Catwoman

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Catwoman
Cover to Catwoman: Nine Lives of a Feline Fatale (June 2004), depicting various Catwoman costumes from the character's history.
Art by Brian Bolland.
Publication information
Publisher DC Comics
First appearance Batman #1 (Spring 1940)
Created by Bob Kane
Bill Finger
In-story information
Alter ego Selina Kyle
Team affiliations Batman Family
Outsiders
Secret Society of Super Villains
Injustice League
Female Furies
Justice League of America
Notable aliases The Cat, Irena Dubrovna[1]
Abilities
  • Peak athlete
  • Extremely skilled gymnast and hand-to-hand combatant
  • Expert burglar
  • Possesses costumes with steel spring-loaded climbing pitons and razor-sharp retractable claws
  • Wields an assortment of bullwhips and cat o' nine tails as gymnastic equipment
  • Empathic relationship ability with all types of cats
Catwoman
Series publication information
Publisher DC Comics
Schedule Monthly
Format (vol. 1)
Limited series
(vols. 2, 3 & 4)
Ongoing series
Genre
Publication date (vol. 1)
February – May 1989
(vol. 2)
September 1993 – July 2001
(vol. 3)
January 2002 – October 2008
(vol. 4)
September 2011 – present
Number of issues (vol. 1)
4
(vol. 2)
96 (including issues numbered 0 and 1000000), 4 Annuals
(vol. 3)
82
Main character(s) (vols. 1, 2, & 4)
Selina Kyle
(vol. 3)
Selina Kyle
Holly Robinson
Creative team
Writer(s) Mindy Newell
Jo Duffy
Chuck Dixon
Doug Moench
Devin Grayson
John Ostrander
Bronwyn Carlton
John Francis Moore
Ed Brubaker
Will Pfeifer
Judd Winick
Ann Nocenti
Artist(s) J.J. Birch
Jim Balent
Staz Johnson
Darwyn Cooke
Brad Rader
Cameron Stewart
Javier Pulido
Paul Gulacy
Pete Woods
David Lopez
Guillem March
Adriana Melo
Rafael Sandoval

Catwoman is a fictional character associated with DC Comics' Batman franchise. Historically a supervillainess, the character was created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, partially inspired by Kane's cousin, Ruth Steel,[2][3] as well as actress Jean Harlow. The original and most widely known Catwoman, Selina Kyle, first appears in Batman #1 (Spring 1940) in which she is known as The Cat. She is usually depicted as an adversary of Batman, known for having a complex love-hate relationship with him. In her first appearance, she was a whip-carrying burglar with a taste for high-stake thefts.[4] For many years Catwoman thrived, but from September 1954 to November 1966 she took an extended hiatus due to the newly developing Comics Code Authority in 1954. These issues involved the rules regarding the development and portrayal of female characters that were in violation of the Comics Code. Since the 1990s, Catwoman has been featured in an eponymous series that cast her as an antiheroine classy cat burglar rather than a traditional villain. The character has been one of Batman's most enduring love interests.

A popular figure, Catwoman has been featured in most media adaptations related to Batman. Actresses Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt introduced her to a large audience on the 1960s Batman television series and the 1966 Batman motion picture. Michelle Pfeiffer portrayed the character in 1992's Batman Returns. Halle Berry starred in a stand-alone Catwoman film, 2004's Catwoman, which was a box-office flop, and bears little to no resemblance to the Batman character. Anne Hathaway portrayed Selina Kyle in the 2012 film The Dark Knight Rises.

Catwoman was ranked 11th on IGN's "Top 100 Comic Book Villains of All Time" list,[5] and 51st on Wizard magazine's "100 Greatest Villains of All Time" list.[6] Conversely, she was ranked 20th on IGN's "Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time" list,[7] as well as 23rd in Comics Buyer's Guide's "100 Sexiest Women in Comics" list.[8]

Character and publication history

Creation

Batman's creator, Bob Kane, was a great movie fan and his love for film provided the impetus for several Batman characters, among them, Catwoman. She was partially inspired by 1930s film star Jean Harlow who at Kane's then-early and "impressionable age ... seemed to personify feminine pulchritude at its most sensuous." Wanting to give his Batman comic books sex appeal and someone who could appeal to female readers as a female Batman, Kane and writer Bill Finger created a "friendly foe who committed crimes but was also a romantic interest in Batman's rather sterile life."[9] She was meant to be a love interest and to engage Batman in a chess game with him trying to reform her. At the same time, this character was meant to be different from other Batman villains like the Joker in that she was never a killer or evil.

As for using cat imagery with their Catwoman, Kane states he and Finger saw cats as "kind of the antithesis of bats."[10]

Golden and Silver Age versions

Selina Kyle's first appearance as The Cat in Batman #1 (Spring 1940).

Catwoman, then called "the Cat", first appeared in Batman #1[12] as a mysterious burglar and jewel thief, revealed at the end of the story to be a young, attractive woman (unnamed in the first story), having disguised herself as an old woman during the story and been hired to commit a robbery. Although the story does not have her wearing her iconic cat-suit, it establishes her core personality as a femme fatale who both antagonizes and attracts Batman. It is implied Batman may have deliberately let her get away, by blocking Robin as he tried to leap after her. She next appears in Batman #2 in a story also involving the Joker but escapes Batman in the end. In Batman #3 she wears a fur mask and again succeeds in escaping Batman.

Batman #62 (December/January 1950) revealed that Catwoman is an amnesiac flight attendant who had turned to crime after suffering a prior blow to the head during a plane crash she survived. She reveals this after being hit on the head by a piece of rubble while saving Batman while he was chasing her. Although, in issue 197 of The Brave and the Bold, she admits that she made up the amnesia story because she wanted a way out of the past life of crime. She reforms for several years, helping out Batman in Batman #65 (June/July 1951) and #69 (February/March 1952), until she decides to return to a life of crime in Detective Comics #203 (January 1954), after a newspaper decides to publish stories of Batman's past adventures, and some crooks mock her about it. However in this story when Batman prevents a robbery and is knocked out by sleeping gas, Catwoman prevents her thugs from murdering him, though quickly claims she wants him as a hostage. Catwoman appears again as a criminal in Batman #84 (June 1954) and Detective Comics #211 (September 1954) for her final appearance until 1966. This was mostly due to her possible violation of the developing Comics Code Authority's rules for portrayal of female characters that started in 1954.

In the 1970s comics, a series of stories taking place on Earth-Two (the parallel Earth that was retroactively declared as the home of DC's Golden Age characters) reveal that on that world, Selina reformed in the 1950s (after the events of Batman #69) and had married Bruce Wayne; soon afterward, she gave birth to the couple's only child, Helena Wayne (the Huntress). The Brave and the Bold #197 (April 1983) elaborates upon the Golden Age origin of Catwoman given in Batman #62, after Selina reveals that she never actually had amnesia. It is revealed that Selina Kyle had been in an abusive marriage, and eventually decides to leave her husband. However, her husband keeps her jewelry in his private vault, and she has to break into it to retrieve it. Selina enjoys this experience so much she decides to become a professional costumed cat burglar, and thus begins a career that repeatedly leads to her encountering Batman.

The Earth-Two/Golden Age Selina Kyle eventually dies in the late 1970s after being blackmailed by a criminal into going into action again as Catwoman, as shown in DC Super-Stars #17 (November/December 1977).

Catwoman made her first Silver Age appearance in Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #70 (November 1966); afterward, she continued to make appearances across the various Batman comics.

Several stories in the 1970s featured Catwoman committing murder, something that neither the Earth-One nor Earth-Two versions of her would ever do. This version of Catwoman was assigned to the alternate world of Earth-B, an alternate Earth that included stories that could not be considered canonical on Earth-One or Earth-Two.[13][14][15]

Modern Age version

Tangled origins

Catwoman's origin—and, to an extent, her character—was revised in 1987 when writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli published Batman: Year One, a revision of Batman's origin. She works as a dominatrix in order to survive and wants to break away from her abusive pimp (and former boyfriend). She witnesses his crimes and, because of an event that occurs to her sister, fears for her sister's life and begins to study self-defense and martial arts. Her teacher inspires Selina to become more than what she has been and she realizes that prostitution is no life for her, or for Holly.

Holly Robinson is a young runaway who idolizes Selina, but is much too young to be on the streets as far as Selina is concerned. Selina shares her home with Holly after she takes her in. As the story progresses Selina is led to a bit of burglary, she dons a catsuit costume that her now former pimp gave to her the day that she told him she was out of the business. After costuming herself so as not to be revealed, she gets a taste for burglary and begins to do it in more of a Robin Hood way than an actual thief. This is, however, how she runs into Batman. After a small confrontation, she begins to be inspired to stay in her costume and become the "Catwoman" after seeing Batman in action with others. Selina gets the idea that, if there is a "bat", why can there not be a "cat"?

The 1989 Catwoman limited series, written by Mindy Newell and with art by J.J. Birch, expanded upon Miller's Year One origin. This storyline, known as "Her Sister's Keeper", explores Selina's early life as a dominatrix and the start of her career as Catwoman. The story culminates with Selina's former pimp, Stan, abducting and violently abusing her sister Maggie, who, in contrast to Selina, is a nun. Selina kills Stan to save her sister, and gets away with it. Most of this is revealed in the former series, but is expanded upon in "Her Sister's Keeper".

