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Comic Book / Batwoman

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That's not a Batgirl. That's a Batwoman.

"It's a good hit. I feel the blood filling my mouth. Somewhere along the line, someone taught her to throw a punch."
Renee Montoya, 52, "Week 7"

Proves that being a badass Bat-themed Anti-Hero is not just a man's job.

The original Batwoman, Katherine "Kathy" Kane, was a character introduced to the DCU in 1956 to serve as a love interest for Bruce Wayne, who was being accused by some people of being gay. The character first appeared in Detective Comics #233 (July, 1956). She was created by writer Edmond Hamilton, and artist Sheldon Moldoff. She lasted for about a decade, but was dropped (along with the first Bat-Girl, her niece Betty Kane) in 1964 in an attempt to prune down the Bat-Family, which was overly crowded with characters. There was a half-hearted attempt to revive the character during the Bronze Age, but this came to an abrupt end when Kathy Kane was Killed Off for Real by Ra's Al Ghul's League of Assassins in Detective Comics #485 (August, 1979). Post-Crisis continuity initially decided that there had never been a Kathy Kane Batwoman. However, the original Kathy Kane, Batwoman tenure intact, was eventually featured in Grant Morrison's Batman.


The second Batwoman, Katherine "Kate" Kane debuted Post-Crisis, in the 2006 series 52 as a love interest and past girlfriend of Renee Montoya, one of the main characters of the series. Touted as the highest-profile gay superhero in the DCU, she drifted from comic to comic after her original appearance until 2009, when, in the wake of Bruce Wayne's "death," she headlined Detective Comics for 10 issues. Batwoman then received a self-titled solo series to continue her story, with an issue #0 released in November 2010. However, her series suffered more than one delay and eventually launched as part of the DC Universe's New 52 in September 2011; though this was another Continuity Reboot, Kate's story was almost entirely unnaffected. Around this time, she also played a minor supporting role in Batman, Inc.. For DC's Rebirth, Kate co-headlined Detective Comics alongside Batman, Tim Drake, Cassandra Cain and Clayface. Later, Kate also starred in a new Batwoman ongoing title, her first since the New 52.


For comics outside of the main DCU, Kate Kane appears as a protagonist in the WWII-set DC Comics Bombshells elseworld series, and as a supporting character in the Injustice: Gods Among Us prequel comic as a member of Batman's Insurgency.

A future version of Batwoman, dubbed "Batwoman Beyond", was also introduced into the Batman Beyond (Rebirth) comic. Despite some visual similarities (thanks to Kate's Batwoman outfit being very similar to the Batman Beyond suit), this character doesn't have anything to do with either of the previous incarnations of Batwoman, and is instead the daughter of Dick Grayson, Elainna Grayson.

As with Batman himself, her portrayal has varied over the years, reaching varying points on the Sliding Scale of Idealism Versus Cynicism depending on the time of her writing (the campy Silver Age vs. the darker Modern Age) and the medium of the story (The DC Animated Universe film, though pushing the boundaries of what was acceptable, remained restricted in what it could show).

And of course, the irony of having a character introduced out of a fear of homosexuality becoming gay herself has been lost on no one.

An In Name Only version of Batwoman was the focus of the Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman movie. Ruby Rose portrayed the Kate Kane incarnation of the character in the Arrowverse, beginning in the Elseworlds crossover before going on to star in the self-titled Batwoman (2019) series. Rose departed the show after its first season, with new character Ryan Wilder, played by Javicia Leslie, taking over the Batwoman identity in the show's second season. Wallis Day was then recast as Kate for several episodes before officially handing the show off to the Ryan Wilder character at end of season two. The character of Ryan Wilder was also introduced into the comics, making a cameo debut in issue #50 of Batgirl’s fifth volume, though with no indication she will become Batwoman there as well.

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     Pre-Crisis Batwoman

Pre-Crisis Batwoman provides examples of:

  • Action Girl: She was a competent crimefighter, especially in her first appearance, as was her niece Bette.
  • Back for the Dead: The original Batwoman, after years of barely appearing, was brought back for a Post-Crisis story in which she was murdered by the League of Assassins to further motivate Batman to oppose that group, and give Bronze Tiger something to atone for. It was later revealed that she had survived.
  • Bat Family Crossover: She and Bette ran into Barbara Gordon's Batgirl one time and helped her catch crooks.
  • Becoming the Mask: After she had fallen for Batman, she tried to get out of her deal with Spyral.
  • The Chick: Kathy used weapons based on women's cosmetics, carried a utility purse, often relied on "feminine intuition" instead of deductive reasoning and frequently turned into a Distressed Damsel for Batman to rescue.
  • Damsel in Distress: She was frequently captured by bad guys back in the '50s.
  • Decomposite Character: It was initially believed that Kate Kane was the post-Infinite Crisis version of Kathy Kane (albeit with a new appearance and Adaptational Sexuality), but it was later revealed Kathy still existed as a completely separate character.
    • Even before then, some of her characteristics were shunted onto New-52-Kate's stepmother Catherine Hamilton.
  • Distaff Counterpart:
    • To Batman, obviously, and even to Robin with her circus acrobat background.
    • Also one to Catman; like Catman, she was something of an Abhorrent Admirer (or at the very least a nuisance) to her similarly-animal-themed counterpart.
  • Elseworld: Several of the Batwoman stories of the 1960s were imaginary stories written by Alfred, in which Batman and Batwoman had gotten married and had a son, Bruce Jr. Dick Grayson and Junior took over after their elders retired, fighting under the names Batman II" and "Robin II".
  • Faux Action Girl: She was best remembered as this later on, particularly in later appearances where she kept needing to get rescued. It was to the point that one of Barbara Gordon's selling points as Batgirl was that she wouldn't be this.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Kathy used tear gas perfume, reflective compacts, and other gadgets disguised as makeup.
  • In Harm's Way: Grant Morrison portrays Kathy as an inveterate thrill seeker. She fell in love with Nathan Kane after he bought her a circus as a venue for her stunt-cyclist act.
  • Legacy Character: The first that started the Batwoman legacy.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Possibly the daughter of the villainous Dr. Daedalus.
  • Makeup Weapon: Carried a number of cosmetic themed weapons, such as tear gas perfume and a powder puff that emitted a blinding cloud of powder.
  • May–December Romance: She was older than Bruce at the time. When trying to break things off with Bruce, she claimed that she was too old to be running around in costumes with a younger guy like him.
  • Name of Cain: She married into the Kane family, and people claim his death was caused by the "Kane family curse". Judging by what's happened to the family of other people sharing the name, how can you blame them?
  • Not Blood Siblings: A variant. She has something of a romantic relationship with Bruce, and she's his aunt—but only by marriage to Martha Wayne's brother.
  • Not Quite Dead: Confirmed in the final issue of Batman Incorporated. Kathy is not only alive, but she's the leader of a major spy organization which was leading a sting operation against Talia al Ghul for years, which Kathy concludes by killing her.
  • Of Corsets Sexy: The original Batwoman's first costume was a black corset over a yellow silk shirt, with yellow tights and cape. Later artists have interpreted her costume differently.
  • Posthumous Character: These days she is usually only shown through flashbacks of Bruce's past, and established to have died during his early years.
  • Put on a Bus: After Crisis on Infinite Earths, she was supposedly erased from existence. Up until Grant Morrison brought her back during ''Batman R.I.P.'' via flashbacks.
  • Retirony: She was murdered only after she decided to hang up the cape for good.
  • Stay in the Kitchen: Kathy's very first appearance plays like an aversion at first, but Batman convinces her to give up the cape and cowl. This didn't stick and she appeared in more stories, but was then played straight again after Barbara Gordon became Batgirl and she and Bette disappeared from the comics, bar some one-off appearances in the 70s.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Grant Morrison has done a fair share of work reinventing Kathy Kane in flashbacks during Batman Inc.. Kathy is now a former independent film producer, author, and stunt woman whose late husband, Nathan Kane, bought her a circus as a gift. Following his death, Kathy was approached by the espionage organization Spyral to do investigative work into Batman's life. Kathy invented the Batwoman identity to do close-up investigative work and legitimately fell in love with Bruce as an equal crimefighter, causing her to quit Spyral. However, she also broke up with Bruce when Kathy learned the head of Spyral was in fact wanted Nazi war criminal Otto Netz, a.k.a. Doctor Daedalus and her possible birth father.
    • In the New 52, Kathy is the Headmistress of Spyral, which is actually working to stop Talia al Ghul and Leviathan.
  • The Vamp: She was initially out to seduce Batman to uncover his identity for the crime league, Spyral.

