Batwoman (identity)

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Batwoman is a name used by several characters of DC Comics, both in mainstream continuity and Elseworlds. The best known Batwomen are Kate Kane and Kathy Kane.

History[edit]

  • The first Batwoman, Kathy Kane, debuted during the Silver Age of Comics within the "post-crisis" mainstream DC Universe.
  • The 1996 limited series Kingdom Come by Mark Waid and Alex Ross presents a Batwoman portrayed as a Batman admirer from Jack Kirby's Fourth World. Her costume mixed Kirby-esque elements with those of the original costume. The character rode a giant bat-winged dog named Ace.
  • Batman: Dark Knight Dynasty (1997) features Vice-President Brenna Wayne who becomes Batwoman in order to stop Vandal Savage. Wayne discovers a conspiracy against her family after investigating the last thirteen generations of the Wayne family.
  • JLA: The Nail (1998) by Alan Davis features Selina Kyle adopting a Batwoman costume based on the costume worn by Kathy Kane. The 2004 sequel, JLA: Another Nail, features her fashioning her own Batwoman persona.
  • Superman/Batman #24 (November 2005) presents a world where the genders of the characters are reversed with Helena Wayne as Batwoman. DC later placed this alternate reality as "Earth 11" in the post-Infinite Crisis multiverse.
Flamebird assumes the mantle of Batwoman in "Titans Tomorrow". Art by Mike McKone.
  • Kate Kane as Batwoman debuted in 2005 in the series 52.
  • In the Teen Titans storyline "Titans Tomorrow" (2005), Bette Kane is Batwoman, and wears a costume similar to Kathy's pre-Crisis one. In the follow up storyline, "Titans of Tomorrow... Today!" (2007), Bette Kane remains Flamebird and former Batgirl Cassandra Cain becomes Batwoman.
  • In DC Comics Bombshells, which take place in an alternate history version of World War II, there are three versions of the character outside of Kate Kane:
    • Katherine Webb, a member of the Kane family and the aunt to both Kate and Bette, is the Headmistress of Pinkney Orphanage. She was left in charge of the orphanage by Kate before she left Gotham. Headmistress Webb is a xenophobic woman, who uses the orphans to make robots in order to protect the country from foreigners, whom she characterizes as evil. She is later defeated by a team of Batgirls, including Bette, who come to the orphanage to save the orphans.[1]
    • Kathleen "Kathy" Duquesne, an auto mechanic and the leader of a team of Batgirls, who protect the city during Batwoman's absence. Along with Kathy, the team includes Nell Little, Harper Row and later on Alysia Yeoh and Bette Kane.[2][3] Upon meeting Bette, Kathy immediately recognizes her as a baseball player and later figures out her real identity as well as her connection to Batwoman but promises to keep it a secret. The Batgirls save the orphans of Pinkney Orphanage from the devious Headmistress and later expand their team, welcoming Tim Drake, Cullen Row and Felicity Smoak, and creating a Bat family.[4]
    • Sonia Alcana appears as an officer of Gotham City Police Department, partnered with Crispus Allen and working with Maggie Sawyer to aid Batwoman into her fight against crime in the city.[2]

In other media[edit]

  • The Batwoman alias is occasionally seen in The Batman animated series. In the two-parter "Batgirl Begins", Barbara Gordon wanted to be known as Batwoman before settling with the Batgirl name. In the episode "Artifact", Martha Wayne is mistakenly identified as Batwoman in the future along with Thomas Wayne as Batman and their son as Red Robin.
  • A loose adaptation of Batwoman appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Vanessa Marshall. Though visually based on the Kathy Kane version, the character is never actually called "Batwoman" and is also an original character: Katrina Moldoff, the heiress to the Moldoff Circus fortune. Batman: Brave and the Bold director Ben Jones's Formspring page confirmed that the decision to rename the character was brought about after DC Comics voiced concerns about this depiction of the character having a negative impact on the new Batwoman comic book series, the first issue of which launched less than a month after the episode's initial air date. Seen in the episode "The Criss Cross Conspiracy!", she is portrayed as a thrill seeker and a trained circus acrobat whom Batman dislikes due to her crime fighting occasionally endangering innocent bystanders. When she is unmasked in public by the Riddler, she is forced to give up her crime-fighting life. She attempts to get revenge by encouraging Felix Faust to use a spell to switch her and Batman's bodies, allowing her to get closer to the Riddler without the police coming after her. When she fails, Batman rescues her and gets Faust to switch them back. She goes along quietly with the police while they are arresting the Riddler and henchmen.
  • A version of Batwoman appears in Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, voiced by Kyra Sedgwick.[5] In this storyline (which conforms to the continuity of the DC animated universe), Batwoman is a new vigilante operating in Gotham City who is willing to use lethal force to achieve her goals. She targets the illegal operations of the Penguin and crime bosses Rupert Thorne and Carlton Duquesne. Viewed as a threat, Batman investigates Batwoman in an attempt to uncover her identity and bring her (as well as her targets) to justice. In the investigation, Batman suspects three different women to be Batwoman: Gotham Police Detective Sonia Alcana (voiced by Elisa Gabrielli), Dr. Roxanne "Rocky" Ballantine (voiced by Kelly Ripa), and Kathleen "Kathy" Duquesne (voiced by Kimberly Brooks, and a thinly-veiled reference to Kate Kane) who Bruce Wayne forms a romantic relationship with. It is eventually revealed that all three women have been posing as Batwoman with grudges against the crime bosses, each acting at a different point to draw suspicion from all three of them. In the DVD and Blu-ray special features, the producers explain that DC did not want the filmmakers to use Kate Kane in a family-friendly movie due to the violence associated with her character.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ DC Comics Bombshells #20
  2. ^ a b DC Comics Bombshells #8
  3. ^ DC Comics Bombshells #19
  4. ^ DC Comics Bombshells #21
  5. ^ Burnett, Alan (2003). "Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman". Warner Bros. Archived from the original on 18 January 2008. Retrieved 2008-01-09.