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  • September 18, 2022 15 min read

    Batwoman(Kate Kane) is a fictional character appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character was created by Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid and Ken Lashley and first appeared in 52 #7(June 2006).

    Publication History(1)

    The limited series Infinite Crisis (2005), written as a sequel to the 1985 maxi-series Crisis on Infinite Earths, altered DC Comics continuity. Subsequently, all comic book titles published by DC Comics skip forward one year and a new maxi-series entitled 52 retroactively chronicles the 52 weeks which directly followed Infinite Crisis. When DC editors called for a redesign of Batwoman, comic book artist Alex Ross drew inspiration from the modified Batgirl costume he designed for Barbara Gordon, seven years prior to Kate Kane's debut in the limited comic book series 52. Ross and comic book author Paul Dini initially planned to revive the former Batgirl Barbara Gordon using an updated version of the character's original costume, with red accents in place of the traditional yellow. However, since Gordon served as one of a very small number of disabled superheroes of DC Comics as Oracle, DC's editorial staff decided to revitalize the original Batwoman instead. In an interview with Newsarama, Ross states "They had me change the mask and hair to make it a bit more Batwoman, rather than Batgirl...I pointed out to them that the mask makes her look like the Huntress a little overall—but there weren't many options. The original mask that I had in there when it was to be a Batgirl design was the complete head cover that we've seen, so they did need something different from that."

    Unlike the Silver Age Kathy Kane, who was romantically attracted to Batman, the new version of Kane is a lesbian. Her sexual orientation was announced at the same time the character was revealed in the spring of 2006. Stories appeared on television news outlets such as CNN, general news magazines such as USA Today, and gay culture magazines such as Out. The modern Katherine "Kate" Kane made her first comic book appearance in issue #7 of the maxi-series 52 (2006), where Kane is revealed to have been romantically involved with Renee Montoya, a former Gotham City Police detective (who later takes up the mantle of the Question after the original hero dies). When questioned about the editorial decision to make Batwoman a gay character in an interview with Wizard Entertainment, DC Comics Senior Vice President and Executive Editor Dan DiDio stated "It was from conversations we’ve had for expanding the DC Universe, for looking at levels of diversity. We wanted to have a cast that is much more reflective of today’s society and even today’s fanbase. One of the reasons we made her gay is that, again when you have the Batman Family—a series of characters that aren’t super-powered and inhabit the same circle and the same city—you really want to have a point of difference. It was really important to me to make sure every character felt unique."

    Batwoman's sexual orientation initially gathered mixed reviews, ranging from praise to outrage. A reviewer at Out asserts "Batwoman will be the highest profile gay superhero to ever grace the pages of DC Comics." Although several LGBT organizations such as GLAAD have praised DC Comics for attempting to diversify their characters, some have observed that Batwoman is not the first gay or lesbian character to appear in comic books, nor is she the only lesbian to be associated with the Batman series.

    In the character's civilian identity as a socialite, Katherine Kane is acquainted with Bruce Wayne and is friends with a doctor named Mallory. She is presented as having porcelain white skin, several tattoos, and a clothing style defined as punk-psychobilly-goth in her civilian persona. The character is also Jewish, and celebrates Hanukkah with Renee Montoya during the events of 52. Her father is an ex-colonel and in Detective Comics #854, it is stated she is the cousin of Bette "Flamebird" Kane. The younger Kate also has a stepmother named Catherine Kane, making Catherine the aunt of Bette. At the 2008 New York Comic Con, it was announced that Batwoman would be among the characters appearing in a new Justice League comic book written by James Robinson. That year, Batwoman briefly took over as the lead character in Detective Comics, starting with #854. with DC saying at the 2009 New York Comic Con that she would be DC Comics' highest profile gay superhero. Detective Comics #854 would introduce Alice, a new villain for Kate who is also revealed to be her twin sister, Elizabeth Kane.

    From 2010, the character began appearing in the self-titled series Batwoman. After an introductory "zero" issue in 2010, the series launched fully in 2011 with Batwoman #1 along with DC's company-wide renumbering of its titles that year. Writers J.H. Williams III and W. Haden Blackman chose to expand Kate's supporting cast both in terms of her family (the Kanes, including Elizabeth, Bette and other relatives), and the "Batman Family" she is more loosely connected to. Issue seventeen was also a milestone as it featured Kate proposing to her girlfriend, Maggie Sawyer.