    Kate Kane Batwoman 

The Kate Kane Batwoman provides examples of:

  • Aborted Arc:
    • Issue 24 ends on a major cliffhanger, with Batman and Batwoman engaged in a fight and leaving several plot points unresolved. Issues 25 and 26 were intended to wrap up Williams and Blackman's arc, but due to them leaving DC, the original plots were thrown out in favor of the next creative team being allowed to begin their run. The finale of Williams and Blackman's arc was eventually told in an annual, but didn't follow their intended ending.
    • The mystery of how Alice came to be. Greg Rucka wanted to write the story detailing the events between her kidnapping and emergence as a villain so Williams, Blackman, and Andreyko all chose to leave it hanging in-case of his return. Such a plot has been shelved with the series's cancellation.
  • Action Girl: The reveal of her Post-Crisis incarnation is a full-page splash of her knocking out two mutated human/leopard/lion cultists at the same time, breaking one of their heads through a table while kicking the other one clear across the jaw.
  • Affirmative-Action Legacy: The new incarnation is gay and Jewish. This is a retroactive example, as when Kate first debuted, Kathy Kane's tenure as Batwoman had been stricken from continuity, leading many to assume Kate was simply a rebooted version of Kathy. It wasn't until Batman (Grant Morrison) that it was confirmed that Kathy was still the original Batwoman and Kate's predecessor.
  • Alas, Poor Villain: Abbott, despite being a mythically-inclined creature, stands against Medusa's forces and leads his followers into another Villainous Rescue. In the melee, he goes up against Medusa and despite being afraid of her and her monsters, he still attacks her, is turned to stone and shattered. Batwoman sadly regards his remains.
  • Alice Allusion: The Religion of Crime's second High Madame, who speaks entirely in Lewis Carroll quotes. One shudders to think of the utter lunacy that would happen if you locked her in a room with the Mad Hatter.
  • Anachronic Order: Her conflict with the organization Medusa is divided into four individual stories (Kate, Maggie, Colonel Kane and Cameron Chase) that are focused on, and the time jumps back and forth between them.
  • And Show It to You: The Religion of Crime is almost obsessed with tearing out Batwoman's still-beating heart. It is a prominent plot point in her introduction and her ongoing story.
  • Angsty Surviving Twin: Kate has mourned the death of her twin sister Beth since she was a child and learns of Beth's actual survival only moments before she (accidentally) kills her herself. It later turns out Beth survived again, but the two are divided by the fact that Beth is in custody of the DEO and a ransom is required for her sister to be free. It doesn't help that she's still rather unstable.
  • Artistic License – Engineering: Kate's HQ contains a freight elevator that houses her motorcycle, and which she uses to leave and return from patrols. The problem is that, as drawn, there's no possible way for this elevator to exist, since there's no building below it.
  • Artistic License – Military:
    • Kate's discharge is often referred to as a dishonorable one. This is a mistake, since most discharges under DADT were honorable, and there's nothing about her otherwise exemplary conduct at West Point that would require such severe consequences.note 
    • In Elegy, BTO Reyes says that if Kate decides to accept a demotion rather than resign, she'll give up the chance to become First Captain during the next semester. However, the First Captain (or Brigade Commander) position is not decided each semester, but each academic year. Since Kate was already in her final year, there's no way she could become First Captain barring some kind of calamity befalling the small number of cadets outranking her.
    • Kate also misquotes the Cadet Honor Code, both in Elegy and when the same scene is revisited in the Rebirth series. This is something she should have had memorized, especially as such a top-tier cadet. Exacerbating this is that a real-life plaque on the West Point campus featuring the Honor Code is rendered accurately earlier in Elegy.
  • Art Shift: JH Williams III and Amy Reeder collaborated on Batwoman #0, with Williams doing the Batwoman scenes and Reeder doing the Kate scenes in divided page spreads until they finally come together at the end. In the series proper they are going to switch off art duties for different arcs.
  • Author Appeal: Greg Rucka, the author who wrote her Post-Crisis reintroduction in 52 and her run on Detective Comics, is fond of writing strong, female characters and has worked on several comics that take a deep and mature look at homosexuality and femininity in confrontational and dramatic situations. Kate Kane combines all into one.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: The Batwoman costume originally had high heels, which are impossible to run and fight in, and Kate herself had long hair, which Batman points out is very easy to grab in a fight.
  • Back from the Dead: In Batman and Robin she gets crushed by a cave-in and ends up paralyzed and with severe internal injuries. Fortunately, there's a Lazarus Pit nearby, so she commits suicide by ODing on morphine and uses the Pit to heal herself.
  • Badass Normal: Her most prominent foes, the Religion of Crime, have henchmen that can mutate into large animalistic creatures that she fights with only normal strength and speed.
  • Bat Signal: It was seeing the signal in the sky, along with Batman himself, that got Kate motivated to become a crime fighter.
  • Beat Panel: After Kate reveals to her father that she is gay there is a single panel of him standing there, motionless, as he processes the revelation. He then explains that he still loves her and is proud of her.
  • Beauty Is Never Tarnished:
    • Averted in Elegy when Alice slices Kate's cheek with a razor.
    • Also averted in her solo series to the point that Kate's battered face and bruised body become a significant factor in a major plot development.
    • Another aversion during her solo involves Kate getting a bloody cut under her eye after Bane sucker-punches her.
  • Being Good Sucks: Ever since her mother and twin sister were murdered, Kate Kane only had one dream, and that was to serve her country. When rumors began to circulate that she was gay she was given the opportunity to say it was a mistake and have the entire affair swept under the rug. She refuses, unwilling to compromise her personal integrity even for something this important, and subsequently loses the only dream she has.
  • Big Damn Heroes: When The Question and Renee Montoya are about to be torn limb from limb by three mutated human/animal cultists, she appears in a full-page splash knocking out two of them at the same time, breaking one of their heads through a table while kicking the other one clear across the jaw.
  • Bilingual Bonus:
    • When Kate is looking over the costume her father made she describes its colors as "Gevurah". A part of Kabbalistic Judaism, gevurah is understood as God's mode of punishing the wicked and judging humanity in general. It is the foundation of stringency, absolute adherence to the letter of the law, and strict meting out of justice.
    • The first arc of the ongoing series features a watery ghost preying on members of Gotham's Hispanic population. Their scenes features heavy dialogue in Spanish, often with no translations provided.
  • Blasting It Out of Their Hands: In climax of their fight, Batwoman has used her Grappling-Hook Pistol to tie up Alice's legs. Alice, trying to escape, shoots the grappling hook pistol of Batwoman's hands with her own gun.
  • Boom, Headshot!:
    • Kate's mother is killed this way.
    • In Elegy, a soldier is killed this way after she tries to stop Alice from getting into a military base.
  • Bring It
    Religion of Crime Acolyte: I will give the High Madame your still-beating heart!
    Batwoman: Bring it.
    [They fight, with the Acolyte beaten and knocked out]
    Batwoman: Yeah. That's what I thought.
