paralyzed, comatose, or even die, depending on the strength of the particular batch. What all versions share however, is that the effects are always preceded by hysterical fits of laughter, as well as a frozen grin. His unpredictable, homicidal nature makes him one of the most feared supervillains in the DC Universe; in the Villains United and Infinite Crisis mini-series, the members of the villains' Secret Society refuse to induct the Joker for this reason. In the mini-series Underworld Unleashed, the Trickster remarks, "When super-villains want to scare each other, they tell Joker stories."
Selina Kyle's early life was defined by tragedy. When she was just a girl, her brutalized mother Maria committed suicide and her violent father Brian drank himself to death not long after. Separated from her younger sister Magdalena and remanded to the Sprang Hall Juvenile Detention Center, an abusive state home for orphaned or delinquent girls, she opted instead to take her chances on the streets of Gotham City. Amid the crime and corruption of the poverty-stricken East End district, she survived through petty theft. Sharp wits and an amazing natural skill as a gymnast led to her becoming the slickest cat burglar the Gotham City Police Department had ever dealt with. To protect herself, she studied martial arts. Later ex-heavyweight champ Ted Grant (Wildcat) taught her boxing. For a time, she was the most accomplished thief nobody knew. She was also one of the most generous, spreading her ill-gotten gains among the downtrodden and destitute of the East End. She would have continued to rob with impunity if not for the Batman. Spying the Caped Crusader from her window on one of his first outings, she watched him in action and was suitably inspired to take up her own costume when prowling the Gotham night.
Although originally introduced as an equal opponent for Batman, Catwoman's status as hero or villain is ambiguous; she has her own moral code (she abhors killing, though did eventually kill Black Mask) and has occasionally teamed up with Batman and other heroes against greater threats, even saving the lives of the entire Justice League on one occasion. She represents a gray area in Batman's otherwise black and white life where the line between good and evil blurs, and his attraction to her stems from this perception that, in her way, she's kind of a female version of himself: another dark, beautiful creature that prowls the night.
Harleen Quinzel was a psychiatric intern at Arkham Asylum. A model student, in addition to receiving high grades in college, she was also a dedicated gymnast. While researching the lunatics at Arkham, she became fascinated with one particular inmate. Ambitiously volunteering to analyze him, she fell in love nearly instantly with the Joker during their sessions. After helping him escape from the asylum more than once Harleen was suspected by the authorities, who revoked her license and placed her in her own cell. During an earthquake in Gotham City, she fled and became Harley Quinn, the sidekick to the Clown Prince of Crime himself, The Joker.
Quinn's relationship with the Joker is one of the most complex and twisted love affairs in comics. As with all people, Joker is abusive and manipulative towards Harley, but just as often there's evidence of comaraderie, playfulness, and genuine affection towards her. She's the only person who's managed to become so intimate on such a long term basis with the Joker and, while he generally accepts their relationship, we even see Joker's occasional moments of confusion and discomfort with it result in attempts to kill her. One time, when Joker realized the very deeply hidden away feelings of being able to love he was beginning to recall, he sent Harley off in a rocket. She crash landed in Robinson Park in the center of Gotham and was found by Poison Ivy. When Harley regains consciousness, Ivy initially plans to kill her. The prospect of her own death totally fails to move Harley, and Ivy is curious as to why. She convinces Harley to tell her story, and comes to feel a kinship with Harley. Considering her another castoff, Ivy offers to help Harley take her revenge on both Batman and the Joker. Ivy took her back to her lair in a toxic waste dump and nursed her back to health. This included injecting Harley with a serum that Ivy had developed which has given Harley that immunizes her to various assorted toxins and Ivy's own poisonous touch and also dramatically enhances Harley's strength and speed. Ivy intends this to give her new friend an edge on Batman and the Joker. Quinn and Ivy teamed up and conducted a number of successful capers. Hot-blooded Harley, however, is angrier at the Joker than at Batman, and even initially works with the Dark Knight to help bring down the Clown Prince of Crime.
