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Katherine Kane (Earth-One)

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Origins and Early Adventures

Kathy Kane was a wealthy heiress who gained great acrobatic skills while she held careers as a circus trapeze artist and stunt cyclist. Becoming infatuated with the Batman she would fashion herself a costume and secret hide out and operate as Batwoman. At first she would easily upstage Batman and his sidekick Robin in capturing crooks. However, Batman would ultimately use his keen detective skills to learn her true identity and track her to her secret cave hide-out. Showing her how easily it was for him to learn her identity, Batman would point out that criminals could probably do it just as easily and would convince her to drop out of crime fighting[3]. Disobeying Batman's wishes, she would go into action to try and capture mobster Curt Briggs. During this caper, Batman would go missing and Briggs struck with amnesia and left thinking he was Batman. Ultimately the real Batman would resurface, and Biggs memory restored and turned over to the police. Batwoman would once more return to retirement[4].

However, Kathy Kane would become tired of the dull life of a rich heiress and come out of retirement once more. She would become determined to capture a criminal named Elton Cragg who escaped from prison following his capture at the hands of Batman, Robin and Superman. Batwoman would track down Cragg as he was recovering the last of a set of special pills that would grant him powers similar to Superman. In her struggle with Cragg, she would be forced to swallow the pill herself and easily capture him. Sick of Batman bossing her around, Batwoman would attempt to discover the secret identities of Batman, Robin and Superman while the effects of the pill were still potent. Although she failed to discover their true identities within the 24 hour period, she would convince Batman that she had what it took to be a crime fighter and he would consent to her continuing her career as Batwoman[5]. During her crime fighting career with Batman she would begin to fall in love with him and attempt to convince him into marrying her. She would begin to date Bruce Wayne in her civilian identity, however she would be unaware that he was really Batman.

Member of the Bat-Family

When Bruce Wayne is asked to go undercover in jail by Commissioner Gordon, he is framed for a crime he didn't commit. Robin and Batwoman would work together to find the evidence that would clear Bruce of his crimes[6]. Later, she would act under disguise at the Tally-Ho Club to try and find clues to capture the Funny Face Gang. Although she would later capture a number of the gang members with the help of Batman and Robin, she would be captured by their leader and would have to be rescued by the Dynamic Duo[7]. When both Batwoman and reporter Vicki Vale are nominated Gotham City's "Woman of the Year", both try to upstage each other to try and get the lead so that they win the contest. With the help of Batman and Robin both Vicki and Batwoman would capture Moose Molloy's gang and both be crowned woman of the year[8]. When Batman and Robin are trapped in a cave in, Ace the Bat-Hound recruits Batwoman to help free them and capture the criminal Dr. Midas[9].

Batwoman would next help the Dynamic Duo capture Firefly[10], aid Batman, Robin, in preventing Lex Luthor from atomizing Superman[11], and helps Batman and Robin capture the Spinner[12]. When Batwoman attempts to help Batman and Robin capture the Hobby Robber, their attempts are complicated by the arrival of Bat-Mite, until Batman and Robin are captured leaving Batwoman and Bat-Mite to team-up to capture the crooks and save the Dynamic Duo[13]. This would not be the last Batwoman would see of the impish Bat-Mite, as the annoying pest would soon come to her and ask to be her sidekick. Accepting the offer would become a bad decision, as Bat-Mite would fall in love with her after she would kiss him in reward for helping her capture crooks without any hassles. Bat-Mite would then focus his time on trying to make Batman and Robin look bad, until the three heroes would convince Bat-Mite to cut it out[14].

When trying to solve the mystery of who murdered Professor Lacy after his discovery of a living caveman, Batwoman would be saved by the caveman who sacrifices it's life to save her from Lacy's killer: Harbin, Lacy's assistant[15]. When Kathy Kane purchases a mystical belt, she becomes a target of the criminal Star-Man who is seeking it as it is a component of three mystical items that give super powers. When Kathy puts it on, it begins to weaken her and threatens to end her life. As Batwoman, Kathy and Batman and Robin capture Star-Man and use the other two components to save Kathy's life, they then destroy the belt[16].