  • Bumbling Sidekick: In the Post-Crisis continuity, Kate's cousin Bette is best known as a joke heroine and Teen Titans washout named Flamebird. After moving to Gotham, Bette was promptly kidnapped and ended up having to be rescued by Kate, after which Bette then asked Kate if she could be her sidekick. Kate has begun to mentor Bette, with heavy emphasis on Kate's military background as she trains Bette, but has also been told by Batman not to bring her on missions that are too dangerous due to the risks. In issue #4 of the main series this turns out to have been warranted, since Bette tries to take on a thug on her own and gets severely beaten and stabbed.
  • The Bus Came Back: Batwoman reappears in issue #23 of Batman and Robin Eternal after a six-month real-world absence from DC's main continuity.
  • But Not Too Gay: Averted, where Kate is seen both kissing her girlfriends, in bed with Renee in a flashback, and in #4 of the ongoing series gets a very tastefully done scene where she and Maggie Sawyer have sex for the first time.
  • But Not Too White: Consciously averted in her redesign for Detective Comics, which gave her very pale skin that is described as a "vampire porcelain white". Greg Rucka revealed in an interview that they intentionally gave her the coloring of a real-life redhead in the main series, while her first appearance in 52 had played this trope straight.
  • Butch Lesbian: Her civilian appearance in Detective Comics Rebirth.
  • By the Hair: Batman himself tells Kate that long hair is a liability, and she replies with a smirk that she will "take it under advisement". Later scenes reveal that Kate's long hair in her Batwoman costume is actually a detachable wig, and when Alice tries to grab her hair she is distracted by the wig coming off long enough for Kate to escape.
  • Call to Adventure:
    Kate Kane: "That bat they shine in the sky... civilians think it's a call for help. The bad guys think it's a warning... but it's more than that. It's something higher. It's a call to arms... I've found my way to serve...I finally found a way to serve."
  • The Cameo: Dan Choi, known for his activism for the repeal of "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," appears in Detective Comics #859 at West Point as one of Kate's classmates, and he was consulted for the story in that issue.
  • Chekhov's Gunman: In Elegy she interrogates a man called Rush. In the New 52 series, we find out Rush was a pedophile and he became the Hook.
  • Clark Kenting: When Batman is following Kate Kane, attempting to discern if she and Batwoman are one and the same, he disguises himself with a wig and thinks about how "Clark" always said the simple disguises were the best.
  • Combat Pragmatist:
    • Tasked with unmasking Batman, Batwoman knows she'll have to resort to extreme measures to capture him and avoid getting stomped in the process. She comes up with an idea to rig a building with various traps and lure him there, and even then she only barely succeeds.
    • More generally, while Kate is an excellent martial artist, she tends to avoid flashy moves in favor of more direct methods if those will work better, including using improvised weapons on occasion.
  • Coming-Out Story: The flashback issues detailing Kate's evolution into Batwoman cover her expulsion from West Point under the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy and revealing to her father that she was gay. He supports her actions, proud that she kept her honor and integrity, but does ask what she is now going to do with her life.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: As the step-daughter of a wealthy Gotham socialite, Kate actually knows the real James Gordon, but her own personal contact on the force is shaping up to be Captain Maggie Sawyer, head of the Major Crimes Unit. Maggie, however, is looking to arrest Batwoman because she is interfering in Maggie's work, even though she accepts Gotham vigilantes in general.
  • Conflict Ball:
    • Though Batwoman and Batman don't see entirely eye-to-eye, they had a fairly stable relationship until issue #18 of her solo series, when Kate essentially burns her bridges with him when he shows up on one of her missions and wants the tech she's after. She was being monitored by the DEO at that moment, and there's an implication that she was posturing during the mission to look good for them, but she still went rather far with it, especially after Batman offered his help in dealing with the DEO. And then, after the DEO tasks her with unmasking Batman, she doesn't even try to seek him out, make amends, and double-cross the DEO. Fortunately, they do end up on good terms again.
    • During the Andreyko run, Kate took on a frustrated and aggressive stance toward Sophie Moore, her girlfriend at West Point, when the two happen to meet again. Kate even expresses surprise that Sophie was so friendly to her. Nothing before this, however, even hinted that the two had anything other than a loving (if secret, due to DADT) relationship, nor that they broke up on bad terms.
  • Continuity Nod:
    • When Batwoman recognizes that Alice is speaking in quotes from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, she points out that there is already an Alice-themed villain in Gotham. The Mad Hatter, an established Batman villain, bases his crimes and theme around the same-titled character from Alice's Adventures In Wonderland.
    • When Cameron Chase is told that her next assignment is in Gotham, she is exasperated that they are going after Batman again. One of Chase's first assignments with the DEO, detailed in her original miniseries, was to determine Batman's secret identity.
  • Continuity Reboot: The Batwoman character introduced in 52, though still identified as Katherine Kane, bears little thematic resemblance to the original 1956 incarnation. Information from Batman, Inc. reveals that she is related to the Silver Age Batwoman and is, presumably, her niece, but the continued accuracy of this information is unknown after the 2011 DC Relaunch. That relation is also heavily subject to writer's choice, as Grant Morrison considers the older Kathy Kane to have existed while Rucka and Williams consider Kate to be the first Batwoman and that Kathy's existence would complicate their intended backstory.
    • Grayson reveals that Kathy did exist as a Spyral agent (under the name Luka Netz), so that part still works, but retcons away her version of Batwoman and any connection to the Kane family. Because she's the daughter of the Nazi supervillain, Otto Netz.
  • Creator Cameo: JH Williams III drew himself as a background character in #2 of the ongoing (he's the guy with the beard with his back to the camera).
  • Cruel to Be Kind: After nearly being drowned by an enemy, and thinking about the dangers of the heroism lifestyle, Kate tries to drive away Bette by ridiculing her skills and motivation, criticizing her for playing a game when other heroes are driven by tragedy. Bette, however, just reclaims her Flamebird identity and starts operating solo, and in the next issue nearly gets beaten to death and stabbed by a thug.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle:
    • The Hook makes short work of Bette and leaves her for dead.
    • Batwoman takes out her anger on a bunch of dudes in a bar while trying to find info on Wolf Spider, easily beating them all up.
  • Cut Himself Shaving:
    • After Maggie questions her about a suspicious bruise on her shoulder, Kate claims it's because she's recently taken up boxing again.
    • Another time Kate explains away a black eye by saying she crashed her bike. And then tells someone else that she got it tripping down a flight of steps while drunk. The "someone else" here is Evan Blake, who, unbeknownst to either of them, gave Kate the black eye while they were fighting as their alter-egos of Wolf Spider and Batwoman. Kate gave him some even worse bruises of his own, which he also lies about.
  • Cut Short: Batwoman's run as the headliner of Detective Comics managed to finish the last three-part mini-arc, but from one issue to the next it went from "featuring Batwoman" to "featuring Batman" without any warning. There was no notice that the current author and artist would likewise be leaving the series, and the change came right after her cousin made a pretty shocking revelation to Kate. Fortunately, the establishment of her ongoing series allowed the story to be continued after a years hiatus.
