5713 in-depth character profiles from comics, games, movies

Huntress (Wildcat enemy) (DC Comics Golden Age)

Huntress

(Paula Brooks profile #2)


Context

The Huntress (Paula Brooks) is a Golden Age  enemy of DC Comics’s Wildcat, who appeared in 1947.

This profile is most definitely intended to be read after the Tigress (Paul Brooks) profile, which covers her youth. In fact we suggest your read these profiles in sequence if you want to see the whole Tigress/Huntress legacy :

  1. Tigress (Zatara enemy) (start here).
  2. Tigress (Paula Brooks profile #1).
  3. Huntress (Paula Brooks profile #2) – this here writeup.
  4. Artemis (Artemis Crock profile #1).
  5. Huntress (Artemis Crock profile #2).

Background

  • Real Name: Paula Brooks (possibly Paula Crock).
  • Other Aliases: The Masked Marvel, Mrs. Menace.
  • Marital Status: Married.
  • Known Relatives: The original Tigress (mother), “Crusher” Crock (aka the Sportsmaster, husband), Artemis Crock (aka Artemis, aka Tigress, daughter).
  • Group Affiliation: Leader of her own criminal crew, later a member of the Injustice Society Of The World.
  • Base Of Operations: Gotham City.
  • Height: 5’6” Weight: 123 lbs.
  • Eyes: Grey Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

In practice the Huntress is chiefly a thief, athlete, gang leader, huntress and acrobat. She doesn’t quite fight, since women are not generally depicted slugging it out with super-heroes during the Golden and Silver Ages .

When genre conventions relaxed enough that she could fight heroines, the Huntress seemed to operate a tad below Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) or the Huntress (Helena Wayne), but not by much.

Huntress swings on vines, ropes and the like with the best of ’em. She prefers to operate in areas with such features.

The main danger from the Huntress is her precision with ensnaring attacks, such as nets or lassos. She’s good enough to catch even super- heroes. Furthermore she usually angles to deliver this attack in the best conditions. By surprise, from behind, while her target is distracted by her goons or her husband, by letting herself be chased to a prepared site, etc.

Stalker’s little helpers

In 1947/1948, the Huntress usually operates with a gang of a half-dozen tough guys. They’re… not very bright, but they’re strong, experienced and loyal.

Her street toughs are an integral part of the Huntress’s tactics back then. They serve as guards, decoys, diversions, escort her in disguise (for instance disguised as policemen who supposedly just have arrested the Huntress), etc.

Huntress (Paula Brooks) posing on a rooftop

Another sort of lil‘ helper the Huntress enjoys deploying is dangerous animals. She has tamed sharks, elephants, falcons, kangaroos, polar bears, black panthers, boars and gorillas.

The Huntress has a strong rapport with animals she tames. They will unhesitatingly fight when commanded or to defend her, and she can give them orders to perform specific manoeuvres. She also once deployed “jungle plants” whose vine (disguised as ribbons) could catch and hold even strong men.

Other assets

The Huntress is quite rich – presumably ill-gotten gains ! She leverages that by building traps. She has developed her technical skills to encompass various booby traps, decoys and mechanisms rather than just crossbows. Her traps are generally low-tech affairs – snares, cages, systems that open the cages of dangerous animals when some condition is met, electrified tripwires, etc.

In DC Heroes RPG terms she uses her Military Science (Camouflage) Skill to hide those. The Huntress can often can claim her Expertise Bonus when she does, making her traps very hard to avoid. She also frequently uses these skills to fashion dummies of herself, positioning them in location where it’s not immediately evident they they’re not the genuine article.

Some art depicts Huntress with talon-like nails on at least one hand, but whether this can be used for a clawing attack is unknown.


Parallel Earths, schmarrallel Earths !

Paula Brook’s biography is straightforward… as long as you just read the profiles and don’t think too much about it. When you start thinking about continuity, things quickly go ugly.

First things first. If you’re not familiar with the ages and Earths of DC Comics, read our primer about DC Comics cosmology first.