    In September 2013, co-authors J.H. Williams and W. Haden Blackman announced that they would leave Batwoman after the December issue because of conflicts with DC over storylines. They remarked that they were not allowed to expand Killer Croc's back story, keep their original ending, or show Kate and Maggie getting married. This announcement follows a February 2013 announcement that Batwoman #17 will feature the proposal between Kate and Maggie. DC Comics announced that Batwoman cannot get married because "heroes shouldn't have happy personal lives".

    In December 2014, it was announced that the series would be cancelled in March at issue forty, along with twelve other series.

    In 2016, it was announced that Batwoman would be one of the lead characters in the DC Comics Rebirth revamp of Detective Comics, which returned to its original numbering with issue #934.

    Fictional Character Biography(2)

    Katherine "Kate" Kane, alias Batwoman is the daughter of a Colonel Jacob Kane and Captain Gabi Kane. Her parents were both career military and worked extensively with military intelligence services.

    Katherine grew up with her parents and her twin sister Elizabeth Kane. As her parents were promoted they moved to a wide variety of towns and bases. Her father was often away from home.

    The Kanes family moved to Brussels in Belgium, since her parents were now serving at NATO. The family however was torn apart due to a terrorist attack. Gabi was taking her daughters for the day, they were kidnapped by heavily armed men from the Religion of Crime. Military intelligence eventually located the hostages, and Jacob was put in charge of the tactical unit that was sent to rescue them. However they were too late as Gabi had been executed along with Elizabeth. Jakob rescued Kate himself, but she was traumatized by the sight of her dead mother and sister.

    Kate tried to please her father by entering the Marines. At West Point, she roomed with Cadet Captain Sophie "Gimme" Moore, with whome she also entered in a lesbian relationship. Her commander got wind of it, and enquired about it. She confirmed her sexual orientation, but protected Sophie. Per the DADT policy, she was dishonorably discharged. Her father forgave her, and found it more important that she did not lie to save herself.

    Jacob Kane eventually married weapons heiress Catherine Hamilton. This new wealth established Kate as a socialite in Gotham City's upper crust. She became notorious for her partying and drinking.

    One night after a party, she was pulled over by officer Renee Montoya. Instead of being fined for drink driving, the two entered in a relationship. They broke up when Renee told her she had no direction in her life, no education, and no apparent goal. She found her purpose soon enough: when she was confronted by a mugger in an alleyway, she was saved by Batman.

    She decided to become a vigilante too. With her father's help, she traveled all over the planet for two years to learn how to fight. Her father used to family fortune and connections to come up with experimental weaponry.


    Renee encountered her old flame again when she was researching suspicious activity at a warehouse on 520 Kane Street for the Question. Renee crashed a party at Hamilton manor, and Kate confirmed to her that her family owned the building. It was being leased by Ridge-Ferrick until six weeks earlier. Renee refused to tell Kate what was going on, saying that she didn't owe Kate anything, which shocked Kate and prompted her to tail them as Batwoman. When Renee and the Question broke into Ridge-Ferrick's Gotham offices, they were attacked by Whisper A'Daire's shapeshifting minions, and Batwoman arrived to rescue them. Making quick work of two monsters, Batwoman stopped Renee from shooting the third, instead kicking the monster out a window. Batwoman informed them the police were coming, asked that she not be mentioned, and left.

    After Renee learned that the Book of Crime, a sacred text of Intergang, contained a prophecy foretelling the brutal murder of the "twice named daughter of Kane," she and the Question returned to Gotham. They contacted Kate by flashing a Bat-Signal, and the three joined forces to avert Intergang's plans. As Kate continued the case, she was joined by Nightwing, who had recently returned to Gotham and becomes infatuated with her (no doubt because of her resemblance to former Batgirl), though she assured him she wasn't his type. On Christmas Eve, he gave her an 'official' Batarang. She also celebrated Hanukkah with Renee, and the two kiss shortly before Christmas.

