Who is the Batwoman? – A Character Guide
Not long ago, the teams at The CW announced that Batwoman will be making her television appearance on the next CW crossover event and lead her own solo series. Just recently, it was announced that gender-fluid actress Ruby Rose would don the cape and cowl as the Gotham City heroine.
Fan reception was mixed from some people thinking Batgirl had gone lesbian to some having that image of the 1950s Batman love interest in their mind. Today, I’m here to clear up some confusion and answers the questions who is Batwoman and why should you watch her series?
An Origin Story
Batwoman refers to two heroines by the name of Katherine Kane. The first one was introduced in 1956 in Detective
Comics #233. Due to a certain professor behind the scandalous Seduction of the Innocent book, parents were beginning to question Batman and Robin’s relationship. To combat the allegations of homosexuality, the character Kathy Kane was born, and in her Batman found his match! A then editor at the time made some cuts to the Batman lore, and Batwoman was on the chopping block. Years later she was removed from Batman canon altogether in the 80s.
She didn’t stay gone for long. Comic book readers, like me, were somewhat reintroduced to the Batwoman name in the 2006 comic series 52. In these books, Katherine Kane was a rich Gotham socialite of Jewish descent. Kate, as she is called, was the daughter of Colonel Jacob Kane and was in the midst of her military school (West Point) training when her lesbian status got her kicked out. After an encounter with the Dark Knight, Kate Kane took on the role of vigilante and the rest was history. She was soon to receive her solo series in 2011.
The character’s popularity continued to grow and audiences began to see Batwoman in television, movies, and games. To this this day she remains one of my personal favorite heroines.
I may have answered any questions to her relationship to Batman above. However, I left out one detail. The Kate Kan of today is actually the cousin of Batman. Yep, the Caped Crusading Cousins wear the bat on their chests and strike fear into the hearts of men!
The two are not alone in the hero family as they are joined by cousin Bette Kane, the Teen Titans member known as Flamebird. Of course, every family has its black sheep. Kate has a twin sister who has taken more of a villainous disposition by the name of Red Alice. Yes, she’s mad as a March hare.
Gotham, City of Romance?
Some of you are out there wondering what Batwoman’s sexuality has to do with anything. Well, let me tell ya, her dating life brings in some interesting characters.
One of my favorites, and one of the most popular, is former police detective Renee Montoya. Some of you may know Renee Montoya as the officer from Gotham played by Victoria Cartagena. Older fans will probably remember the Dominican detective from Batman the Animated Series voiced by Ingrid Oliu and then by Liane Schirmer. After being outed on the force as a lesbian, Montoya decided enough was enough and quite. Becoming quite bitter, Montoya turned to alcohol.
Of course, that’s never really pretty, but she was saved from her downward spiral in 52 (yea, I know) by Charlie Sage, the then Question. Fast forward, Renee took over his role as the Question and can sometimes be found lending a hand to Batwoman when she’s not doing her own detective work.
Second most popular lover was Margaret “Maggie” Sawyer. Sawyer was first introduced in Superman Vol. 2 #4 and is Captain of the Metropolis Special Crimes Unit. There she became Superman’s police contact. I’m guessing she was the Jim Gordon to the Man of Steel. Her coming out ended her marraige and custody of her daughter, Jaime, so Maggie turned to her work.
After popping up in a few series here and there, Sawyer can be found in the 52 series as well. Upon meeting Batwoman in her solo series, the two form a relationship without Sawyer knowing of Kate’s nighttime activities. You can guess how that goes considering the police aversion to vigilantes. The two were eventually engaged, but of course happiness doesn’t last in the DC Universe.
Towards the end of her series Batwoman somehow gets roped in with a vampire, and its weird so we don’t talk about that. If you didn’t get my point, Batwoman’s relationships are important to not only add dimension to her character, but because they can be responsible for some of her best adventures.
Why I’m Rooting for Batwoman (and You Should Too)
Honestly, what’s not to love about this character. From her cool color scheme, awesome stories, and LGBT+ representation, everyone should get their hands on her comics. Personally I think she is a great character because there’s so many elements of the supernatural and unexpected. I’m sure Batman has his fair share of that too, however I think it’s what Kate Kane is best at. You never know what kind of demon or curse or monster you’re going to run into. It’s a nice change from your regular Gotham criminal underground (if you know what I mean).
For those of you who think Batwoman will be reduced to an SJW/PC agenda, I would like to direct you to my upcoming class, Comic Books: A History. I do think its a good thing for a character’s sexuality to be at the forefront because its a part of them and not just who they are. If you can name more than five Batman or Spider-Man love interests, then I don’t wanna hear anything about how a hero’s sexuality/love life isn’t important.
I may not have been a fan of the casting of Ruby Rose, but I’m gonna make sure I don’t discredit her either. I’m sure she will put on her very best Kate Kane performance. As for the CW team behind the show, I’ll hold them to a high standard when it comes to all the incredible stories and characters we’ll see in this series.
Detective Comics #854–863
Batwoman, Vol. 1: Hydrology-Batwoman #1–5, #0 one-shot
Batwoman, Vol. 2: To Drown the World-Batwoman #6–11
Batwoman, Vol. 3: World’s Finest-Batwoman #0 (vol. 2), #12–17
Batwoman, Vol. 4: This Blood is Thick-Batwoman #18–24
Batwoman, Vol. 5: Webs=Batwoman #25–34, Annual #1
Batwoman, Vol. 6: The Unknowns-Secret Origins #3, Batwoman #35–40, Annual #2, Batwoman Futures End #1
DC Comics Bombshells #1-33, Annual #1
Renee Montoya/Question II
Gotham Central #1-40
Crime Bible: Five Lessons of Blood #1-5
The Question: Pipeline #1 or back up stories in Detective Comics #854-863.
Detective Comics Annual #12
Batman Annual #28
Detective Comics Vol. 2 #41-44
Countdown to Final Crisis
Final Crisis: Revelations
Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman
Batman: Bad Blood