DAZZLING DC LADIES MONTH: Zinda Blake, aka Lady Blackhawk
First appeared:Blackhawk #133, February 1959
Who is she? Determined to become the first female member of the famed Blackhawk Squadron, Zinda Blake trained as a pilot, mastering a wide range of aircraft and becoming an expert in various forms of hand-to-hand combat and weaponry. From the very beginning, she was met with resistance: the Blackhawks weren’t keen on allowing a woman into their boys’ club, even if on their first meeting that woman had saved one of their teammates from certain death. Undeterred, Zinda continued to join them on their adventures, eventually earning honorary membership after saving the entire team from the Scavenger.
Then there was this thing where Killer Shark kidnapped and brainwashed her into becoming his evil girlfriend, Queen Killer Shark, but we’re going to gloss over that, because it’s gross.
So! Zero Hour happened, and Zinda found herself flung a good half-century or so into the present day, in a future where most of her friends were either dead or in nursing homes, and technology had advanced so far that she presumably needed to learn to fly all over again. She made the best of it, working in Guy Gardner’s bar and frequently aiding him and his team in fighting super villains.
Eventually, she was recruited by Oracle as the Birds of Prey’s new pilot. She quickly bonded with the other women on the team, and her aviation and combat skills proved invaluable.
What can she do? Zinda’s an ace pilot, an expert in aerial combat, and a skilled marksman, with expertise in a range of weaponry and hand-to-hand combat. She can also order beer in thirty languages and drink most people under the table.
Who is she? Bianca is the mother of the third Blue Beetle, Jaime Reyes, and his younger sister and future Green Lantern Milagro. A nurse by profession, Bianca’s tough as nails and fiercely loyal to her family. She is loving, compassionate and eminently practical. Although initially overwhelmed and distressed by the revelation of Jaime’s powers, she quickly becomes one of his staunchest supporters. She trusts in his abilities and never stops letting him know how proud she is. And when he’s in need of a verbal kick up the arse, well, she’s there for that, too.
What can she do? She may not be able to fly or shoot lasers out of her eyes, but Bianca can cow Guy Gardner into submission with a dirty look and take down Peacemaker with some sweet talk and a well-aimed syringe. Her husband’s the one with the military training, but when the alien invasion comes she’ll be right there at his side, shotgun in hand, defending her home.
Where can I find her? Bianca appears throughout Blue Beetle vol. 8. Some of her more notable appearances include
Blue Beetle #14 (in which Bianca puts Guy Gardner in his place)
Blue Beetle #22 (in which Bianca deals with a difficult patient)
Blue Beetle #23-25 (in which Bianca, along with the rest of Jaime’s friends and family, battle off alien invaders while Jaime takes the fight directly to the source)
Blue Beetle #31 (Bianca doesn’t tolerate any villainy in her hospital)
Who is she? A native of Star City, Maggie was married for several years to a fellow police officer, but unhappily. When she finally found a measure of peace with herself and came out of the closet, her husband reacted badly. He sought, and got, full custody over their young daughter – the only part of their marriage Maggie really cherished.
Maggie left Star City, building a new life for herself in Metropolis. And that’s where she first enters into the comics, as a Police Captain heading up the Special Crimes Unit. She was initially disapproving of Superman’s vigilantism, but after he rescued her during a terrorist plot she began to warm to him, ultimately becoming one of his main police contacts. She also started dating Toby Raynes, a reporter for the Daily Star, although the demands of the job frequently put a strain on their relationship.
During the early 2000s, Maggie transferred to Gotham City’s police force as the head of the Major Crimes Unit. Although she and Toby kept up a long distance relationship for some time, eventually they drifted apart. Maggie later began dating Kate Kane, and over the past couple of years they’ve grown extremely close, enough so for Kate to reveal to Maggie her identity as the vigilante Batwoman. They’re now engaged, but they’re not going to get married because Dan Didio thinks happiness is childish.
What can she do? Maggie’s a woman of strength and integrity, who won’t take shit from anyone. This is a lady who can look Lex Luthor square in the eye and tell him he can shove his blackmail up his arse. She’s fought hard to get to where she is today, and she won’t back down easily. Underneath the tough, no-nonsense exterior, though, there’s also a lot of compassion.
Where can I find her? Below is a list of stories containing significant moments for Maggie. Stories in which Maggie is a key or supporting cast member are bolded.
Action Comics #595, Superman vol. 2 #15 (Maggie’s daughter runs away from her father’s house, and we get a bit of Maggie’s backstory.)
Action Comics #600 (Lex Luthor tries to blackmail Maggie. She tells him to fuck off.)
Superman vol. 2 #38 (Maggie’s daughter gets into more trouble.)
Action Comics #688 (Maggie gets a promotion.)
Metropolis SCU (A four-part miniseries centred on the Metropolis PD’s Special Crimes Unit. Maggie is a main character and the story explores her relationship with her girlfriend Toby.)
Detective Comics #764 (Maggie moves to Gotham.)
Gotham Central (Maggie’s in most issues. The series revolves around the cops in the GCPD’s Major Crimes Unit, and I can’t recommend it enough.)
Batwoman: Elegy (Maggie is now single. She and Kate flirt and dance and look fabulous in their tuxes.)
Batwoman (New 52) (Maggie’s in most issues. She and Kate start dating, fight crime together and then get engaged.)
First appearance: DC Superstars #17 (Nov/Dec 1977) Introduction: Helena Wayne is most notably known as the daughter of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle from Earth-2.
Pre-Crisis: Helena’s original origin had her raised by her parents in a loving, privileged home with her adopted brother, Dick Grayson, and having Alfred Beagle (Earth-2’s Alfred Pennyworth) to look up to as a grandfatherly figure. While she trained all her life under her parents she didn’t get into heroics. She instead went to law school and went on to start a joint law firm with Dick and one other partner. It wasn’t until her mother was murdered that she was inspired to take up the cowl to bring Selina’s murderer to justice as the Huntress. She carried this mantle until her death in the DC-wide event Crisis on Infinite Earths.Post-Crisis: In 2011 Helena Wayne was reintroduced to the mainstream DC universe with the book Huntress: Crossbow at the Crossroads.Her current incarnation has changed slightly from the original. Most notably, as a teenager, Helena took on the mantle of Robin and fought alongside both of her parents. Following the Apokolips attack on Earth-2, both Helena and her best friend Kara Zor-L (then Supergirl, later known as Power Girl) were transported to the main DC earth. With both her parents dead, Helena abandoned the Robin title and took on the identity of Huntress, working in the shadows of Gotham
Powers: Helena is in peak physical condition, she is a master marksman (utilizing a pistol crossbow), skilled gymnast, and an expert at hand-to-hand combat