    Intergang realized that the image of Batwoman in the Crime Bible and the cited "twice-named daughter of Cain" were one and the same, and ransacked Kate's apartment, kidnapping her with the intention to sacrifice her. Renee found her, seemingly too late to save her, as during the ensuing fight with Bruno Mannheim, Kate pulled the knife out of her own chest to stab Mannheim and then collapsed in Renee's arms. Kate survived her wounds after Renée used pseudoderm to patch up the wound and stop the bleeding, leaving Kate at the hospital in Renée's trenchcoat.

    One Year Later

    Batwoman later appeared when Renée Montoya confronted Trickster and Pied Piper to question them about the murder of Bart Allen, having trailed them from Penguin's Iceberg Lounge nightclub. Renée again left town, irritating Kate, though she agreed to help Renée in tracking down a copy of the Crime Bible, being sold via the Penguin. The book was actually part of the Lessons that the Order of Stone was attempting to teach Renée, and she and Kate fight over the book. In the end, as Renée claims she only wants it to protect Kate. Kate tells her that Renée never asked what Kate wanted, but lets her take the book.

    Final Crisis

    During the Final Crisis, Kane was one of the millions who fell under the influence of the Anti-Life Equation, and became a member of the Female Furies.

    Battle of the Cowl and Investigatons

    After Batman's death, Batwoman joined the Network, a group of heroes that would keep order in Gotham in Batman's absence.

    Batwoman is later seen investigating the arrival of a new leader of the Religion of Crime to Gotham. She briefly meets Batman to discuss her findings. Kate demonstrates greater knowledge of the Religion of Crime, and even corrects Batman by saying there's 13 and not 12 covens of the religion in Gotham. Batman concedes the case to her, and comments on the length of her hair (though panels on the same page reveal the long red wig hides her actual hair, styled short).

    Batman Reborn

    After the Crisis, Kane continues to act as Batwoman and, with the new Batman's blessing, investigates the 13 chapters of the Crime Syndicate in Gotham, and their new High Priestess, Alice. Her father, Colonel Kane, assists Kate in her role as Batwoman, supplying her with technology and training, as do Kyle Abbot and two other shape-shifters, who themselves the True Believers.  When Alice kidnaps Kate's father and plans to unleash a toxic gas over Gotham, Abbot commandeers a plane to stop her. Kate manages to stop the weapon and save her father, but in the final fight, Alice falls from the plane to her death, refusing to take Kate's hand and be saved. Before she falls, Alice tells Kate "You have our father's eyes."

    Aspects of her personal life are also revealed, including her relationship with her ex-colonel father; serving as Batwoman's ally, whom she addresses as "sir." The strain of her late night vigilante activity has also taken a toll on her romantic relationships. Her lateness and night time absences are interpreted by her girlfriend as an on the side liaison with another woman. She breaks the relationship off as she believes Kate is not ready to commit to an exclusive relationship. A past traumatic incident is also alluded to which she claims still haunts her. As she vaguely describes the experience, her face is shown superimposed on the page over a restrained girl with a bag over her head. She later tracks down the new leader of the Religion of Crime: an elaborately costumed woman named Alice. Over the course of the conflict that ensues, Batwoman observes that Alice only speaks in quotations from Lewis Carroll; believing herself to be Alice Liddell. Alice denies a connection to the Mad Hatter.

    Justice League

    When the Justice League of America splits up following Bruce Wayne's death and a disastrous confrontation with the Shadow Cabinet, Green Lantern Hal Jordan leads a group of superheroes to Gotham in order to track down the supervillain known as Prometheus. Kate is shown stalking the heroes from the rooftops after they encounter Clayface.

    Batwoman later contacts both Leagues at the JLA Watchtower, informing them she encountered and engaged supervillain Delores Winters, who mysteriously collapsed and died right as she was about to be taken into custody. The heroes request that Kate bring the body up to them, but she declines, telling them that she is much too busy due to a rash of criminal uprisings going on in Gotham. Firestorm is then sent to retrieve the corpse from Kate and bring it to the team, who discover that Dolores was forced into fighting by means of a mind control device.

    Later, Batwoman is kidnapped by cultists and taken to London in order for her to once again be sacrificed. She is sealed within a coffin and taken underground to the last remaining Lazarus Pit in order for the ritual to begin. She is saved by the timely intervention of Dick Grayson and British superheroes Knight and Squire. After learning that Grayson plans on placing Bruce Wayne's corpse into the pit in order to revive him, Kate strongly protests, but he simply ignores her.