Now, back to Huntress:

  • Starting in 1947, on what will become Earth-2, there’s a villain called the Huntress. So far, so good.
  • In the 1970s, we learn that Earth-1 sports an identical version of the Huntress (and her husband the Sportsmaster). Curt Swan insists that they “look the same, talk the same, might as well be the same” as the Earth-2 versions.
  • In 1986, Earth-2 and Earth-1 both cease to exist and are replaced by New Earth. The past, present and future on New Earth are different from those of either Earth-1 or Earth-2. In *this* history, Paula Brooks joined the All-Star Squadron as Tigress, died in 1942, was resurrected hours later and became evil.
  • After her death, Paula-of-New-Earth has a career as the Huntress, starting after World War Two is over. The standard assumption is that it probably resembled the events of Earth-1 and Earth-2 as long as there is no major impossibility.
    This profile chronicles the events on Earth-2 and Earth-1 without aggressively working out continuity issues or establishing a distinction between the two. This generally works out okay, especially since we don’t use a sliding time scale.
  • New Earth Paula Brooks eventually appears in the 1980s of New Earth – four decades have passed since she started her Huntress career. She’s by then retired, though the Tigress name lives on with her daughter – the third Tigress of the “dynasty” started by Paula’s mother.

History

Brook’s activities between early 1945 and the summer of 1947 are undocumented. When she appeared again, she had changed her name to Huntress and was now hunting persons representing authority (such as senior policemen and politicians) to terrorise and kill them.

The Huntress also tangled with super-heroes. She focused her efforts on Wildcat (Ted Grant), a former colleague in the All-Star Squadron. Between the summer of 1947 and the summer of 1948 she clashed with him a half-dozen times.

Huntress (Paula Brooks) rushes a man in uniform

Originally, Brooks planted stories in the press about a highly successful newcomer to the world of international boxing, the Masked Marvel. She then had announced that the Masked Marvel was coming to the US to challenge Wildcat to a boxing match.

The Huntress climbed in the ring, claimed to be the Masked Marvel and started slugging Wildcat, who refused to hit a woman. The lights then went out, and in the darkness the Huntress kidnapped Wildcat, the district attorney, the police chief and the Mayor. She released the latter 3 in her private jungle, giving them a 30 minutes head start before she would hunt and kill them.

However, Wildcat escaped, found the 3 men during these 30 minutes, and briefed them so they would lead the Huntress into a trap. Wildcat caught the Huntress in a tiger trap and she was arrested, but she escaped from the GCPD within hours.

Stalking the night fantastic, part 1

Meanwhile, an unknown man had learned of the Huntress’s real identity. He mailed proof of it to Washington. The Huntress and her gang murdered him – but the letter had already left. The criminals intercepted a mail truck, then attacked a postal train to find and destroy the letter.

During that case, the Huntress used a weapon she had designed to take on Wildcat. It was an invisible lasso using something akin to fishing wire. Wildcat intervened, but the Huntress nevertheless recovered the letter protecting her identity and she and her gang fled. Wildcat did have to save her life though, after she briefly had her foot stuck under a rail as a train came in.

Weeks later, the Huntress came back for Wildcat. Apparently, she had learned that Ted Grant and Wildcat were one and the same – as Grant realised, her plan made no sense otherwise. She kidnapped Grant’s boxing manager so that Wildcat would come to the rescue and fall in a trap. At the same time she bet heavily against Ted Grant during his next bout.

She knew that she would be struggling against her while the fight was taking place. Furthermore, she had sent one of her men disguised as Ted Grant to take his place and lose the match as she kept Wildcat busy.

Stalking the night fantastic, part 2

This time around the ambush took place on a sailboat (with plenty of ropes for the Huntress to swing on). She knocked Wildcat off and had a trio of sharks attack him, but Wildcat somehow managed to beat the sharks and make it back to the arena to knock out the impostor and then his challenger.

Huntress (Paula Brooks) with the Injustice Society

Using lassos thrown from a news helicopter, the Huntress’s henchmen later captured Ted Grant and his manager. She took them to her private estate. Brooks told them to “go find” Wildcat. Curiously, she chose to maintain the charade in front of Grant’s manager though she obviously knew of his dual identity.

The Huntress challenged Wildcat to a dangerous, violent yet playful series of confrontations. She tried to trap him using mirrors giving the impression that a dozen Huntresses were surrounding Wildcat, then lured him to fall into a quicksand trap.