Catwoman (vol. 2) #69, which provides details about Selina's childhood, neglects Maggie's existence. Maria Kyle is a distant parent who preferred to spend her time with cats, and commits suicide when Selina is very young. Her alcoholic father, Brian, is cold to Selina for resembling her mother (whom he resents for dying), and eventually drinks himself to death. To survive, Selina takes to the streets for a time before getting caught and sent first to an orphanage, then juvenile hall,[16] "where Selina began to see how hard the world could really be."[17] Maggie's fate at this point in the time-line is not alluded to. However, when Ed Brubaker reintroduces her into the comic, he implies that Maggie may have directly entered an orphanage and promptly been adopted.

When she is 13, Selina discovers that the hall's administrator has been embezzling funds, and she confronts her. In an attempt to cover up her crime, the administrator puts Selina in a bag and drops her in a river to drown (like a cat). She escapes and returns to the orphanage, where she steals documents exposing the administrator's corruption. She uses these to blackmail the administrator into erasing "Selina Kyle" from the city's records, then steals the administrator's diamond necklace and escapes the orphanage.[16] Selina eventually finds herself in "Alleytown - a network of cobblestone streets that form a small borough between the East End and Old Gotham."[18] Selina is taken in by Mama Fortuna, the elderly leader of a gang of young thieves, and is taught how to steal. Fortuna treats her students like slaves, keeping their earnings for herself. Selina eventually runs away, accompanied by her friend Sylvia. However, the two have difficulty surviving on their own, and in desperation try to support themselves by working as prostitutes. The two drift apart afterward, with Sylvia coming to resent Selina for not inquiring about what had happened to her at the hands of her abusive first client.

In the Catwoman: Year One story,[19] Selina (now an adult) achieves some success as a thief. Following a disastrous burglary, however, she accepts an offer to "lie low" as a dominatrix in the employ of a pimp named Stan. They plan to trick men into divulging information that might be used in future crimes. According to this storyline, Selina trains under the Armless Master of Gotham City, receiving education in martial arts and culture. During this time, a client gives her a cat o' nine tails, which Selina kept as a trophy.

Batman: Dark Victory, the sequel to The Long Halloween, implies that Catwoman suspects she is the illegitimate daughter of mafia boss Carmine Falcone, although she finds no definitive proof. Selina's connection to the Falcone family is further explored in the miniseries Catwoman: When in Rome. Though the story adds more circumstantial evidence to the theory of Selina's Falcone heritage, establishing that the Falcones' secondborn daughter was put up for adoption in America, it also supplies no definitive proof. During The Long Halloween, Selina (out of costume) develops a relationship with Bruce Wayne, even leading her to save Bruce from Poison Ivy. However, this relationship appears to end on the Fourth of July when Bruce rejects her advances twice—once as Bruce, and once as Batman. She leaves him for good and also leaves Gotham for a while in Batman: Dark Victory, after he stands her up on two holidays. When the two meet at an opera many years later, during the events of Hush, Bruce comments that the two no longer have a relationship as Bruce and Selina.

Catwoman also appears in the Batman: Knightfall saga, where she is approached by Bane's henchmen while robbing a house. Bane asks her to work for him, but she refuses, as she is repulsed by the criminal who "broke" Batman. Later in the story, she boards a plane with Bruce Wayne to fly to Santa Prisca. She next appears in the Batman: Knightquest saga, where Azrael is masquerading as Batman. She is one of the few to recognize that Batman is an impostor, later being present when the true Batman returns to the fold as he struggles against his successor, his willingness to save even criminals confirming his true identity for Selina.

Catwoman, the series

In 1993, Catwoman was given her first ongoing comic book series. This series, written by an assortment of writers, but primarily penciled by Jim Balent,[20] generally depicted the character as an international thief (and occasional bounty hunter) with an ambiguous moral code.

Story-lines include her adoption of teenage runaway, and erstwhile sidekick, Arizona; aiding Bane, whom she later betrays to Azrael; and a stint as a reluctant government operative. The series also fleshes out more of her origin, revealing her beginnings as a young thief, her difficult period in juvenile incarceration, and her training with Ted "Wildcat" Grant.[4]

Moving to New York, Selina becomes corporate vice president then CEO of Randolf Industries, a mafia-influenced company, through blackmail. She plans to use this position to run for Mayor of New York City, but her hopes are dashed when the Trickster inadvertently connects her to her criminal alter ego.

Selina then returns to Gotham City, which at this time is in the midst of the No Man's Land storyline. As Catwoman, she assists Batman against Lex Luthor in the reconstruction of the city. After being arrested by Commissioner Gordon, she escapes from prison. Later that year, during the "Officer Down" storyline in the Batman titles, Catwoman is initially the chief suspect. Although later cleared, she displays increasingly erratic behavior throughout the story. Soon afterward, she disappears and is believed to have been killed by the assassin Deathstroke the Terminator, ending her series at issue #94.

Catwoman then appears in a series of backup stories in Detective Comics #759-762 (August – November 2001). In the backup storyline "Trail of the Catwoman", by writer Ed Brubaker and artist Darwyn Cooke, private detective Slam Bradley attempts to find out what really happened to Selina Kyle. This storyline leads in to the newest Catwoman series in late 2001 (written by Brubaker initially with Cooke, later joined by artist Cameron Stewart). In this series, Selina Kyle, joined by new supporting cast members Holly and Slam Bradley (a character from the early Golden Age DC Comics), becomes protector of the residents of Gotham's East End, while still carrying out an ambitious career as a cat burglar.

During the Batman: Hush storyline, Batman and Catwoman briefly work together and have a romantic relationship, during which he reveals his true identity to her. At the end, he breaks off their relationship when he suspects it has been manipulated by the Riddler and Hush. This is the second story to establish that she knows Batman's true identity. In an early 1980s storyline, Selina and Bruce develop a relationship. The concluding story features a closing panel in which she refers to Batman as "Bruce". A change in the editorial team at that point, however, brought a swift end to that storyline and, apparently, all that transpired during the story arc.

In the Justice League story arc "Crisis of Conscience", Catwoman fights alongside Batman and the Justice League against the old Secret Society, of which she had once briefly been a member.

Mindwiping revelations

Catwoman appears to be completely reformed, and her love for Batman true (although brash and unpredictable). However, she has learned her reformation was the result of a mindwipe by Zatanna, a procedure known to deeply affect and, in at least one case, physically incapacitate its victims. Zatanna gives no reason for her actions, but in a flashback, it is shown that she had acted with the consent and aid of five of the seven JLA members who had helped her mindwipe Dr. Light and Batman. Catwoman's response to this revelation is unequivocal: she duct-tapes Zatanna's mouth shut and pitches her out a window (Zatanna survives the fall). Afterward, she is seen covering her bed with past versions of her Catwoman costume.

Still unbalanced and uncertain of herself in issue #52, Selina is forced to decide whether to kill a supervillain. The Black Mask, in an attempt to "improve himself," threatens the most important people in Selina's life, from Slam Bradley to Holly. The villain had also previously tortured Selina's sister Maggie by drilling out her husband's eyeballs and feeding them to Maggie, which drove her insane. Black Mask learns Selina's identity through his earlier alliance with Selina's childhood friend Sylvia, who still harbors a grudge against Selina. Still thinking that Selina adheres to a strict no-kill rule, Black Mask is caught by surprise when Selina shoots him in the head.[4] This action continues to haunt her throughout the One Year Later storyline, and it is suggested that this might have been the first time she had ever directly taken a life.

As a mother

Following the events of Infinite Crisis, the DC Universe jumps forward in time. After One Year later, Selina Kyle is no longer Catwoman, she has left the East End, and has given birth to a daughter named Helena. The father of her new daughter is initially unrevealed; however, Batman demonstrates great concern for the child and at one point asks to have Helena stay at his mansion. Selina attempts to live a safe and somewhat normal life, and gives up her more dangerous ways of living as Catwoman. Holly Robinson takes over as the new Catwoman while Selina, living under the alias Irena Dubrovna, turns her attention to caring for her daughter (Selina's alias was inspired by the name of the main character in the 1942 film Cat People).[4]

Though she takes her role as a new mother quite seriously, Selina dons the costume for a run through the East End some days after Helena's birth. Having understandably gained a few pounds, Selina finds that her costume is now tighter. In addition, she is easily distracted by a common criminal. Although the situation is defused through Holly's opportune arrival, the sight of two Catwomen active simultaneously in the city is caught on video. Selina returns home from her adventure to find that the mysterious movie aficionado Film Freak has deduced her alias, joined with Angle Man, and grabbed Helena. After rescuing her daughter, Selina convinces Zatanna to mind-wipe Film Freak and Angle Man in order to preserve her secret identity. Following the procedure, Angle Man turns himself in to the authorities; Film Freak, however, embarks upon a murderous rampage.

