Wednesday, July 14, 2021

Justice Society - THE HUNTRESS!

The Justice Society of America - PVC Set 3 - The Huntress - DC Direct 2001

I'm a sucker for characters with complicated origins rooted in Golden and Silver Age comic lore. And if that character also happens to be cat-themed, it's all the better. Paula Brooks as the Huntress first appeared in the 1947 issue of Sensation Comics #68 as a villain of Wildcat. She was his most significant foe, but still only had a handful of appearances before fading away for nearly 20 years. By 1980, she had a meager 15 appearances over 33 years. I first discovered her in an early issue of Batman Family #7 (1976) fighting Batgirl and Robin, which was dated about a year before Helena Wayne was introduced as an all-new batman-universe character using her name. I was intrigued by Paula's Catwoman-esque vibe but didn't become fully obsessed until I found All-Star Comics #73 (1978) which featured a Huntress vs Huntress battle. Years later in 1987 she was finally given a backstory. She was now revealed to be the daughter of Tigress, a Zatara villain (who first appeared in Action Comics #1, 1938). 

Paula herself had adopted her mother's Tigress identity for a while (prior to becoming the Huntress) and was even a hero (in Young All-Stars). Eventually Paula married Sportsmaster and had a daughter, Artemis Crock, who also took up the mantle of Tigress. The character is still relatively obscure, but she's persistent in DC media. Variations of the Huntress/Tigress character have appeared in Gotham, Arrow, Stargirl, Batman: Brave and the Bold, Batman Beyond, Young Justice, and DC Super Hero Girls. Surprisingly, I believe this 2001 PVC figure is the only merchandise of her. Not even a Heroclix.

Here is an image of Paula Brooks' debut page in Sensation Comics #68.

And here is an image of her mother, the Golden Age Zatara villain, Tigress.

And here are scans I found online of the main Huntress vs Huntress story from All-Star Comics #73.

Time for a Comparison Pic!


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