When Kathy's niece Betty Kane would come to visit her, the young girl would learn of her aunt's double identity. Kathy would agree to train Betty to be her sidekick thinking that the young girl would eventually lose interest. However, to her surprise, Betty would prove herself capable and would become Batwoman's sidekick Bat-Girl. The two women would help Batman and Robin defeat King Cobra and his gang[17]. When attempting to help Batman, Robin, and Superman capture Lex Luthor, they find it more difficult due to the fact that Luthor is using a strange alien creature to do his bidding. When Batwoman is bombarded by rays from the creature she is once more endowed with super-powers. This turns out to be more of a curse than a blessing as whenever Luthor is near he can control Batwoman's actions. However, when Superman destroy's Luthor's control machine Batwoman's is free from his control and loses her powers[18]. When Batman and Robin are briefly transformed into alien creatures, Batwoman is one of the few who actually believe it's the real Dynamic Duo, until they are restored to normal[19]. She later helps Batman and Robin capture the "Rockets" Rogan Gang[20].

Later, after Batman and Batwoman are captured by the Moth, they are rescued by Bat-Girl and Robin[21]. She would later go on a date with Bruce Wayne to an amusement park that was previously the location where the Justice League of America recently had a battle[22]. As Batwoman, Kathy would join Batman on a trip to Washington D.C. to testify to the Senate Committee, leaving their young sidekicks to defend Gotham City in their absence[23]. She next aids Batman and Robin in capturing the criminal known as the Vulcan[24].

Love Hurts

Kathy's romances with Bruce Wayne and Batman become rocky, first during a period where Bruce Wayne is briefly transformed into a child, he makes it appear that he's seeing another woman in order to keep Kathy away[25], and later when Batman, while under the effect of a love potion, falls in love with a woman named Elsie[26]. Kate's romance woes would become more complicate when Alpha, the Experimental Man would fall in love with her, until the artificial man would sacrifice himself to save her from falling off a cliff[27].

When helping Batman and Robin solve a murder during Mardis Gras, she would get into a feud with Vicki Vale over who is the right person for Batman, forming the first of many competitions for Batman's affections[28]. She would later help Batman capture Catman[29]. When she and Batman were briefly transported to another dimension by invaders from that world, their mortality was in question unless they were freed. During this period, Batwoman would manage to get Batman to warm up and admit some of his feelings toward her before they were rescued by Robin and Bat-Girl[30]. Batwoman's feud with Vicki Vale would heat up again when both women were involved in trying to determine if Mirror Man's assertions that Bruce Wayne was really Batman were true[31].

When Batman would scold Batwoman for getting in the way of his attempts to capture Catman, she would for a time join the criminal as Catwoman, until Catman seemingly dies in the battle [1]. Back on the side of the law, Batwoman and Bat-Girl would help the Dynamic Duo end a feud between the Joker and Clayface[32], and helps Batman and Robin capture the Terrible Trio[33].

Once more suspecting that Batman and Bruce Wayne are the same man, Kathy Kane is convinced otherwise when Superman poses as Batman. However the plan goes awry when a bomb goes off seemingly killing "Batman" and necessitating Superman to pose as the ghost of Batman for a time[34]. When Batman is briefly transformed into a gigantic creature, Batwoman teams up with Robin and Ace the Bat-Hound to track down the crooks that have the cure[35]. Returned from the dead, Catman would discover his costume has mystical properties that gives him nine-lives and continues on his crime spree. With her Catwoman costume, Batwoman would help Batman and Robin capture him[36].

Following this adventure, Batwoman would go into retirement and disappear from Batman's life almost entirely. She would become the owner of a circus, but would often long to return to her former crime fighting career.