While Batman eliminates the villain's muscle, Quinn chases the Joker up a damaged building, intending to send him falling to his death. Before she can do so, however, the Joker apologizes. Falling in love with him again, she forgives him on the spot, and serves as his lieutenant throughout the rest of No Man's Land, as well as the Emperor Joker storyline. After this, Ivy dissolved the partnership in disgust. Ivy remains, however, her usual first point of call when she and The Joker are going through a rough patch. Ivy adopted the role of older sister and teller of harsh truths to Quinn about her helpless infatuation with The Joker.
She frequently refers to the Joker as "Puddin" and "Mr. J." and she refers to Poison Ivy as "Red" (a reference to her red hair).
Harley Quinn has joined forces with Poison Ivy and Catwoman in the recent title Gotham City Sirens. Having moved in with Poison Ivy at The Riddler's townhouse, she meets up with Catwoman who offers for the three of them to live and work together. Ivy resolves that she and Harley would provide Catwoman with "positive female reinforcement", and the three then agree to become a team. However, Harley and Ivy have one condition: they demand that Catwoman reveal to them the true identity of the original Batman. Suddenly, however, a new villain who tried to take down Selina Kyle named Boneblaster breaks into the apartment and the three of them have to move after they defeat him.
Later, after a chance encounter with who she thought was Bruce Wayne (but was really disguised Hush), the Joker attempts to kill Harley, apparently out of jealousy. Quinn is rescued by Ivy and Selina, and it is later revealed that her attacker wasn't the real Joker, but one of his old henchmen impersonating him.
During the Holidays, Harley travels to Bensonhurst, Brooklyn, where she visits her family. Her brother seems to be lazy and unwilling to work, causing Harley to fuss at him about the situation. Her mother also voices her disapproval for Harley's status as a wanted criminal, even though her daughter tries to say that she has changed her ways. The meeting leads to Harley going to visit her father in prison. She and her dad talk of why he is in jail once again, and he tries to tell her that he will also change his path if Harley has done so. They share a moment, but Harley realizes that her 'Pop' is trying to find out where she has stashed money away for him. As Harley goes to exit the building, a guard asks for a picture. She tries to refuse, but the guard claims that her father promised she would; And he had given him money for the photo: This angers Harley even further.
Quinn soon returns to Gotham City, not wanting to stay anywhere near her family. She then goes back to living with Catwoman and Poison Ivy in an abandoned animal kennel, which she warmly regards as her new home.
The Riddler's compulsion stems from parental abuse that he endured as a child. After Edward got high scores on some important tests in school, his father, unable to grasp the fact that his son was brilliant and believing he had cheated, beat him out of envy. This, in theory, left him with a strong internal desire to tell the truth, and prove his innocence. This desire manifests itself in the form of his obsession with riddles. His madness, as well as his descent into crime in general, may also have roots in a yearning to rise above the anonymity that he possessed in his youth.
As Edward Nashton grew older, he opened a crooked carnival booth involving a diabolical puzzle. The customers would compete to solve the puzzle for prize money, but if they failed to do so, they would have to pay Nashton a small fee for competing. In every case, Edward rigged the puzzle in advance to ensure that the customer would always fail.
Unsatisfied with the small pickings of the puzzle booth, Nashton closed the carnival attraction and a confident Edward announced to himself he was clever enough to use his wits for crime and baffle the upholders of the law.
Nashton concluded he would commit puzzling crimes and always fix the duel of wits between him and the law so he would always win. Donning a green costume covered with question marks, he turned to crime and set out to achieve infamy as the Riddler. At first, the Riddler proves intially successful, launching a crime wave across Gotham City. Batman soon deduced that the new villain was leaving baffling clues for the law in advance of each crime and began acting on the clues to thwart the Riddler's puzzling crimes, although Nashton swifly evades capture again and again.
The Riddler's last riddle clue asks, "Why is corn so hard to escape from?" Batman concludes that the answer is included in the fact corn is also known as maize, which sounds like "maze" when pronounced. At the scene of his next crime, Nashton fled into a complex maze he had designed to be the ultimate death-trap and challenged Batman, who had entered the maze in pursuit, to escape from the labyrinth before a bomb, hidden in one of the many passageways, goes off. Batman escaped, but the explosion knocked the Riddler off a pier and sent him plummeting to his supposed doom.
