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Kate Kane is Batwoman, one of many vigilantes who protect Gotham City using the imagery of a Bat. She is both Jewish and an out lesbian, playing a socialite during the day, and working as a vigilante by night.

Origin

Kate Kane and her twin sister Beth were born to prominent colonel Jake Kane and his wife Gabrielle, herself a captain. Both parents were on active military duty, and worked extensively with intelligence organizations. As her parents were promoted, they moved to and from a wide variety of towns and bases, though Jake was often away from home.

Eventually, the Kanes moved to Brussels, Belgium, where they worked with NATO. However, when Gabi decided to take the girls out for their twelfth birthday, they were attacked and kidnapped by terrorists. Though military intelligence managed to locate the hostages, Jacob only managed to rescue Kate, as both Gabi and Beth had been killed. He tried to prevent her from seeing the worst of it, but Kate was traumatized by the sight of her mother and sister's corpses.[1][2]

Jacob was a supportive father, and Kate managed to deal with her grief by trying to emulate his cool-headedness. She excelled in school, and eventually was accepted into West Point as a cadet. She continued to excel at the Academy, eventually earning the rank of Brigade Executive Officer, as well as completing both Air Assault School and the U.S. Army Airborne School and earning prestigious awards like the RECONDO badge and the Superintendent's Award for Excellence.[3] She also began a romantic relationship with Sophie Moore, a fellow cadet.

Shortly after Ring Weekend of Kate's final year at the Academy, she was anonymously accused of homosexual conduct. Though given the chance to stay at the Academy and accept a demotion, Kate instead chose to come out as a lesbian in order to prevent a further investigation and protect Sophie, and was expelled under Don't-Ask-Don't-Tell.[1]

The Lost Year

After her expulsion from West Point, Kate medicated her depression with alcohol and promiscuity. She decided to travel the world in an attempt to 'find herself' and establish a life outside of the military. During her travels, Kate hit her head on a rock while diving, knocking her unconscious. She wound up on the island of Coryana, off the coast of Malta, and was rescued by the ceremonial leader of the island, a woman called Safiyah.[4][5] Kate and Safiyah quickly struck up a romance, leading most of the population of the island to dislike Kate for distracting their leader from her duties. Safiyah's lover Tahani was particularly resentful of Kate and attempted to kill her on one occasion.[6]

Unbeknownst to Kate, her head wound had been infected with a deadly bacterium that grew in the surrounding ocean reefs. The bacteria began killing the island's native foxes. Kate suspected one of Coryana's warlords had introduced the bacteria in a malicious attack on the island, and Safiyah had the man executed, though Kate begged her to spare his life. When Kate realized she was in fact responsible, Safiyah told her that she had known all along and sought to save Kate from the reaction of the island's populace if they were to find out. Kate was disgusted at Safiyah's readiness to kill and left the island after coming to blows with Safiyah and Tahani.[7]

Becoming Batwoman

Kate returned to Gotham City, where she briefly dated Renee Montoya before the two had a sudden breakup. After a night of drowning her sorrows from this loss, Kate was attacked by a mugger in an alley. She fought the man off and was about to harm him more when the Batman appeared. Seeing him in person made Kate realize that she felt alive when she was fighting crime, and that vigilantism could be her new purpose in life [3].

Her father discovered this habit after approximately a year, and though he was initially angry with her, he agreed to support her mission after she convinced him of her dedication; this included organizing an intense training program to hone her skills, conducted by several of Jacob's former special forces comrades.[1][2][8]

Kate spent the next three years undergoing fierce training regimens, and exposing herself to the worst that the world had to offer, all in the hopes of preparing her for her destiny. At the end of the third year, Jake gave her one last mission, in which a family had been kidnapped by Russian terrorists, and she would have to rescue them alone. When she found the family, they had already been murdered, and in rage, she nearly killed the terrorist leader. However, she relented at the last second, and the leader revealed himself as her father. The whole thing had been a fakeout; a test to prove that she could stop herself from crossing the line. After that, she was ready to become Batwoman.[2]

Hydrology

Batwoman faces the Weeping Woman

Batwoman faces the Weeping Woman
When a series of kidnappings and drownings in Gotham's Latino community pointed to the urban legend of a ghost called the Weeping Woman, both Batwoman and Detective Maggie Sawyer began investigating the case separately. While Maggie learned of the origins of the ghost and dealt with the pressures of grieving parents, Kate was faced with reluctantly training her cousin Bette and dodging her questions about her deteriorating relationship with her father. After eavesdropping on one of Maggie's meetings, Kate learned of the location of the latest crime scene. Upon arriving, though, she was accosted by Batman, who offered her a position in Batman, Inc., which she declined.[9]