  • Daddy's Girl: Her father was her main line of support, supplying her with information and gadgets as she began her career as Batwoman. Issue #0 of her solo series reveals that their relationship has been drastically altered after the revelations of Kate's childhood.
  • Damsel in Distress:
    • Save for a single instance (where she was tied up and gagged as part of a ritualistic sacrifice), the modern version has steered clear of this trope.
    • Bette Kane plays this straight, culminating in issue #4 of the ongoing, where she's stabbed by a thug and tricked by Cameron Chase into revealing Kate's identity, since Chase convinces her that she is dying and asks her for a name so someone can be by her side as she "dies".
  • A Date with Rosie Palms: After Maggie and Kate spend the night together, ending with the sun coming up, Maggie remarks that the lack of rest is okay since she keeps herself up all night anyway. After Kate's leering reaction, Maggie explains that recently she's too preoccupied with the dead children she's investigating to get any sleep.
  • Dead Man Writing: The #0 issue of the ongoing series reveals that Kate records a goodbye message for her father before every outing as Batwoman, just in case she doesn't come back.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Kate has an extremely dry sense of humor.
  • Death by Origin Story: Kate, her twin sister and her mother were kidnapped and held hostage when Kate was twelve years old. When her father managed to rescue her, she left her cell and saw their bullet-ridden corpses.
  • Depending on the Artist/Depending on the Writer: In issue #21 of Batwoman's ongoing, Killer Croc has his inconsistencies addressed. His talk with a shape-shifter named Jered has the latter conclude he may be from an ancient were-beast blood-line. Croc dismisses him on the grounds that he isn't a shapeshifter, but Jered questions if he really is one, pointing out his changing form over the years in addition to his change into a Hydra. Croc also notes his intelligence changing, sometimes it's really hard to think, sometimes thinking is clear, and sometimes he feels like just giving into his animalistic side. In the end it falls under an ambiguous Maybe Magic, Maybe Mundane.
  • Desperately Looking for a Purpose in Life: A large section of her Detective Comics run covers the years after she was expelled from West Point, where the running theme (and commentary from friends and family) is that she is listless and undriven, and that she does not know what to do with her life.
  • Destination Defenestration: In her re-introduction in 52, after she stops Renee Montoya from shooting an enemy she throws the enemy out of the window.
  • Distaff Counterpart: Batman, obviously. The Cutter arc of Detective Comics placed heavy emphasis on their parallels, with alternating pages (and sometimes even alternating panels) that followed both characters as they each trailed a different villain, going through the same motions, victories, and setbacks.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: When Kate was just getting involved in crime fighting, before she first donned the Batwoman costume, she was eavesdropping on several criminals in a bar as they were discussing their upcoming operation. During the conversation one of the men questions the other, Jackson, on whether he was paying attention or not. Jackson explains that he was "admiring the view" and is seen openly staring at Kate, then turns to the other man and dares him to say he was not having the exact same thoughts.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Averted. A soldier has to use guns, after all.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Sci-Fi: Almost immediately after breaking up with Maggie, Kate was hypnotized into an abusive sexual relationship with the vampire Nocturna. Kate had multiple blackouts during this time, implying she was raped repeatedly. After Kate was freed of the hypnosis (with the help of Red Alice/Beth Kane, her twin sister), Nocturna claimed that subconsciously Kate wanted to have sex with her and gloats how she (Nocturna) enjoyed it.
    Batwoman: So, none of it was true? You don't... love me?
    Nocturna: Love you? I don't even like you. You were just so easy to snare. All your broken-hearted martyr-complex self-loathing... it was like a neon sign flashing ' Over here! ' I couldn't resist.
    Batwoman: You used your powers to make me sleep with you?
    Nocturna: I bet you wish that were true. No, Kate. That was all you. I'm no rapist. You wanted me, so I figured 'I haven't done this since college, so why not? You are sexy, after all. Damaged, yes, but so much fun. You wanted something raw, a lesbian Sid and Nancy thing. Kinky, yes? But that was all yours.
    Batwoman: You... monster.
    Nocturna: Maybe, but all I did was find an open door in your head. All the interior decorating in that room? Yours.
    Batwoman: AAAHH!!!
    Nocturna: What's the matter, Katey? Disgusted by your own subconscious?
  • Dramatic Irony: Present in a flashback scene in the Detective Comics run when Kate criticizes Renee for not being out at work and calls her a liar. Anyone who's read Gotham Central knows that Renee has a very valid reason for not being out, and that when she eventually is outed against her will it proves disastrous to both her professional and personal life. Considering that Greg Rucka wrote both stories this was almost certainly intentional.
  • Drill Sergeant Nasty: Toward the group of young Gotham vigilantes she trains with Batman in Detective Comics Rebirth. She justifies it by saying the kids need to be pushed past their breaking points to see how they'll handle themselves if things ever go bad on the battlefield.
  • Dynamic Entry: Batwoman has a habit of busting in through windows, often coupling it with a boot to someone's face.
  • Early-Installment Weirdness:
    • Combined with some visual retcons. The Kate Kane who appeared in 52 and other earlier cameos was not as pale, she had brown eyes, and her hair was a lighter auburn. Her uniform also had high heels in the boots, and she didn't wear a wig. To possibly combat some of the criticism she'd received for being impractical and a flat character, the heels and long hair were done away with when she was delved into more, her clothing style became more gothic, and she received tattoos. Comparing the early Kate Kane to the version in her series can bring up some startling differences.
    • 52 also referred to her as "Katherine the younger", thus implying her mother was also a Kathy. The Batwoman series establishes Kate's stepmother as being named Catherine (or Katherine), while her mother was named Gabi.
    • Her first appearance has Renee Montoya ask if she's "still in the closet", but it's revealed in her own series that she'd been out for several years at that point. It's even one of the things that she and Renee fought about when they broke up.
  • Enemy Mine: Kate's teamed up with Abbot and his sect of the Religion of Crime against some bigger threats, though she loathes him.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Batwoman tosses a Batarang into Batman's lens to disable the optical sensors in his suit.
    • Noctura and Killer Croc get a Batarang to the eye on separate occasions.
    • Batwoman stabs Falchion, a demigod, in the eye with an exploding arrow and blows up half his face.
  • Fiery Redhead: Zig-zagged: Kate's temper is usually under control, but when under enough stress she can quickly fly into a full-on rage. See The Stoic and Not So Stoic below.
  • Final Battle: The conclusion to the Medusa arc has Wonder Woman and Batwoman up against Medusa, her lieutenants (Weeping Woman, Maro, Bloody Mary, Killer Croc and the Hook), her monsters, and the Tongs in Gotham. Bullock Maggie, the GCPD, Director Bones, Chase, and the local DEO branch oppose the army, with Abbot and the True Believers aiding them in the fight.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • In Detective Comics #856, the alternating panels of Kate and Alice foreshadow the eventual reveal that they are twins.
    • In issue #857, there is a Call-Forward, as one flashback of Kate has her and Beth dressed in red and black and white and pink respectively, mirroring what they would wear as adults, as well as the copy of Alice in Wonderland on the floor of their room.
  • Free-Fall Fight: During her appearance in Batman & Robin Eternal, Batwoman fights an Orphan while falling from the Burj Khalifa in Dubai.