A twist occurs when Wildcat informs Selina that Holly has been arrested for the murder of Black Mask. Selina infiltrates the police station and frees Holly. Finally defeating Film Freak, Selina returns home to find that Bradley has deduced that Helena is the daughter of his son Sam Bradley, Jr., and therefore his granddaughter (although it is still strongly hinted that Bruce Wayne may be the father).

Batman asks Catwoman to infiltrate the violent tribe of the Bana Amazons during the Amazons Attack! crossover. Posing as a criminal, Selina gains the Bana's trust and thwarts a terror attack aimed at causing mass casualties in Gotham City.

Selina questions whether she should be raising a daughter when her life as Catwoman has already proven to be such a danger to the child. After enlisting Batman's help in faking the death of both herself and her daughter, Selina puts Helena up for adoption. A month after Helena is placed with a new family, Catwoman asks Zatanna to erase her memories of Helena and change her mind back to a criminal mentality. Zatanna refuses, judging that such an act would be cruel to both mother and daughter. She tells Selina that she could never reverse Selina's mindset, since she was on the path to becoming a hero on her own. Believing she can no longer function as a criminal, Selina decided to become one of Batman's Outsiders.[4] She quickly quits, however, and was replaced by Batgirl.

Salvation Run

In Salvation Run #2, Catwoman is sent to the Prison Planet. She allies herself with Lex Luthor in an attempt to return to Earth, and mistakenly ends up on an alternate universe-Earth where Catwoman is a notorious villain. It is later revealed that this Earth is a creation of her own mind, and she has not left Prison Planet. When accused of being a traitor by Luthor, she reveals Martian Manhunter is posing as Blockbuster, which would soon lead to the hero's death.

Using the trust she regained in Luthor's eyes, she earns a passage to the "real" Earth, in a jerry-rigged teleport machine built by Luthor for letting the villains escape. On Earth, she resumes being a hero, with occasional lapses into thievery by commission, simply for the thrill of it.

The current volume of Catwoman concluded with issue #82, and details a cat-and-mouse chase between Batman and Catwoman across Gotham City rooftops, ending with Selina stealing the Batmobile.[21]

Heart of Hush

Later, as in Detective Comics, she is quite uncertain if she should pursue her "relationship" with Batman, Selina talks with Bruce about Jezebel Jet, his current girlfriend, and then has a quick pep talk with Zatanna, whom she believes is also courting Bruce. Zatanna confirms and admits her feelings, adding that she has since chosen to forget them, but extremely encourages Selina to open her heart to Bruce Wayne before Jet is able to "seal the deal." Hush eavesdrops on the conversation, targeting both women as a way to hurt his enemy, Bruce Wayne.

In Detective Comics #848 (November 2008), Hush attacks Selina as she is in her apartment, kidnapping her and surgically removing her heart. She is delivered anonymously to a Gotham hospital. Batman receives word of her situation, and while he goes in search of Hush, he leaves Selina in the care of Doctor Mid-Nite, who is considered the superhero community's chief doctor.

Batman recovers her heart, and Dr. Mid-Nite restores it to her body; however, the doctor also makes a prognosis on whether she can still return to her former life swinging through rooftops. While Selina is still in a coma, she encounters Zatanna, who apologizes for not warning her about Hush. She tells Selina that she was so happy about her relationship with Bruce that she ignored the other warnings in the cards. Zatanna gives her a little bottle supposedly containing aloe vera for her post-op scars. It is hinted that there is a little magic in there to help Selina with her recovery. Selina is sad that she might end up alone again. In the meantime, Bruce enters the recovery room and, believing her unconscious, launches into a soliloquy. He ends by telling Selina that he will always love her, when she opens her eyes and reveals to him that she was awake all the time and heard his confession.

Batman R.I.P.

During the events of Batman R.I.P., Selina and Bruce's romance lasts only for a night because Bruce must continue to pose as Jezebel's lover to bring down the Black Glove. While still recuperating, she pulls off one more heist and exacts her revenge on Hush. With the help of a few allies on both sides; Oracle, Holly Robinson, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn, Penguin, and Slam Bradley, Selina taps into Hush's assets, leaving him penniless and suffering from wounds inflicted by Batman.

Battle for the Cowl

In Batman: Battle for the Cowl, Selina is seen as one of the members of Nightwing and Robin's contingency team known as "The Network", where she is seen taking down a gang of thugs before seeing Tim Drake dressed in a Batman uniform and is initially taken by surprise.

Batman: Reborn and Gotham City Sirens

In the first issue of Gotham City Sirens, Selina runs into Bonebuster, a new villain trying to make a name for himself, and is saved by Poison Ivy. Selina, fearing the many dangers of a post-Batman Gotham, proposes that she, Ivy, and Harley Quinn team up, living together at a single base in an abandoned animal shelter. Ivy agrees under one condition: using home-grown drugs to weaken Selina's resistance, Ivy demands the identity of the true Batman.[22] Selina flashes back three years to when Talia al Ghul requested her presence in Tibet. There, Talia made it so that Selina would not relinquish the true identity of Batman under any circumstances. After the interrogation is over, Selina sees Harley with Bruce Wayne on TV. Selina tells Ivy that she knows it is Hush in disguise.

Blackest Night

During the events of Blackest Night, Selina is attacked by Black Mask after he has been reborn as a member of the Black Lantern Corps. After he tells her that he plans on getting an emotional response before killing her, Selina steals a car and heads to the mental institution where Maggie is held, believing Black Mask is coming for her. Black Mask attacks the institution, and somehow awakens Maggie from her coma. Selina arrives in time to help her sister flee into the sewers. While on the run, Maggie angrily tells Selina that she ruined both of their lives the day she decided to become Catwoman. Devastated by her sister's statement, Selina fails to realize they have both been heading for a trap. Just as Black Mask is about to gouge Maggie's eyes out and shove them down Selina's throat, Harley and Ivy arrive and defeat the Black Lantern by trapping him in the stomach of a man-eating plant. Selina is helped to her feet by her friends, who tell her that Maggie has fled the scene. The next day, the staff members of the mental institution are shown discussing Maggie's escape, also mentioning that a nun that works at the hospital had been found beaten and stripped of her uniform. Maggie is then shown in the depths of the Gotham City sewers clad in the bloodied nun robes, muttering about her plan to kill Catwoman in order to free Selina's soul.[23] Now calling herself Sister Zero, Maggie attempts to kill Selina, but ultimately flees after being defeated by the Sirens. She is last seen going over her options, now realizing that she cannot murder her own sister, and therefore must personally exorcise the "cat demon" from within Selina's body.[24]

The Return of Bruce Wayne

Selina with her new partner, Catgirl (2010). Pencils by Tony Daniel.

In the build-up to The Return of Bruce Wayne, the Sirens help Zatanna put out a massive fire at a local park near their home, only for them to be ambushed by a creature made of mud. After being dragged underneath the soil by the creature, Catwoman awakens tied up and gagged on the floor of a dark room, and is quickly forced into an illusion by her unseen captors. Back in reality, Talia reveals to the Sirens that just a few hours prior, an unknown benefactor had offered up a massive reward to whoever could kidnap and deliver Catwoman to him, with the hopes that he could penetrate her mind and learn Batman's secret identity.[25] Before the knowledge can be ripped from her mind, Selina's captors (revealed to be Shrike and a new villain named Sempai), are eventually defeated by the other Sirens. Once Selina is freed, Talia orders Zatanna to wipe Bruce's identity from her memory, reasoning that her kidnapping has proved that the knowledge is too dangerous for her to handle.[26] The two women initially restrain Selina and attempt to remove the knowledge from her, but Zatanna refuses at the last moment and ends up fighting Talia in order to protect Selina.[27] Talia tries to kill Selina before vanishing, but she survives and ultimately reunites with Bruce, who had recently returned to the present.[28]

After stealing the contents of a safe belonging to the Falcone crime family, Selina returns home to find Kitrina, a teenaged escape artist and Carmine Falcone's long lost daughter, breaking into her room. She attacks and subdues Kirtrina, who tells Selina that she had unknowingly stolen a map that details the location of the new Black Mask's underground bunker. Realizing that she could use the map to capture Black Mask and claim the 50 million dollar bounty on his head, Selina leaves Kitrina bound in a locked room so that she can keep the map for herself.[29] She later calls Batman to her house in order to turn the would-be thief over to the police, but discovers that Kitrina had managed to free herself and steal back the map. This impresses Selina, who mentions that she had tied up the child using an "inescapable" knot that Bruce had shown her years earlier.[30] Following a massive battle with Black Mask and his henchmen (which ends with neither woman being able to claim the bounty), Selina agrees to take on Kitrina as her new sidekick, Catgirl.[31][32] Once Bruce Wayne returns from his time in the past, he establishes Batman Incorporated, a global team of Batmen. Selina accompanies him on a mission to break into Doctor Sivana's armory, and later travels with him to Tokyo in order to recruit a Japanese representative for Batman Inc.[33] Catwoman teams up with Batman to stop Harley Quinn from breaking the Joker out of Arkham Asylum. After defeating Harley and the Joker, Catwoman tells Poison Ivy that they are no longer friends, this after Ivy drugged her in an attempt to uncover Batman's identity.[34] Shortly after this, Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn have escaped and set off to pursue revenge on Catwoman for leaving them behind.[35] The two of them found Catwoman and fought her. While they were fighting, Catwoman says that she saw good in them and only wanted to help them. Batman was about to arrest them, but Catwoman helped the two of them escape.[36]

The New 52

In September 2011, DC Comics relaunched all titles, deemed The New 52, which rebooted the DC Universe continuity. Catwoman's monthly title now focused on Selina's earlier days as Catwoman, but not her origins. The series begins with Selina frantically escaping from unknown masked men who are invading her apartment. After flitting from rooftop to rooftop, Selina looks back just in time to see her apartment blown apart by explosives. She turns to her informant, Lola, who often supplies Catwoman with information and various jobs. In this instance, Lola tips Selina off to an unoccupied penthouse where Selina can lay low for a few weeks, as well as a job stealing a painting from Russian mobsters. For this job, Selina infiltrates a Russian club by posing as the bartender. There, she recognizes a man from her past, who murdered her friend as a teenager, and Selina quickly takes her revenge. Once her cover is blown, Selina dons her Catwoman outfit and fights her way out of the club, making quick work of the Russians. Back at the penthouse, Batman visits concerned about Selina's well being. It is revealed through Selina's inner monologue that she and Batman have had sexual encounters with one another before, and the premiere issue ends with yet another of these encounters.[37] Her revised origin in Catwoman #0 draws from Batman Returns.

