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75 Greatest Friends and Foes of Batman: Allies #15-11

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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…

Enjoy!

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…

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This began a long-running subplot where Batman and Huntress clashed over their respective methods (Batman felt that she went too far)…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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).

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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!

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52 Comments

Much as I hated Moench’s run on the Batbooks, his making Harvey a film buff (or do I have the wrong writer?) was a nice little detail.
Crime Alley and Leslie were two of the best things O’Neil brought to the Batbooks.

It was Moench, not Conway, who expanded Bullock’s role. Conway barely used him.

One of Conway’s major game-changing contributions to the batbooks (in addition to the big two: shared continuity and long-running subplots) is the idea that Gotham’s power structure, all the way up to the mayor, is perpetually corrupt and there’s not really anything that Batman or Gordon can do about that. (Haney had featured some one-off corrupt politicians, and Englehart had hinted at corruption as well, but in both cases, it was dealt with decisively) I think that this is an essential addition to the mythos because it explains why Batman and Gordon need each other. First Miller and then BTAS picked this up from Conway and really made the whole Batman-concept make a lot more sense.

Glad to see Cass on the list. I hope we see her soon in Batman Eternal.

Gotta say I had a little shudder seeing the panel of Lucius Fox followed by a photograph of Morgan Freeman at the exact same angle. I find it strangely off-putting.

@Nicole: Sorry to inform you, but I will not be appearing in Batman Eternal.

joe the poor speller

April 30, 2014 at 10:24 am

that bullock spotlight ish (‘tec 651) is so cool

“Introduced by Len Wein (who famously has been paid more through royalties for creating Lucius Fox than he ever has for creating Wolverine)”

Limiting the creation of Wolverine to just Len Wein is a tad problematic. There were so many hands in the kitchen:

1. Roy Thomas: According to WIKIPEDIA, he was the guy who tasked Wein to devise a Canadian character named Wolverine. So, Roy seems to get credit for Wolvie’s name and nationality. And you should probably add adamantium to the mix, seeing as how Roy created the metal in the first place and it is so central to the Wolverine mythos.

2.John Romita, Sr: He devised the original costume.

3. Gil Kane: According to WIKIPEDIA, he came up with the modern mask design.

4. Dave Cockrum: Created Wolvie’s face and hairstyle.

5. Byrne and Claremont: As near as I can tell, they were the ones who gave Wolverine his healing factor, adamantium bones ( as opposed to just claws), and extended lifespan.

All of these things are pretty central to Wolverine. Wolverine is not like, say, Spider-Man, where you can basically go back to the Lee-Ditko issues and find the enduring essence of the character. He’s something that was cobbled together over time.

Don’t think I voted for any of these, but they’re all folks I would have been surprised not to see on the list. Interesting that this batch includes both a replacement Huntress and a replacement Batgirl.

I don’t see why the world’s greatest detective couldn’t see that Leslie Whatsername (can’t page back to check without losing this comment) is clearly Mr. Mxyzptlk in the pages shown here.

Limiting the creation of Wolverine to just Len Wein is a tad problematic. There were so many hands in the kitchen:

1. Roy Thomas: According to WIKIPEDIA, he was the guy who tasked Wein to devise a Canadian character named Wolverine. So, Roy seems to get credit for Wolvie’s name and nationality. And you should probably add adamantium to the mix, seeing as how Roy created the metal in the first place and it is so central to the Wolverine mythos.

2.John Romita, Sr: He devised the original costume.

3. Gil Kane: According to WIKIPEDIA, he came up with the modern mask design.

4. Dave Cockrum: Created Wolvie’s face and hairstyle.

5. Byrne and Claremont: As near as I can tell, they were the ones who gave Wolverine his healing factor, adamantium bones ( as opposed to just claws), and extended lifespan.

All of these things are pretty central to Wolverine. Wolverine is not like, say, Spider-Man, where you can basically go back to the Lee-Ditko issues and find the enduring essence of the character. He’s something that was cobbled together over time.

