The Gotham Gazette Building had been something of a landmark in a city known for especially unique building designs. The venerable paper had not had a colorful style; it was merely the city’s oldest paper. Thus, when the building was torched by a pair of futuristic villains, many mourned its loss.
Now, Helena Wayne, wearing a chic pink business suit and heels, officiated at the groundbreaking ceremony for the reconstruction of the newspaper she owned.
“It’s a proud day for me to see a new start for a paper my father owned,” she said. “He cared about the truth, and the Gazette was always dedicated to getting the truth out to its readers. The new Gazette building will rise from the ashes of the old site and hopefully bring with it the journalistic integrity associated with the original!” At that, she cut a ribbon, and a construction crew drew near to begin their work.
The pretty woman smiled as the foreman started up the bulldozer. Dad spent a brief time as a paper man, and he’d be happy to see the Gazette restored after that Joker from the future burned it, she thought. (*)
[(*) Editor’s note: See Batman Family: Family Legacy.]
A sound caught her ears as she looked up to see a woman swinging down from above. She wore jeans and a yellow hard hat. Beneath the shadow of the hat, her eyes glowed a bright green.
Oh, great! thought Helena.
She landed agilely and shouted, “All of you stay still, and no one will be hurt. I want your money, your jewels.”
The wealthy few who had gathered to watch the ceremony had plenty of valuables to offer. They represented the elite of Gotham City’s civil-minded citizens. They murmured disapproval, and the woman spoke louder.
“I mean business!” she said as she snatched a bracelet off an elderly lady.
As the men moved to apprehend the woman, she spun and kicked down two while jabbing a third in the throat.
Helena had moved for the outskirts of the crowd in order to change to the Huntress when the woman smiled and touched her belt.
The bulldozer began to hum, and it roared forward even as the frightened driver jumped for safety. It steered right toward Helena, and she gasped.
Kicking off her high heels, she vaulted the bladed machine to land in its seat. Got to shut this down. She’s operating it by remote in some way, she mused.
But the controls didn’t respond to her efforts, and her frustration grew as the woman robbed the crowd and steered the dozer directly for the oncoming police.
“They can’t avoid it. Got to risk turning it over!” she said, frowning as she fought the controls. She managed to send it veering away, but by that time, the woman had vanished.
“Nice work, Ms. Wayne,” said the foreman. “I guess your dad taught you a bit about heavy equipment. I know Mr. Wayne had a lot of interests.”
Helena nodded. “And I try to continue many of them.”
That night, the Huntress worked late into the night as she searched the city she loved for some lead to just who the woman with the flashing green eyes had been. She spoke to her sources and even spent time behind the bar as Babs Gordon, the Irish barmaid, without picking a single lead.
The bulldozer had been tampered with in advance, mused the raven-haired beauty. It was a simple enough procedure. She did drive it by remote, but she fought well, too. She seemed to know martial arts, and her eyes were so unusually bright. Funny how she aimed that dozer directly at Helena before I had made any kind of aggressive move. It’s almost like she wanted to get me personally while robbing the Gazette crowd.
The Huntress smiled as the woman’s look recurred to her quick mind. “I wonder if this is the start of a series of mysterious heavy equipment crimes, and her nom du crime is something like Hard-hattie!” she said, laughing.
She knew in truth that her late father had fought many odder foes during his career as Batman. The Spinner was one odd case, she thought. How many spinning-themed crimes could there be to begin with?
She sighed and studied a computerized copy of the attacker’s features. Those weird eyes made the rest of her features rather hard to see, she thought. Plus, she doesn’t match anyone with a criminal record. I guess she could be a first offender. Looked very youthful, too.
The next night, she was summoned to Gotham Police Headquarters by the Bat-Signal and loyal Sgt. Harvey Hainer Jr.
“Good evening, Sergeant!” she said with a smile.
He returned her grin. “Oh, Miss! Nice to see you. I thought perhaps Red Robin would answer… or Power Girl.”
The Huntress concealed a smile, since she knew Hainer was nervous around the brash Power Girl. “Nope. Just me. What can I do for you?” she asked.
“Ah, lass, good to set these weary eyes on you!” said Commissioner Clancy O’Hara. “There’s trouble at the Wayne Refinery!”
The Huntress nodded and swung off into the night.
“Poor woman! She should be home with her young man like other girls her age, but where would this city be without her?” sighed O’Hara.
Hainer nodded. “We’re lucky to have her.”
The Huntress raced down the halls at the Wayne Refinery. She saw the stunned night watchman and the rifled safe.
Robbed of the payroll. Got to hurry and catch the thief before he gets away! she thought as she hurled a rope up and swung across the complex.
The Huntress cleared the top and landed after three agile flips. “There!” she said with a smile as she spotted a woman below.
She wore a costume with a vivid spider motif, and her legs and arms were covered in a fishnet design that looked like a web.
The Huntress dropped down and tackled her from above. “Come into my web, et cetera, et cetera…” she joked.
The black-haired woman elbowed her in the chin and spun to connect with a hard right.
