is a fictional character associated with DC Comics
franchise. Historically a supervillain, the character was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, partially inspired by Kane's second cousin by marriage, Ruth Steel. Kane, a frequent movie goer also mentioned that Jean Harlow was a model for the design. The character first appeared as The Cat
" #1 (Spring, 1940). The code name Cat-Woman (sic), and the first of her cat-suits were introduced in issue #2. Her civilian identity of Selina Kyle was introduced in subsequent appearances.
The character had regular appearances in the Batman titles for much of the Golden Age, both as a villain, and as a reformed criminal (or at least attempting to reform.) She disappeared from the franchise for over a decade in "Detective Comics
" #211 (September, 1954), for fears that her depiction violated the recently introduced Comics Code
. In 1966, over a decade later, the character was revived for the Batman
The character turned popular again and revival in the comic books soon followed. Starting with "Superman's Girl Friend Lois Lane
" #70 (November, 1966). Where she uses magic to turn Superman
into a cat. Lois Lane
then gets to fight Catwoman to rescue her love interest. Regular adventures of this version continued to the 1980s
. With an Earth-One version of Catwoman firmly established, the DC staff then reintroduced the original as part of the Earth-Two Alternate Universe
. Or at least its backstory. According to "DC Super-Stars
" #17 (November, 1977), the Golden Age Catwoman eventually married Batman. She was killed while performing One Last Job
. Her daughter Helena Wayne, donned the cape of the Huntress
to avenge her death.Post Crisis
, Catwoman got a revamp in the Batman Year One
storyline (1987), which established a new background for Selina as a former prostitute who learned martial arts and the art of burglary to improve her life. She got a mini-series of her own in 1989. Then a regular Catwoman series started in September, 1993. From the 1990s
until 2008, Catwoman featured in an eponymous series that cast her as an anti-hero rather than a supervillain. In 2009 this was replaced with a Gotham City Sirens
title that put her in a morally-ambiguous team with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn
. In 2011 this was dropped and a new ongoing Catwoman
title (again casting her as more of an anti-hero than a villain) began as part of the New 52
Outside of the comics, the character has featured in a multitude of Batman-related media. She was a recurring villain in the iconic Adam West Batman
series, famously portrayed by several different actresses including Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt. She was a major character in Batman The Animated Series
and appeared as a villain in both The Batman
and Batman The Brave And The Bold
. The character was featured in Bat Man of Shanghai
, a series of Wuxia-inspired Alternate Universe
shorts on the DC Nation
block that reimagined Catwoman as a Chinese thief
in the 1930s
. For the Animated Adaptation
of Batman: Year One
, she was voiced by Eliza Dushku
On the film front, the character was portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer
in the 1992 film Batman Returns
. In 2004, a standalone Catwoman
movie starring Halle Berry
was released, but the movie was a flop that had little in common
with the comic character. She is played by Anne Hathaway
in 2012's The Dark Knight Rises
, although she's only ever named on screen as "Selina Kyle" and "The Cat", with the name "Catwoman" only being used in merchandise and other supplemental materials
She has also appeared in numerous video games, specifically featuring as a playable character in Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe
, both Lego Batman
games, Batman Arkham City
, and Injustice: Gods Among Us
The character has been one of Batman's most enduring love interests, and is arguably the closest to being his equal. Many modern writers have also interpreted her activities and costumed identity as a response to a history of abuse.
This series provides examples of:
- Abusive Parents
- Action Girl: One of the earliest examples thereof in comics.
- Animal Themed Superbeing
- Anti-Villain: One of the earliest examples thereof. Mixes traits of all types.
- Anti-Hero: All of her heroic appearances have elements of this. Yeah, Catwoman is kind of... complicated.
- Arbitrary Skepticism: Catwoman has difficulty believing her sister is possessed by a demon.
- Badass Biker / Biker Babe: Anne Hathaway's version bcomes one in The Dark Knight Rises when Batman gives her the Batpod.
- Badass Normal
- Betty and Veronica: The Betty to Talia Al' Ghul's Veronica.
- Of course, their definition of "merits" seems to stray pretty far from the actual meaning of the word.
- Black and Gray Morality: Even as an Anti-Hero she tends to do some ethically questionable things, but she's got nothing on some of the villains she goes up against.
- Byronic Heroine: A very Rare Female Example.
- Cat Girl: Duh.
- Classy Cat Burglar: One of the most triumphant examples thereof.
- Combat Pragmatist: As an unofficial member of the Bat-Family, it kind of comes with the territory.