Catwoman is later confronted by Steve Trevor, who offers her a spot on Amanda Waller's new Justice League of America. Selina initially refuses, but accepts the offer after Trevor promises to help her track down a woman who has apparently been posing as Selina.[38] It is later revealed that Catwoman was chosen specifically to take down Batman should the JLA ever need to defeat the original Justice League.[39] The teams eventually come into conflict in the publisher's "Trinity War" crossover.

In the alternate universe Earth 2 continuity, Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne have married, and their daughter, Helena Wayne, is that universe's Robin. There is initial animosity between her parents over Helena's forays, but either Selina has reformed or was never a supervillain in Earth 2's universe. It is revealed in issue #0 of Worlds' Finest that this Selina was killed while trying to stop what she believed was a human-trafficking ring, thus showing she was actually a hero.

Equipment

Weapons

During the Silver Age, Catwoman, like most Batman villains, used a variety of themed weapons, vehicles, and equipment, such as a custom cat-themed car called the "Cat-illac". This usage also appeared in the 1960s Batman television series. In her post-Crisis appearances, Catwoman's favored weapon is a whip. She wields both a standard bullwhip and the cat o' nine tails with expert proficiency. She uses the whip because it is a weapon that the user must be trained to use, and therefore it can not be taken from her and used against her in a confrontation. She can also be seen using a pistol against people if her whip is taken from her. She uses caltrops as an anti-personnel weapon and bolas to entangle opponents at a distance. In addition, Catwoman has been shown to have various items to restrain her victims, such rope for binding hands and feet, and a roll of duct tape used to gag her targets, like she did with Robin, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, and various victims during her robberies over the years. . Although, eventually Wonder Woman heard his muffled cries of help and rescued him. Often, especially in the TV series, she uses sleeping gas or knockout darts to subdue victims. Catwoman's attractiveness and feminine wiles have also allowed her to take advantage of male opponents.

Costume

Catwoman, in her first appearance, wore no costume or disguise at all. It was not until her next appearance that she donned a mask, which was a theatrically face-covering cat-mask that had the appearance of a real cat, rather than a more stylized face mask seen in her later incarnations. Later, she wore a dress with a hood that came with ears, and still later, a catsuit with attached boots and either a domino or glasses-mask.

In the 1960s, Catwoman's catsuit was green in color, which was typical of villains of that era. In the 1990s, she usually wore a skintight purple catsuit, before switching to a black PVC catsuit that recalls Michelle Pfeiffer's costume in Batman Returns (except not stitched together).

In recent years, artists' depictions have usually alternated between those two costumes. Ed Brubaker, the writer behind the 2001 revamp of the character, has stated that Selina's current costume was inspired by Emma Peel's iconic leather catsuit in The Avengers television series.[40] It has a more high tech look, with domino-shaped infrared goggles on her cowl.

Many of her costumes have incorporated retractable metal claws on the fingertips of her gloves and sometimes on the toes of her boots. On rare occasions, she has also sported a cat's tail.

Holly Robinson uses the same costume Selina used prior to Infinite Crisis.

Bibliography

List of Catwoman titles

  • Catwoman (mini-series) #1-4 (1989)
  • Catwoman: Defiant (1992)
  • Catwoman (vol. 2) #1-94 (1993–2001)
    • Catwoman #0 (1994)
    • Catwoman #1000000 (1998)
    • Catwoman Annual #1-4 (1994–1997)
  • Catwoman/Vampirella: The Furies (1997)
  • Catwoman Plus #1 (1997) (with Scream Queen)
  • Catwoman/Wildcat #1-4 (1998)
  • Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham #1-2 (1999)
  • Catwoman (vol. 3) #1-83 (2002–2008, 2010)
    • Catwoman: Secret Files and Origins (2003)
  • Catwoman: When in Rome #1-6 (2004)
  • Batman/Catwoman: Trail of the Gun #1-2 (2004)
  • Gotham City Sirens #1-26 (2009–2011) (Catwoman co-stars in the title alongside Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn)
  • Catwoman (vol. 4) #1 – present (2011–present)

Novels

Graphic novels

Collected editions

Title Material collected Publication date ISBN
Catwoman: Her Sister's Keeper Catwoman (vol. 1) #1-4 May 1991 978-0-930289-97-3
Catwoman: The Catfile Catwoman (vol. 2) #15-19 April 1996 978-1-56389-262-2
Catwoman: When in Rome Catwoman: When in Rome #1-6 June 2007
December 2005
SC: 978-1-4012-0717-5
HC: 978-1-4012-0432-7
Catwoman: Nine Lives of a Feline Fatale Catwoman (vol.2) #54; Catwoman: Secret Files and Origins; Batman #1, #197, #210, #392; Batman: Gotham Adventures #4; Detective Comics #203; Superman's Girl Friend, Lois Lane #70-71 July 2004 978-1-4012-0213-2
Catwoman: The Movie and Other Cat Tales Catwoman: The Movie Adaptation; Catwoman #0; Catwoman (vol. 2) #11, #25 August 2004 978-1-84023-991-1
Catwoman Vol. 1: Dark End of the Street Catwoman (vol. 3) #1-4; backups from Detective Comics #759-762 September 2002 978-1-56389-908-9
Catwoman Vol. 2: Crooked Little Town Catwoman (vol. 3) #5-10; Catwoman: Secret Files and Origins December 2003 978-1-4012-0008-4
Catwoman Vol. 3: Relentless Catwoman (vol. 3) #12-19; Catwoman: Secret Files and Origins February 2005 978-1-4012-0218-7
Catwoman Vol. 4: Wild Ride Catwoman (vol. 3) #20-24; Catwoman: Secret Files and Origins September 2005 978-1-4012-0436-5
Catwoman Vol. 5: The Replacements Catwoman (vol. 3) #53-58 February 2007 978-1-4012-1213-1
Catwoman Vol. 6: It's Only a Movie Catwoman (vol. 3) #59-65 August 2007 978-1-4012-1337-4
Catwoman Vol. 7: Catwoman Dies Catwoman (vol. 3) #66-72 February 2008 978-1-4012-1643-6
Catwoman Vol. 8: Crime Pays Catwoman (vol. 3) #73-77 October 2008 978-1-4012-1929-1
Catwoman Vol. 9: The Long Road Home Catwoman (vol. 3) #78-82 March 2009 978-1-4012-2168-3
Gotham City Sirens Vol. 1: Union Gotham City Sirens #1-7 April 2010 978-1-4012-2570-4
Gotham City Sirens Vol. 2: Songs of the Sirens Gotham City Sirens #8-13, Catwoman (vol. 3) #83 November 2010 978-1-4012-2907-8
Gotham City Sirens Vol. 3: Strange Fruit Gotham City Sirens #14-19 August 2011 978-1-4012-3137-8
Catwoman Vol. 1: Trail of the Catwoman Catwoman: Selina's Big Score, back-up stories from Detective Comics #759-762, and Catwoman (vol. 3) #1-9 January 2012 978-1-4012-3384-6
Gotham City Sirens Vol. 4: Division Gotham City Sirens #20-26 March 2012 978-1-4012-3393-8
Catwoman Vol. 1: The Game Catwoman (vol. 4) #1-6 May 2012 978-1-4012-3464-5
Catwoman Vol. 2: Dollhouse Catwoman (vol. 4) #7-12 February 2013 978-1401238394
Catwoman Vol. 2: No Easy Way Down Catwoman (vol. 3) #10-24, Secret Files #1 June 2013 978-1-4012-4037-0
Catwoman Vol. 3: Death of the Family Catwoman (vol. 4) #0, #13-18; A story from Young Romance #1 October 2013 978-1-4012-4272-5
Catwoman Vol. 3: Under Pressure Catwoman (vol. 3) #25-37 March 2014 978-1401245924
Catwoman Vol. 4: Gotham Underground Catwoman (vol. 4) #19-24, #26, Annual #1 and Batman The Dark Knight: Joker's Daughter #0 #23.4 May 2014 978-1401246273
Catwoman Vol. 5: Race of Thieves Catwoman (vol. 4) #25, #27-32 November 2014 978-1401250638