The Huntress gasped as the impact knocked her down. She hits like Diamondback! she mused. (*) She dodged a second blow and kicked her spidery foe in the nose.
[(*) Editor’s note: See Showcase: Catwoman: Cat Fight.]
Grabbing her wrist, the Huntress flipped her down, only to gasp as the woman brought both boots into her stomach. Thought that move would at least slow her down; I was wrong! she mused as she dodged a second sweeping kick.
“Silk Spider takes no prisoners!” said the woman. She looked up at the Huntress, and in the darkness of the refinery, her eyes glowed a vivid blue.
The Huntress whipped out a rope and spun it to try to bind the Silk Spider. She caught one leg, and the woman cursed and ripped the line out of her hands to vanish in the night.
“She got away,” the Huntress remarked, frowning. “I didn’t even get to plant a tracer on her, because her sheer strength surprised me. Those eyes were almost like those of my hard-hatted friend from the paper fight. That’s two Wayne-owned businesses hit by two women with different motifs, but the same raw strength, agility, and glowing eyes.” She vowed, “I’m going to get to the bottom of this yet!”
Helena Wayne worked the next day on legal briefs and looked up as a handsome man entered her office at Cranston, Grayson, and Wayne.
“Harry! How’s life treating you these days?” she said as she smoothed her purple skirt and stood up. “We haven’t had a non-business-related chat in so long.”
Harry Sims, district attorney for Gotham City’s southern district, smiled and closed the door. “I know your business interests keep you very occupied,” he said with a grin. He knew she was the Huntress, and that fact had somehow kept them from ever becoming truly involved. The hint of romance had once been there, but although they had tried casually dating, it had developed into nothing more.
She nodded. “What do you make of women with glowing eyes?”
“See?” he said. “That’s what I love about you, Hel. Nobody else comes up with the same kind of small talk you do.” Sitting down, he said, “Glowing eyes? Hard to say. So many of the kids these days are into that New Romantic movement from the video channel. You know — puffy hair and heavy makeup, and that’s just the boys!”
Helena nodded. “Makeup — luminous-looking mascara! That could explain what I encountered when I fought two costumed women. Their costumes and styles were very different, but they did both have bright eyes like a cat or something.”
“Spooky,” said Harry. “Sorry I can’t be of help. If you need an ear or a shoulder, I’m your man.”
“Your parts are appreciated,” she said with a grin.
“Cat’s eyes, huh?” she said.
Gotham City’s High Rollers nightclub featured Las Vegas-styled lounge acts, but no gambling. Bruce Wayne didn’t believe in that kind of risk. His club was but one of many investments carried on for his estate after his death. Helena Wayne believed he would have enjoyed the place, with its giant set of dice and other props. She wore a cream-colored evening gown and sat alone as she enjoyed the music.
I wish Dick or Kara could have joined me, she mused. If Harry hadn’t had to make that trip to Metropolis on business, he would have been here. I guess Helena Wayne, the lonely gal, makes another evening solo.
She smiled as she saw a family she knew from her teenage years on the debutante circuit. The Collins family, she mused as she noticed a demure yet lovely blonde teenager. I see little Carolyn is becoming a young lady now.
“Great Scott, as Daddy used to say!” she gasped as she rushed over to greet the old family friends. “Roger, Emily, how nice to see you! I love that dress. Is this Carolyn? You have the most beautiful hair! I’m envious!”
She made conversation idly as she examined the girl secretly with a detective’s eye. Carolyn’s eyes glow like Silk Spider’s and like the first woman I fought, she mused. It’s makeup, all right. I’d best follow Miss Collins around for a bit.
Before she could reach her own table, a woman burst out of the kitchen and demanded the startled guests hand her their valuables.
She had reddish hair, heavily made-up glowing purple eyes, and wore a yellow-and-black-striped costume with wings. “I’m Tiger Moth!” she hissed. “I need your shiny objects and your cold cash, now!”
Helena slipped into the aisle and rushed to undress. “Same kind of makeup,” she said. “This ends now!”
The Huntress charged out in full costume moments later and confronted the colorfully clad Tiger Moth. “OK, Moth, this is the end of the line,” she said. “Prepare to get swatted!”
Tiger Moth frowned. “You? I assumed you’d show up.”
She laughed and swung at the Huntress, who ducked and slammed a pellet against the blonde’s face. Gas rushed out, and the Huntress slipped a small rebreather over her own nose.
Tiger Moth coughed and struggled to choke her foe when the Huntress abruptly brought her crossbow down on the woman’s head. She fell flat and did not rise. The gas had already dissipated, since the Huntress only released a small amount in immediate proximity to the Tiger Moth.
The Huntress bound her and rolled her over to examine her features. The makeup is normal mascara with a luminous tint and something more added, she mused. A little lab work will help loads. As for identifying this brassy blonde…
The Collins family stared in astonishment, as did other fashionable diners.
“My gosh! That’s Leonara Angels!” said Roger Collins.
The debutante of the year? I’ve heard the name, thought the Huntress. This gets deeper every moment.