And Lucius Fox in the movies is nothing like Lucius Fox in the comics. And yet Wein still gets paid when he gets used, because that’s how it works. Similarly, if Marvel had royalties for characters created during the 1970s, Wein would have been paid for Wolverine. They didn’t, so he gets paid nothing for one of the most famous comic characters ever.

“And Lucius Fox in the movies is nothing like Lucius Fox in the comics. And yet Wein still gets paid when he gets used, because that’s how it works. Similarly, if Marvel had royalties for characters created during the 1970s, Wein would have been paid for Wolverine. They didn’t, so he gets paid nothing for one of the most famous comic characters ever.”

But where Wolverine is concerned, shouldn’t Roy Thomas get a check, too, seeing as how he came with the character’s name (Wolverine), not to mention the unique metal (adamantium) that is his calling card? Isn’t he entitled to a creator’s credit? And then there are Claremont and Byrne. Where would Wolverine be without his “healing factor,” a concept that is so key to Wolverine that a whole movie plot (THE WOLVERINE) revolved around it being lost?

I’m not saying that Wein does not deserve to be ranked as one of Wolverine’s creators. He is. Nor am I saying that he does not deserve royalties/compensation for Wolverine’s movie appearances. He does. I am merely saying that one cannot say that Wein deserves sole credit for Wolverine. If Wein eventually gets a check for Movie Wolverine, so should Byrne, Claremont, Thomas, etc.

Bill Williamson

April 30, 2014 at 12:17 pm

Say what you want about Dixon, he writes a good Batman. This segment has at least two of his best contributions (Huntress and the Bullet for Bullock story, which was adapted for a B:TAS story).

Trajan -

Ethically, I agree with you. Legally and pratically, I don’t know. It’s complicated to determine how many people have contributed to some long-running comic book characters.

Superman himself has many elements that came from radio shows or TV shows, I think.

I mean, yes, Chris Claremont is the real creator of what is essential to Wolverine to me. Legally and pratically, I suppose it’s simpler to just give the credits to the first guy that came up with the character, even the bare-bones of the character (be that Thomas or Wein).

I read that the guy that first came with the barebones of the LOST TV show owns 60% of the rights, despite his original proposal having almost nothing of the unique elements that appeared on screen. His idea was just people-crash-on-an-island, people-are-not-rescued, people-try-to-survive. And a court judged him to own 60% of the show,

renenarcisco:”Ethically, I agree with you. Legally and pratically, I don’t know. It’s complicated to determine how many people have contributed to some long-running comic book characters.”

I agree completely. Creators’ credits are a very sticky matter. Even something as seemingly cut and dried as the Fantastic Four has thorny aspects. People usually limit the parameters of the “who created the FF debate” to Stan Lee and Jack Kirby, but what about Carl Burgos? The Johnny Storm Torch is simply a Silver Age refashioning of the Golden Age character. Doesn’t that mean that Burgos deserves partial credit for the FF? Of course, the question becomes how much credit. Should it be 25% (the Torch being one quarter of the FF)? Or, seeing as how the character was substantially modified (switching from android to human teenager), perhaps Burgos should get 12%?

“Holy shit, what the hell? That is insanely stupid!” is a pretty apt description of WarGames/Crimes/whatever

Glad to see Batgirl placing so high.

Here’s a comment from Roy Thomas regarding Wolverine:

“Not a big deal, but it really does irk me when all the credit for creating Wolverine is given to Len and John Romita, important as they were. I mean, I didn’t just mention that I’d like a Canadian character. I told Len I wanted him to make up a character specifically named Wolverine, who is Canadian and small/short of stature and has a fierce temper (like a real wolverine); if that doesn’t establish my bona fides as co-creator of Wolverine, I don’t know what does.”

I think it’s fair to say that we all created Wolverine.