But by the time two months had passed, the Riddler made it clear he has indeed survived his fall and resumed his crime wave, robbing cash prizes from a nationwide puzzle contest.
Pamela Isley grows up wealthy with emotionally distant parents. She later studies advanced botanical biochemistry at a university with Alec Holland under Dr. Jason Woodrue. Isley, a timid, shrinking violet, is easily seduced by her professor. Woodrue injects Isley with poisons and toxins as an experiment, causing her transformation. She nearly dies twice as a result from these poisonings, driving her insane. Later Woodrue flees from the authorities, leaving Pamela in the hospital for six months. Enraged at the betrayal, Pamela suffers from violent mood swings, being sweet one moment and like poison the next. When her boyfriend has a car accident after mysteriously suffering from a massive fungal overgrowth, Isley drops out of school and leaves Seattle, eventually settling in Gotham City.
Taking the costumed persona of Poison Ivy, she begins a criminal career and sets out to show her power over men. Her first scheme involved threatening to release her suffocating spores into the air unless the city meets her demands. The Batman, who appears in Gotham that very same year, thwarts her scheme, and she is incarcerated in Arkham Asylum for the Criminally Insane. From this point on, she has a kind of obsession with Batman, he being the only person she could not control. Over the years, she develops plant-like superpowers, the most noticeable being a lethal toxin in her lips; she is able to literally kill with a kiss.
Poison Ivy escaped from Arkham Asylum again and again, more often seducing her guards in order to make her getaway. She soon became a frequent member of Batman's Rogues Gallery, often committing robberies to fund her cause for preservation of all plant life. Poison Ivy soon came into conflict with many other heroes in her insane quest, such as Superman and Wonder Woman. She fought the Justice League at least once and joined the Injustice Gang to help oppose them.
Poison Ivy also offered her talents as one of the world's leading experts on plant properties to the Secret Society of Super-Villains, although in recent years she appears to have left the team.
She hated all of humanity in many ways for the damage they had done to the world's flora. She allowed herself to temporarily sideline her mission to join the Suicide Squad. Under the direction of Amanda Waller, she served on several missions.
Ivy later took control of a Central American nation, seducing it's dictator and using him as a puppet tool with which she used to rule the country. Amanda Waller had revived the Suicide Squad and wanted her to rejoin the team. On their next mission to free Count Vertigo from another small dictatorship, Ivy realized she could use Vertigo for her own means and could rule the dictatorship herself.
Poison Ivy later stated that she only started a life of crime to attain sufficient funds to find a location to be alone with her plants, undisturbed by humanity. A few years later, she attempts to leave Gotham forever, escaping Arkham to settle on a desert island in the Caribbean. She transforms the barren wasteland into a second Eden, and is, for the first time in her life, happy. It is soon firebombed, however, when an American-owned corporation tests their weapons systems out on what they think is an abandoned island. Ivy returns to Gotham with a vengeance, punishing those responsible. After being willingly apprehended by Batman, she resolves that she can never leave Gotham, at least not until the world was safe for plants. From then on, she dedicates herself to the impossible mission of "purifying" Gotham.
At one point, Batman travels to Seattle to ascertain information on Pamela Isley's life before she became Poison Ivy. Here, Batman states that both of Pamela's parents are dead. When and why they died has been left undetermined.
While in Arkham, Poison Ivy receives a message through flowers that someone is to help her escape. That night, two women, Holly and Eva, successfully break Ivy out and bring her back to their employer. She is less than happy to discover that it is the Floronic Man, formerly known as Dr. Jason Woodrue, her former college professor that conducted the experiments on her. The only human portion of him remaining is his head, while the rest of his body is plant-based.