Other collected editions

  • Batman: Knightfall Vol. 2: Knightquest Ned Editions (Catwoman Vol. 2 #6-7)
  • Batman: Knightfall Vol. 3: KnightsEnd (Catwoman Vol. 2 #12-13)
  • Batman: Contagion (Catwoman Vol. 2 #31-32)
  • Batman: Legacy (Catwoman Vol. 2 #35-36)
  • Batman: Cataclysm (Catwoman Vol. 2 #56)
  • Batman: No Man's Land Vol.2 (Catwoman Vol. 2 #72-74)
  • Batman: No Man's Land Vol. 4 (Catwoman Vol. 2 #75-77)
  • Batman: New Gotham, Vol. 2: Officer Down (Catwoman Vol. 2 #90)
  • Batman: War Games Act 1 (Catwoman Vol. 3 #34)
  • Batman: War Games Act 2 (Catwoman Vol. 3 #35)
  • Batman: War Games Act 3 (Catwoman Vol. 3 #36)
  • Batman: Night of the Owls (Catwoman Vol. 4 #9)
  • The Joker: Death of the Family (Catwoman Vol. 4 #13-14)
  • DC Comics: Zero Year (Catwoman Vol. 4 #25)

Other versions

The Dark Knight Returns

Selina Kyle appears as an aging and somewhat overweight madame in Frank Miller's Batman: The Dark Knight Returns four times; all are brief. First, in a phone message to Bruce ("Selina. Bruce, I'm lonely"). Next, she is attacked by the Joker, who uses a mind control drug to convince her to send one of her prostitutes to use the same substance on a Governor.[41] The Joker then beats her, ties her up, gags her, and dresses her in a Wonder Woman outfit, leaving her for Batman to find. Selina's final appearance in the book is at Bruce Wayne's funeral, where she yells at Superman, telling him that she knows who killed Bruce.[41] She does not appear in Batman: The Dark Knight Strikes Again, Miller's follow-up story, although she is referred to in the prologue written for the trade paperback version, although in the book, Carrie Kelly's moniker of "Catgirl" is a homage to Catwoman.

Prose novels

Two 1990s prose novels feature Catwoman: The Further Adventures of Batman: Volume 3, Featuring Catwoman,[42] a short story collection by various authors, and Catwoman: Tiger Hunt.[43] Both novels portray a Batman: Year One-influenced Catwoman who wears a gray cat costume and was once a prostitute.

Kingdom Come

Catwoman also made a small cameo in Kingdom Come, mostly accompanying the Riddler; she is predominantly seen, but not much heard in the series. She is not dressed in costume, but appears in the very dress she first wore in Batman #1 as The Cat. According to the novelization by Elliot S. Maggin, she runs a multibillion dollar cosmetics company. An armored, metahuman successor called "Catwoman II" is also featured in the story as one of the "new heroes" who follow the new "Man of tomorrow" Magog's anti-heroic, violent example.[44]

Batman: Digital Justice

In the all-digital graphic novel Batman: Digital Justice, which is set some time in the future long after the original Batman has died, Sheila Romero, also known as the hit pop music star Gata (the Spanish female noun for "cat") and daughter of the Mayor of Gotham City, is jealous of the new Batman, James Gordon, because media coverage of his activities have been cutting into her airtime. Setting out to learn as much about Batman and his enemies as she can, Gata becomes the new Catwoman. Near the end of the story, Gata and her followers face off against Batman, but the two later fall in love, and Maria Romero, also known as Madame X, tells Sheila that she is really a clone of Maria. Maria confesses that she had planned to transfer her brain into Gata's body, but she could not bring herself to do it because she loved her "daughter" too much. Maria then dies in Sheila's arms.

Elseworlds

  • In the Elseworlds title Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham,[45] Selina Kyle is the daughter of millionaires Thomas and Martha Kyle. Walking home after seeing the film Cat People, the young Selina chases after an alley cat and watches in horror as her parents are gunned down by a robber. Selina learns that the crook has stolen a ring she found in a Cracker Jack box and had given to her mother. Years later she becomes Catwoman, the defender of Gotham City, operating out of a Catcave beneath Kyle Manor, aided by a young maid named Brooks (this universe's version of Alfred Pennyworth). Her major enemy is a psychopathic criminal named Batman, who beats her entire rogues gallery half-to-death to get rid of the competition.[46]
  • In the Elseworlds tale, Batman: Nine Lives, where Batman and his supporting characters are re-invented as a Pulp noir detective story, an African-American Selina Kyle is a murdered owner of the bankrupt Kit Kat Club who was blackmailing many of the city's most powerful figures. She is nicknamed "The Catwoman".[47]
  • In the Elseworlds tale Batman: Claws of the Catwoman, set in the 1930s, explorer and adventurer Finnegan Dent is revealed to be stealing the sacred artifacts of an African tribe. During an encounter with Batman and Tarzan, a female thief, dressed as a cat, is revealed to be the princess of the tribe, as well as priestess of its cat-cult, trying to reclaim the artifacts.[48]
  • In the Elseworlds story JLA: The Nail, featuring a world where costumed heroes have no symbol of inspiration as Superman was never recovered by the Kents, Catwoman is diagnosed by the head warden of Arkham Asylum as not being a true "criminal", but simply enjoying playing a "cat-and-mouse" game with Batman, donning her costume simply to attract his attention.[49] During her time in Arkham, the Joker attacks the asylum armed with Kryptonian gauntlets provided by the story's secret villain, forcing the inmates to fight each other—Catwoman being the last one standing—before Batman arrives. Although the Joker uses his gauntlets to brutally murder Robin and Batgirl while forcing Batman to watch, Catwoman distracts him long enough for Batman to escape Joker's hold and destroy the gauntlets. He then proceeds to kill Joker in a trauma-induced rage, taking the gauntlets and Catwoman back to the Batcave. With Selina and Alfred having broken through Batman's grief, Selina becomes Batwoman and joins Batman in rescuing the JLA from captivity.[50] Although Batman resigns from the League after he is cleared of the Joker's murder, even Catwoman's support cannot help him past his grief until the events of JLA: Another Nail, where the two briefly travel into the afterlife to investigate recent supernatural disturbances with the aid of Deadman, Batgirl, and Robin's spirits appearing to forgive their mentor for his failure to save them before he returns to life.[51]
  • In the Elseworlds story Batman: In Darkest Knight, featuring a world if Bruce Wayne discovered the body of dying alien Abin Sur, instead of Green Lantern Hal Jordan, also features familiar Batman characters mixed with some of Green Lantern's enemies. Selina Kyle (recognized by Bruce as "that night in the East End", a reference to Batman: Year One"), along with Harvey Dent are corrupted by Sinestro, who absorbs the mind of the Wayne's killer Joe Chill and became crazed. The two known as Star Sapphire (Selina) and Binary Star (Harvey) team with Sinestro to take out Green Lantern, but are stopped.[52]

Batman: Bloodstorm

In Batman: Bloodstorm, the sequel to Batman & Dracula: Red Rain, where Batman was forced to become a vampire to save Gotham from an attack by Dracula, Selina is turned into a werecat after being bitten by one of the remaining vampires. Hunting for the monster that transformed her, Selina encounters Batman as he hunts for the remaining vampires, the two subsequently joining forces to eliminate the vampire horde. As they fight together, Batman finds that Selina's selfless love for him allows him to control his thirst for blood that had begun to consume him. She sacrifices herself to save him from the Joker, who had become the leader of the remaining vampires after Dracula's death, taking a crossbow bolt to the heart that the Joker had fired at Batman. Batman's grief and rage over her death causes him to finally lose control of his bloodlust as he drinks the Joker's blood. In the sequel, Crimson Mist, the corrupted Batman reflects grimly that he can no longer understand Selina's noble sacrifice after his psyche has become increasingly corrupted by his surrender to his vampire side.

Thrillkiller

In Howard Chaykin's Thrillkiller, Selina Kyle is a stripper in a cat-themed strip club. She acts as an informant for GCPD detective Bruce Wayne.[53]

Dark Allegiances

In Howard Chaykin's Dark Allegiances, Selina Kyle becomes a film star under the stage name of Kitty Grimalkin. Prior to becoming a star, she was an alcoholic whose actions during one of her "blackouts" were recorded into an underground porn film. The stills from the film are used to blackmail her into stealing information from Wayne Enterprises.

Batman: Shadow of the Bat

In Alan Grant's Batman: Shadow of the Bat Annual #2, Vikki Vale, a reporter for Wayne Media, is Catwoman. She is hired by Anarky to steal information, but she gets caught and is tortured by Jonathan Crane, whom she calls a "demented scarecrow."