Huntress (Helena Bertinelli) This is the lesser version of the Huntress for me. It is not that she is a terrible character. “Young woman whose methods Batman doesn’t approve of” is clearly a slot in the Bat Family. However, Helena Bertinelli isn’t even the second best variation on that theme. Like former Robins, you reach a point of diminishing returns after a certain point.

Harvey Bullock He is sort of a fascinating in that “senior member of the G.C.P.D. who disagrees with Gordon using Batman” is another pretty natural slot in the Bat Mythos. It is amazing that Bullock has been the only person to really fill it. You’d think Batman stories would be littered with variations on that theme, but nope.

Dr. Leslie Thompkins Again, this is a character with a clear slot that needs to be filled by someone. Batman can’t just stitch himself up. She is not a great character independent her role, so it is a shame that her role has been supplanted by Alfred a little bit. It is nice to have another non-costumed in that little conspiracy.

Lucius Fox Ok. This is officially a trend. It is amazing how long Batman went without someone managing his money. Unlike the first three, Lucius Fox is pretty close to best case scenario in that role, at least in his Morgan Freeman incarnation.

Batgirl/Blackbat (Cassandra Cain) To me, Cassandra Cain is the best version of role Helena Bertinelli imperfectly tries to fill. The whole “raised by the person that trained Batman to fight” angle is awesome. The guilt-driven piece is better, since it is something that she did and something that her dad did. The lack of social graces (down to being almost mute) is an interesting angle. The costume really expressed what was going on emotionally. The only thing really wrong with Cass Cain is that she never seemed like a fit as Bat-GIRL. Too dark.

“Not a big deal, but it really does irk me when all the credit for creating Wolverine is given to Len and John Romita, important as they were. I mean, I didn’t just mention that I’d like a Canadian character. I told Len I wanted him to make up a character specifically named Wolverine, who is Canadian and small/short of stature and has a fierce temper (like a real wolverine); if that doesn’t establish my bona fides as co-creator of Wolverine, I don’t know what does.”

That doesn’t make it any less tacky that Wein has made more money on Lucius Fox than the lead in six major motion pictures. A 33% cut on Wolverine royalties should still be a fortune.

I mean, you can argue that Siegel & Shuster had no hand in essential elements of the Superman mythos (Jimmy Olsen, the Fortress of Solitude, etc), but it doesn’t make what happened to them right.

Cassie, Cassie, Cassie. More than Barbara Gordon, more than Damian Wayne, more than Jason Todd, she was definitely in the top five of my favorite Batman supporting cast members, and I’m going to be really disappointed to see all of those people higher on the list than her. She wasn’t just MY Batgirl, she was an interesting, unique character who the Bat books still need today. I hope she returns soon. She deserves to return more than Stephanie and Damian combined.

Man, I loved 90s Batman. Graham Nolan and Chuck Dixon, the cast of the GCPD, and Tim before he got processed like hot dog meat through a series of bad writing decisions that turned him into Mini-Batman.

His working relationship with Huntress is a great example. Just the fact that he talked to her and what she was really like while Batman completely shut her out (and this is back in the day before shutting people out was his go-to response with anyone) highlighted the difference between them.

And the whole “Wolverine’s creators” issue is kind of interesting but completely irrelevant. If the creator royalties had been split TEN different ways, it would STILL be crazy that Lucius Fox earned Wein more money.

Dean Hacker:”That doesn’t make it any less tacky that Wein has made more money on Lucius Fox than the lead in six major motion pictures. A 33% cut on Wolverine royalties should still be a fortune.”

Frankly, I’m not sure that a 33% split would be right, seeing as how that would amount to one 3rd each to Thomas, Wein, and Romita. There’s still the extremely important contributions of Byrne and Claremont to take into account (healing factor, adamantium skeleton, slow aging, etc).