After striking a deal with him in the underground tunnels of Gotham, Ivy receives a trunk full of money in return for samples of her DNA. Woodrue intends to combine their DNA to create a "child", all while flooding the streets of Gotham with high-powered marijuana. The purpose of this is to create a world economy run on hemp and to have their offspring control it. Batman intervenes, but is overcome by Woodrue's henchwomen, Holly and Eva. However, Ivy turns on Floronic Man and lets Batman go to fight the intoxicated maniac. In the end, Batman decapitates the Floronic Man, and Ivy escapes with her money.
At times, Ivy demonstrates positive, even maternal traits. When Gotham City is destroyed in an earthquake, rather than fight over territory like most of Batman's enemies, she holds dominion over Robinson Park and turns it into a tropical paradise. Sixteen children who are orphaned during the quake come to live with her, as she sympathizes with them, having suffered a traumatic childhood herself. She cares for them like sons and daughters, despite her usual misanthropy.
That winter, Clayface (Basil Karlo) pays Ivy a visit, hoping to form a bargain with her. This would entail her growing fruits and vegetables, having the orphans harvest them, and him selling the produce to the highest bidder. She wants nothing to do with the plan, and she attempts to kill him with a kiss. Clayface overpowers her, however, and imprisons Ivy and the orphans for six months in a chamber under the park's lake. He feeds her salt and keeps her from the sun to weaken her. Eventually, Batman comes and discovers the imprisoned orphans and Ivy. The two agree to work together to take Karlo down. Batman battles Clayface and instructs Robin to blow up the lake bed above, allowing the rushing water to break apart the mud, effectively freeing Ivy. She fights Karlo, ensnaring him in the branches of a tree and fatally kissing him. She then proceeds to sink him down into the ground, where he becomes fertilizer for Ivy's plants. Batman, originally intending to take the orphans away from Ivy, recognizes that staying with her is what is best for them, and they remain in her care until the city is restored. Also, as part of a bargain to keep her freedom, Batman arranges it so that Ivy provides fresh produce to the starving hordes of earthquake survivors. Soon after, Ivy finds Harley Quinn, who had almost been murdered by the Joker, among the debris of the earthquake and nurses her back to health. The two have been best friends and partners-in-crime ever since.
The Scarecrow (Dr. Jonathan Crane). His scarecrow costume, lanky appearance and surname were inspired by Ichabod Crane of the horror fable "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow".
The Scarecrow is a mentally unstable former psychologist who uses a variety of drugs and psychological tactics to use the fears and phobias of his adversaries. He does not commit his crimes for wealth, but rather as a form of "research" to further study the effects of fear on humans, making the innocent citizens of Gotham his unwilling guinea pigs.
Crane's origin story was greatly expanded in the 1989 graphic novel Batman/Scarecrow #1, part of the Batman: Year One continuity. In the novel, he becomes obsessed with fear and revenge from being bullied throughout his childhood and adolescence for his lanky frame and bookish nature. He commits his first murder at the age of 18 by brandishing a gun in his high school parking lot during the senior prom. Dressed in the ghoulish scarecrow costume that would later become his trademark, Crane causes the head bully, Bo Griggs, and his girlfriend, Sherry Squires ,who had rejected Crane, to have an automobile accident which paralyzes Griggs and kills Squires. From this, Crane discovers a savage delight in literally frightening people to death.
He grows up to become a professor of psychology at Gotham University, specializing in the psychology of fear. The flower pot incident is left intact, but the real reason he is fired is due to injuring a student by accident. After his dismissal, he kills the regents who fired him and becomes a career criminal. Following this, he transferred to Arkham Asylum and became a psychiatrist, where he performed more fear-induced experiments on his patients. He takes the moniker "the Scarecrow", the favorite taunt of the hated bullies, as part of his revenge. The 2005 miniseries, Batman/Scarecrow: Year One, expands upon the earlier origin story. The novels explains that Jonathan Crane is born out of wedlock and also suffers terrible abuse from his fanatically religious great-grandmother. His father takes off before he is even born, and his mother does not show any love or affection towards her son at all. He develops a taste for fear and an affinity for crows when his grandmother locks him in a dilapidated church full of birds. The story also shows Crane murdering his grandmother, and learning that his mother gave birth to a baby girl, causing him to feel great jealousy and grief, reasoning why he is very cold.
