- Some questions can only be answered with a mask.
- — Renee Montoya src
She joined the Gotham City Police Department and graduated at the top of her class. As a GCPD Officer, she started out as an assistant to the Police Commissioner before she was assigned into the Major Crimes Unit and partnered with Harvey Bullock.
As partners, Montoya and Bullock encountered many criminals including the False Face Society and The General. They arrested the General's gang with the Major Crimes Unit and they were in charge of questioning one of Cypher's henchmen after his capture. Some time later, Montoya and Bullock informed Commissioner Gordon about the theft of armament from a military precinct, after which, all the inmates from Arkham escaped.
Main article: Batman: Knightfall
One of the first Arkham inmates to attack was Mr. Zsasz. He broke into a school and held some of the students hostage. Renee played a vital role on Zsasz's capture as she stalled the killer long enough until Batman arrived. After Batman defeated Zsasz, Renee was forced to stop Batman from brutalizing the maniac.
Later, with several inmates still roaming free, Renee investigated Firefly's past in order to locate him, she was among the first officers who responded to The Riddler's threat and after Robin defused the situation, Renee arrested Riddler and carried him away to be taken to prison. A few hours later, the abduction of Mayor Krol was revealed and Montoya, along with Bullock, went to the man's home looking for clues. There, they learned that Krol had been taken to the Gotham River Tunnel, but they were unable to enter, as the tunnel had been blocked. Moments later, Montoya located Krol near the edge of the river and she informed Gordon and called for paramedics to get the man some medical attention.
Hours later, Montoya witnessed Bane tossing a seriously injured Batman onto the streets. She tried to help, but an ambulance from Gotham's Mercy Hospital arrived and took Batman away. Montoya was blamed by Gordon for letting strangers take Batman, but the Commissioner apologized after Bullock's intervention. Later, under Gordon's instructions, Bullock and Montoya retrieved a medication and delivered it to Batman's allies. Shortly after, Bullock and Montoya investigated the crime scene at the Gotham University, where Scarecrow had killed and kidnapped several students. They played a tape that was addressed to Batman and they had to be saved by the Dark Knight when the tape was revealed to be an explosive.
Battle of the Batmen
Montoya was soon promoted to detective of the Major Crime Units, where she remained as Harvey Bullock's partner. As a rookie detective, she was in charge of reviewing cold cases, but she was soon summoned to the Gotham Morgue, where she managed to capture Mister Freeze with Batman's help. Although this helped her gain a reputation with her peers, the experience caused her to doubt Batman's identity as the man she used to know.
Afterwards, Montoya and the GCPD started a manhunt for the Joker, who was apparently planning to kill Batman, but eventually the police had to save the madman from being killed by the vigilante. Montoya noticed that this was the second time Batman had to be restrained and she started to doubt the Batman's purpose. Her worries proved true when the GCPD learned that Batman had let the serial killer known as Abattoir die, leading to a wild goose chase of the man's latest victim. Montoya and Bullock were assigned to find Abattoir's victim and they eventually found his dead body, which could've been prevented if the killer was alive and taken in for questioning.
The situation worsened and Bullock and Montoya found more victims of Batman. Not long after this, Bullock and Montoya were the first to arrive at the Gotham Bridge, where they were informed about the "Batmen" confrontation and the next night, they witnessed the return of the original Batman.
No Man's Land
Main article: Batman: No Man's Land
When Gotham was destroyed by an earthquake, Renee formed a friendship with the criminal Two-Face. She was able to reach the kinder Harvey Dent persona, and he fell in love with her. However, Two-Face was still mentally unstable. Believing that the only way to have her was by taking everything else away from her, his more sinister side later outed her as a lesbian to the public and had her framed for murder.