    Batman, Inc.

    Sometime later, Batwoman was deployed to Argentina to help Batman and El Gaucho track down an old criminal genius named Dr. Daedalus. There, she encountered the British Special Agent known as the Hood. Together, the four heroes fought against El Gaucho's nemesis, Scorpiana, who was finally defeated by Batwoman. They then found an old man dressed in Dr. Daedalus' costume, but soon discovered he was only an old man with Alzheimer's. Soon after, Batwoman returned to Gotham.


    In an effort to save his mother's life from the Reverse-Flash, Barry Allen unknowingly changes reality, creating a new world in which his friends' lives are drastically different.

    In this timeline Kate still serves in the US military as part of Team 7, serving alongside Cole Cash, John Stewart (who never became a Green Lantern), Lt. Reid, Sgt. Rock, Lady Blackhawk, and Gunner. The team was sent to attack jihadist strongholds in Afghanistan, but were wiped out during a raid on Sudhaar, with only Cash surviving due to the intervention of Britannia.

    The New 52

    Kate Kane and her twin sister Beth were born to prominent colonel Jake Kane and his wife Gabrielle, herself a captain. Both parents were on active military duty, and worked extensively with intelligence organizations. As her parent were promoted they moved to and from a wide variety of towns and bases, though Jake was often away from home.

    Eventually, the Kanes moved to Brussels in Belgium, where they worked with NATO. However, one day, when Gabi decided to take the girls out for the day, they were attacked and kidnapped by terrorists. Though military intelligence managed to locate the hostages, Jacob only managed to rescue Kate, as both Gabi and Beth had been killed. He had tried to prevent her from seeing the worst of it, but Kate was traumatized by the sight of her mother and sister's corpses.

    Jacob was a supportive father, and Kate managed to deal with her grief by trying to emulate his cool-headedness. She excelled in school, and eventually got in to West Point academy as a cadet. There, she met a woman named Sophie Moore, and began a relationship with her. When the relationship was discovered, however, Kate chose to come out as a lesbian in order to protect Sophie and was expelled under Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell.

    After that time, she medicated her depression with alcohol and promiscuity. Eventually, though, she came across a mugging in progress and tried to stop it. She encountered the Batman, and realized that she felt alive when she was fighting crime. Her father discovered this habit, though, and when she begged him to train her, he agreed.

    Kate spent the next three years undergoing fierce training regimens, and exposing herself to the worst that the world had to offer, all in the hopes of preparing her for her destiny. At the end of the third year, Jake gave her one last mission, in which a family had been kidnapped by Russian terrorists, and she would have to rescue them alone. When she found the family, they had already been murdered, and in rage, she nearly killed the terrorist leader. However, she relented at the last second, and the leader revealed himself as her father. The whole thing had been a fakeout; a test to prove that she could stop herself from crossing the line. After that, she was ready to become Batwoman.


    Kate eventually stumbled onto an organization in Gotham City called the Religion of Crime, led by Whisper A'Daire. They believed a prophecy in the Crime Bible, which suggested Kate Kane was the twice-named daughter of Cain, who would need to be sacrificed in order to bury Gotham in flames. Batwoman thwarted these plans, with the help of a defector named Kyle Abbott, and Whisper was deposed.

    However, the thirteen covens of the Religion of Crime were revived by a new leader named Alice, whose propensity for quoting Alice in Wonderland belied a sinister and callous disregard for human life, and a persistent obsession with Batwoman herself. In an attempt to get answers, Kate dangled the woman over the edge of a rooftop, but her aversion to killing was known to Alice, and rather than give up answers, she spat a poisoned razor-blade into Kate's face, causing hallucinations.

    She was saved by Kyle Abbott and a new sect of the Religion of Crime, who rejected the assumption that Batwoman was central to their doctrine. After recovering, rather than immediately seek revenge, Kate went to a charity ball for the Gotham City Police Department, where she met and began a relationship with Margaret Sawyer. They were interrupted by Kyle, who revealed in private that Alice intended to destroy Gotham by stealing military grade firepower. Given that her father had had to leave the party in order to investigate an emergency on base, Kate realized too late that the Religion of Crime was behind it. Alice had captured her father.