  • Friend to All Children: Kate loves children, to the point that she's refused to harm some who (either due to being mind controlled or because they were loyal to a villain) attacked her.
  • Full-Name Ultimatum: Both mother and father Kane.
    "Katherine Rebecca Kane, you open this door right now... or so help me, this really will turn into your worst birthday ever!"
  • Gayngst: Flashbacks in Detective Comics reveal that Kate was originally enrolled at the United States Military Academy at West Point, and was well-respected and expected to achieve high rank, but was forced to resign after her homosexuality was revealed to her commanding officer. Though she was accepted by her father, who was glad she "kept [her] honor" instead of lying, she lost the only real goal she had and spent a long time drifting without desires or a determination to do anything with her life.
  • Good Stepmother: Catherine Kane is invested in being a part of her adult stepchildren's lives, and goes out of her way to be helpful.
  • Goofy Print Underwear: Kate strangely wears underwear with little planets on them.
  • Goth: After her initial appearances in 52, she started wearing black and grey casual wear rather than fashionable red dresses.
  • Grappling-Hook Pistol: A standard part of Kate's equipment, as per usual for a Bat-character.
  • Greater-Scope Villain: The Mother of Monsters is a subversion. She's set up to be an all powerful Eldritch Abomination of a creature who's release drives the Medusa arc. The creatures that Batwoman and Wonder Woman have fought came from her, including Medusa, the Big Bad. When unleashed, she begins changing the world, but when Medusa is slain, the mother turns into a normal human being, admitting that she became that monster only because it was her daughter's desire for her to do so. She leaves peacefully with Wonder Woman afterward.
  • Happily Married: Kate proposed to Maggie at the end of the Medusa arc. This trope is what Williams wanted to follow, but Executive Meddling said otherwise. This would come across as even more homophobic if it weren't for the number of straight super-couples getting undone around the same time (Clark and Lois, GA and Black Canary, and of course...)
  • Hates My Secret Identity:
    • An inversion in that Detective Maggie Sawyer is dating Kate Kane, but seeks to arrest Batwoman for interfering in her cases.
    • Another inversion occurs with Wolf Spider. He's a hated aggravation for Batwoman, and he doesn't like her for how relentless she is in trying to stop him. Out of costume, however, he and Kate are close friends, with neither knowing or even suspecting the other's secret identity.
  • Hazmat Suit: During the "Elegy" arc, Col. Kane is able to warn Batwoman that the terrorist Alice has a threat in the works that'll require "Mop for CW". He's actually referring to MOPP-4 (Mission Oriented Protective Posture 4), the U.S. Army's term for its full set of NBC warfare gear.
  • Heroic Sacrifice:
    • When Kate is forced to resign from the United States Military Academy at West Point she is first given the option of denying the affair and having the event swept under the rug. She will not deny that she is gay, so she admits to the charge and is discharged. However, she has a third option, which is to say nothing (Neither confirm or deny the accusation) which would result in an official investigation that could potentially rule that the "charges" were incorrect, allowing her to stay in the military without actually lying to a superior officer. Before Kate makes any definitive statement she first asks if there is anybody else under investigation, and when she hears that nobody else has been accused she confesses. If she remained silent and there was an investigation, her girlfriend, Sophie Moore, could have been discovered as well. Kate accepted discharge, from the only dream she had in life, in order to keep her lover from being discovered.
    • Knowing that Maggie's custody battle against her homophobic ex-husband James will rob her of crucial time with her daughter, and knowing that James has a problem with her, Kate makes a deal with him: she will break up with Maggie if he drops the case. He agrees.
  • Hollywood Hype Machine: When her reintroduction in 52 was announced press response to the character was instantaneous and largely focused on her sexuality, commented upon and discussed even in media not normally connected or related to comic books or superheroes. DC Editor Dan Didio claims to have been completely surprised and overwhelmed by the massive response to the character, saying he never expected even the announcement of her sexuality to be quite so momentous, and she began to be touted as the DCU's highest profile gay superhero. However, the press coverage was greatly out of proportion to her importance to the series and she ultimately went two years without a starring role in any series and only the occasional cameo in titles belonging to other characters and teams. It was not until she became the lead character in Detective Comics in 2009 that she became a regularly-appearing character, and in September 2011 got her own self-titled series.
  • Honor Before Reason: When confronted by her commanding officer over accusations that she is gay, Kate is given the option of denying the charge and having the entire affair swept under the rug. However, she admits to the charge and resigns from the United States Military Academy at West Point, quoting the Cadet Honor Code as she does: "A cadet shall not lie, cheat or steal, nor suffer others to do so... I'm gay." Her father, when she tells him what happened and why, says he is proud that she "kept [her] honor and [her] integrity."
  • Idiot Ball: The day after fighting and getting beat up by Wolf Spider, Kate runs into one of her friends... and he's even more beat up, with injuries that are consistent with the ones Kate dealt out. This friend even states that he was at the exact same location as Wolf Spider was, but Kate doesn't bother to investigate a possible connection, not even to rule things out, and never learns that her friend is, in fact, Wolf Spider.
  • Idle Rich: Like her inspiration, Kate maintains this image, and before finding her purpose she really was one. In the first issue of her run in Detective Comics, her girlfriend breaks up with her because she thinks Kate is not responsible enough and has been "tomcatting around" when she has actually been fighting crime. When Batman begins to shadow Kate Kane in order to determine if she is the woman in the Batwoman costume she goes clubbing, apparently picking up random women, before he loses sight of her in a dark alley.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: During a cameo in the 'Rotworld' arc of Animal Man that shows a flashback of how the Rot took over the Earth, Batwoman is shown being killed by a zombified Supergirl, who shoves her arm right through Batwoman's torso.
  • Informed Attribute:
    • After Bette gets gutted and left for dead, the DEO recovers her and tries to ID her before moving her to a hospital. One method they try is dental records, and an agent mentions that it might be difficult because her teeth are so damaged. However, the artwork doesn't reflect this supposed damage and the issue is never brought up again.
    • In issue #21, Killer Croc fights Batwoman. Near the end of the battle, his narration box claims that he's broken Batwoman's jaw and some of her ribs, but she's shown being fully able to talk and doesn't appear in any pain whatsoever. She doesn't even take many hits during the fight. No mention is ever made anywhere else about her recovering from such serious injuries, and the chronology of the series doesn't seem to allow for such time anyway. It's possible that Croc's description was just wishful thinking on his part, given his arc in that issue.
  • Informed Judaism: Averted. The Kane family itself is Jewish, and the comics contain occasional mentions of the various holidays and occasional Biblical Hebrew references. Kate once went out of her way to ask Alfred to make everyone Bat-Gelt with her logo on it, and she has a menorah, shabbat candles, and a Tree of Life print in her apartment. Despite this, however, Kate also does not observe kosher dietary restrictions.