Dean Hacker:”I mean, you can argue that Siegel & Shuster had no hand in essential elements of the Superman mythos (Jimmy Olsen, the Fortress of Solitude, etc), but it doesn’t make what happened to them right.”

I don’t think that the Superman comparison quite works. Superman was a huge hit before people besides Siegel and Shuster began to contribute. Unlike Superman, Wolverine did not take exactly take the world by storm in his debut in HULK 180-181. He only became popular after Byrne and Claremont made their critical additions to the character.

RE: The Credit for Creating Wolverine Controversy,

Let me just sum up by saying that what moved me to post was Brian’s statement that Len Wein created Wolverine. To my mind, that is akin to saying that Bob Kane created Batman. Kane was Batman’s co-creator. To call him Batman’s creator is to do a disservice to Bill Finger, whose contributions to Batman were absolutely vital. The same holds true for Len Wein and Wolverine. In order to call Wein Wolverine’s creator, one must simply ignore the vital contributions of Romita, Thomas, Cockrum, Byrne, and Claremont. Wein is one of Wolverine’s co-creators; he is not the creator of Wolverine.

And who gets the credit for Wolverine being retconned into the backstory of every other Marvel character? Surely they should get as much credit for the Wolvie we know as anyone else.

Can guess nine of the top ten remaining allies for sure, but am real curious at what the tenth slot will be.

I’m hoping it’s a certain shoo-in for the top ten villains, who also showed himself to be a very interesting ally in a couple of notable storylines (that’s “himself”, I’m not talking about the obvious female ally/enemy here…)

These countdowns continue to be a delight.

Funny to see Roxxon mentioned in a Batman story, as this is one of the old 1970′s era Marvel evil corporations! I guess they really DO have offices everywhere!

One of the New 52′s first major missteps for me was revealing that Helena Bertinelli was killed off panel.

From this list #15-11, I voted for Lucius Fox. I thought he would be in the top ten.

It’s great to see Cassandra do so well – She was my #3 vote. I’d have loved it if she’d beaten Barbara Gordon – and if Barbara Gordon’s votes were split into Batgirl and Oracle she might have had a chance of at least beating Barbara’s Batgirl.

Bullock was my #8. Also a great character. I like for good guy characters to be dickheads sometimes and while he’s not a Guy Gardner (also a great character) level dick-head he’s still not particularly nice.

Brian Cronin

May 1, 2014 at 6:04 am

Let me just sum up by saying that what moved me to post was Brian’s statement that Len Wein created Wolverine. To my mind, that is akin to saying that Bob Kane created Batman. Kane was Batman’s co-creator. To call him Batman’s creator is to do a disservice to Bill Finger, whose contributions to Batman were absolutely vital. The same holds true for Len Wein and Wolverine. In order to call Wein Wolverine’s creator, one must simply ignore the vital contributions of Romita, Thomas, Cockrum, Byrne, and Claremont. Wein is one of Wolverine’s co-creators; he is not the creator of Wolverine.

And your response there was an odd overreaction to my comment, as obviously Wein was not the sole creator of Lucius Fox, either (as artist John Calnan has a piece of ownership, as well, for having drawn Fox’s first appearance), but you had no problem with that comment, right? Because I had enough faith in the readers to understand that I wasn’t claiming that he was the sole creator of Lucius Fox or Wolverine, just making a point about how he has made more money for Fox than Wolverine, which is ridiculously unfair. As if, what, I don’t know how Wolverine was created? Because I haven’t written about it extensively before on the blog? You’re overreacting to a slight perceived by no one but you.

“And your response there was an odd overreaction to my comment, as obviously Wein was not the sole creator of Lucius Fox, either (as artist John Calnan has a piece of ownership, as well, for having drawn Fox’s first appearance), but you had no problem with that comment, right? Because I had enough faith in the readers to understand that I wasn’t claiming that he was the sole creator of Lucius Fox or Wolverine, just making a point about how he has made more money for Fox than Wolverine, which is ridiculously unfair. As if, what, I don’t know how Wolverine was created? Because I haven’t written about it extensively before on the blog? You’re overreacting to a slight perceived by no one but you.”

