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Catwoman Character Bio

Catwoman has appeared in a number of different mediums over the years and is one of the most well-known female comic book characters of all time, right up there with Lois Lane.  She will next appear in Christopher Nolan’s third and final Batman movie, The Dark Knight Rises, which is coming to cinemas in just four days.  If you’ve already began preparing for the film, booking tickets and cleaning your Batman t-shirt, then you may be interested in the history behind the characters appearing in this comic book adaptation.

Catwoman made her first appearance in Batman #1, 1940.  In this tale her look is that of an elderly woman who just happens to be a jewel thief nicknamed The Cat.  At the end of the issue Batman wipes the makeup from her face revealing that she is in fact a young woman who donned the disguise in to hide her true identity.  Pet shop owner by day burglar by night Catwoman returns in Batman #2, this time with no disguise, and manages to escape.  Many of her appearances ended with her getting away in situations where it was strongly suggested, and even pointed out by Robin, that Batman had simply let her go.

Inspired by Batman, Catwoman decided to adopt a costume, which consisted of a dress and a realistic cat head mask.  It wasn’t long before this costume changed into a more subtle one; a mask, cat ears and, of course, a dress.  After the transformation she became known as Catwoman rather than The Cat.  She was now one of Batman’s regular foes, but since he often let her go she stopped appearing in the comics for a while.  This was because the censored didn’t like the fact that Batman was essentially letting her go because she was beautiful, at this stage her secret identity hadn’t even been revealed and the name Selina Kyle had not been mentioned.

Catwoman did eventually return and even start working with Batman and Robin, under the pretence that she had gotten amnesia which was responsible for her previous wrong doing.  This lasted a while with the trio even hunting down some of Selina’s old associates.  However, it was eventually revealed that she had made this story up to see what it would be like if she became a crime fighter.  Selina then returned to her status as a villain.

A number of stories have looked into Selina’s origin story, which has changed over the years.  When she was young her mother commit suicide and her father drank himself to death she then ran away, after calling the police to report her father’s death.  She then had to survive on the streets, in some versions this meant resorting to prostitution in order to survive.  Though there are some parallels between Selina and Bruce Wayne’s origins, like both of them losing their parents, in many ways they are opposites.  Bruce living in upper class while Selina had to lie, cheat and steal to make it to that social status.

Catwoman has appeared in numerous mediums, portrayed by an array of different actresses, but it will be interesting to see how Christopher Nolan handles the iconic character.  Do you think he’ll do a good job?  Is Anne Hathaway right for the part?  Who is your favourite female comic book character?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.

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2 responses

  1. amycon1

    Catwoman is pretty cool but im not so sure if Anne Hathaway is a good choice to play her in the latest film. Have to wait and see.

    July 18, 2012 at 11:20 am

    • I think a lot of people, myself included, were worried about how well Hathaway would be able to play the part. Luckily, she didn’t disappoint.

      July 25, 2012 at 9:19 pm

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