  • Internal Reveal: Bette's identity as Flamebird was revealed to the readers early in her arc, even earlier for those who were aware of the character in relation to the Teen Titans, but Kate only found out after she rescued Bette from a serial killer and Bette asked to be her sidekick. Then they were kicked off the series.
  • Interplay of Sex and Violence: Issue #4 of the ongoing series features intertwined scenes of Bette being stabbed by a thug and Kate and Maggie making love.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Wolf Spider pulls this on Batwoman to get her to stop pummeling him. When she pauses, he tosses a pair of fear-toxin darts into her face, socks her in the jaw, and kicks her out a window.
  • It's Personal:
    • Maggie Sawyer is looking to arrest Batwoman, even though she accepts Gotham vigilantes in general, because Batwoman is interfering in her cases.
    • Batwoman isn't happy about getting cheap-shotted and beaten up by Wolf Spider (which in turn lead to a rift forming between her and Maggie), and is relentless in her pursuit of a "rematch". She eventually gets one and wins based on the number of hits she lands, but he still gets away.
  • "Jump Off a Bridge" Rebuttal: Kate's dad uses this on her. "I'd be right behind [Alice]. You're such a Dad."
  • Juxtaposed Halves Shot: Used in the "Elegy" story arc with Kate and her opponent Alice. Does double duty as foreshadowing that Alice is Kate's twin sister.
  • Lady in Red: In her very first appearance in 52 she is dressed in a long, flowing red dress, and she wears the hell out of that dress.
  • Lady Not-Appearing-in-This-Game: Despite being mentioned in promotional blurbs for the Gotham Underground miniseries and even appearing on one of the covers, Batwoman doesn't show up even once in the story.
  • Lampshade Hanging:
    • When Batwoman is interrogating a mook, he points out that she can not threaten him since he knows she will not kill him; she informs him that, as a Technical Pacifist, that does not mean she can not hurt him.
    • When talking to her father he emphasizes that Thou Shalt Not Kill, and refers to this as being covered under the "Batman rules."
    • In a flashback to when she was just starting out, Kate herself was incredulous when her dad showed her the new costume and she saw that the boots had high-heels. He explained they were the only boots that he could find in red.
    • Kate's narration box at one point tries to explain that she's having so much trouble fighting Wolf Spider (a glorified art thief) because he uses dirty tactics, when previously she battled supernatural creatures with nowhere near as many problems.
  • Lipstick Lesbian: As Renee Montoya says, "Kate Kane has the kind of beauty that leaves you breathless" when she appears for the first time. Her redesign for Detective Comics, as drawn by Williams, seems to deliberately play around with mixed butch and femme elements in her civilian wear, like wearing a tux with feminine hair and make-up, or a halter-necked top with a buttoned shirtfront and tie printed on the front. She eventually transitioned towards being a Butch Lesbian in Detective Comics Rebirth, cropping her hair into a buzzcut and dressing in more masculine clothing. After the first arc, she briefly reverted back to her previous look.
  • Little "No": A couple:
    • Kate answers with a quiet, certain "No" after her father discovers she's been operating as a vigilante and demands she stop.
    • Batwoman gives this answer repeatedly when Director Bones tries to convince her to take down Batman. She eventually makes it to a Big "NO!" after getting frustrated with him. And then gives the littlest no of all when Bones reveals that Beth is still alive.
  • Long-Lost Relative:
    • Her twin sister, Beth, turns out to be alive... and unfortunately evil.
    • As of Batwoman #17, it's hinted that Mr. Bones is Beth and Kate's brother, or at least related to them. Though this turns out just to be a delusion on Bones's part.
  • Made of Iron: Kate's been stabbed no less than four times, three of which had no major effect on her. The fourth stabbing was to her heart, which she not only survived but completely recovered from. She's also been punched square in the face by Killer Croc, Bane, and Batman himself on separate occasions, with her worst injuries from any of those three encounters being a cut cheek and a bit of dizziness that she quickly recovered from. This durability is almost certainly due to her Training from Hell.
  • Mauve Shirt: In the ongoing she has to deal with Shard, a Religion of Crime Acolyte who keeps trying to retrieve Beth. Of Abbott's cult, Claire and Hayes are both named in their first appearance and can be seen in all future ones.
  • Military Brat: Kate's father was a Green Beret, and her mother an Army Intel officer.
  • Military Superhero: Was a cadet at West Point and well on her way to become an outstanding Army officer... until she quit because of the Don't Ask Don't Tell policy. She sees her superheroics as her new vocation in life, and her Army training pays off a thousandfold.
  • Mistaken for Cheating:
    • Anna, who Kate was dating at the start of her run on Detective Comics, believed that Kate had been "tomcatting around" due to the fact that she clearly had been up all night and could not explain what she had been doing. Anna dumped her soon afterwards, pointing out that Kate was clearly using her as a rebound relationship.
    • Kate accidentally stood Maggie Sawyer up at a concert when she was almost drowned fighting a villain, and when Maggie called her to see where she was Kate's cousin, Bette, answered the phone. When Maggie confronted Kate over the incident she asked if Kate stood her up because of the woman on the phone, but Kate was able to quickly explain that it was her cousin.
  • Mugging the Monster:
    • Before she started dressing up like a bat and beating up thugs for fun, when Kate was leaving a bar she was approached by a mugger demanding her phone and wallet. Seeing as how at this point she was a recent cadet at West Point and top of her class, she beats him quite handily.
    • Batman himself "attacks" Kate Kane in order to test if she is the person behind the Batwoman mask, gauging not just her skills but also her attitude.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Kate did not know it then, and tried her best to avoid it, but by defeating her first primary villain she was actually killing her long-lost twin sister, who had been kidnapped as a child. She does not take this revelation well.
  • Name of Cain: Probably named after Batman creator Bob Kane. The Post-Crisis Batwoman has been drawn into the inner workings of the Religion of Crime due to her presence at the heart of their prophecies regarding the "twice-named Daughter of Cain." Because of this, the religion has become somewhat preoccupied with her sacrifice.
  • Never Found the Body: Alice, and previews heavily imply this will be followed up on in the ongoing.
  • No-Holds-Barred Beatdown:
    • Happens to Kate during her training to become Batwoman. Her opponent was a Husky Russkie, in fairness.
      Batwoman: I left Gotham thinking I knew how to hold my own in a fight. In a boxing ring in Serbia, I had that overconfidence beaten out of me.
    • Near the end of her training, and angry with a deliberate lack of progress caused by her father trying to get her to quit, Kate takes out her aggression on a group of corrupt soldiers stationed at a nearby checkpoint, leaving eight of them permanently crippled.
  • The Nothing After Death: Batwoman commits suicide after being severely injured in a cave-in so her teammates can heal her in a nearby Lazarus Pit. After she's revived, one of them asks what death is like, and Kate describes it as a roller coaster ride in the dark.
  • Not So Stoic:
    • When under sufficient (and usually punctuated rather than gradual) stress, particularly when it involves her loved ones being threatened, Kate's temper flares up.
    • Kate breaks down crying in Maggie's lap after an intense argument with Bette and after Maggie thinks she's been cheating.
    • Already humiliated and hurting after getting beaten up by Wolf Spider after he used extremely dirty tactics, Kate starts sobbing on the floor after coming home and accidentally scaring Maggie's daughter (who woke up after hearing her moving around and found a strange, bruised and bloody woman in the bathroom).