He then had the bus carrying her to prison attacked and kidnapped her, making it look like she had escaped. When Renee discovered that it was Two-Face who was behind everything, and that he did it because he was in love with her, she was incredulous. Two-Face then became more unstable and the two fought for control of his gun. Batman arrived in time to prevent the two from killing each other. Two-Face was put back in Arkham Asylum and Renee was cleared of all the charges. Her life was still in chaos, however, especially her family; while her younger brother knew about her sexuality, her very religious parents didn't, and disowned her upon discovering the truth.
Montoya and Allen were ambushed by the second Black Spider. To save both himself and Montoya, Allen shot the villain. A corrupt crime scene investigator named Jim Corrigan stole and sold the bullet that killed Black Spider on the internet. To prove that Allen killed in self-defense, the GCPD needed to recover the bullet. In her pursuit of the bullet, Montoya clashed with Corrigan, eventually beating the name of the buyer out of him. Allen was cleared, but Montoya's obsession with exposing Corrigan escalated from there.
Allen noticed his partner's obsession and her gradual change in overall attitude and behavior and tried to persuade her to let the Corrigan issue drop. Montoya refused, so Allen began his own independent investigation on Corrigan, thinking that if he could get Corrigan exposed and brought to justice, it would help halt Montoya's downward spiral. He started to build a case against Corrigan, where he later found one of his informants on Corrigan murdered. He was then shot fatally in the back by Corrigan.
In the GCPD's investigation, they failed to build an airtight case against Corrigan; who had a fake alibi provided by his girlfriend and paid off the officer who had loaned him the gun he used to kill Allen from the gun locker. Corrigan walked, and Montoya took it upon herself to bring him to justice. Tracking him down at his girlfriend's apartment, Montoya beat his girlfriend unconscious and drew a gun on Corrigan. He begged for his life, and Montoya ultimately couldn't pull the trigger. She walked out of the building and quit the GCPD the next day, disgusted and broken.
Main article: 52
She began drinking to excess, apparently having developed alcoholism. Her girlfriend Daria had walked out on her three months earlier, unable to watch Renee "destroy herself." As Renee was drinking at home, The Question aimed the Bat-Signal (which he changed into a question mark signal) directly upon Renee's apartment. She closed her blinds and ignored it, thinking it was a mistake on the operator's part.
After Renee fell asleep after a one night stand, the Question appeared in her bedroom, leaving behind the address of an abandoned building. Meeting her there, the Question hired her for two hundred dollars a day, plus expenses, to look into the building. Renee kept watch for two weeks before seeing a large, strange, humanoid creature enter the building. Renee followed the creature and, after the Question joined her, they found it moving crates in the building's basement level. In the ensuing confrontation, Renee broke her arm and some ribs, but also found a futuristic gun which dissolved the creature, though it resolved none of their questions.
As Renee recovered from her injuries, Captain Maggie Sawyer arrived at her apartment with unanswered questions from what Renee had told the police. There was no evidence at the scene to substantiate Renee's claims, however, while Sawyer believed Renee, she was upset that Renee wouldn't reveal her client. Alone in her apartment, Renee removed the mysterious weapon from its hiding place. After the Question's money had run out, Renee noticed an overlooked connection between the abandoned warehouse and Kate Kane, a millionaire socialite and Renee's ex-girlfriend. She arrived at the Kane estate to see Kate in person. Although Kate was somewhat emotional during their conversation, when Renee asked her to look into whether her family still owned the building, Kate agreed.
Later, Renee was watching a baseball game in a lesbian bar when a man named Charlie walked in to join her. He revealed himself to be the Question without his disguise on, and in a show of trust, demonstrated how he changed into his faceless alter ego. As their conversation shifted to their investigation, Charlie said that Gotham was being targeted for an invasion by Intergang. Together they met Kate Kane at Gotham Park, where Kate confirmed that the 520 warehouse was being leased by Ridge-Ferrick Holding up until six weeks prior. When Kate asked what this was about, Renee refused to tell her and stated that she didn't owe Kate anything, before leaving somewhat abruptly with Charlie. Later, it was revealed that Renee was trying to protect Kate by keeping her away. Charlie also said that he understood Renee's situation and that she did the right thing by not killing Jim Corrigan.
As the Question and Renee further investigated Ridge-Ferrick's Gotham building, they were attacked by Kyle Abbot and two other shapeshifters under the command of Whisper A'Daire, who ordered them killed. The Question and Renee attempted to defend themselves, with Renée trying to ready her strange gun, when the new Batwoman appeared and defeated two of the beasts. As Renee was about to fire at the third, Batwoman stopped her and kicked the creature out a window, informing her that the police were coming; Batwoman asked not to be mentioned, and left.
Following their Intergang links, Question and Renee went to Kahndaq. Kyle Abbot was there as well and murdered the employees of a shipping company that the two were going to investigate. As they left the murder scene, Question and Renee were arrested by the local authorities. They escaped, however, after being imprisoned only a few days. She was able to prevent a suicide bombing at the wedding of Black Adam and Isis, an action that earned her the Order of the Crescent, however she was haunted by the fact that she had to kill a young girl to do so.
Parting ways with Black Adam and his family, Renee and the Question travelled to Nanda Parbat so Renee could train with Richard Dragon. The Question revealed that he was dying of lung cancer and was grooming Montoya as his replacement. After returning to Gotham to save Kate Kane, the Question was forced to enter hospice care at Kate's place, but was moved to a hospital after not breathing for three minutes. He continued his descent into near-death madness, reliving moments from his early days as the Question and singing "Danny Boy" as the New Year approached. Renee opted not to perform assisted suicide, as death was the one "question" he had left. Finally, Renee decided to take him back to Nanda Parbat, in the hopes of saving his life. However, Charlie was failing fast during the journey and died after asking Renee who she "will become".
Montoya continued from that point as the new Question, operating alongside Batwoman, and with some members of the Birds of Prey led by Oracle, though she insisted on not being one of Oracle's 'Birds'.
The Question began to study the Crime Bible in an effort to stop the Religion of Crime. An apostle of the cult Order of Stone, believing The Question to be The Faceless One from the Crime Bible, used her quest against them to teach her the "four lessons of crime": deceit, greed, lust, and murder. Kate, seeing that Renee was being changed by her mission, tried to convince her to stop. Renee told Kate that she was doing this to save her life, since the Crime Bible demands the death of Batwoman.
The apostle murdered another follower of the religion after Renee defeated him in combat and told her that her besting the man was the reason he had to die, therefore she had committed murder, the last lesson. He then challenged her to a battle to the death, saying he would kill everyone she loved if she refused. When they met in combat, he told her that it was her destiny to lead his people, but that she must kill him first. Renee beat him, but refused to kill him. She attempted to free a hostage the apostle's people held, but the apostle charged at the hostage, trying to kill her. Renee knocked the apostle away from the hostage, and he was impaled as he fell, killing him. Renee looked on as the Order of Stone bowed to "The Faceless One".
During the Crisis, Renee had escaped from the Order of Stone and was now following their apostle, Wrack, in order to prevent her from finding the Spear of Destiny and raising Cain. The Spectre intervened, claiming Renee's soul for the crimes she's committed, and transported her to Gotham to allow her to say farewell to Batwoman before killing her. Renee was granted mercy from Radiant, God's agent of Mercy. However, Wrack was able to use the spear to turn Vandal Savage into Cain.
At the same time, Darkseid's Anti-Life Equation spread throughout Gotham, and Radiant and Spectre were helpless to prevent the city's destruction. Before Renee was fully exposed to the equation, they whisked her away to a chapel, outside which Vandal Savage (seeking retribution on the Spectre), used the Spear to separate the Spectre from his host, Crispus Allen, and used the Spectre to spread the Anti-Life Equation to all beings on Earth. Renee and Huntress made a last stand, as Renee realized that because she, the Faceless, did not give Vandal Savage the Spear, she had a chance to reclaim it and purify it, so it could heal the Spectre. Allowing herself to be run through by the spear, Renee then used it for a selfless act, healing Crispus' spirit and restoring his son to life, instead of healing herself. With the Spectre restored, Vandal Savage was no longer a threat and the Radiant healed Renee.