Wildcat somehow got out, and intervened in time to foil the robbery of a masquerade by the Huntress’s gang. He then tracked her down to her estate and, hmmm, “captured” her.

Between the heavy subtext of the period material and — more concretely — a recollection Wildcat had in 2000 about the Huntress, it would seem that this was the point at which the two feline furies started concluding most of their clashes by having sex.

Big cat hunting, part 1

The Huntress had one of her henchmen pose as Wildcat and agree to a weird charity boxing event with the millionaire playboy Clyde Mason. Wealthy spectators came to Mason’s private island to watch the fight. The Huntress had her henchmen rob them, and as she had hoped Wildcat showed up to defeat the impostor.

Wildcat also took out Mason when he discovered that he intended to betray the Huntress. Wildcat explained that the Huntress then “disappeared in an explosion before he could react” – yeah, right.

Mere weeks later, the Huntress had a skywriting plane issue a challenge to Wildcat to meet her on the Beach Pier. Once a gaggle of curious onlookers had packed the pier, a plane sprayed them with sleep gas so her henchmen could loot them all.

Huntress (Paula Brooks) steals the Plymouth Rock with a band of elephants

When Wildcat showed up, the Huntress tried to lasso him from a low-flying aircraft. She then had him chase her through an amusement park crawling with henchmen and booby traps. Wildcat nevertheless managed to catch her aboard her getaway plane after replacing her pilot.

When he came back, he explained that the Huntress had accidentally fallen out of the low-flying plane before he could react. What terrible luck Wildcat has !

Big cat hunting, part 2

The Huntress and her gang later robbed a major department store while dressed like a mob of Santa Clauses. They got away from Wildcat, but the Huntress threw him a Valentine’s heart with a message that led Wildcat into a trap.

The captured Wildcat was placed on a parade float to be beheaded by a mechanical Indian (it was a Pocahontas float for kids and Wildcat was John Smith). Wildcat escaped and cornered the Huntress in a bank vault that she was looting. ”I don’t need an arrow for his”, exclaims the Huntress, grabbing Wildcat as he tenses his powerful throat muscles !

During a later encounter with Wildcat, Brooks ran into Ms. Bronson, another of Ted Grant’s lovers. Brooks managed to snare Bronson, a were-panther then in her humanoid bestial shape. However, Bronson shot the Huntress with her own tranq pistol to help Wildcat.

Wildcat also shot Bronson with a tranq dart, since he knew that the jealous Huntress would kill her if she could see and memorise Bronson’s human face.

The Injustice Society of the World

The Huntress was then recruited by the Wizard to join a new version of the Injustice Society of the World. The other members were Fiddler, Icicle and Sportsmaster.

The villains were having a strange competition. They were attempting to outdo each other with spectacular crimes involving monuments symbolising the United States of America.

After the Wizard stole the Liberty Train (which was rolling from city to city with the Declaration of Independence aboard for all to see), the Huntress decided to steal the Plymouth Rock — traditionally, the landing place of the Mayflower’s Pilgrims.

Huntress (Paula Brooks) threatens captive lawmen

Once in Plytmouth, the Huntress commandeered 4 elephants and a truck from a nearby circus. She had the elephants lift the large rock and load it in the truck (!). The Atom (Al Pratt) and Flash (Jay Garrick) intervened and vanquished the elephants. However, the captured Huntress activated a post-hypnotic suggestion planted by the Wizard, turning the two heroes into her slaves.

On the Huntress’s suggestion, the Injustice Society captured tens of thousands of American citizens so they could vote on which ISotW member had committed the most impressive crime. However, this jury and the Justice Society members both rebelled, and the Huntress was apparently taken out by Wonder Woman.

Then comes marriage

Both the Huntress and the Sportsmaster then disappeared for more than 15 years. They had started a relationship, and apparently enjoyed an easy life using their ill-gotten wealth.

Again from hints in the dialogue, they probably married in 1965 and decided to spice things up again by resuming their clashes with super-heroes. The general idea was that the Sportsmaster would commit daring crimes, and the Huntress would capture any interfering super-hero.

They dubbed their team “Mr. and Mrs. Menace”, but continued to use the individual names Sportsmaster and Huntress.

