Originally published at FORTRESS OF BAILEYTUDE. You can comment here or there.
Partners and Allies rolls into Day 5 and now we are moving into the Allies part of the series. There have been a number of heroes Batman has worked with over the years. Some became trusted allies, some had to prove themselves and one was tapped to replace him when Bane broke his back.
The first super-hero ally is kind of an anomaly because while her current incarnation had to go through a lot of crap to gain Batman’s trust she was once related to him.
I’ve discussed how awesome Earth-2 was as a concept in previous posts. One of the main reasons is that characters that are considered icons could actually age, get married and have children. Helena Wayne was one of those children. She was the daughter of the Batman and that makes her sixteen different types of awesome right there. Right from her introduction in All-Star Comics Helena was an interesting character and even though I haven’t read all of her backups in Wonder Woman I really liked what I have seen, both in terms of writing and art.
I feel bad for the Huntress. She was one of the many casualties of the Crisis on Infinite Earths along with Power Girl and just about everything cool Roy Thomas had developed with Earth-2. After Crisis they had to shoehorn her into the new continuity and there were some definite growing pains there. I have read her ongoing series that ran from 1989 to 1990 and while it wasn’t bad it didn’t exactly set the comic book world on fire. Later Chuck Dixon would do some great things with the character and eventually she earned her place in the Bat family. At the same time though it feels like she shouldn’t have had to do that. I mean if you were created as the daughter of the Batman you should have a legacy seat at the table.
That could just be me, though.
If you are looking at this entry and thinking, “Where in the hell did this come from? I’ve never seen this before,” then you and I have something in common. This is from the Update ’93 series of the Loose Leaf Who’s Who, which I didn’t even know existed until about seven or so years ago when I found it on eBay. It was a two issue series that seemed very rushed in nature but it was cool nonetheless because it actually had a Doomsday entry. It also had this one, with some very nice Quesada and Nowlan art.
I like the fact that Azrael got his own entry because I am rather fond the character. Well, let me qualify that statement. I like the first appearances of that character, his time as Batman and the first twenty-five issue of his own series. After that things went a bit off the rails and I think the idea of Jean Paul Valley ran out of steam. Still he is a very important element to the Batman universe. To be sure he was an odd choice to replace Bruce after his…accident but you couldn’t have done the whole Knightfall/Knightsquest/Knightsend saga without him. If Dick Grayson had stepped into the role the whole tone of the saga would have changed and none of the themes that were explored would have made a lick of sense. So for that I will always have a soft spot for Jean Paul.
Tomorrow (maybe): One of the most important people in Batman’s life. His original appearances may have been odd but I can’t think of Batman without him.
More to follow…