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(pop culture)

Batwoman was created to be a strong female counterpart to Batman, “a mysterious and glamorous girl” who, according to her first story, was his “great rival” as “a champion of the law”—one who could match his “superb acrobatic skill, his scientific keenness, his mastery of disguise and detective skill!” Over the decades, six different characters have proudly adopted the name and persona of Batwoman.

The original Batwoman, Kathy Kane, made her debut in a story written by Edmond Hamilton in Detective Comics #233 (July 1956). She was obviously named after Bob Kane, Batman’s co-creator, but she was first drawn by Sheldon Mold-off, one of the many “ghosts” who created artwork attributed to Mr. Kane. One reason for creating Batwoman was to give Batman a female romantic interest, thereby countering the charge made by Dr. Frederic Wertham in his book Seduction of the Innocent (1954) that Batman was gay.

According to the first version of her origin, Kathy Kane is a rich heiress with an unusual background as a former circus performer. She decides to use the athletic skills she had developed to become a costumed crime fighter in imitation of Batman, and eventually becomes a frequent ally of Batman and Robin. In 1961 Kathy’s niece, Betty Kane, became Batwoman’s sidekick, the original Bat-Girl. Thus Robin was given a romantic interest as well.

However, when DC Comics editor Julius Schwartz took charge of Batman and Detective in 1964, he dropped Batwoman and Bat-Girl from the series without explanation—presumably believing them to be nonessential and perhaps dated. Two years later he presided over the creation of Barbara Gordon, the new Batgirl (without the hyphen in her name), thus giving Batman a female counterpart whose sleek, stylish costume made her look much more modern than Bat woman. Eventually Batwoman emerged from retirement in 1979, only to be killed that same year by Batman’s foes, the League of Assassins.

Decades later DC Comics introduced a new Batwoman, Kate Kane, who made her first appearance in issue #7 of the year-long series 52 (July 2006). Many writers had a hand in her creation, but it was artist Alex Ross who designed the new Batwoman’s costume.

Attitudes in American society had changed tremendously in the half century since the first Batwoman debuted. Whereas the original Batwoman was created partially to show that Batman was not gay, DC Comics presented the new Batwoman as a lesbian from her very first appearance, in order to bring more diversity to the DC universe of characters. (Kate Kane also has been established as Jewish.)

When Kate was twelve, she, her mother Gabrielle, and her sister Beth were taken hostage by armed criminals; though Kate was rescued, Gabrielle and seemingly Beth were killed. Years later Kate attended the U.S. Military Academy, but had to leave when she was revealed to be gay. Inspired by Batman’s example, Kate decided to become a superheroine, aided by her father, Colonel Jake Kane. The new Batwoman starred in the lead feature of Detective Comics, from issues #854 to #863, and received her own ongoing comic book series in 2011.

There have also been Batwomen in animation. In the direct-to-video animated film Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003), three different women share the role of the masked vigilante Batwoman: police detective Sonia Alcana, Dr. Roxanne Ballantine, and Kathy Duquesne, the daughter of a gangster. Actress Kyra Sedgwick provides the voice of this Batwoman. A 2010 episode of the animated TV series Batman: The Brave and the Bold features a Batwoman who wears the same costume that Kathy Kane did, but who is identified as Katrina Moldoff. Ordered into retirement from costumed crime fighting by a court, Moldoff uses magic to switch bodies with Batman, but ends up back in her own body and goes to prison. The Kate Kane version of Batwoman appears in the DC Universe Online video game. —PS

The Superhero Book: The Ultimate Encyclopedia of Comic-Book Icons and Hollywood Heroes © 2012 Visible Ink Press®. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
The hero-filled event will also find time to introduce Kate Kane. A solo series is also in development at The CW, which airs "Legends of Tomorrow" and "Black Lightning" in addition to the aforementioned superhero shows.
Enter her ex, the hot, red-haired, leather-and-high-heel-boot-wearing Kate Kane (aka Batwoman take two) who is obviously still not over Renee.
She was reintroduced in 2006 and that iteration turned the character into Bruce Wayne's cousin, Kate Kane, an army brat who was expelled from West Point because of her sexuality.
While there, they meet the mysterious Kate Kane (Ruby Rose) who provides them with information that leads the group to Arkham Asylum," the CW's logline reads.
Alexis Hall has created a vibrantly dark world in book two of the Kate Kane series, Shadows and Dreams.
A stand-alone series about Batwoman, whose real name is Kate Kane, is in development for the 2019-20 TV season.
Ruby Rose, made her debut as Batwoman in theannual CW Crossover series and now, according to The HollywoodReporter, a pilot for Rose's Kate Kane has been ordered by CW, making way for her stand-alone series.
Rose will make her debut as Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, during the network's annual superhero crossover event in December.
Tulloch makes an OK Lois, sharing sparks with Hoechlin in the little time they're shown, while Rose looks great as both Kate Kane and her masked identity Batwoman-she doesn't do a lot, but it's a nice enough debut, and her upcoming show is worth looking forward to.
Summary: New Delhi (India), May 17 (ANI): Trailer of 'Batwoman', the latest forthcoming series in the CW's Arrowverse, is out and it follows Ruby Rose's Kate Kane as she fights for Gotham City in the absence of her cousin Bruce Wayne aka Batman.
And while he insists he has no regrets, Dougray said he is now enjoying getting super-fit to star as military man Jacob Kane, father of Kate Kane, aka Batwoman, in the new superhero series.