Brian, please allow me to apologize for any offense that my comments may have caused. Obviously, you know the complex nature of Wolverine’s creation as well as anyone. And, yes, I should have objected to Wein being described as Fox’s sole creator. That was an error on my part.

For my part, I do think that my main point is valid. When someone is described as a given character’s “creator,” that implies a sense of singularity. Hence, I feel that one should reserve the word “creator” for situations where, so far as we know, a single individual was responsible. When we speak of characters who have more than one creator, I feel that we should use “co-creator.” Or, barring that, employ the plural form (“He was one of the creators of this character,”etc).

So I’m guessing Alfred, Dick Grayson, Tim Drake, The Commish, Barbara Gordon, Damian, Superman, Catwoman, Jason Todd, and Stephanie Brown for the top ten? Surprised Spoiler placed this high.

And to move on to less weighty matters, I really liked the little in-joke about Roxxon in the Lucius Fox panels. And I really don’t like the “babeification” of Leslie Thompkins. Does every female in comics have to be youngish, slim, and sexually appealing (cf the transformation of Amanda Waller as another case in point)?

@ Trajan23:

… And I really don’t like the “babeification” of Leslie Thompkins. Does every female in comics have to be youngish, slim, and sexually appealing (cf the transformation of Amanda Waller as another case in point)?

It is actually a bit worse than that. If you do a Google Image Search, then you will note that DC has never settled on a “model” for Leslie Thompkins. Her appearance varies widely from artist-to-artist. It is almost as if she isn’t important enough to the Editors to keep consistent.

That is a big deal, because supporting, non-costumed characters have most of their identity in their character design. Amanda Waller made a huge impression in Suicide Squad because either Luke McDonnell, or John Byrne, gave her such a distinctive look.

Bill Williamson

May 1, 2014 at 8:56 am

trajan23: I dunno. Just cause Leslie’s old doesn’t mean she has to look like someone’s nanny. Although I do agree about Waller. That was a travesty. I saw a comic book cover with thin Waller on it recently and I said to myself ‘That’s not the Wall! WTF is this?’

Lucius Fox closed my allies ballot.

Bill Williamson:”trajan23: I dunno. Just cause Leslie’s old doesn’t mean she has to look like someone’s nanny. Although I do agree about Waller. That was a travesty. I saw a comic book cover with thin Waller on it recently and I said to myself ‘That’s not the Wall! WTF is this?’”

Yeah, but, on the other hand, why can’t she look like someone’s nanny? Women in comics are nearly all good-looking. People like Waller and Thompkins used to be exceptions to this rule, and their mere existence brought a slight dose of reality into the medium. Nowadays, I half-expect to see Aunt May get retconned into a sexy senior citizen.

Bill Williamson

May 1, 2014 at 9:34 am

trajan23: Well, Aunt May has been getting more attractive lately. Then there’s Ultimate Aunt May…

I take your point, but I don’t mind the beautification of Leslie Thompkins, largely because society insists that old people can’t be attractive, so it’s refreshing to see an older person who doesn’t immediately look like she belongs in a retirement home.

There are two different stereotypes at play here.

Bill Williamson:”There are two different stereotypes at play here.”

Yeah, that’s a good point. I suppose that I am largely reacting to the default “every woman in a comic book has to be a total babe” stereotype.

Mike Loughlin

May 1, 2014 at 11:15 am

Two of my favorite characters, Helena Bertinelli and Cassandra Cain, and they’re both absent from the Nu52. The Batman/ Huntress: Cry for Blood mini series is an underrated gem, one of the best comics Greg Rucka has written. I wish she had kept her JLA-era costume, as I’ve never liked the long mask & belly shirt combo.

Cassandra Cain is a fascinating character. Her language disability is unique, and her various psychological issues made me root for her to overcome her past. I miss her, and would love to see Puckett & Scott do some new material with her.

More material for Iron Bat’s amalgamated mythos:
-Helena Bertinelli was mixed with the Black Widow (Natalia Romanova) to make the Matron, a member if both Task Force S (Task For e X/SHIELD) and the Ladybirds (Birds of Prey/Lady Liberators), with a onetime fiance in the form of Star Guardian (Red Star/Red Guardian), Russia’s member of Global Flight (Alpha Flight/the global Guardians).
-Dr. Thompkins was mixed with Ho Yinsen to make Leslie Yinsen, who helped Tony Wayne build his very first armor so both could escape their captivity.
-Lucius was mixed with Kenjiro Fujikawa to make Lucius Fujikawa, and it was his abduction by the Bedlam Monger (Baron Bedlam/Hate-Monger) while visiting Symkovia (Markovia/Symkaria) that led to Iron Bat forming the Outer-Warriors (The Outsiders/The New Warriors) to rescue him.
-Cassandra Cain is mixed with MC2′s Wild Thing to make Rina Cain, daughter of Dmitri Cain (David Cain/the Chameleon) and Elektra Wu-San (Lady Shiva/Elektra), who is adopted by Wolf (Lobo/Wolverine) of the X-Patrol (The Doom Patrol/The X-Men).

Two from my list made it this time. Huntress, who man, has had a lot of bad costumes (and the worst isn’t even shown here). And my reaction is becoming standard for each edition of these lists, but Nu52 Huntress is an alternative world version of the original? Wha? Sigh.

Boy, I remember Tompkins going from old to someone Alfred could kiss without people going ewwwww, but she was REALLY old her first appearance, eh? That was a horrible, horrible storyline. But I never thought the character really worked. It’s bad enough to make Alfred a “bad parent” as he really was only the butler, but all these nurturing influences on young Bruce and he still come out wanting to dress as a bat makes it look like they’ve done a horrible job. I mean, Batman did a better job raising Dick to not be so obsessed than they did. And he’s Batman. (Yeah, I know Leslie often says she “failed you Bruce” but I just don’t think it works to have humanizing influences on Bruce so early. Better if she knew him briefly then, then met him later or something).

Fox’s son is Batwing in Nu52? Wha? They couldn’t find another black man in Gotham, so he had to be his dad? Sigh.

And if Cassandra wasn’t on here, I was a little worried she wasn’t going to make the list. I had her right after my “big 5″ on the list. I really liked the character, and was the only other Batgirl to work for me. She wasn’t interesting, and different. Her first costumes had problems (yeah, put the mute girl with her mouth bound in bondage gear, that’ll advance how women are treated in comics). But the basic look could have worked if it kept the body with a more Batgirl like cowl. The Black Bat look was an improvement. (Though much like Batwing there must not have been any other Asians other than Shiva to be her mother….).

M-Wolverine, I disagree. As Alan Brennert once said, for the DCU someone putting on a bat costume to avenge his parents’ death is no weirder than founding MADD because your daughter was killed by a drunk driver. It doesn’t indicate bad parenting or foster-parenting.

Whole-hearted agreement on Thin Waller. As a fan of Person of Interest I think Camryn Mannheim is precisely what we need for Waller, except for being white.

I liked Helena a fair amount, mostly in Birds of Prey-related things, so I’m happy she’s here.

I’ve always been fond of Harvey. I like his gruff exterior in comparison to Gordon.

I only really care for Leslie due to her raising Bruce with Alfred (btw, those two would be adorable as a couple). The most I ever REALLY cared about her though was the Steph-related stuff, and only because it was so bad.

I only really care about Lucius because of the Dark Knight and Morgan Freeman.

