Renee is the daughter of Hispanic immigrants who graduated from the Gotham City Police Academy with top honors. She was originally created for Batman: the Animated Series. But, before debuting on the television series, her character was introduced in an issue of the Batman ongoing series in 1992 and had a reocurring role as one of the faces of the Gotham City Police department. She is also a beautiful, catholic lesbian who had a fling with Batwoman.
While investigating a suspected drug ring at Gotham Imports, alongside new recruit Wilkes and Detective Bullock, Montoya was separated and fought alongside Batman. As a result, Lieutenant Hackle suspended them until further notice. Montoya still investigated and followed a lead to Gotham Dock’s Hathcock Shipping. Montoya and Batman broke up the ring. Commissioner Gordon reinstated Montoya and the others, despite Hackle’s protest.
When Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy first teamed up and went on a crime spree, they were constantly pursued by Montoya. Eventually, the Joker found Quinn and Ivy’s hideout, as well as Batman. Quinn and Ivy attempted to escape but Montoya sniped one of the get away car’s wheels and collared the two.
Montoya was soon promoted to Commissioner Gordon’s aide and assisted him on various crime scene investigations, such as the kidnapping of Batman when Arkham Asylum was over run. Years later, Montoya was made full detective.
Renee found herself on the receiving end of a frame job with someone trying to systematically ruin her life. It began with her being outed as a lesbian with pictures of her with her lover, Daria Hernandez, being circulated. Her homosexuality was something she long kept secret from everyone except her younger brother. Then, a bag of heroin was planted on her and the man responsible for the photos turned up dead, having been shot with her weapon. Renee suddenly found herself on trial with first degree murder at the top of the list of charges, and there was nothing her partner could do about it. Her connection to Bullock, a disgraced former cop, did not win her any favors with Internal Affairs.
What was happening became more clear when Two-Face abducted her from police custody, making it appear that she had escaped. He was the one responsible for destroying her life. Because of his warped obsession with her, he was convinced that leaving her with no option but a life with him would make her love him back. Renee fought to escape from him, and fortunately, Batman intervened. Two-Face was taken back to Arkham Asylum, and she was cleared of all charges. However, damage to her life and reputation had still been done.
Renee had fallen into a pit of alcoholism and depression so bad that even Daria gave up on her. Then, the Question inexplicably came to her and hired her as a private detective to help him investigate Intergang’s presence in Gotham City. Once the investigation began, it only got stranger and stranger. Alien weaponry, mutated werebeasts, some kind of Religion of Crime. Soon, she and the Question find themselves pursuing the investigation well outside of Gotham.
Renee found herself in Kahndaq attending the wedding of Black Adam and Isis, where she presented a suicide bombing by shooting the girl rigged with explosives. For this act of heroism, Black Adam wanted to award her and Question with Kahndaq’s highest honors. Instead, Renee drank herself into a stupor and went off with another woman to get over the fact that she just shot a girl. Their continued investigation into Intergang in Kahndaq led them to discovering how Intergang was using and abusing children for their ends. Along with Black Adam and Isis, they were able to dismantle the operation and surprisingly reunite Isis with her younger brother, Osiris.
Question brought Renee to Nanda Parbat to meet Richard Dragon, the man who taught him to cope with the anger that Renee struggled with now. So Dragon began teaching her, but she did not understand what he was trying to teach exactly. An old friend Question’s, Aristotle Rodor, was also there and spent the time trying to decipher the Crime Bible they brought with them for answers. While there, she learned the truth about Question. He was dying and did not have long left.
Tot determined that what Intergang was trying to do in Gotham was bring about a prophecy that required the sacrifice of the twice-named daughter of Cain, and that was all Renee needed to hear to realize what the tangible danger. Kate Kane, a secret love from Renee’s past, was now operating in Gotham as the new Batwoman. That was who Intergang wanted. Renee and Question returned to Gotham to warn her, but by the time they got there, Question’s condition worsened to the point that he barely stand anymore. Renee and Kate were reunited for a short time, watching over Charlie together and spending the holiday season with one another. But Question’s days were coming to an end, and Renee could not stay. She did all she could to get him back to Nanda Parbat in time, hoping something could be done there to keep him alive. Unfortunately, she dragged him practically to Nanda Parbat’s doorstep when they could make it no farther and the Question passed away.
Again, Renee had tragically lost a partner. She mourned for Question in Nanda Parbat, continuing her training under Dragon. There was a question that she had been asked several times in past several months that she did not have a satisfying answer to. Who was she? Eventually, she knew it was time to leave. She had to return to Gotham and make sure she did not lose someone else she cared about. Intergang was still targeting Batwoman.
Renee to Gotham knowing who she now was. She was the Question. Intergang had already abducted Batwoman, but with the help of Nightwing and others, she was able to track down where the ritual sacrifice was to take place. She arrived but was unable to stop Bruno Mannheim from stabbing the knife into Batwoman’s chest. She fights Bruno away from Batwoman, giving Batwoman opportunity to pull the knife out and throw it into Bruno to kill him instead.
Batwoman survived her severe injury, and Renee was now at the end of her year long journey, having finally found herself as the new Question.