Shell's guide to... Batwoman


The next installment of my guides to. Previously: Catwoman, BatgirlBlack Canary and Wonder Woman.


1. Batwoman started life as Kathy Kane and first appeared in Detective Comics issue 233 in 1956, and was one of a group of characters that made up the 'Batman Family'.

2. The writers chose to make a female bat crime fighter to quash rumours that Batman and Robin were a couple and so gave Batman a love interest! It was the fifties and her utility belt was a little different to Batmans... it contained a compact, lipstick, a charm bracelet and hair net. Although don't worry, they were actually weapons in disguise! 

3. Like Batman, Batwoman had a sidekick. Batwoman and Bat-Girl weren't the badass crimefighters we know today though. They were mainly love interests for Bats and Robin, and needed saving.... a lot!


4. During the early 60s Batwoman was a regular in the pages of both Batman and Detective Comics.

5. In 1964 the Batman universe underwent a big revamp and Batwoman was replaced by a new and improved Batgirl a.k.a Barbara Gordon. (See my guide here) Batgirl wasn't a love interest to Batman, she was an equal, and so Batwoman was retired as she was too old fashioned a character.

6. Fans missed Batwoman though, so she was brought back briefly in 1979 in which she comes out of retirement to help Batgirl defeat Killer Moth in Batman Family #10. Later that year she was killed off, with editor Dennis O'Neil saying "we already had Batgirl, we don't need Batwoman". Wrong, Dennis.


7. It was all the way in 2006 when we next saw Batwoman again. The whole of the DC Universe was being reset with the New 52 and a new Batwoman was designed and introduced. This time she is Kate Kane.

8. Kate was top of the class at military school, until they found out she was gay. She is asked to dispel this rumour and confirms she is a lesbian and is then forced to leave the school. Back in Gotham she nearly gets mugged one night, but uses her training to defend herself. Batman arrives to help (too late, she sorted it) and she becomes fixated with what he does.

9. She begins training, and her father gives her a batsuit and special weaponry. Kane is heiress to one of the wealthiest families in Gotham. She is a socialite in her civilian identity and an acquaintance of Bruce Wayne.

10. It is around this time she also meets Gotham cop Renee Montoya, with whom she begins a partnership and romantic relationship with.


11. Kate has tattoos and favours a punk rockabilly style. She is Jewish and has a twin sister. She also happens to be DC's highest profile gay superhero.

12. In 2010 Batwoman got her own comic series, where her family and background were further explored. Issue 17 was a milestone issue: Kate proposes to her girlfriend detective Maggie Sawyer. DC announced that Batwoman could not get married because "heroes shouldn't have happy personal lives". The writers stepped down. Still, the series went on until issue 40.

13. In 2016 DC comics rebooted again with Rebirth and Batwoman was one of the lead series, as well as Batwoman being a main character in a rebooted Dectective comics series. 

14. Batwoman is known for her iconic black and red suit and flowing red hair (a wig to disguise her identity). She is intelligent, has good detective skills and is a trained martial artist. She is also a respected leader, and an equal of Batman.


Now you know about Batwoman here's some recommended reading...

1. Batwoman: Elegy (here): This is a good starting place as it introduces the modern Kate Kane.

2. Batwoman Vol.1 Hydrology (here) This is the next book and also the start of the New 52 reboot. There are 6 volumes of this run in total.

3. Batwoman Rebirth Vol.1 (here) This is the first volume in the current Batwoman run and works as starting point too.There are currently 3 volumes in this series.

other...

1. DC Bombshells Vol.1 (here) this is a fun series featuring the women of DC fighting the resistance of WW2 and Batwoman is a prominent character. The artwork is beautiful. There are 6 volumes altogether as well as a current series call Bombshells United.

2. Dectective Comics Vol.1 Rebirth (here): Batwoman is a prominent character in Detective Comics and none more so than the current Rebirth run. Here the opening volume focuses on the Bat family as a team. Volume 6 (here) is a Batwoman centric arc that's worth a read.

3. Batman Incorporated (here): A story from the New 52 era, that sees Batman team up with Catwoman and Batwoman.

So that was my guide to Batwoman -hope you enjoyed it! Next time: Huntress...


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