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Did the Huntress Adopt a Kid and Everyone Just Forgot About It?

In every installment of “If I Pass This Way Again,” we look at odd comic book plot points that were rarely (sometimes NEVER!) mentioned again after they were first introduced.

Reader Phil R. wrote in about this one after I wrote about the ending of Huntress' first ongoing series recently. It is about the boy that she, in effect, adopted, at the end of her first ongoing series.

So Huntress, the 1989-1990 ongoing series, starred Helena Bertinelli, daughter of a mob boss, who was the only survivor of a massacre that killed her family. She swore vengeance on the crooks who killed her family but, more generally, on crooks in general. She set up camp in New York City.

In Huntress #9 (by Joey Cavalieri, Joe Staton and Bob Smith, like all of these comics from this point forward), we met young James Cooper, a genius who lives in a bad neighborhood with his mom and his younger brother...

He had discussed being able to build a nuclear bomb in his school science fair. Because of this, he is kidnapped by a local drug gang. They want Cooper to build them a nuclear bomb so that they can use it to blackmail the city...

His mother and brother put up posters to try to find him and then, in a plot development so bleak that I honestly don't know how it got approved by anyone in editorial, the gang then kill his mother and brother, to keep them from looking for him anymore...

Daaaaaaaaaaaang. That's so crazily messed up.

Okay, so Huntress ultimately helps disable the bomb and then save James from the drug dealers...

But it's like, "You're welcome! Oh, and your mom and brother are dead."

So James goes into the child services system and is actually about to be adopted in Huntress #17 when he decides to run away and use his skills in bomb-making to start blowing up the drug dealers who murdered his family...

Batman comes to town to help with the case and they finally track James down, and Batman's like, well, we have to take him into custody and Huntress is like, "No way!" And Batman's like, "Well, what do we do with him, then?"

As it turned out, Huntress decides to retire from crime-fighting and just move to the suburbs with James, who she is taking on as essentially his new mom...

That's how the Huntress series ended, with issue #19. Then, as I wrote in the previous article, the story was further wrapped up in a Justice League International Special, where Huntress briefly comes out of retirement to stop some vigilante from committing crimes in her name and then she ends the issue by retiring once more to raise James in peace...

This is comics, though, so you knew that it couldn't be that simple, right? Of course not. However, what IS a bit shocking is what happened to James Cooper when we next see the Huntress pop up in another part of the DC Universe!!

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