All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder

In Frank Miller's All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, Catwoman expresses interest when the Joker's invites her to join him in "some mischief". She may be involved in sadomasochism, as she first advises the Joker—who has just murdered his latest lover—that "I've heard rumors on how you handle women—and even I don't play it that rough." [54] Two issues later, however, Catwoman is found brutally beaten and cut, bleeding badly. She struggles to tell Batman, "Juh... Juh... It was Juh..." [55]

Batman: Two Faces

In Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning's Batman: Two Faces, Selina Kyle is a madame in 19th century Gotham, who defends streetwalkers in a mask, bustier, and fishnets and occasionally works with amateur detective Bruce Wayne. Her costumed identity is unnamed, but resembles Black Canary more than Catwoman. She is attacked by the Joker and paralyzed, much like Barbara Gordon in the mainstream DC continuity.

Batman: Leatherwing

In Detective Comics Annual #7 (Batman: Leatherwing) by Chuck Dixon, set in the 18th century Caribbean, Capitana Felina is a Spanish Contessa turned pirate, who rails against the chauvinism of her own crew. She initially teams up with the Laughing Man (Joker) against the English freebooter Captain Leatherwing (Batman), before turning to Leatherwing's side, and eventually marrying him.

Batman Beyond (comics)

A futuristic Catwoman appears in the new Batman Beyond comic series. Like the current Batman, Terry McGinnis, the new Catwoman sports a high-tech costume complete with advanced gadgetry; although she claims to have had no real interest in Batman when she chose to go into action as Catwoman, stating that her reasons for assuming this identity are her own.[56] She is subsequently hired by the new Hush to plant a tracking device on Batman, only for Hush to begin strangling her after "paying" her with a box full of playing cards, regarding her death as a continuation of his efforts to destroy Batman's "family" by killing his rogue's gallery,[57] only to be saved by Bruce Wayne's use of the 'Bat-Wraith' robots.[58] She is revealed to be the daughter of the villain Multiplex, possessing her father's ability to create duplicates of herself, but limited to a maximum of 9 copies, explaining her adoption of the Catwoman moniker;[59] she is later revealed to be intimately involved with Dick Grayson. Selina Kyle is also briefly mentioned in the TV show that inspired the comic series, when Bruce begins to tell Terry about her after Terry has a short-lived relationship with Ten of the Royal Flush Gang.

Flashpoint

In the alternate timeline of the Flashpoint event, Selina Kyle becomes Oracle having been apparently paralysed under unspecified circumstances.[60]

In other media

Television (live-action)

Batman (1966–1968)

Julie Newmar as Catwoman in the 1966 TV series.

Catwoman in the 1966 live action television series Batman is portrayed by Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt.[61] Julie Newmar portrayed Catwoman in the first and second season and Eartha Kitt portrayed Catwoman in the third season. This version of the character was given neither a background nor an alter ego, but focused instead on her costumed aspects. The costume created for the series was similar to the green catsuit appearing in the comics at the time, though it was constructed by Newmar from black Lurex fabric.[citation needed] One of these costumes tailored for Newmar is part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.[62]

Due to other commitments, Newmar was unavailable for the tie-in film produced after the first season, and for the series' third season.[63] The producers cast Lee Meriwether[64] for the film and Eartha Kitt[65] for the third season. An uncredited body double played the role in a cameo in "The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra", the series' penultimate episode.

Birds of Prey

The 2002 television series Birds of Prey included an adaptation of the Silver Age Huntress as one of its main characters. Catwoman was also adapted for the series as she is an integral component of the back story for Huntress. That adaptation was limited to the alter ego, a costume design similar to the one used in 1992 film Batman Returns, and adding the aspect of the character being a "metahuman". Catwoman was portrayed by actress Maggie Baird and her appearances were limited to a flashback of her death which was edited into the series title sequence and the rare in-episode flashback.

Gotham

Camren Bicondova as Selina Kyle in the FOX TV show Gotham.

Selina Kyle will be featured in the TV series Gotham as a 14-year-old already committing burglary and associating with cats and will be played by Camren Bicondova.[66]

Television (animated)

Filmation series

Catwoman was first adapted to television animation by Filmation, for the 1968 series The Batman/Superman Hour. The character design and aspects adapted were similar to those used in the previous live-action television series — a focus on the character in costume, lack of a backstory and use of the then-current green catsuit. Like the live action TV series, Catwoman behaved like many of her villainous counterparts (Joker, Riddler), by speaking in puns and hiring henchmen who wore outfits similar to hers. Jane Webb was cast to provide the voice for the character.[citation needed]

Filmation returned to the character in 1977 for the animated series The New Adventures of Batman, where Melendy Britt was cast to voice the character in four episodes.[citation needed] Again, no backstory or alter ego were presented within the episodes. The yellow and orange costume design used was unique to the series.

DC animated universe

Catwoman and Isis, as seen in Batman: The Animated Series.

Catwoman was adapted for animated series Batman: The Animated Series, and would also appear in the series The New Batman Adventures and the short featurette Chase Me, set in the same continuity from the DC Animated Universe. In the two animated series, the character was voiced by Adrienne Barbeau.[67] The character design for Batman: The Animated Series was as a long-haired blonde look (based on Michelle Pfeiffer's appearance when she played Selina in Batman Returns) when Selina wasn't wearing her costume, and the costume itself was a predominately gray catsuit based on the costume used in Batman Returns as well, and with long black gloves and high-heeled boots. When The New Batman Adventures went into development, the characters were redesigned. In the case of Catwoman this resulted in an all-black catsuit, blue-white face make-up and short black hair. The first series establishes Catwoman as a socialite and animal rights activist in addition to a costumed thief in the early appearances. Beyond this, no backstory or actual origin is provided within the series. The series does play somewhat on the relation between Batman and Catwoman. She had a crush on Batman, but tried to keep her distance between her and Bruce Wayne, who had asked her out (as Selina Kyle).

The Batman

Catwoman, as seen in The Batman.

Catwoman was adapted along with a number of other Batman related characters for the 2004 animated series The Batman. The character design used was based loosely on the then-current costume used in the comic books. This resulted in a black/dark grey catsuit with a pull-up collar mask, dark red, claw-tipped gloves, a black cowl with exaggerated cat ears, and large amber goggles. For the run of the series she was voiced by Gina Gershon.[68] The initial episode featuring Catwoman establishes her as working as a charity fund raiser in her identity of Selina Kyle. With the remaining appearances focusing on her activities only as Catwoman, an origin for the character is never provided.

Batman: The Brave and the Bold

For the 2008 animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, Catwoman was among the many DC Comics characters adapted for the series. Keeping with the tone of the show, the character design used for most of her appearances was drawn from the 1950s through mid-1960s and again from the late 1970 to the mid-1980s. This being the purple long sleeved dress with green cloak and purple headdress/mask with cat-ears. For the run of the series she was voiced by Nika Futterman.[69]

DC Nation

Catwoman appeared in the Batman of Shanghai shorts on the DC Nation block voiced by Stephanie Sheh. In a departure from the comics, she was portrayed as a Chinese thief active in Shanghai during the 1930s.

Film (live-action)

Batman (1966)

The first feature film to include an adaptation of Catwoman was Batman, produced immediately after production of the first season of the 1966 television series of the same name. When the producers realized that Julie Newmar would be unavailable due to prior commitments, they cast Lee Meriwether to portray the character.[63]

Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, a television film which aired in 2003, was a semi-documentary of the production of the 1966 television series and film. It featured dramatizations one of which included Julia Rose portraying a young Julie Newmar on set in character as Catwoman. Newmar, as well as Lee Meriwether, also appeared in the film.[70][71]

Batman Returns (1992)

Catwoman is portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer in the 1992 feature film Batman Returns. Re-created by Daniel Waters, the character is based on the Selina Kyle from "Catwoman: Her Sister's Keeper". Annette Bening was originally cast in the role but dropped out due to pregnancy;[72] then Nicole Kidman and Demi Moore both got offered the role but both turned it down. Then, when Pfeiffer expressed an interest, something clicked to the producers thinking "She's perfect. She also could be both Selina Kyle and Catwoman.".[73]This version of Selina Kyle is depicted as the lonely, frustrated, yet dutiful and efficient secretary of corrupt tycoon Maximillian "Max" Shreck. After she accidentally discovers his plot to build a power plant that would steal Gotham's electricity, Shreck attempts to murder her by pushing her out the window of his top-story office. Though her fall is partly broken by several canvas awnings, Selina lies motionless on the snow-covered ground seemingly dead. She is then mysteriously revived by a group of alley cats that flock around her and begin gnawing at her fingers. Making her way home in a daze, Selina's repressed rage transforms her into the clever supervillain Catwoman. After Batman thwarts her schemes, she joins forces with the Penguin to destroy Batman. They frame him for the murder of the Ice Princess and Catwoman rejects the Penguin's advances, prompting him to hook an ascending umbrella to her neck. She breaks free but crashes in a greenhouse but does not die as she has developed nine lives during her transformation. Later, while she and Bruce dance in a ballroom, they recite lines said to one another earlier as Batman and Catwoman, revealing their identities. At the climax of the film, Selina uses a taser from a thug who tried to kill her to kiss Shreck, electrocuting him to death after he shoots her four times. Batman finds Shreck's body but doesn't find Selina's corpse. Right at the end of the film, Bruce Wayne spots her silhouette on a wall and when he leaves, she is seen gazing at the Batsignal, confirming her survival. Pfeiffer's Catwoman derives heavily from the Pre-Crisis Catwoman.[74] Michelle Pfeiffer creates distinctly different voices for Catwoman, with the voice of Selina being softer while the Catwoman voice is deeper and sultry.