All the while, the DEO had sent Agent Cameron Chase to determine Batwoman's identity, and through her, learn Batman's. She suspected Maggie, initially, but when Maggie caught Batwoman stealing files from her office, she gave her location up to Chase. From the files, Kate sourced the legend of the Weeping Woman to a boathouse, where she was dragged under water by the apparently real spirit.[10] She managed to escape both the spirit and Chase, but the experience led her to decide to stop training Bette, prompting her cousin to go it alone, where Chase was then free to question her.[11] Before Chase could get to her, though, Bette was attacked by a meta with a hook for a hand, who tore open her gut.

Unaware, Batwoman learned that the Weeping Woman had been an alcoholic mother named Maria Salvaje, whose children drowned at the boathouse due to her neglect, and she later drowned herself as a result of the guilt. Chase, meanwhile, used Bette's desperate condition to trick her into revealing Kate as her next of kin.[12] Returning to the boathouse, Batwoman set the boathouse on fire, to counter the ghost's water magic. As she began to evaporate, Maria revealed that she had been manipulated into becoming a kidnapper by something or someone called Medusa.

Upon her return home, Kate found Chase and Director Bones waiting for her with a deal that they would show her to Bette's location if she would agree to help them take down Medusa. Despite a warning from Batman, Kate agreed, promising herself and the parents of the missing children that she would find them.[13]

To Drown the World

While on a date with Maggie, Kate realized she was being followed by Kyle Abbot, who informed her that Medusa was being led by a warrior with magical powers named Falchion. Under Falchion's leadership, Medusa manipulated Gotham's 'monsters' into serving them. Batwoman was ordered by Chase to release Sune Ito, the sister of Falchion's second-in-command, Maro. Sune had been captured by the GCPD, and the DEO wanted her in hopes that she could be persuaded to work with them to bring the group down.[14] The mission was a success; Sune was liberated and agreed to assist the DEO.[15] She informed Batwoman and Cameron that Medusa's base was located in an underwater lair beneath Gotham Harbor, but did not know how it was accessed. Kate and Sune went undercover at a party on Falchion's private yacht to investigate further, and discovered documents that showed how to access the lair.[16]

Batwoman fights the shapeshifter Maro Ito

Batwoman fights the shapeshifter Maro Ito

Batwoman tracked down Falchion and began fighting his army of monsters with the help of state-of-the-art technology from the DEO, however she was forced to surrender when Falchion held a blade to the throat of one of the kidnapped children. However, Sune emerged from the shadows and shot Falchion with an enchanted arrow.[15] A fight ensued, and Sune was injured by Falchion. Batwoman managed to quickly restrain him using the DEO's tech, saving Sune's life.[16] Sune quickly recovered from her injury and attempted to kill Falchion, but Batwoman prevented her from doing so. Sune berated Batwoman and revealed her true identity: Maro Ito, Falchion's warlock. Maro had used his magical powers to shapeshift and take the form of his sister Sune, and had been impersonating her all along, while at the same time hatching his own plan to usurp control of Medusa for himself.[17] Maro killed Falchion and retreated with the kidnapped children in a portal, telling Batwoman that the next time she saw him, he would be at the head of an army.

Batwoman and the newly-arrived Cameron Chase were left with Killer Croc and the Weeping Woman, who had been ordered by Maro to kill them, and they narrowly escaped with their lives. Despite her setbacks, Batwoman remained determined to rescue the children.[18]

Batman & Robin Eternal

Batgirl personally recruited Batwoman to help destroy Mother's global array of mind-control broadcast antennas that had affected the world's children; Kate was responsible for destroying the one based in Dubai, UAE. [19] After destroying the antenna, Batwoman assisted the rest of the assembled heroes in mopping up Mother's forces in her Arctic base.[20]

Founding the Gotham Knights

Batman later approached Kate after a mysterious group called The Colony, led by Kate’s father Jacob Kane, began hunting down Gotham's heroes. He revealed his identity to her (though Kate had already worked out he was her cousin Bruce Wayne), and the two worked together to lead a "boot camp" for young heroes, consisting of Red Robin, Orphan, Spoiler and Clayface.[21]

The Many Arms of Death

Batwoman battles Knife

Batwoman battles Knife

After the Night of the Monster Men, Batman received intel informing him that Monster Venom was being sold on the black market and tasked Batwoman with tracking down the seller. Batwoman was accompanied by Julia Pennyworth, and together they discovered the seller was a terrorist arms-dealing group called The Many Arms of Death. Her search led her to Coryana, the island nation she had washed up on years earlier.[5] On her mission to track down the leaders of the group, Kate was followed by an assassin associated with The Many Arms of Death who referred to herself as Knife. Knife was revealed to be Tahani, the former lover of Coryana's leader Safiyah, whom Kate had also loved during her time on the island.[22] Batwoman and Julia deduced that the Kali Corporation, who had acquired the island of Coryana, was merely a front for The Many Arms of Death. Under the guise of seeking to purchase Safiyah's old bar, the Desert Rose, Kate went to meet Elder and Younger, the twin CEOs of the Kali Corporation, but was attacked by Knife.[23] Together with the warlords of the island, Batwoman forced Knife to retreat and was given ownership of the bar, but entrusted the responsibility of leading the island to one of the warlords, Song Tae-Ree.[24]


Abilities

  • Acrobatics: Kate learned Parkour as part of her Batwoman training.[1][8]
  • Aviation
  • Demolitions: When she was tasked with unmasking Batman by the DEO, part of Kate's ambush involved setting charges to blow out a section of a roof to fall inward.[25] She also knows how to use detcord.[26]
  • Driving: Particularly motorcycles.
  • Enhanced Senses: Kate's head wound was stitched shut with gold thread, giving her a limited ability to detect strong electromagnetic fields.[27]
  • Gadgetry: Kate is adept in the art of tinkering with things both mechanical and electronic.
  • Gymnastics: She is quite skilled in gymnastics (having trained in the sport since she was very young), and made it to Senior Elite level.[8]
  • Indomitable Will: Kate has been able to fight off psychic attacks[13] and various drug trips [28][29] solely through force of will.
  • Interrogation: Batwoman does a lot of physical intimidation and violent interrogation work - though she wouldn't torture or deliberately maim people.
  • Investigation: During her Batwoman training, Kate received education from the FBI.[8]
  • Leadership: Kate was one of the two leaders of the Gotham Knights.[21]
  • Lockpicking[16]
  • Martial Arts: Kate received basic hand-to-hand combat training at West Point, then further, more intensive training in various martial arts during her travels around the world. She has trained in at least 14 different styles,[30] including:
  • Medicine: Kate has been shown able to identify wounds and how old they are and describe them anatomically, administer stimulants, and perform minor surgery on herself.
  • Military Protocol: A one-time soldier raised by a career soldier, Kate is quite familiar with military policy, protocol and most aspects of life in the Army.
  • Multilingualism: Kate knows at least a bit of French, Portuguese, Hebrew, and Yiddish.
  • Music: Kate is a guitarist who occasionally performs in bars.[9]
  • Peak Human Condition: As a result of her extremely rigorous training, Kate is now at the upper end of natural human abilities.
    • Peak Human Durability: Kate has shrugged off wounds from bladed weapons on numerous occasions, and even survived being stabbed in the heart; she willingly went off of painkillers after a week and was back at home in a month. She has taken full-force blows to the face from Bane and Killer Croc with only superficial damage.[33][34]
    • Peak Human Speed: According to Batman, Kate has a reaction time of 50 milliseconds, which is 6-8 times faster than a human eye can blink.[35]
    • Peak Human Strength: Kate is strong enough to shatter stone statues with a single punch,[36] stagger both Bane and Killer Croc,[33][34] throw and kick larger opponents multiple feet, punch apart military-grade helmets,[37], and throw enemies through concrete-block walls.[38]
  • Pedagogy: Kate trained the Gotham Knights.[21]
  • Stealth: Kate once infiltrated an airborne military airship without raising alarm, and managed to make it to the bridge and subdue at least three soldiers before she revealed herself.[39] She has also successfully ambushed Batman.[25]
  • Surveillance: The final mission of her training required her to figure out guard patrol routes and avoid security cameras. [8]
  • Survival: As part of her training, Kate crossed the Sahara with no supplies, and had to procure her own food and water along the way.[2]
  • Tactical Analysis: While working with the DEO, Kate enacted an ambush against Batman that successfully resulted in his capture.[40] She can identify certain martial arts forms by watching them (including finding flaws),[30][41] and has studied the ancient Chinese text Thirty-Six Stratagems.[4]
  • Tracking: She was able to read footprints in snow at a crime scene well enough to know that only GCPD officers had been there.[9]
  • Weaponry: In addition to more standard weapons, Kate also regularly makes use of improvised weapons like rocks, bottles, fire extinguishers, etc.
    • Firearms: Kate has a much more lenient attitude toward guns than Bruce does, and has been trained in their use. She can even wield unfamiliar firearms with great accuracy.[42]
    • Swordsmanship[43]
    • Throwing

Weaknesses

  • Low Drug Tolerance: Kate is susceptible to attacks using incapacitating agents like drugs or toxins, especially those of a hallucinogenic nature. Despite weathering many such attacks during her crimefighting career, she seems to have built up no resistance to them, even in general.

Equipment

Transportation

  • Red Knight One, a customized Ducati sport motorcycle.
  • The Sequoia: (Destroyed) Kate's family yacht that was refurbished for her global missions with Julia Pennyworth. The refurbishments included the ability to transform into an airship.

Weapons

  • Batarangs
  • Taser gloves
  • Flamethrower gloves
  • Python coil
  • Fear toxin
  • Kate has a tattoo of the Green Beret sleeve insignia on her right upper arm, presumably inked at some point during the two-year training her father arranged for her. It is a match to a tattoo her mother Gabi had.[44]
  • Kate has a tattoo of the Nautical Star on her upper back, which she had inked sometime after her discharge from the US Military Academy, but before she became a vigilante. Whilst being a common tattoo and having a broad range of symbolism, the Nautical Star tattoo is commonly associated with the US Navy and Marine Corps. During the 1940s it also started to be used by homosexuals (particularly lesbians) to indicate their sexuality in a discreet manner during a time when homosexuality was frowned upon.[45]
  • Kate's third tattoo, a bluebird on her left shoulder, has no apparent meaning behind it.
  • Being the heiress of a family whose fortune is comparable to the Waynes', Kate possesses the finances to produce an arsenal of equipment, similar to Batman.
  • According to J.H. Williams III, Kate's birthday is March 21.[46]
  • Kate's nickname at West Point, possibly due to her participation in boxing, was "Candy", a play on her last name.[3]
  • Her company at West Point was Company B-2.[3]

Related


Footnotes

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 Secret Origins (Volume 3) #3
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 2.4 Batwoman (Volume 2) #0
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Detective Comics #859
  4. 4.0 4.1 4.2 Batwoman: Rebirth #1
  5. 5.0 5.1 Batwoman (Volume 3) #1
  6. Batwoman (Volume 3) #5
  7. Batwoman (Volume 3) #12
  8. 8.0 8.1 8.2 8.3 8.4 Detective Comics #860
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Batwoman (Volume 2) #1
  10. Batwoman (Volume 2) #2
  11. Batwoman (Volume 2) #3
  12. Batwoman (Volume 2) #4
  13. 13.0 13.1 Batwoman (Volume 2) #5
  14. Batwoman (Volume 2) #7
  15. 15.0 15.1 Batwoman (Volume 2) #8
  16. 16.0 16.1 16.2 Batwoman (Volume 2) #9
  17. Batwoman (Volume 2) #10
  18. Batwoman (Volume 2) #11
  19. Batman & Robin Eternal #23
  20. Batman & Robin Eternal #26
  21. 21.0 21.1 21.2 Detective Comics #934
  22. Batwoman (Volume 3) #2
  23. Batwoman (Volume 3) #3
  24. Batwoman (Volume 3) #4
  25. 25.0 25.1 Batwoman (Volume 2) #24
  26. Detective Comics #861
  27. Batwoman (Volume 3) #9
  28. Batwoman (Volume 2) #27
  29. Batwoman (Volume 3) #10
  30. 30.0 30.1 Detective Comics #949
  31. Batwoman (Volume 2) #6
  32. Detective Comics #976
  33. 33.0 33.1 Batwoman (Volume 2) #21
  34. 34.0 34.1 Batwoman (Volume 2) #21
  35. Batwoman #0
  36. Batwoman (Volume 2) #17
  37. Detective Comics #938
  38. Batwoman (Volume 3) #17
  39. Detective Comics #940
  40. Batwoman Annual (Volume 2) #1
  41. Detective Comics #935
  42. Detective Comics #973
  43. Batwoman (Volume 3) #18
  44. Detective Comics #858
  45. http://tattoos.lovetoknow.com/Nautical_Star_Tattoos
  46. https://twitter.com/JHWilliamsIII/status/250094576898027520?s=19


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