During a Batman Confidential story arc, he is shown out of costume at Arkham Asylum still working as a psychiatrist, while planning the renovation of Arkham, and he briefly comes face to face with the criminal who will one day become The Joker.
In the Knightfall storyline, Scarecrow is one of the prisoners that escaped from Arkham after Bane blows it up. He first attacks one of The Joker's henchmen, who tells Scarecrow that his boss is after the commissioner. Scarecrow goes to the Joker and decides to become partners in terrorizing the mayor. Soon they go to the sewers with the mayor, where Batman arrives. Scarecrow gasses him with fear toxic but instead Batman gets angry. Panicked, Scarecrow floods the sewers. Batman escapes with the mayor but Joker and Scarecrow escape as well. Later, at Scarecrow and Joker's hideout, the Joker savagely beats Scarecrow with a chair after he tries to poison him. He is then sent to Arkham.
Black Mask is a supervillain in Gotham City. He is a boss in Gotham Organized Crime who often comes into conflict with the Batman, and also runs his own gang the False Facers. Ruthless and sadistic, he runs his operations with an iron fist and matchless ambition. His effectiveness as a leader has made him one of the greatest crimelords the city has ever seen.
Black Mask's origin story was established in his first appearance. Roman Sionis was born into one of Gotham City’s elite families, to wealthy and utterly self-absorbed parents, caring more about their social status than their son; moments after his birth, the doctor carelessly dropped him on his head. Roman's parents were less concerned about their son's well-being and more concerned about covering up the entire incident out of fear of how their wealthy friends would react to the news of their son's injury. A second incident occurred when he was a child. While at the Sionis family country estate he was attacked by a rabid raccoon. This incident was also covered up by the Sionis family, who forbid Roman to mention it to anyone.
Further adding to the cauldron was his father's "friendship" with Thomas Wayne; both of Roman's parents disliked the Waynes and were quite vocal about it in private with their son. However, to their son's dismay, they continued to associate with Thomas and Martha Wayne and pretended to be friends with the couple, to the extent of literally forcing him to become friends with their son, Bruce. His parents' hypocrisy had a deep impact on him, and he grew to hate and resent them and the "masks" they wore in public.
After his high school graduation, Sionis was given a high ranking position inside his father's company, Janus Cosmetics. There, he met and fell in love with Circe, a working class secretary. His parents didn't approve of the relationship and made it clear that they wanted it ended. Enraged, Roman burned down the family's mansion, killing both of his parents. Upon their deaths, he inherited the family fortune and business. Roman wasn't the businessman his father was, however, and eventually ruined Janus Cosmetics by funding a line of face-paint make-up which failed. In desperation, he threw large sums of money at the staff chemists to create a product to save the company, and what came back to him was a kind of water-proof makeup. The product was rushed to market without proper testing, and once it hit the market turned out to be a deadly toxin which disfigured several hundred women.
Circe, now Sionis' fiancée, broke up with him in front of his entire staff. At that time, now successful mogul Bruce Wayne offered to bail out the company on the condition that Sionis give up control and allow Wayne to appoint his own Board of Directors. Sionis agreed, but was furious at the humiliation he had suffered. He went to the family mausoleum and broke his mother's ebony coffin lid. From a piece of this, Sionis carved a mask, becoming 'Black Mask'.
Sionis found he had an amazing aptitude for crime, and he soon had a large gang working for him. Calling them the False Face Society, the one requirement was that all members must select a mask from his collection and wear it at all times when on the job and in his presence. They were successfully gaining power in the Gotham underworld, until Black Mask decided it was time to take his revenge on Bruce Wayne. He began kidnapping Wayne Enterprises executives, putting masks on their faces that were coated in the deadly make-up once made by Janus Cosmetics. He also targeted Circe and forcibly disfigured her with the chemicals in order to force her to reunite with him. Circe would ultimately kill herself, leading Black Mask to replace her with a mannequin that he talked to as if it were a real person.
