75 Greatest Friends and Foes of Batman: Allies #15-11
In honor of the seventy-fifth anniversary of Batman, we’re doing four straight months of polls having to do with Batman. Future installments will deal with Batman creators and stories, but this month will be about Batman’s allies and his villains.
You all voted, now here are the results (40 bad guys, 35 good guys for a total of 75)! Here is a list of all the characters revealed so far. We continue with Allies #15-11…
NOTE: There’s so many images in these pieces that I’ll be breaking them up over two pages.
15. Huntress (Helena Bertinelli)
With her original identity as the daughter of Catwoman and Batman now untenable after the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths (which eliminated the alternate Earth that she came from), Huntress was revamped by Joey Cavalieri as being the daughter of a mob boss who decides to hunt down the mob after her family were killed as part of a mob war. She was strictly a New York City character, and even ended up joining the Justice League in an odd story (she really did not fit in). After her ongoing series ended, she was in a state of limbo until Chuck Dixon decided to bring her back in the pages of Detective Comics as a Batman character…
This began a long-running subplot where Batman and Huntress clashed over their respective methods (Batman felt that she went too far)…
During this same period, she entered a short-term romantic relationship with Nightwing.
Her unsettled place among the Bat-crew eventually led to her joining Oracle and Black Canary on the Birds of Prey, where she more or less stopped being a major Batman supporting character.
The New 52 has brought back the original Helena Wayne version of the Huntress, so the Helena Bertinelli Huntress is finished…for now.
14. Harvey Bullock
When he was introduced by Archie Goodwin and Howard Chaykin, Lieutenant Harvey Bullock was just plain ol’ jerk…
This approach was further developed by Gerry Conway in the 1980s when Bullock was a corrupt cop out to get Commissioner Gordon. He eventually was redeemed, though, and became a solid Gotham cop.
For a period in time, Bullock was a member of the spy organization Checkmate, which was just silly in retrospect (sort of like Donna Troy becoming a Darkstar or Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman becoming Avengers).
In the 1990s, Bullock was softened to the point where his hard edges really no longer existed. He was just a plain ol’ good guy (just with a gruff exterior). Chuck Dixon’s enjoyment of the character clearly played a major role in this. It was this characterization that was adopted in the Batman Animated Series.
Dixon wrote a classic Bullock spotlight issue…
Bullock remained a major player in the GCPD until Dixon left the Bat-books after No Man’s Land. Incoming Detective Comics writer Greg Rucka, though, promoted Bullock out of homicide and then wrote him out of the book when Commissioner Gordon is shot and Bullock appears to have led the mob to kill Gordon’s assailant. Bullock eventually becomes an alcholic and nearly kills himself.
After Infinite Crisis, though, Bullock returns to the GCPD without any real explanation, just that something happened during “One Year Later” that got him his job back.
He continued to be the same ol’ 1990s Bullock for the rest of the decade and during the new 52 he continues in that familiar role as the gruff detective loyal to Gordon and occasionally friendly to Batman.
13. Dr. Leslie Thompkins
Introduced by Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano in the classic tales “There is Hope in Crime Alley,” Dr. Leslie Thompkins is revealed to be the person who comforted Bruce after the death of his parents…
Later tales de-aged her a bit and made her more of a current character and not just a one-off old lady character. In addition, her involvement with Bruce and his parents expanded. She was now a close friend of his parents and remained very close to Bruce after the murder of his parents (she also seemed to grow romantically interested in Alfred).
Over time, Leslie Thompkins began to serve as sort of a surrogate mother/grandmother to a lot of the misfits in Batman’s universe. First with Azrael and then with Cassandra Cain. More recently, she served in a similar role to Stephanie Brown when Brown was Batgirl.
Sadly, in the lead-up to Infinite Crisis, she was mutilated and killed by…let’s say Killer Croc (the real truth was almost just as bad. In the War Crimes storyline, Thompkins was taking care of a seriously wounded Stephanie Brown. She could have saved Stephanie but she was so pissed off at the way that Batman kept bringing other people into his fight that she decided it was better to let Stephanie die to prove a lesson to Batman. If your reaction to that plot idea is “Holy shit, what the hell? That is insanely stupid!” then, well, you wouldn’t be alone. Luckily, they later retconned it so that she just faked Stephanie’s death. You can read more about it in this old Abandoned an’ Forsaked).
In the New 52, Thompkins was back to her good natured ways, helping young Jason Todd when he lost HIS parents.
Go to the next page for #12-11!