  • Odd-Shaped Panel: Williams uses these to make the distinction between Kate scenes and Batwoman scenes. The former are relatively normal, the latter... hoo boy.
  • Oh, Crap!: When Batwoman takes on Batman, she's expecting him to hit extremely hard, but not so hard that she has to will herself not to black out from a single punch.
  • One-Steve Limit: Averted. The Pre-Crisis Batwoman featured the aunt-and-niece duo of Kathy Kane and Bette Kane; as a Shout-Out to that, the New 52 Batwoman and her twin sister are called Kate Kane and Beth Kane. On top of that, Kate's stepmother is also named Catherine. And then Grant Morrisson confirmed that Kathy and Bette still existed in the New-52verse, meaning that we have a Kathy, Kate, Catherine, Bette, and Beth who are not only involved in bat-themed vigilantism independently, but also related to one another and to Bruce Wayne.
  • Only Mostly Dead: Inverted. In her Batman and Robin appearance she gets severely injured and decides to commit suicide and get Lazarus Pitted rather than remain paralyzed and risk a slow death.
  • The Ophelia: Alice, who speaks, as Kate puts it, "fluent crazy" from Lewis Carroll and seemingly dies by drowning in the river.
  • Painting the Medium:
    • Alice speaks with black speech bubbles and white text, except for when she reveals who she is to Kate just before falling into the river.
    • This is done quite often. Abbot speaks in brown and black speech bubbles, with flowing irregular borders. The Weeping Woman speaks in various blue tones, which drip like water, and Nix's speech bubbles are conveyed through jagged black writing on her centipedes, and when hit with a flash bomb, the words are not contained by a word balloon.
  • Parent with New Paramour: Kate is always quick to point out that Catherine is her stepmother, and while they seem to get along well enough Kate seems to enjoy seeing her squirm.
  • Percussive Therapy: During the Wolf Spider case, Kate vents her frustrations on a boxing bag, punching it so hard and for so long that her knuckles start bleeding.
  • Polar Opposite Twins: Kate and Beth's completely conflicting ideologies.
  • Power Fist: The gloves on Batwoman's New 52 uniform have knobby protrusions on the knuckles, which would make them functionally similar to brass knuckles. The DEO also installs tasers in the palms once she begins working for them.
  • Real Person Cameo: Dan Choi was consulted for the issue detailing Kate's discharge, and received both a credit on the cover and a cameo.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: Anti-Hero type costume colors of choice.
  • Relationship Upgrade: Kate Kane and Maggie Sawyer had some light flirting at a fundraiser during the Detective Comics run; as Batwoman she approached Captain Sawyer to feel out a professional relationship. In issue #1 of the ongoing, Kate arrives at Maggie's office to ask her on a date, which is seen in issue #2. In issue #4, they sleep together.
  • Religion of Evil: Like Renee Montoya, it looks like her main antagonists belong to the Religion of Crime.
  • Remember the New Guy?: Downplayed since she's not a brand-new character, but Detective Comics (Rebirth) establishes that Kate and Bruce were apparently fairly close as children, and that Kate even comforted Bruce at his parents' funeral. This came as a surprise to quite a few readers, as even after Kate was introduced, there was very little indication that she had any real history with Bruce, even after being confirmed as his cousin.
  • Retcon:
    • Kate Kane's conversation with Renee Montoya during her introduction in 52 revealed that she had been in the closet when she and Renee had dated, with the implication that she was still in the closet as part of her Secret Identity. However, her origin story as revealed in Detective Comics shows that she had come out before meeting Renee, and she tried to convince Renee to come out of the closet as well. Her appearance was also redesigned with the addition of several tattoos that were not present in her earlier appearance.
    • After Marc Andreyko took over the book, it was revealed that Kate Kane and Bruce Wayne are cousins. This had long been speculated (what with Bruce's mother Martha having the maiden name Kane) but never spelled out on panel before then.
  • The Reveal: Her intended reveal was an Unreveal that nobody planned on. She bursts to the rescue in what was supposed to be the first time anybody (either characters in the story or Real Life people reading the story) had ever seen her, except she had already been shown two issues prior. It was a miscommunication between the writers and the artists; she was supposed to be drawn in silhouette for that first appearance, leading the readers to believe it was Batman until her later appearance (And one of the characters does believe it to be Batman when she first arrives at her intended reveal), but the artist instead drew her in full detail.
  • Revenge: When Kate's father discovers what she is doing and agrees to help her, he makes it very clear that she has to be doing this for the right reasons. If she is out for revenge then she has already lost, as nothing she does now will ever make up for what happened or bring anybody back. He emphasises that the plan has to be help, to save even one life, or he will shut it down.
  • Rich Bitch: Though Catherine recognizes the sentimental value attached to the relatively plain engagement ring that Kate's father gave to hernote . her friends complain that it is too plain and unworthy of her.
  • Rock Beats Laser: Used pretty egregiously in the Final Battle. Granted Medusa has pretty powerful lieutenants and monsters, but her foot-soldiers are mostly Tongs, armed with swords and flails, and they tear the GCPD apart. Police Are Useless, as despite their guns, the melee weapon Gangsters defeat all of them, Maggie and Bullock manage to kill a few (Maggie proving that they're not Immune to Bullets). It's even worse with the DEO who have automatic weapons, but still the Tongs overwhelm and defeat themnote  with seemingly no casualties , Bones and Chase both lose to the Hook (though he is Immune to Bullets).
  • Rogues' Gallery Transplant: Abbott is a subversion, he's now more associated with Batwoman than with Batman or Renee, but he's an ally here while he was an enemy, mostly, to the latter two.
  • Running Gag:
    • Bette getting saddled with uncool codenames, whether by choice or otherwise.
    • Kate fighting Shard and kicking her ass every time, even though whenever they face each other Shard has more extensive cybernetic implants.
  • Secret Identity: Beneath her mask, Batwoman is Katherine "Kate" Kane, member of a socialite family and spoiled layabout and "first cousin" of Bruce Wayne. The first arc of her ongoing series involves the Department of Extra-normal Operations investigating Batwoman to find out who she is under the mask; in issue #4 Cameron Chase discovers information that all but confirms that Kate is Batwoman.
  • Secret-Keeper: Her father, who discovered her hidden cache of military gear when she was just beginning to fight crime, and provides her with training and logistical support as she gradually becomes Batwoman.
  • Secret Test of Character:
    • In Batwoman #0 Bruce Wayne observes Kate to determine whether she really is Batwoman, and in the end decides that the best way is to pretend to be a mugger and see how she reacts. She beats him up, but never approaches lethal force, which impresses Bruce.
    • Kate's final mission of her training was to rescue a Russian diplomat's family from kidnappers. When she finds them, they've all just had their throats slit, and their killer is still in the room. Kate beats the everloving crap out of him and holds his knife to his throat... but goes no further. That's when the "killer" speaks up and reveals himself as her father, and shows Kate that the bodies and blood were movie props and the knife was a stunt weapon. The whole mission was designed to see if Kate could control herself and not go over the edge, and she passed.
  • Sex for Solace: Anna, whom Kate was dating at the start of her run on Detective Comics, accuses Kate of sleeping around at night because of Kate's late-night escapades. However, though she is mistaken as to the cause of Kate's sleepless appearance, she also claims that Kate is using her as a rebound relationship and Kate never actually denies it.
