Helena Wayne is back! …wait. What?

You’re Captain Obvious by now if you have to say that there’ve been a lot of changes in DC 52. When Huntress got booted off Birds of Prey, fans were concerned that she may have been erased from continuity. But she was, in fact, given her own miniseries, giving fans reason to hope again–particularly because it’s written by  one of her creators, Paul Levitz.

Well, one of the Helena Bertinelli creators.

It’s become increasingly apparent that Huntress is not Helena Bertinelli, the character we’ve come to admire and love over the last twenty years. Instead, she is Helena Wayne, Huntress’ original incarnation. According to her history, she is the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle born on an alternate Earth — she was killed off and then rebooted with a new history two decades ago. If this doesn’t make any sense, you’re not alone — see Helena Wayne’s history and recent DC 52 appearances on DCWKA’s excellent article here. (And most DC characters have a history like this, if that makes you feel better too!)

Of course this is a travesty. Helena has become her own independent, vibrant character over the last twenty years (as well as one of my favorite heroes) and does not need to be revamped, her history thrown away to make her more “accessible”–much like undoing Clark and Lois’ marriage, getting Barbara Gordon out of the chair, dumping Secret Six, oh yes I could go on. But my own and other fans’ grievances aside, it seems more constructive to look towards the future than complain about what’s already be done.

The big question is: is Helena really Bruce and Selena’s daughter?

Well, here’s what Helena looks like:

And her possible parents:

Unless the two look spectacularly young for their age (possible but improbable), or if this is another alternate universe situation (like DC would do that this early), I’m going to say definitely no.

And more substantially, DC has bachelor-ized their leading married men: Superman and Flash. (Apparently, that’s more interesting and realistic [/sarcasm], but that’s another rant, for another time.) I highly doubt they’d make Bats a daddy at the same time.

I think, instead, Helena is a Wayne, but isn’t Bruce’s daughter. Instead, I’m willing to bet she’s his cousin–or, if DC really wants to shake things up, his sister–maybe a half-sister he never knew about (possibly an illegitimate child, given up for adoption before Bruce was born, etc). In this way, Helena is still a Wayne, while still keeping Brucie available for his many, many love interests. But at the same time it gives Bruce a new family tie to contend with, someone who isn’t his apprentice, who can challenge him in a different way.

The big question is, can DC pull off a twist that will keep new fans involved and engaged, without feeling like they’re losing their Helena–particularly when so many fans have come through this new transition disappointed and shortchanged. And how much, if any, of Helena Bertinelli’s history or past (particularly her connections with the mob) bleed over into this new version, is yet to be seen.

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