About Batwoman

Another DC Comics creation; Batwoman is a fictional character and the female counterpart to the popular superhero Batman. She first appeared in Detective Comics #233, dated July 1956 and killed off in September 1979. She was created by Sheldon Moldoff and Bob Kane. Bob Kane is Batman's co-creator, as he claimed that he originally drew her to resemble his wife through the fact that he named her Kathy Kane.



She is still a well-remembered character to this day as reprints of her older stories continue to be published. She proved she could hold her own and save the life of her male counterpart and his sidekick. Though in love with Batman she did not let her affection for him, get in the way of the crimefighting which needed to be done. Her weapons of choice were simply a reflection of her time and quite effective. The heroine was a trailblazer for many of the heroines, which have followed in her footsteps.



In her latest incarnation, she will retain the same alter ego as Kathy Kane, but will have a more unique personality than the others; this new version of Kathy Kane will share only a name with her predecessors.



Batwoman's History


The heroine from the pre-crisis was a story of female independence and a stunning performance of the presumption of women's roles in the 1950s. Her name was Katherine "Kathy" Kane, a wealthy heiress, a one-time circus performer and motorcycle stunt rider. When she inherited her uncle's fortune, she decided to put her resources into becoming a crimefighter like Batman, outfitting herself with a yellow and red costume, a handful of gadgets and a red motorcycle, the Bat-cycle. She also had a mansion in the suburbs of Gotham, a fully equipped Batcave in a conveniently abandoned mine entrance.



She has a mission of altruism not a mission of vengeful justice. Nor does she wish to hide in the dark muted colors of Gotham. As Batman and Robin saw a flashing feminine figure on a Bat-cycle, she was seen answering the call to justice before the dynamic duo (Batman and Robin) hit the scene of the crime. They were stunned by the actions of the woman, and soon found out that it was her as she first appeared.



As she joins Batman's crusade against the superstitious and cowardly lot, she saved Batman from harm during her first adventure but both Batman and Robin didn't readily accept her aid. Kathy, being an ex-circus performer let some circus slang slip during her encounters with Batman, which he then used to discover her secret identity. Despite her adoration for Batman and his career, she did not received too kindly by her hero, who always insisted that crimefighting was dangerous for her. She firmly refused to believe him and tried several times to learn Batman's secret identity in return, but she failed.



When she returns to her Batcave she finds a boldly confident Dynamic Duo waiting for her as they drivel about how crooks could find out her identity. She pondered and ended her responsibility being a heroine right away. Batman takes Kathy's portrait of herself as hero for his own Batcave and with the woman, shown her place in his world, relaxes. Though, Robin had his last line on asking if they will ever fight crime with her again as the Dynamic Trio, as the door was truly left open for her return. She did return and despite no letters published to support this, the reading public liked the idea of a hero.



In spite of Batman's condescension towards her counterpart, she was his principle romantic interest from 1956 to 1964, with a certain rivalry with the reporter, Vicki Vale. In some ways, the heroine was still his most practical romantic relationship, since she matched him in both competence and dedication towards fighting crime. Apparently Batman's acceptance of Kathy as the superheroine changed as often as the weather.



In 1961, She was joined by her niece Betty as Bat-Girl. She was intended as a romantic interest for Robin, as Robin also seems to return Bat-Girl's affection. Both Bat woman and Bat-Girl essentially vanished from the Batman stories after May 1964, which were a revamp under Editor Julius Schwartz that eliminated elements in an effort to make Batman a more contemporary character. In the 1970s, Bat woman only appeared a few times, often fighting crime along with the second Batgirl, Barbara Gordon. Eventually she retired, and apparently started a circus. She was killed in September 1979 (Detective Comics #485) by the agents of the League of Assassins and the brainwashed Bronze Tiger.



Earth-Two Batwoman


She's also on Earth-Two, although as far as it is known, its history was essentially identical from her deceased Earth-One counterpart. The Earth-Two heroine survived through the mid-80s, although she essentially hung up her costume except for an occasional adventure after Batman's retirement in the 1950's. This Kathy Kane retires when the Batman of that world marries Catwoman. She marries and has children, but her husband is never revealed. She comes out of retirement following Batman's death when Gotham City is threatened by the return of Hugo Strange. Kathy Kane presumably survived until the Crisis on Infinite Earths, at which time she probably ceased to exist following the integration of the remaining Earths. She did exist in the post-Crisis universe because of the connection between her death and the League of Assassins, but it seems unlikely that she ever became the hero.



Batwoman's Alter-ego


Her alter-ego was Kathy Kane, a wealthy heiress and one time circus daredevil who used her skills to battle criminals. Kate Kane was also a motorcycle stunt rider.



Costume used by Batwoman


Designed by artist, Sheldon Moldoff, she originally wore a black and yellow body suit, oversized red mask, and a red cape with a red utility bag strung over her shoulder (one remarkably like a Birken Bag).



In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the superheroine was seen loosing her costumed elements. A yellow body suit with black lines, and an oversized yellow mask, while she retained her red cape and she no longer sported a red diamond in the center of her waist. She had fur trim around her red gloves and no weapon's bag slung over her shoulder.



Superpowers, Abilities of Batwoman


Kathy Kane was a trained martial artist. She has her X-Ray vision to see through her mission.



Weapons used by Batwoman


Weapons were all very ladylike. Her utility weapon's bag contained lipstick cases and perfume flask filled with tear gas, a compact mirror used to blind and glare enemies, oversized powder-puff to thwart some gangsters, she also converts her charm bracelets into handcuffs, an oversized hair net and a purse that was weighted to use as a bolo, everything used to snare criminals.



She also had a red motorcycle, the Bat-cycle. She used it as she drove around Gothom City to fight criminals.



The New Batwoman - 'lipstick lesbian'


After the Infinite Crisis series, a new Katherine "Kate" Kane is introduced. In her latest incarnation, she is a wealthy socialite living in Gotham City and is acquainted with Bruce Wayne and is dating a doctor named Mallory. She's a buxom lipstick lesbian who has an affair with Renee Montoya, an ex-police detective who refers to her as Katherine the younger, showing that she was the new Katherine Kane in the modern continuity, although she has taken the mantle of the heroine. She's still hiding her sexuality from nearly everyone she knows.



The superheroine reemerges from shadows of 52 comic series. After weeks of teasing and taunting appearances, Kate will have her first full appearance as the costumed Batwoman in 52 issue #11 (July 2006). She decides to become a super hero in the absence of Batman. She won't be fighting crime alone: Kane and her ex, Renee Montoya, will regularly cross paths fighting. This doesn't stop Kane from pushing Montoya's buttons, even showing off her new doctor girlfriend.



New Costume


The statuesque, red-headed heroine will be wearing in a familiar bat-mask and cape, skin-tight dark suit and high-heeled, knee-high red boots with an attitude to match.



New skills, resources and abilities


Kate is one of the few who lacks superpowers. Instead, she relies on her martial artistry, heavy punches and Batman-inspired equipment to aid her when fighting crime. She also has Batarangs, boomerangs, Batman-like grappling hook, and baton-like device which can extend from the center in length and has Bat-shaped attachments at each end.



Batwoman in Other Media


Films

· Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Wild World of Batwoman (1966)
· Batwoman & Catgirl (1992)



Animation


Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)

In this animated action-adventure, the Dark Knight discovers that he's not the only superhero in town. While the Penguin and Rupert Thorn hatch a plot to take over Gotham City, she enters the picture, doing whatever it takes to restore order to the troubled city. But when she performs a criminal act, Batman must discover for himself if she is the decent sort that she claims to be.

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