One of the more interesting subplots to arise out of Ivory Madison’s Huntress Year One was Helena reclaiming her birthright; as the last surviving member of The Bertinelli’s, she stood to inherit three billion dollars when she turned 21 years of age. Except a group of men, known as A Mano Iddio (The Hand of God,) had their own self-serving plans for her money. They conspired to divide it up equally amongst themselves.
Stefano Mandragora, who during this time was Boss of Bosses of the mafia worldwide, had previously laid down orders to assassinate The Bertinelli’s, a Mafia dynasty that could trace its roots from the small town of Cimina in Italy to Gotham City and beyond. It was Helena’s Great-Grandfather, Giuseppe Bertinelli, who was once Don of Gotham. When he died, it was passed down to his son, Alfredo Bertinelli, Helena’s Grandfather. When Alfredo died, his son, and Helena’s father, Franco Bertinelli ascended to the title of Don of Gotham. Stefano Mandragora was also one of the five fingers of A Mano Iddio . The other fingers of the hand were some of the most powerful men in the world: the heads of government, the church, the banks, and the media.
Huntress Year One never delved into the intricacies and history of A Mano Iddio. It was one of the most fascinating, brief glimpses into Helena’s mafia roots. The Hand originated in Sicily. It grew out of the mob and out of Italy, and stretched into industries worldwide in a global conspiracy hundreds of years old. Helena would confront the current members of The Hand, simply steal back her fortune, moved on, and never look back. But if she did look back, if she looked into the history of A Mano Iddio, what would she have found, and how if any would it tie to her own family history.
I also wonder how an organization so powerful and corrupt, could allow Helena to live a relatively peaceful and anonymous life. Granted by the time Huntress Year One ended, no one involved with A Mano Iddio was aware that Helena reclaimed the full amount of her inheritance. Furthermore, Helena has never lived the life of a wealthy socialite or sought public recognition for her philanthropy work. She’s never flaunted her wealth, openly. In private she’s known to indulge in pricey red wines and foods, designer clothes, expensive array of exotic cars, a love and knowledge of the arts (the opera being her favorite), and a vast library. She’s owned entire blocks of apartment complexes. What she’s done with them is unknown, though it wouldn’t be hard to imagine that she’s used them to benefit others in some way while seeking no acknowledgment (A bit of the allure that is Helena/Huntress is that she’s ever unfolding before us). She hunts for sport and practice. She’s used her fortune to fund, obscure, non-profit groups that deal with causes closest to her heart, namely children.
Despite being one of the wealthiest of people, Helena has been able to fly under the radar, mostly out of necessity. She knows as long as A Mano Iddio exist in a cloud of secrecy and corruption, they pose a danger to her, the few around her that she calls family and friends, and all that she has worked for and the principles upon which she stands. For someone whose life mission is to bring down the mob and all that it stands for, it’s evitable that one day she will yet again cross paths with The Hand of God.
As mainly a supporting player, Huntress hasn’t had many nemesis. It hasn’t stopped her from having some memorable ones like Justin Quinn, aka the Suicide King, who was an operative of Celia Kazantkakis, aka Athena, the CEO of Wayne Enterprises, and leader of the criminal organization known as the Network. Athena had a personal vendetta against Bruce Wayne and the Rossetti mob and hired The Network to bring them down.
Huntress is also after the Rossetti mob which unavoidably puts her in the crosshairs of the Network and inevitably the Suicide King. The Network marvel, follow and study her, eventually discover her secret identity. Athena sends Suicide King after Huntress, informing her they will expose her identity if she doesn’t leave Gotham. Huntress and Suicide King have several altercations. In their last battle, she defeats him and saves him from certain death, though he’s left badly wounded and burnt. The Network is crippled and Justin hasn’t been heard or seen since.
Very little was told to us about Justin Quinn; nothing about his past or how he became connected to the mysterious Network. We do know the Suicide King was the only costumed persona Justin had ever assumed. He took it to gain the trust of the Rossetti mob, becoming their personal protector. He knows some martial arts and wields a weapon with a double blade that appears to have some type of electric energy. We know his quest to get rid of the heads of organized crime in Gotham City isn’t for heroic reasons.
It was his interaction with Huntress that leads you to believe there’s more to Justin than meets the eyes. There were things understood but never said, and if you dig a little deeper there could be a personal story filled with heartache and revenge, similar to Helena’s. In the meantime, the Suicide King has been lost in uncertainty. What little we know rest within the four issues Justin appeared in the eight-issue Batman Family mini-series written by John Francis Moore. I’d like to see a good writer bring Justin out of obscurity, complete the canvass previously painted for us and once again have Huntress and the Suicide King rekindle their feud.