I LOVE Cass, if only because she got the “angsty, bad upbringing made me extremely violent” thing RIGHT. Plus, she just had nice character interactions with the other Batfamily characters, and felt like she really filled a space in the Batfamily. She felt like she really was Batman’s daughter, and Oracle was very well-written when it came to Cass… So DC fucked that shit up, and then scrambled when, shock of all shocks, people didn’t like them screwing up a popular character! Then they got Adam Beechen to write Batgirl: Redemption… in which he further screwed her up (seriously, who thought getting him to write was a GOOd idea?). Despite to stupid name, I really DO like the Blackbat costume (especially the cape). Too bad DC screwed her over again with the New 52. When Lady Shiva appeared in Nightwing, years later when he was ACTUALLY Nightwing, and yet she was the same age as him (how would Penguin even KNOW her age? Or Dick’s?), I was heavily under the impression that that was Cass, the original Shiva’s daughter who replaced her or something. But I’m now in epic denial about that, and I’m hoping DC lets Snyder use her like he wanted to.

It’s a shame I missed almost all of Cass’s appearances as I gave up on Batman in the early 1990s. Given her fan following, she sounds like a good one.

nice to see Leslie finaly appear on this list for figured she would be close to even the top ten and like alfred she has been part of batmans life almost since the beginings. plus the fact dc did admit they did her wrong when she killed stephanie to try and teach batman a lesson. bullock liked how the character was under neath his toughness really a teddy bear. huntress never liked the second version of her thought she was too dark. cassandra cain one bat character dc really needs to bring back to the fold for she is too interesting to still leave in limbo

@Fraser – I think becoming a superhero because of tragedy is like founding MADD. Like Nightwing, or Spider-Man. Having a preteen boy grow up to do nothing but obsess over his parents death, train constantly to go out and beat up criminals in the night in bat costume, while having no real human interaction or relationships other than with partner crime fighters and your enemies is not healthy. That’s why I pointed out Dick Grayson. Batman wants Dick to use his pain, but also help process it. He DOESN’T want Dick to end up just like he did, which is why he takes him in. And Grayson ends up a more rounded human being, if not as efficient a crime fighter.

Fraser

Whole-hearted agreement on Thin Waller. As a fan of Person of Interest I think Camryn Mannheim is precisely what we need for Waller, except for being white.

I think Octavia Spencer would have a problem with that not to mention Queen Latifah.

Okay, honestly, I’ve seen very, very, VERY few people say thin Amanda Waller is for the better. I don’t even get why DC did it, what with them seemingly going out of their way for diversity, which includes body size.

on Helena Bertinelli
In World’s Finest issue 1 it was stated that she was dead and that during the 5 years since arriving on Earth 1 Helena Wayne had (at some point) taken over her identity and having fun pretending to be a Mafia princess (or whatever) while fighting crime as the Huntress.
It is unclear whether any of the pre-flashpoint Huntress stories occurred with Helena Wayne pretending to be Bertinelli, however, it seems that she hadn’t met Earth 1′s Batman until First Contact.

The real Helena Bertinelli is unlikely to appear until the next big reboot unless someone decides to resurrect her or introduce a version from another Earth or decides her death was faked or simply doesn’t know she’s supposed to be dead or…

3 of my choices – Cassandra Cain was my number 1 choice

Bertinelli was another (though I will never understand how she managed to hide those curves and muscles within the batgirl costume)

and I also picked Bullock

on the Batwing/Fox connection – the original Batwing was an African policeman – but it seems that non-white characters (like female characters) have difficulties getting high enough sales figures for DC without a long history and/or a link to BatMan – so DC try to boost sales by making the character more American and more linked to Batman.

on Waller – maybe it was done o market spin-off products (toys, etc) or maybe the people currently at DC don’t understand the value of giving characters strikingly distinctive look and they want all their characters to look virtually identical…

Ray, I wasn’t clear. I didn’t mean “There’s no black actress” who could play Waller,” only that Mannheim is both a heavy, non-hot woman and playing a ruthless spymaster, so the comparison jumped to my mind.

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