Catwoman is briefly mentioned by Dr. Chase Meridian in Batman Forever, the screenplay of which was originally written as a direct sequel of Batman Returns. She states that she has done her homework on Batman, that he likes "strong women", and asks teasingly if "she needs skin-tight vinyl and a whip". Catwoman was to get her own film, where Michelle Pfeiffer was to reprise her role, but the film lingered in development limbo for years, with Ashley Judd snatching the lead role and eventually becoming 2004's critically panned Catwoman starring Halle Berry and is non-canonical to the series and not in the DC Universe.

Catwoman (2004)

In 2004, the feature film Catwoman was released. Starring Halle Berry, this film's Catwoman bears little resemblance to the comic book version. Berry portrays Patience Phillips an artist and graphics designer, who works for a cosmetics company called Hedare Beauty, which is ready to ship a new skin cream called Beau-Line, that is able to reverse the effects of aging. However, as Patience visits the factory where it is being manufactured, she overhears a discussion between the scientist Dr. Ivan Slavicky (Peter Wingfield) and Laurel Hedare (Sharon Stone), the wife of company owner George Hedare (Lambert Wilson), speaking about the dangerous side effects from continued use of the product. Laurel's minions discover Patience and are ordered to dispose of her. Patience tries to escape using a conduit pipe, but the minions have it sealed and flush Patience out of it, drowning her. Lying washed up on the shore and lifeless, Patience is mysteriously brought back to life by an Egyptian Mau cat, and from that point on develops cat-like abilities and an insatiable desire for vengeance. With the help of a researcher named Ophelia Powers (Frances Conroy), who tells her that Egyptian Mau cats serve as messengers of the goddess Bast, Patience understands that she is becoming a "catwoman" reborn with abilities that are both a blessing and a curse. Wearing a mask to disguise her identity, Patience stalks the night as Catwoman seeking the answers to who killed her and why. Eventually, her search leads her to Laurel Hedare, who murders her husband for his infidelity and frames Catwoman for it, causing her to be taken into custody by the police. Yet, Patience slips out of confinement and confronts Laurel in her office, revealing that Laurel is the one responsible for Patience's death. During the fight, Patience scratches Laurel's face, and Laurel nearly plummets to her death when she falls out of a window, grabbing onto a pipe for dear life. Laurel sees her face in a reflection and horrified, fails to grab hold of Patience's outstretched arm and falls to her death. Though Patience was cleared of any charges made against her regarding the deaths of the Hedares, she chooses to continue living outside the law enjoying her newfound freedom as the mysterious Catwoman.

The movie alludes to other women in the past who have been granted such cat-like abilities, particularly in a scene in which Patience is introduced to a series of photos of prior Catwomen, including Pfeiffer's Batman Returns version of Selina Kyle.

The film's story has nothing to do with Batman or Gotham City, and is considered "Catwoman in name only". It was poorly received by critics and audiences and is commonly listed as one of the worst films ever made.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012)

Anne Hathaway portrays Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises,[75][76] Entertainment Weekly describes Selina as an enigma, a wily and witty con artist, as well as a high society grifter. Selina is depicted as a femme fatale antiheroine whose actions often blur ethical lines, similar to her portrayal in the comics.

In the film, Selina is hired by corrupt businessman John Daggett to steal Bruce Wayne's fingerprints in exchange for her criminal record to be expunged via a "Clean Slate" computer program, but Daggett tricks her into believing he has it. These prints are subsequently used by Bane to attack the city stock exchange and bankrupt Bruce with bogus stock trades. She also steals the pearl necklace belonging to Bruce's deceased mother from his safe. However, after leading Batman, Wayne's alter ego, to Bane's trap without realizing that they are the same person, she attempts to flee Gotham, fearing that Bane and his men will eventually kill her. She is arrested by John Blake and taken to Blackgate Prison; she is subsequently released during Bane's coup d'etat. Although she hoped for the ensuing chaos, she later regrets it. When Bruce returns to Gotham and offers her the "Clean Slate", she aids Batman and his allies in liberating Gotham City from the League of Shadows, in particular by shooting Bane and helping Batman destroy Talia al Ghul's convoy. At the end of the movie, Bruce leaves the mantle of Batman behind and enters a relationship with Selina. She is never referred to as "Catwoman" in the film, although she does receive the moniker in related The Dark Knight Rises collectibles and books. Instead, emphasis is made upon her profession as a "cat" burglar in headlines shown in the film; also, her safecracking goggles resemble cat ears when not in use.

Film (animated)

Video games

  • In the 1999 side-scroller Catwoman video game by Kemco, Catwoman is hired by Talia al Ghul to steal an ancient crystal skull from the Gotham City Museum. Talia's father Ra's al Ghul wants to use the skull to create a powerful weapon that will be capable of destroying an entire city.
  • Catwoman (Patience Phillips) appears in the Catwoman video game, a tie-in to 2004's Catwoman feature film starring Halle Berry, voiced by Jennifer Hale.[78]
  • Catwoman appears in Lego Batman: The Video Game voiced by Vanessa Marshall. She appears as an enemy of Batman and a 1st deputy of the Penguin. She tried to get the Penguin to steal a jewel and was defeated by Batman, but not before sharing a kiss with him, which Robin found disgusting. She later escaped jail and told Penguin to build a machine, but they were again defeated. She then kissed Batman again, flipped backwards, and went home to Arkham. She is shown as being very cat-like and proficient with a whip, as demonstrated when she snatches a fish from the Penguin's plate.
  • Catwoman appears as a fighter in the crossover fighting game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe played by Brenda Barrie and voiced by P. J. Mattson. She is classified as a villain in the game. Her first fatality has her wrapping her whip around her opponent's throat and dragging them to the ground where she then jumps on their back and pulls back on the whip breaking their neck, whilst her second fatality has her claw out her victims eyes before hurling them to the ground. Though her role in the game is small, her story begins as she is approached by the Flash after stealing from the Gotham Museum. Though he defeats her in combat, she reclaims her "purr"-loined jewel after an intervention from Kano, and whilst she makes her escape she gets pulled into a portal that teleports her to the Special Forces base in the Mortal Kombat universe. Here, she finds Sonya Blade, her counterpart, and requests to use the base's portal to return to Gotham. Sonya defeats her in battle however, and locks her away in a cell. She is eventually set free when Lex Luthor is also captured, and they aid each other in escaping. The two form an alliance, approaching both Deathstroke and the Joker and recruiting them for the battle against the invading warriors. With their help, she assists Batman and his allies in the battle against Dark Khan. In the battle between the DC heroes and villains and the Mortal Kombat warriors, she defeats Sonya before getting defeated as well. Her game ending features her returning to Gotham City and discovering that due to the magical essence of the worlds merging, she now has the ability to transform into a black panther at will, enhancing her speed and strength. She uses these newfound powers to ensure she will never again be caged.
  • While Catwoman does not appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum, parts of her costume are found on display inside the asylum's old mansion. She is also referenced by the Joker addressing a crate of Venom to the character as a gift, and appears on a list of Arkham inmates liberated by Harley Quinn.
  • Catwoman appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame voiced again by Nika Futterman. In the game, she teams up with Catman to steal an ancient artifact and turn all of the police into cats, in order to terrorize the city easier. When the pair believe they have killed Batman and Robin, Catwoman feels guilty and misses Batman. When they terrorize Wayne Manor, the Dynamic Duo appear to stop them, much to her joy.
  • Catwoman appears in DC Universe Online voiced by Kelley Huston. She is classified as a villain and is seen as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains, although her main plot is considered heroic and far from villainy. Catwoman plots to steal the jeweled cat relics from Gotham University. She then forces the players to get the Cat's Eye Diamonds back in their rightful place in order to prevent all of Gotham City from becoming a "wild kingdom" since they are turning people into cat-like creatures. Once the players obtain the Cat's Eye Diamonds from the Cat Avatars Tiger Eye, Cheetah Claw, Lion-Mane, and Panther Fang, Catwoman activates the relics causing the spirits of the Cat Avatars to take control Catwoman into attacking the players when they did not want to end up under her control. The players had to fight her nine times in battle while the Cat Avatars try to summon their minions to also fight the players. Once Catwoman is defeated, the relics disappear as Catwoman is displeased that the "alien relics" possessed her. Catwoman tells the players that the next time they meet, she owes them one of her nine lives.
  • Catwoman appears in Batman: Arkham City voiced by Grey DeLisle. A playable character, she has a unique range of different animations and abilities. Selina Kyle is originally captured by Two-Face intending to have her tried before a kangaroo court for pillaging his hideout. After being rescued by Batman, she attempts to locate stolen articles which were seized by the authorities upon her arrest. Catwoman, with the reluctant aid of Poison Ivy, eventually pilfers her loot from Hugo Strange's heavily guarded vault, but sacrifices a chance to escape Arkham City in order to save Batman from the destruction of Joker's base. She returns at the end of the game, who looks at Batman carrying the Joker's dead body. The character's storyline, which culminates in a final showdown with Two-Face at an old natural history museum, has been estimated to be approximately ten percent of the Arkham City content.
  • Catwoman appears as a playable fighter in Injustice: Gods Among Us.[79] Grey DeLisle reprises her role from Batman: Arkham City.[80] She is classified as a villain in the game. At the game's beginning, she is seen fighting the Justice League alongside the other villains but are eventually arrested with them. In the alternate reality, Catwoman is allied with Superman's faction of ruthless heroes. In her fight with Batman, Catwoman claimed that she joined up with Superman's Regime to protect Batman, but Batman rejects her when she reveals this as other heroes have been sacrificed by her actions, defeating her in combat before going on to rescue his other self. In her single player ending having defeated Superman, Catwoman resolves to fight crime in the newly-rebuilt Gotham until she can reconcile with Batman.

