Every hero has a story, not that I'm some kind of hero. But there comes a point when to survive, the hunted must become the Huntress.
~ Helena.
If the police aren't around and the neighbors won't do anything and nobody else gives a damn whether this woman is in pain... then I'll always be 'dressed oddly'! It will always be 'important to me'! I'll always be out to protect people like her!
~ Huntress.

The Huntress (real name Helena Rosa Bertenelli) is a hero from the DC Comics.

Helena was born into a family who had strong ties with the mafia in Gotham City, and witnessed the death of her family. She decided to exact revenge after being trained by her uncle and cousin in Sicily, and became a vigilante after being inspired by Batman. She later became an ally of the Dark Knight himself, and became a member of the Batman Family and the Birds of Prey alongside Oracle and Black Canary.

She was created by Joey Cavalieri and Joe Staton, and first appeared in The Huntress #1 in April of 1989.

In the DC Extended Universe, she is portrayed by Mary Elizabeth Winstead, who also played Ramona Flowers, Wendy Christensen, Michelle and Lucy McClane. On CWs Arrow, she was portrayed by Jessica De Gouw, who also played Mina Harker in NBC's Dracula.



Being born into a family with strong ties to the mafia, Helena Bertenelli was ultimately left orphaned when her parents and brother were murdered in front of her by a trigger-man from a rival gang. Deeply traumatized by the incident, Helena vowed to strike back against the mafia world, rejecting her ties to it and transforming herself into a vigilante known as the Huntress.

Though initially bitter, ruthless, and cynical, Huntress was able to temper her violent tendencies a bit as time wore on, and has managed to find some measure of peace as a long-time member of the Birds of Prey. She has also spent time as a member of the Justice League.

In spite of her violent tendencies, she is a devout Catholic, and her faith has helped provide her with further peace and guidance.

Early life

Helena Rosa Bertenelli is the daughter of Santo Cassamento and Maria Bertinelli, having had an affair due to Maria's husband, Franco, constantly beating her. Franco also would abuse Maria when she was pregnant with Helena, knowing that the child was his. In addition, Helena would become the half-sister to Franco and Maria's son, Pino.

When she was eight years old, she witnessed the death of Franco, Maria, and her half-brother Pino, who were killed by Stefano Mandragora who ordered the hit on the family. However, Helena was meant to be killed, as her biological father wanted the "sister" to be spared (meaning Maria), but the gunman was confused.

Vowing Revenge

Helena was placed under her Uncle Tomasso's nephew, Salvatore Asaro, and was taken to Sicily to be kept safe. She stayed many years in Sicily, and was eventually trained by her cousin to fight against those who had murdered her family. She was trained until the age of fifteen, having been to a boarding school in Switzerland due to the Italian authorities tracking down mafia's. Helena eventually learned that the mafia were corrupt and evil, and that her family were part it when before their deaths in Gotham City.

At the age of sixteen, she returned to Gotham City to spend time with uncle around Christmas, but she hated everyone there (due to them being criminals). The vigilante Batman crashed the party, and defeated the criminals. Being inspired by how Batman fought, and caused them great fear, she decided to follow his example. She returned to Switzerland, and plotted her revenge by getting the crossbow from her uncle and cousin's home (as the place was empty due to them being arrested).

Helena enrolled in a university in Palermo, she learned all about the mafia, and constructed herself a costume. Helena thought herself to be a nun, devoting her life to exact her revenge against the mafia, and returned to Gotham as the vigilante Huntress. During her adventures, she succeeded in stopping the Riddler's henchmen, and killed Mandragora and the assassin that killed her family. In addition, she began a romantic relationship with Nigthwing while working murder cases tied to the mafia.




  • According to Alexander Luthor, Jr. from Earth-Three, Helena would have originally been a resident of Earth-Eight if the Crisis on Infinite Earths didn't occur.


            JL Heroes

Justice League | Justice League Dark | Justice League International | Super Buddies

Aquaman | Atom | Batman | Black Canary | Cyborg | Elongated Man | Flash | Green Arrow | Green Lantern | Hawkgirl | Hawkman | Martian Manhunter | Red Tornado | Superman | Wonder Woman | Zatanna

Adam Strange | Agent Liberty | Amazing Man | Ambush Bug | Amethyst | Andrew Bennett | Animal Man | Antaeus | Atomica | August General in Iron | Azrael | Aztek | Batwing | Big Barda | Black Condor | Black Lightning | Black Orchid | Blue Beetle | Blue Devil | Blue Jay | Booster Gold | Bronze Tiger | Captain Atom | Captain Cold | Catwoman | Creeper | Crimson Fox | Deadman | Detective Chimp | Doctor Fate | Doctor Light | Doctor Mist | Donna Troy | Element Woman | Elongated Man | Equinox | Etrigan | Faith | Fire | Firehawk | Firestorm | Frankenstein | General Glory | Geo-Force | Guardian | Guy Gardner | Gypsy | Hourman | Huntress | Ice | Jade | Jesse Quick | Jessica Cruz | John Constantine | John Stewart | Katana | Killer Frost | Kyle Rayner | Lex Luthor | Lightray | Lobo | Lois Lane | Madame Xanadu | Maxima | Metamorpho | Mister Miracle | Mon-El | Moon Maiden | Nightmare Nurse | Nightwing | Oracle | Orion | Pandora | Phantom Stranger | Plastic Man | Power Girl | Red Arrow | Red Tornado | Rocket Red | Shade the Changing Mann | Shazam | Silver Sorceress | Simon Baz | Starfire | Stargirl | Steel | Steve Trevor | Supergirl | Swamp Thing | Tasmanian Devil | Tomorrow Woman | Triumph | Vibe | Vixen | Zauriel

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Stream the best stories.

Fandom may earn an affiliate commission on sales made from links on this page.

Get Disney+