These kidnappings drew Batman's attention, and he began hunting down the False Facers. He slowly began to dismantle the organization until he finally found Black Mask in the ruins of the Sionis Family home. Black Mask lit the wreckage on fire trying to escape, but was caught in the burning house. Batman was able to save him, but the mask had been burned onto his face and left him disfigured.
Born in the slums within the everglades of Florida, Waylon Jones had a rare condition that gave him reptilian-like skin. Viewed as an outcast, he became a thief and was placed in a juvenile hall. In juvenile hall, Jones killed an inmate with his bare hands who made fun of his appearance and was sentenced to jail. Paroled after 18 years, he found work as a professional wrestler and took the name "Killer Croc." He stole the wrestling promoter's money, escaped to Gotham City and became a master thief, extortionist, and murderer. Although primitive and no genius, Croc is one of Batman's strongest enemies. After numerous arrests, Croc is deemed insane and sentenced to the violently disturbed ward within Arkham Asylum. He encountered Batman and his allies many more times over the years. Killer Croc soon escaped confinement however, and joined The Injustice League. Croc was one of many Injustice League members led by Deathstroke who crashed the wedding of Green Arrow and Black Canary. Fortunately, the wedding party was made up of members of the Justice League, the Justice Society, the Outsiders and the Teen Titans. By the end of the fight, most of the Injustice League members, including Croc, were apprehended.
Killer Croc possesses enhanced strength, able to rip a large bank vault door right off its hinges with ease. Over time the primal reptilian part of his brain gains more control of his psyche. He possesses superhuman reflexes and speed. Croc also possesses the superior senses and underwater capabilities of his namesake.
Next are some members of the Bat Family:
A new, more independent Batgirl — Barbara "Babs" Gordon, the daughter of Batman supporting character Police Commissioner James Gordon — debuted in Detective Comics #359 (cover-dated January 1967, but released in November 1966). In her debut, Barbara is on her way to a masquerade ball dressed as a female version of Batman when she disrupts a kidnapping attempt on Bruce Wayne by the villainous Killer Moth. This attracts the attention of Batman and leads to her establishing a crime-fighting career. This new character, jointly created by Editor Julius Schwartz, artist Carmine Infantino and author Gardner Fox, was a collaboration between DC Comics and the Batman television series of the late 1960s which aired on ABC. When television producer William Dozier sought to renew the Batman program for a third season, he asked Schwartz for a new female character to be introduced in the comic book medium, which could be adapted into the television series in order to attract a female audience. The new version of Batgirl was written as an adult, having earned a doctorate in library science and maintaining a career as head of Gotham City Public Library.
As Batgirl, Barbara Gordon proved to be more popular than the previous Bat-Girl and Batwoman duo, though she was not a sidekick, but an independent crime fighter. Barbara Gordon appeared as Batgirl in both Batman and Detective Comics, as well as other DC Comics publications unrelated to Batman. The character also received a starring role in the Batman Family comic book series which debuted in 1975, where she became part of the "Dynamite Duo: Batgirl & Robin" with Dick Grayson. Described as one of the most popular characters to appear in publications during the Silver Age of Comic Books, Barbara Gordon appeared as Batgirl regularly from 1966 to 1988, and she is frequently featured as Batgirl in "flashback" stories in current DC Comics publications. Famously, Barbara Gordon is shot through the spinal cord by the Joker in Batman: The Killing Joke. The plot, which led to Gordon's paralysis, subsequently became a point of controversy among critics and commentators. Editor Kim Yale and author John Ostrander revived the character in Suicide Squad #23 (1989) under the guise of Oracle, a freelance information broker and expert hacker. As Oracle, Barbara Gordon is written as an ally to various DC Universe superheroes, but is most notable as the founder and leader of operations of the "Birds of Prey" superhero organization.