Return and Death

Batwoman would eventually come out of retirement to aid Batgirl and Robin in defeating Killer Moth and the Cavalier[37] Kathy Kane was be in attendance at a surprise party for Bruce Wayne at Wayne Manor.[38]. When Batwoman was later disintegrated into nothingness on Barbara Gordon's doorstep, Batgirl and Robin team-up to find the cure and restore Batwoman to her normal form.[39] Shortly after this, Batwoman met the Huntress from Earth-Two and aided her and Batwoman in capturing Catwoman, Poison Ivy and Madame Zodiac[40].

When the Freedom Fighters of Earth-X searched for a group of criminals known as the Warmakers their search would lead them to the carnival owned by Kathy Kane. Kathy, as Batwoman, would aid the Freedom Fighters and Batgirl in defeating the Warmakers[41][42]. In her last recorded adventure, Kathy Kane was murdered by the League of Assassins who were being manipulated by Ra's al Ghul. Her death would be avenged by Batman[43].

Crisis on Infinite Earths and Infinite Crisis

Due to the collapse of the Multiverse brought on by the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Kathy Kane of Earth-One was erased from history. However following the events of Infinite Crisis the universe was restructured into a new multiverse. On New Earth a new incarnation of Kathy Kane existed, and created her own career as Batwoman.

Imaginary Tales

There have been a number of imaginary tales of the Earth-One Batwoman. Most delving into what possibilities her brief romance with Batman would take her.

In one instance, Robin would have a dream about Batman and Batwoman getting married, this brought on by young Dick Grayson's fear that such an event would split them up as a team. In his dream, Batman would reveal his secret identity to Kathy Kane and ask her to marry him. After they are married he would ask her to retire as Batwoman, however Kathy would refuse. Ultimately, Kathy would alter her costume to resemble Batman's and in a fight with crooks her cowl would get pulled off exposing her true identity to the crooks and allow them to deduce Batman's true identity. Robin would be awoken from his dream before he could learn of the outcome of this discovery[44].

Bruce Wayne's butler Alfred Pennyworth would write a number of imaginary tales about the adventures of Batman and Robin. A number of these stories would revolve around Batman and Batwoman getting married and retiring and having a son Bruce Wayne Jr.. Robin would take on the mantle of Batman II, and take Bruce Jr. as his sidekick Robin II. In the first story Batman II and Robin II would capture Baby Face Jordan and his gang with an assist from Batman and Batwoman[45]. In a second tale, Kathy would join Bruce in moving to the country to enjoy their retirement[46] and be present when Batman II and Robin II would have to square off against the Joker and his son[47], when the second Batman and Robin team would clash with the Big Al mob[48]. His fifth tale, he would write about the boyhood of Bruce Wayne Jr., and how he was raised by his parents and ended up following in his fathers footsteps[49]. In the last of his imaginary tales about the second Batman and Robin team, Kathy Kane would pass on the mantle of Batwoman to her niece Betty Kane who would fight crime as Batwoman II[50].

Batwoman also makes a brief appearance in another one of Alfred's imaginary tales about Batman and Robin having to find new identities[51]. In another imaginary tale unrelated to Alfred's, Kathy Kane would marry Bruce Wayne and they would have also named Bruce Wayne Jr., while Superman and Lois Lane would marry and have a child named Kal-El Jr., when the two families would get into a feud the young children would help patch things up by helping capture the Nappy Klains gang[52]. Another tale regarding this same imaginary version of Kathy Kane involves Bat-Mite Jr. briefly posing as her son[53].


Abilities

Equipment

  • Her gadgets usually took the form of cosmetic products, jewelry, or some other stereotypically "girly" item (sliptick telescope, powder puff with sneezing powder, perfume flask with tear gas, etc)
  • This version of Batwoman, including all history and corresponding appearances, was erased from existence following the collapse of the original Multiverse in the 1985-86 Crisis on Infinite Earths limited series. Even though versions of the character may have since appeared, this information does not apply to those versions.

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Footnotes


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This character is or was an incarnation of or an ally of Batman, and a member of the Batman Family. This template will automatically categorize articles that include it into the "Batman Family members" category.

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