    With Kyle's help, Batwoman managed to board the plane from which Alice planned to unleash a toxic gas onto the city. In the fight that ensued, Alice was nearly knocked out of the plane, but Kate caught her in her hand. In a moment of uncharacteristic coherence, Alice looked up at Kate and stated "You have our father's eyes," before plunging a dagger into Kate's arm. In pain, Kate let go, and watched Alice fall to her death as the realization dawned on her that her twin sister Beth had not died, those years ago. As soon as she had regained her sister, she had lost her - and her father Jacob had betrayed her.


    Batwoman faces the Weeping WomanWhen a series of kidnappings and drownings in Gotham's Latino community pointed to the urban legend of a ghost called the Weeping Woman, both Batwoman and Detective Maggie Sawyer began investigating the case separately. While Maggie learned of the origins of the ghost and dealt with the pressures grieving parents, Kate faced with the pressure of reluctantly training her cousin Bette and dodging her questions about her deteriorating relationship with her father. After eavesdropping on one of Maggie's meetings, Kate learned of the location of the latest crime scene. Upon arriving, though, she was accosted by Batman, who offered her a position in Batman, Inc., which she declined.

    All the while, the DEO had sent Agent Cameron Chase to determine Batwoman's identity, and through her, learn Batman's. She suspected Maggie, initially, but when Maggie caught Batwoman stealing files from her office, she gave her location up to Chase. From the files, Kate sourced the legend of the Weeping Woman to a boathouse, where she was dragged under water by the apparently real spirit. She managed to escape both the spirit and Chase, but the experience led her to decide to stop training Bette, prompting her cousin to go it alone, where Chase was then free to question her. Before Chase could get to her, though, Bette was attacked by a meta with a hook for a hand, who tore open her gut.

    Unaware, Batwoman learned that the Weeping Woman had been an alcoholic mother named Maria Salvaje, whose children drowned at the boathouse due to her neglect, and she later drowned herself as a result of the guilt. Chase, meanwhile, used Bette's desperate condition to trick her into revealing Kate as her next of kin. Returning to the boathouse, Batwoman set the boathouse on fire, to counter the ghost's water magic. As she began to evaporate, Maria revealed that she had been manipulated into becoming a kidnapper by something or someone called Medusa.

    Upon her return home, Kate found Chase and Director Bones waiting for her with a deal that they would show her to Bette's location if she would agree to help them take down Medusa. Despite a warning from Batman, Kate agreed, promising herself and the parents of the missing children that she would find them.

    Skills and Abilities(3)

    Acrobatics: She is quite skilled in gymnastics having trained in the sport since she was very young and made it to senior elite level.
    Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Kate received basic training at West Point, then further, more intensive training in various martial arts during her travels around the world.
    Interrogation: While Batwoman does a lot of physical intimidation and violent interrogation work - though she wouldn't torture or deliberately maim people.
    Military Protocol: A one-time soldier raised by a career soldier, Kate is quite familiar with military policy, protocol and most aspects of life in the Army.
    Gadgetry: Kate is adept in the art of tinkering with things both mechanical and electronic.

    Supporting Characters


    Batwoman has a number of allies including Batman, Nightwing, Red Hood, Red Robin, Robin, Batgirl, Huntress, Azrael and many more.


    Over the years Batwoman has made a number of enemies including Anarky, Calendar man, Victor Zsasz, Harley Quinn, Riddler, Weeping Woman, Wolf Spider and many more.




    Notable Comics

    Comics Writer(s) Artist(s)
    52 #7-11 Geoff Johns, Grant Morrison, Greg Rucka, Mark Waid Keith Giffen Ken Lashley, Marvin Mariano, Greg Parkin, Alex Sinclair
    Detective Comics#854-present Various Various
    Final Crisis Grant Morrison J.G Jones, Doug Mahnke, Alex Sinclair
    Batman #682 Grant Morrison Lee Garbett, Trevor Scott, Guy Major
    Crime Bible: Five Lessons of Blood #3 Greg Rucka Steve Lieber, Matt Clark, Javier Mena Guerrero, John Van Fleet