  • She-Fu: Downplayed. Kate was a champion gymnast in high school and will use those skills in combat should the situation require it, but she usually fights with more standard martial arts techniques.
  • Shown Their Work: For Elegy, former USMA cadet and activist Dan Choi was consulted for the flashback at West Point when Kate is dismissed from the academy, and it shows. The geography of the USMA campus is also depicted accurately.
  • So Proud of You: Kate's father was surprised when Kate explained why she had been separated from the army, but he only pauses long enough to consider what her story implies before confirming that he is proud of her for her actions.
    Colonel Kane: "Then you kept your honor and integrity. I'm proud of you. Your mother would have been, too."
  • Sliding Scale of Villain Threat: The First Threat is a hold over from the Religion of Crime, danger is personal and to the whole city of Gotham. Next threat is multiple kidnappings by a mystical being, which escalates into a criminal gang city-wide threat under Falchon, which further escalates into the villains invading Gotham with an Army and putting everyone in danger and finally unleashing an Eldritch Abomination to destroy the world. After that the threat is scaled back considerably to a personal one where Mr. Bones exerts his authority over Kate's family to take down Batman. The threat after that is an art thief who will kill if provoked and the paintings he steals may be a link to an old conspiracy.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Kate's official height is 5'11", and multiple characters have mentioned that they find her very attractive.
  • Stay with Me Until I Die:
    • Cruelly invoked in issue #4 of the ongoing, when Cameron Chase poses as a nurse and convinces Bette that she's dying from her injuries, and asks her to give her a name so someone can be with her, and Bette gives Kate's name. This allows Chase to all but confirm that Kate is Batwoman.
    • Played straight when Chase loses most of her team to Killer Croc and a cave in, she comforts the final man as he dies.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye:
    • Batwoman has a tendency to just appear whenever she is making an entrance, with the first clue of her presence being the sound of her fist making a healthy thump, but when she leaves she visibly exits through a handy window, sometimes actually pausing long enough to say goodbye (Or at least ask whoever is there not to mention her to the cops).
    • Averted when she visits Doctor Kimball with blood samples from herself and Alice. The script specifies that she is not trying any ninja-tactics this time and is just waiting in plain view rather than lurking.
  • The Stoic: Kate has been one her whole life, according to her father, who at one point mentions that she didn't cry at the death of a beloved pet even though her twin sister did. Her military training has only enhanced this aspect of her personality.
  • Stood Up: Kate left Maggie waiting at the entrance to a concert when she was delayed by a fight as Batwoman. When the concert starts the event staff tell Maggie she should wait inside and leave Kate's ticket at the booth, but Maggie says she does not even want to see the show, she was only there for the date. When Maggie calls Kate to find out where she is, Bette answers the phone and Maggie assumes that is why Kate did not show up.
  • Superheroes Stay Single: Enforced via executive meddling. Thanks, DC.
  • Technical Pacifist: She has no qualms with roughing up her enemies, or even breaking the skull of a mutant fish-faced crocodile creature, but killing is off limits. Usually.
  • Therapy Is for the Weak: The day after Kate comes home beaten up and accidentally scares Maggie's daughter, Maggie suggests to Kate that recent events (like Gotham being almost destroyed by mythical creatures) and the lingering effects of seeing her mother get killed as a child have caused her to start manifesting symptoms of PTSD, which is making her slip-up while out crimefighting. Kate is initially resistant to see a psychiatrist (and particularly doesn't like how quickly the doctor pinpoints one of her issues, saying she's not a "textbook stereotype"), but warms up to the idea after a few sessions and actually makes some significant progress on some of her problems.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Referred to as "The Batman Rule" in-story. Like many other heroes, a violent pummeling is okay, but Batwoman will not usually go so far as to kill a foe, and will even intervene when others are going use lethal force themselves (See Technical Pacifist above). However, she does have limits - when she learns that Abbot knew Alice was her sister the whole time, she threatens to kill him and the rest of his group if they come near her family ever again. Also, this restraint is more out of the respect Kate has for the Bat symbol she wears, and not out of any personal moral qualms about killing; if an enemy absolutely needs to be killed (such as a situation where justifiable homicide is warranted), she'll do so without hesitation and without ever being bothered by it.
  • Training from Hell: Kate's father sends her to train with the Murder of Crows, a group of his old brothers-in-arms, after finding out she's working as a vigilante. Just a taste of what she goes through: chased by men with nightsticks through the Paris catacombs for thirty-six miles with broken ribs; tortured for a full week with waterboarding, electric shocks and sleep deprivation; crossing the Sahara Desert on foot with few supplies; and learning to fight effectively with a concussion, while blinded and deaf, and while standing in a pool of her own blood. Badass, indeed.
  • Twin Desynch: Played painfully straight; Beth has altered her appearance so much that her own twin sister couldn't recognize her.
  • Twin Switch: Flashbacks reveal that, in their childhood, Kate and Beth at least once changed places in school, fooling their teacher. Later, unintentionally, Beth was mistaken for Kate and Larry Quinones rushed up and declared his love.
  • Twofer Token Minority: The newest incarnation is lesbian and Jewish, and they manage to work both angles into her stories logically as she celebrates a mixed Hanukkah/Christmas holiday season with her on-again, off-again girlfriend.
  • Use Your Head: Batwoman's used it to great effect on the likes of Cutter and Batgirl.
  • Viewers Are Geniuses: While not essential to understanding the story, a fair bit of Kate's backstory in Elegy becomes more detailed once you recognize certain military patches and awards she and her mother Gabi wear.note 
  • Villainous Rescue: When Batwoman is facing Alice she's drugged, and beaten, barely even coherent (the comic panels themselves have become drug induced), and she and Jake are surrounded by Alice and her minions. Then Kyle Abbot and two of his shapeshifter lackeys (Claire and Hayes) show up, and take down the minions, with Abbot grabbing Kate, and running, shrugging off Alice's gunfire.
  • Visual Pun: "Think I'm some victim? You don't know. I'm a soldier. I'm a Goddamn--" Next Panel: Batman.
  • What Measure Is a Mook?: When the Medusa agents descend on Gotham and cause anarchy, two rush Maggie. She asks them to stand down, and when they don't she guns them down, as they die, one man continues to say Mitera (mother). Maggie wonders if one day she'll have to visit the man's mother, and tell her that she shot her son dead, Maggie does not regret killing the man though, as she doesn't want her daughter to grow up with a dead mom.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie:
    Colonel Reyes: "You know what I need you to say."
    Cadet Kate Kane: "A cadet shall not lie, cheat or steal, nor suffer others to do so. I'm sorry, sir, I can't... I'm gay."
  • Wrestler in All of Us: During a fight scene in issue #22, Kate dropkicks Bane into a tree before neutralizing him. It should be noted that this scene takes place in fairly deep snow.
  • Your Makeup Is Running: Alice wears massive amounts of makeup and eyeliner; it's perfect when she makes her first entrance, but runs dramatically when Batwoman hits her with tear gas shortly afterward. She keeps the dramatically-running look thereafter.