Miscellaneous

  • In the comic series The Batman Adventures, Selina is featured in issue #10; in the back up story she breaks into a vault at the Wayne Manor during Bruce's New Year's Ball. After she has left the scene, Bruce tells Robin and Alfred that he felt betrayed, stating that he was the only one of Gotham's high society not to shun her after she was unmasked. He is reassured of her friendship, however, when he finds she has stolen nothing and has left him a card stating her New Year's resolution is to stay on the right side of the law. After Robin questions her sincerity, Bruce states that he believes she will keep her promise.

Parodies

Radio

  • Catwoman, voiced by Lorelei King, appeared in the Batman radio drama The Lazarus Syndrome (1989)

See also

References

  1. ^ Catwoman (vol. 3) #53 (May 2006)
  2. ^ Kane, Bob (November 1989). Batman and Me. Foestfille, California: Eclipse Books. ISBN 978-1-56060-016-9. 
  3. ^ Steel, Ruth. "Ruth Steel Interview (Age 96)". Video. YouTube. Retrieved June 2, 2011. 
  4. ^ a b c d e Beatty, Scott (2008). "Catwoman". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. pp. 74–75. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017. 
  5. ^ "Catwoman is Number 11". IGN. 2009. 
  6. ^ Wizard #177 (July 2006). p. 88.
  7. ^ "IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time". IGN. 
  8. ^ Frankenhoff, Brent (2011). Comics Buyer's Guide Presents: 100 Sexiest Women in Comics. Krause Publications. p. 23. ISBN 1-4402-2988-0. 
  9. ^ Kane 1989, pp. 107.
  10. ^ Kane 1989, pp. 108.
  11. ^ Kane 1989, pp. 107–108.
  12. ^ Wallace, Daniel; Dolan, Hannah, ed. (2010). "1940s". DC Comics Year By Year A Visual Chronicle. Dorling Kindersley. p. 31. ISBN 978-0-7566-6742-9. "The first issue of Batman's self-titled comic written by Bill Finger and drawn by Bob Kane, represented a milestone in more ways than one. With Robin now a partner to the Caped Crusader, villains needed to rise to the challenge, and this issue introduced two future legends: the Joker and Catwoman." 
  13. ^ The Official Crisis on Infinite Earths Index (March 1986)
  14. ^ The Official Crisis on Infinite Earths Cross-Over Index (July 1986)
  15. ^ Cronin, Brian (September 4, 2008). "Comic Book Urban Legends Revealed #171". Comic Book Resources. 
  16. ^ a b Catwoman (vol. 1) #0
  17. ^ Catwoman: Secret Files and Origins
  18. ^ Catwoman (vol. 2) #12
  19. ^ Catwoman Annual #2 (1995)
  20. ^ Manning, Matthew K. "1990s" in Dolan, p. 260: "Selina Kyle finally stole the spotlight in her first ongoing series by writer Jo Duffy and artist Jim Balent."
  21. ^ Pfeifer, Will (April 15, 2008). "Well, heh heh ... this is a little embarrassing". X-Ray Spex. 
  22. ^ Gotham City Sirens #1 (June 2009)
  23. ^ Catwoman #83 (March 2010)
  24. ^ Gotham City Sirens #12-13 (July – August 2010)
  25. ^ Gotham City Sirens #16 (November 2010)
  26. ^ Gotham City Sirens #17 (December 2010)
  27. ^ Gotham City Sirens #18
  28. ^ Gotham City Sirens #19
  29. ^ Batman #695
  30. ^ Batman #696
  31. ^ Batman #697
  32. ^ Batman #704
  33. ^ Batman Inc #1
  34. ^ Gotham City Sirens #24 (June 2011)
  35. ^ Gotham City Sirens #25 (July 2011)
  36. ^ Gotham City Sirens #26 (August 2011)
  37. ^ Catwoman #1 (September 2011)
  38. ^ Justice League of America Vol. 3 #1
  39. ^ Justice League of America Vol. 3 #2
  40. ^ "The Man Behind The Cat - Exclusive Interview with Ed Brubaker". Archived from the original on May 28, 2005. Retrieved June 10, 2007. 
  41. ^ a b Batman: The Dark Knight Returns #4
  42. ^ Greenberg, Martin H., ed. (February 1993). The Further Adventures of Batman: Vol. 3, Featuring Catwoman. Bantam Books. ISBN 978-0-553-56069-5. 
  43. ^ Abbey, Lynn; Asprin, Robert (September 1992). Catwoman: Tiger Hunt. Warner Books. ISBN 978-0-446-36043-2. 
  44. ^ Kingdom Come #3
  45. ^ Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham #1
  46. ^ Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham #2
  47. ^ Batman: Nine Lives #1
  48. ^ Batman: Chronicles #11
  49. ^ JLA: The Nail #1
  50. ^ JLA: The Nail #2-3
  51. ^ JLA: Another Nail #2
  52. ^ Batman: In Darkest Knight
  53. ^ Batman: Thrillkiller #1-3
  54. ^ All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #8
  55. ^ All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder #10
  56. ^ Batman Beyond #2 (July 2010)
  57. ^ Batman Beyond #3 (August 2010)
  58. ^ Batman Beyond #4 (September 2010)
  59. ^ Batman Beyond #5 (October 2010)
  60. ^ Flashpoint: Batman - Knight of Vengeance #2 (July 2011)
  61. ^ Based on the credits of the episodes featuring Julie Newmar's appearances since they list her specifically as the actor playing the role of Catwoman.
  62. ^ Moore, Booth (January 24, 2011). "Catching up with the original Catwoman, Julie Newmar". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved January 24, 2011. 
  63. ^ a b Smith, Ronald L. (2004). "Julie Newmar: The Very Last How to Book - Biography". Archived from the original on July 1, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2007. 
  64. ^ Based on the credits of the film which list Lee Meriwether specifically as the actor playing the role of Catwoman.
  65. ^ Based on the credits of the third season episodes featuring Eartha Kitt's appearances since they list her specifically as the actor playing the role of Catwoman.
  66. ^ Bricken, Rob (February 25, 2014). "What We Learned from the Script for Gotham's First Episode". io9. Retrieved February 25, 2014. 
  67. ^ Based on the credits of the episodes featuring Catwoman's appearances since they specifically list Adrienne Barbeau as the actor providing the character's voice.
  68. ^ Based on the credits of the episodes featuring Catwoman's appearances since they specifically list Gina Gershon as the actor providing the character's voice.
  69. ^ Based on the credits of the episodes featuring Catwoman's appearances since they specifically list Nika Futterman as the actor providing the character's voice.
  70. ^ "Holy reunion! West, Ward in 'Batman' film". CNN.com. March 4, 2003. Archived from the original on February 26, 2007. Retrieved June 22, 2007. 
  71. ^ "Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt (2003)". Movie Gazette. June 10, 2005. Retrieved June 22, 2007. 
  72. ^ "Pfeiffer on Returns & Hathaway". Batman Online.com. 
  73. ^ Shadows of the Bat: Cinematic Saga of the Dark Side of the Knight
  74. ^ "From Comic To Pfeiffer's Cat". Batman Online. May 29, 2012. Retrieved September 6, 2012. 
  75. ^ "'Anne Hathaway to Play Selina Kyle in The Dark Knight Rises'". ComingSoon.net. January 19, 2010. 
  76. ^ Jensen, Jeff (January 19, 2011). "'The Dark Knight Rises' scoop: Anne Hathaway, Tom Hardy join cast". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 19, 2011. 
  77. ^ Kit, Borys (April 20, 2011). "'Batman: Year One' Lines Up Voice Cast, Sets Comic-Con Premiere (Exclusive)". The Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved June 18, 2011. 
  78. ^ https://twitter.com/jhaletweets/status/486958270251143168
  79. ^ Hamilton, Kirk. "Get A Load Of Catwoman Clawing It Up In Injustice: Gods Among Us". Kotaku. 
  80. ^ http://www.csicon.org/gamescom-2012-catwoman-joins-injustice-gods-among-us/
  81. ^ "Infinite Crisis - Behind the Voice - Grey DeLisle-Griffin as Catwoman". YouTube. Retrieved August 24, 2014. 

External links

Feminist critiques