The first hero the couple clashed with was Wildcat. It was presumably no coincidence that they leapt back into action as the two-fisted feline fury also returned from retirement. Yet, Sportsmaster presumably did not know of his wife’s past involvement with Wildcat.

Huntress (Paula Brooks) and Sportsmaster vs. Starman and Black Canary

The Huntress captured Wildcat, leaving the Sportsmaster free to steal a precious sports cup. However, the couple accidentally ran into Starman and Black Canary. They decided to leave while they still had the upper hand.

Black Canary and Starman found and freed Wildcat despite being attacked by trained animals. However, this was just a ploy by the Huntress to lead them into a trap she was laying with her husband. The ploy failed, and the couple was arrested.

The Huntress and Sportsmaster were not seen for years. This was presumably not because they were in prison, though, since they had their daughter circa 1970. Presumably they took several years off their villainous career to raise little Artemis, since they seemed to have ample financial resources.

Injustice and infinite Earths

The Injustice Society re-formed and was active during the mid-1970s. This time, the other members were Icicle, the Shade, the Gambler and of course the Wizard.

Few of their adventures were chronicled. The one that was — involving the arrival of writer Cary Bates , turned evil and superpowered, and opposed by writer Elliot S! Maggin  — probably wasn’t part of anything approaching continuity, at least post-Crisis.

The Huntress and Sportsmaster (or rather their Earth-1 version, see the “Parallel Earths, schmarrallel earths !” section) consolidated their wealth by roaming abroad and stealing treasures.

However, they ran into a problem. A South American pyramid lost in the jungle held a particularly valuable gemstone, but “Mr. and Mrs. Menace” didn’t want to deal with the numerous traps therein.

They decided to capture Batgirl (Barbara Gordon) and Robin (Richard Grayson) to have them do the work. The Huntress set up a fake bank robbery serving as a cover for her trap, and bagged Batgirl. Robin then came to a rescue following carefully crafted clues, and fell in the trap the Huntress had prepared for him.

The Huntress and the Sportsmaster organised a series of duels between Robin and Batgirl (including a Ben Hur-style chariot race, an archery competition and a fencing duel) to disguise the reason why they wanted them to enter the pyramid. However, Batgirl and Robin realised what the villains’ plan was and, using the gemstone as a lure, captured them.

Strange sports stories

At this point the Earth-1 Huntress had doubts about her career in villainy since super-heroes always won. She considered becoming a sort-of-heroine. In the New Earth version of these events, she may have wanted to return to her Tigress persona.

Huntress (Paula Brooks) and Sportsmaster playing crime golf

To prove that super-villains could win, her husband suggested a baseball match between heroes and villains. Using a remote observation and teleportation machine (!), the couple kidnapped many heroes and villains and explained how the match would take place in Crandall Stadium. The stadium was filled with hostages to force the heroes to play.

Since the Huntress was strongly considering fighting on the side of angels again, she played centre field with the heroes. Her husband was the opposition’s pitcher.

The match — played without powers — was tied by the eight innings. The Sportsmaster then had his team start cheating so his wife wouldn’t leave to become a heroine. The heroes started using their powers too, and eventually won (11-10) then arrested the villains.

Whether the Huntress actually became a heroine on Earth-1 is unrevealed.

A new Huntress

Later, on Earth-2, the appearance of a new, younger Huntress (Helena Wayne) was met with murderous rage. Brooks took out the security systems at the JSA’s headquarters and loaded the place with traps to kill Wayne and become the sole Huntress again.

Brooks captured Wayne, Green Lantern (Alan Scott) got Wayne out of the trap, Brooks took out Scott, and Wayne caught Brooks in one of her own pre-positioned nets.

The Huntress was still active during the Crisis on Infinite Earth. She was spotted among the villains assembled by Luthor and Brainiac (perhaps that one was the Earth-2 Huntress ?). A Huntress was *also* seen among heroes (perhaps the Earth-1 one – it’s impossible to say whether she’s fighting for or against the heroes).

Post-Crisis

In 1987, after the Crisis, the Wizard organised yet another version of the injustice Gang. This one was called Injustice, Unlimited. Several members were descendants of the 1940s members – the markswoman Artemis was the teenaged daughter of the Huntress and Sportsmaster.

Part of Artemis Crock’s agenda for joining Injustice, Unlimited was to free her parents. They had apparently been held at the Empire State Detention Centre for several years. On the night before her parents’s re-trial, Artemis forced Nuklon and Rising Sun, who had both been captured by Injustice, Unlimited, to help her raid the prison.

The raid was successful, and Sportsmaster and the Huntress were soon free. They allied with Injustice, Unlimited so they could get a cut of the loot of the current operation.

Huntress (Paula Brooks) catches Wildcat in a net

This was meant to be their last hurrah, though. After escaping and grabbing the money, the Huntress and the Sportsmaster intended to hide and retire, leaving their daughter to continue the familial tradition. However, Infinity, Inc. and the Global Guardians managed to turn the tables on the villains. Artemis and her parents were knocked out by Solomon Grundy.

They nevertheless managed to escape. While they didn’t get the money from the ongoing heist, Artemis’s parents could still retire in a place where the cops wouldn’t find them — Zandia.

In 2000, during an archery competition, the ever-crafty Huntress came with a arrow gun hidden in her umbrella. Her daughter was competing for the Zandian archery team, and Paula Brooks wanted to take out the best archer on the US team, Cissie King-Jones aka Arrowette, by scratching her with a poison arrow.

Arrowette’s mother spotted Artemis’s mother taking aim and attacked her, foiling the Huntress’s shot. Though Artemis was furious that her mother had intervened, the two apparently later reconciled.


Description

The Huntress is now well in her 80s and retired. But she’s a comic book character, and thus looks at most half her real age.


Personality

During either the Golden Age or the Silver Age, the Huntress didn’t have much of a characterisation. She was a standard female antagonist for both eras and had a plot-shaped personality. Furthermore these were brief plots (about 7 pages) with loose continuity.

During the Golden Age she starts as a ruthless criminal and serial killer of lawmen. Then she quickly evolves into a foe who likes to engage Wildcat in plots with plenty of twists and turns. These capers are intended to bring both large profits and the excitement of the hmm, “struggle” against a super-hero.

Huntress (Paula Brooks) lassos Wildcat from a passing plane

Her evolution toward a Silver Age-ish villain thus makes some sense. By “Silver Age-ish villain” I mean the whole “I have a distinctive theme and matching costume, and I’m committing weird over-the-top comic book crimes where any bloody violence happens off-panel”. Things like stealing the Plymouth Rock using tamed elephants as part of a themed super-villains competition.

By the mid-1970s, the Huntress acquires a small bit of characterisation. She’s sharp-tongued, henpecking and has frequent verbal or even physical fights with her husband as they disagree about most everything. By the 1980s that bit of characterisation is over, and her marriage seems to be working fine.


Quotes

“You defenders of law and order have collected the trophies of the hunt long enough ! I’ve always laughed at the law — and now I’m going to run things my way. You, the hunters, will become the hunted !”

“You’ve cleared the first hurdle, Wildcat. But now you’re facing me — how does the mighty hunter of criminals feel ?”

Huntress (Paula Brooks) catches Wildcat with her invisible lasso

“A circus in town ! That gives me a terrific idea !”

“I catch wild animals in such pits, Black Canary — but I have a better prison prepared for you !”


Sharing

The links to follow us and/or subscribe to our monthly newsletter are at the bottom of this page.



Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Huntress (pre-Crisis Earth-2)

Dex: 07 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Villainous Thrill
Int: 06 Wil: 06 Min: 06 Occupation: Criminal
Inf: 06 Aur: 05 Spi: 06 Resources {or Wealth}: 009
Init: 023 HP: 040

Skills:
Acrobatics: 08, Animals handling: 06, Artist (Actress): 03, Gadgetry: 04, Martial artist (AV, OV): 08, Martial Artist (EV, RV): 06, Military science (Camouflage, Tracking): 09, Thief (Escape artist, security systems, stealth): 08, Vehicles (Sea, Land): 06, Weaponry (Archery, Entangling weapons): 09, Weaponry*: 07

Advantages:
Expertise (Hunting equipment and booby traps design and construction, Zoology), Familiarity (Paul Kirk’s hunting career, Disguises, Sports), Headquarters (often has access to an Expansive headquarters, preferably with a private jungle), Lightning Reflexes, Sharp Eye.