Darkseid, however, was still at large, and Renee travelled to Metropolis to continue the fight. While there, Checkmate caught up with her and asked for her help in their plan to breach the Multiverse and evacuate people to a new world, with her as the lead of the Global Peace Agency there. Darkseid's death made this impossible, and instead Renee assisted in the gathering of Supermen from all the worlds, which returned the Earth, and Renee, to their rightful place in the Multiverse. Renee announced her intent to retire from costumed heroics during the Final Crisis events, feeling such actions were affecting her sanity.
Ask The Question
Following Final Crisis, Renee had been living with Tot in the lighthouse left to them by Charlie. She continued to investigate questions no one else would answer as a private detective. Accepting cases from her website https://ask-the-question.net/, Renee followed a human trafficking case to California.
At the behest of the new Batman, Renee came back to Gotham to help solve the mystery of the Eighth Sin. She deduced quickly that the current Batman was once Nightwing, and jokingly called him 'wimpy Batman'. While there, she ran into her former partner, Harvey Bullock, who was protecting a boy wanted by the cult La Saligia, and recognized Renee even with the mask.
Powers and Abilities
- Acrobatics: Renee is skilled in Parkour.
- Investigation: Renee is an excellent detective; she deduced Batman's identity and solved crimes for years both with and without her mask. She may not immediately pick up on details as other detectives can, but to her merit her investigative skills are attuned to bigger pictures which cost her more time.
- Martial Arts: Renee is a master combatant; she received training from the GCPD and later by the Question and Richard Dragon. She can control her nervous system, enabling her to deaden her body to physical pain, control her emotions, and even control her bleeding rate.
- Weaponry: Renee is skilled in the use of nunchaku.
- This version of the character is exclusive to the continuity of the comic book stories considered to be set on New Earth. It is an adaptation of Renee Montoya. The original character was created by Paul Dini, Tom Ruegger, and Michael Reaves and first appeared in the episode "Pretty Poison" of the series Batman: The Animated Series.
- This version of Renee Montoya actually appeared before the original television version, because of the shorter lead time in comic book production.
- This version of Renee Montoya actually appeared before the original television version, because of the shorter lead time in comic book production.
- Renee Montoya was born on September 7, 1970.
- 365 Appearances of Renee Montoya (New Earth)
- 87 Images featuring Renee Montoya (New Earth)
- 15 Quotations by or about Renee Montoya (New Earth)
- Character Gallery: Renee Montoya (New Earth)
- Gotham Central #28–31
- Batman #475
- Detective Comics #644
- Batman #485
- Detective Comics #654
- Detective Comics #656
- Detective Comics #657
- Batman #491
- Batman #493
- Detective Comics #661
- Detective Comics #662
- Batman #496
- Detective Comics #663
- Detective Comics #664
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat #17
- Detective Comics #670
- Detective Comics #672
- Detective Comics #673
- Batman: Shadow of the Bat #28
- Robin (Volume 2) #8
- Detective Comics #677
- Robin (Volume 2) #9
- Final Crisis: Revelations #5
- Final Crisis #6
- Final Crisis #7
- Detective Comics #854
- Detective Comics Annual #11
- Detective Comics #858
- Detective Comics #856
- Detective Comics #859
- 52 #2
- 52 #4
- Detective Comics #857
- Gotham Central #24
- Detective Comics #855
- 52 #14
|GCPD Officer |
This character is or was an officer of, or held a title in the Gotham City Police Department, in any of its various incarnations. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "GCPD members" and "Police Officers" categories.