- Combat Stilettos: Hathaway's portrayal in The Dark Knight Rises wears stilettos with serrated edges that would make kicks deadly, or at the very least, very painful:
Stryver: [holding a pistol on Selina] Nice outfit. Those heels make it hard to walk?
Selina Kyle: I don't know. [kicks his foot, stabbing him in the instep and causing him to drop his weapon] Do they?
- Continuity Snarl: No one is quite sure what Catwoman's backstory really is. Is she an orphan turned thief, an amnesiac air stewardess, a prostitute, a socialite, a product of an abusive marriage, the daughter of Carmine Falcone, or some combination thereof?
- Cut Lex Luthor a Check: Subverted, really. In most incarnations, she knows about this, and steals for thrills more than anything else.
- Dating Catwoman: Trope Namer.
- Deadpan Snarker
- Death Seeker: Controversially introduced as an element of her personality for the New 52 version.
- Duct Tape For Everything: In the Pfeifer run, she carried a roll of duct tape on her person. It came in handy during her fight with Zatanna and she frequently used it to restrain enemies and hostages.
- Easily Forgiven: Averted with Zatanna. Selina still hates her for the events of Identity Crisis (or more precisely, her actions thereafter).
- Femme Fatale
- Give Her A Normal Life: Helena
- Go Karting with Bowser: It's arguable that the entire Gotham City Sirens series is this. Either that or her relationship with Batman... or both.
- Heel Face Revolving Door: An established part of her personality that seems to work for her. Writers seems to have her settled on Face.
- Hooker with a Heart of Gold: An element of her past that has been in and out of continuity since Frank Miller added it.
- Indy Ploy: The New 52 version of Selina uses these a lot. In fact she straight out admits she doesn't plan but handles most things by the seat of her pants.
- Karma Houdini: In her very first appearance (when she was still The Cat) Batman straight out allowed her to escape his custody, even foiling Robin's attempt to stop her... solely because he had the hots for her.
- Once Catwoman became an antihero, Batman started looking the other way when she does her thing, since she protects Gotham in her own way.
- Legacy Character: Holly Robinson briefly took over as Catwoman.
- A new Catwoman appears in the Batman Beyond ongoing series. She's the daughter of Multiplex, an unrelated enemy of Firestorm.
- Maid Impersonation Infiltration: Selina poses as one in The Dark Knight Rises to steal Bruce's fingerprints and his mother's necklace.
- Master of Disguise: Each of her solo series have shown Selina to be extremely good with disguises and infiltration jobs.
- May-December Romance: with several men including Wildcat, and Slam Bradley Sr.
- Morality Pet: Holly Robinson.
- Most Common Superpower: Depending on the Artist. She was one of the most exaggerated examples at one point, but has since gone back to something more realistic.
- Jim Balent's tenure as the artist on her 90s solo title stands out as the most ridiculous example.
- Ms. Fanservice: And how!
- Mugged for Disguise: Often done by Selina when she needs to go undercover as part of a heist.
- Private Detective: Slam Bradley, a legacy character from the earliest issues of Detective Comics. He's pretty much straight out of the 1930s.
- Right Through the Wall: An issue of the New 52 Catwoman series has Selina fighting a cop in his apartment. In order to avoid arousing suspicion, she covers the cop's mouth and begins making loud, sexual noises so that the neighbors think there is simply some rough sex going on, rather than a brutal fist fight.
- Rival Turned Evil: She-Cat
- Stuffed In A Fridge: Catwoman writers seem to enjoy using her to subvert the trope.
- Hush tried to use her to get at Batman by cutting out her heart. In retaliation, she steals every last cent he has.
- Likewise, her response to Black Mask torturing her sister was to kill him.
- Thou Shalt Not Kill: For most of her career, Catwoman has tried to avoid killing anyone. But when it comes to really reprehensible people like Black Mask, she will.
- The Hathaway portrayal in The Dark Knight Rises provides an exception, as she does not hesitate shooting people when it's in self-defense; these include two henchmen in the bar shootout, at least one thug during the rooftop fight, and Bane with the Batpod cannons.
- True Love Is Boring: Why Selina and Bruce have never been happy together. And why Selina possibly can't find someone else.
- Vapor Wear: Certain artists draw her costume in such a way that there's no way she's wearing anything under it. Guillem March is a big offender.
- Whip It Good: She's specifically mentioned on more than one occasion that she picked it because she didn't want a weapon that would be easy to turn against her if she was disarmed.
- Wounded Gazelle Gambit: In the bar shootout in The Dark Knight Rises, Selina goes from coolly shooting two of Bane's mercenaries to screaming like a distressed damsel in the blink of an eye when a police SWAT team arrives.
Works that she has appeared in: