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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 parent 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 in Belgium, where they worked with NATO. However, one day, when Gabi decided to take the girls out for the day, 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 had 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 got in to West Point academy as a cadet. There, she met a woman named Sophie Moore, and began a relationship with her. When the relationship was discovered, however, Kate chose to come out as a lesbian in order to 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 young woman called Safiyah.[3][4] 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.[5] Not long after Kate left Coryana, the island was acquired by the Kali Corporation and Safiyah went missing. Most of the population of the island blamed Kate for Safiyah's abandonment of the island, accusing her of 'tempting' their leader.[6]

Becoming Batwoman

Kate returned to Gotham City, and one night she came across a mugging in progress and tried to stop it. She encountered the Batman, and realized that she felt alive when she was fighting crime. Her father discovered this habit, though, and when she begged him to train her, he agreed.[1][2]

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 grieving parents, Kate faced with the pressure of 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.[7]

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.[8] 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.[9] 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.[10] 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.[11]

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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. [12] After destroying the antenna, Batwoman assisted the rest of the assembled heroes in mopping up Mother's forces in her Arctic base.[13]

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.[14]

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 in 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.[4] 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.[6] 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.[15] 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.[16]


Abilities

  • Acrobatics: Kate learned Parkour as part of her Batwoman training.[1][17]
  • Aviation
  • Driving: Particularly motorcycles.
  • 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.[17]
  • Hand-to-Hand Combat (Advanced): Kate received basic 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,[18] including:
  • Interrogation: Batwoman does a lot of physical intimidation and violent interrogation work - though she wouldn't torture or deliberately maim people.
  • Lockpicking[19]
  • 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.[7]
  • 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.
    • Peak Human Strength: Kate is strong enough to shatter stone statues with a single punch,[20] stagger both Bane and Killer Croc, throw and kick larger opponents multiple feet, and punch apart military-grade helmets.
  • 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.
  • 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]
  • Weaponry
    • Firearms: Kate has a much more lenient attitude toward guns than Bruce does, and has been trained in their use.
    • 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, Kate's family yacht that has been refurbished for her global missions with Julia.

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.
  • 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.[21]
  • 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.
  • Kate is a fan of Blondie, The 69 Eyes, and Sisters of Mercy.

Related


Footnotes


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Batman Family member
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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.