Connections:
Underworld (Low), Street (Low).

Drawbacks:
Dependent (Sportsmaster, zero points).

Equipment:

  • The Huntress often uses thrown nets, lassos or bolas to neutralise opponents – [BODY 08, Snare: 08, Limitation: Snare has no AV, use appropriate Weaponry Skill instead]. The Huntress once caught Wildcat (Yolanda Montez) in a glowing net – presumably it was glowing because of some property preventing Montez from shredding it with her claws.
  • In at least two cases, the Huntress used an Invisible Lasso [BODY 05, Invisibility: 02, Snare: 06, Limitations: Invisibility only applies to the Lasso, Snare has no AV (use an appropriate Weaponry Skill plus specialised training with this specific weapon)]. The Invisible Lasso can usually attack as a Blindside Attack.
  • The Huntress had access to a sleep gas [BODY 01, Fog: 03, Knockout gas: 06], though it required cumbersome equipment to deploy – at the very least a 30-litres steel tank with a hose, and occasionally a specially-equipped plane. A strong man with some protection (like a wet handkerchief) could withstand the gas, but being doused by surprise would take out even Wildcat.
  • The Huntress rarely carries a huge Knife (practically a shortsword) [BODY 06, EV 03 (04 w/STR, 07 w/Martial Artist), Detect (Crocodile Dundee): 01]. This weapon is very rarely used unless she’s specifically planning to kill somebody.
  • The Huntress once wielded a rifle that seemed to be a M1 Garand [BODY 03, Projectile weapons: 06, Ammo: 08, R#02] – though post-Crisis she presumably sported a crossbow instead.
  • Brooks once used a tranq pistol loaded with a potent drug [BODY 02, Poison touch: 07, Range: 03, Ammo: 05, R#03]


Game Stats — DC Adventures RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Huntress — Averaged PL 8.4

STR STA AGL DEX FGT INT AWE PRE
02 02 05 05 08 02 03 02

Combat Advantages

Accurate Attack, Close attack 3, Defensive Roll 1, Improved aim, Improved initiative, Improved trip, Power attack, Ranged attack 6.

Other Advantages

Animal empathy, Benefit (Wealth 2), Equipment 4, Tracking.

Skills

Acrobatics 7 (+12), Athletics 8 (+10), Deception 3 (+5), Expertise (Paul Kirk’s career) 4 (+6), Expertise (Hunting) 10 (+12), Expertise (Zoology) 6 (+8), Insight 5 (+8), Perception 5 (+9), Persuasion 3 (+5), Ranged combat (Archery) 3 (+14), Ranged combat (Entangling weapons) 3 (+14), Sleight of hand 4 (+9), Stealth 5 (+10), Technology 6 (+8), Vehicles 4 (+9) (Limited 1 to common land and sea vehicles).

Equipment

– Some thrown weapon with Snare 4 (bolos, net, lasso…) ● 8 points
– The Huntress’s equipment is otherwise very variable – knives, rifle or crossbow, invisible lasso (usually treated as a surprise attack), tranq gun, sleep gas… within the limits of her Equipment Advantage plus things such as traps, airplanes, tamed animals

Offense

Initiative +9
Unarmed +12, Close, Damage 2

Defense

Dodge 12 Fortitude 6
Parry 12 Toughness 3/2*
Will 8

* Without Defensive Roll

Complications

  • Motivation Originally to punish lawmen, later more of a thrill and excitement type.
  • Relationship With her husband and her daughter.

Power levels

  • Trade-off areas Attack & Effect PL 9, Dodge/Toughness PL 8, Parry/Toughness PL 8, Fort & Will PL 7.
  • Point total 139 Abilities 58, Defences 21, Skills 37, Powers 0, Devices 0, Advantages 23. Equiv. PL 10.


By Sébastien Andrivet.

Source of Character: DC Universe.

Helper(s): Darci.

Writeup completed on the 21st of June, 2011.

Subscribe to our MINI-NEWSLETTER !

One bare-bones e-mail per month. Plain text. Short. To the point. Learn more.