After the 2011 DC Universe reboot Barbara Gordon resumes her role as Batgirl, wearing a variation of her original costume. In the revised continuity, the Killing Joke events took place three years earlier, after which a paraplegic Barbara Gordon took her role as Oracle until being healed of her spinal damage. However, as Batgirl, Barbara can be perceived as suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, which has thus far impaired her activities a single time, when a villain pointed a gun at her, touching on her fears of receiving another spinal injury.
The Modern Age Huntress is Helena Rosa Bertinelli (also Hellena Janice Bertinelli in the miniseries Robin 3, Cry of the Huntress), the daughter of one of Gotham's mafia bosses who, after seeing her entire family murdered by a mob hit, vows revenge. During the "No Man's Land" story line she works as Batgirl, but not alongside Batman (whom the citizens believe abandoned them).
Batman considers her to be too unpredictable and violent. Others in the Batman family feel differently; Nightwing had a brief romantic fling with her, while she and Tim Drake share a good professional relationship. Early in his career he worked with the female vigilante, and later cleared her name in a murder case. Batman sponsors Huntress's membership in the Justice League, and for some time, Huntress was a respected member of the League. Under the guidance of heroes such as Superman, she grew in confidence, but was forced to resign after Batman stopped her from killing the villain Prometheus.
The emergence of Bertinelli as the Huntress has not kept DC from occasionally paying homage to the Helena Wayne incarnation of the character. During a post-Crisis JLA-JSA team-up, Bertinelli was so impressed with the skill and prowess of the Flash (Jay Garrick), Hippolyta, and Wildcat, she stated humbly, "I wanna join the Justice Society . . . ." Additionally, Power Girl sought her out for someone to talk to, even though the two have never really interacted.
The character was featured in the comic book Birds of Prey from 2003 onwards as a member of the eponymous team. Although she is still depicted as prone to excessive violence, she became a valuable member of the team.
Batman rarely accepts the Huntress, regarding her as unpredictable and violent. However, when Commissioner Gordon questions Batman about his attitude towards the Huntress, Batman replies; "You know exactly why I don't approve...You're not the only one she reminds of Barbara" — in reference to Barbara Gordon, who had previously fought crime as Batgirl. Others in the Batman family feel differently; for instance, Tim Drake has a good relationship with her. Early in his career, he works with the female vigilante, and later clears her name in a murder case.
Huntress is briefly involved with the Justice League International when she happens upon a brainwashed Blue Beetle attempting to murder Maxwell Lord. The League is impressed, and asks her to join. However, besides League members helping her on one of her own cases and getting a tour of the group's New York embassy, she never officially joins the team.
During the League's restructuring following the Rock of Ages crisis, Batman sponsors Huntress' membership in the Justice League, hoping that the influence of other heroes will mellow the Huntress, and for some time, Huntress is a respected member of the League. Under the guidance of heroes such as Superman, Helena grows in confidence, even playing a key role in defeating Solaris during the DC One Million storyline; inspired by the time capsules students in her class had been making, she realises they had over 800 centuries to set up a plan that would result in Solaris's defeat in the future. She also helps the League defeat foes like Prometheus and encourages Green Lantern to fight the Queen Bee's hypno-pollen during her invasion of Earth. However, she is later forced to resign after Batman stops her from killing the currently-incapacitated Prometheus.
Huntress is asked to serve to fill in an empty spot of the Outsiders after Arsenal sustains major injuries on a mission.
The Huntress becomes involved with Oracle and Black Canary in the comic series Birds of Prey, establishing a close friendship with Black Canary in the process as their initial storyline featured them going up against a man called Braun who had seduced and left them both.
The Huntress also appeared in the Hush storyline. In the storyline, Huntress saves an immobilized Batman's life from a criminal gang when he suffers a fractured skull from a fall after his batrope is cut over Crime Alley. Batman thinks to himself how she is, "so much like I was when I started out", and "she's better than she knows..." In the story, Huntress continues her semi-feud with the Scarecrow. She eventually returns with a new costume and equipment, paid for by Thomas Elliot. While under the influence of Scarecrow's fear toxin, she fights Catwoman, thinking her to be her old self and wants to be more like the Dark Knight.