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Batwoman from the Who's Who

Batwoman

(Kathy Kane) (Pre-Crisis)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

These are our old notes about the versions of Batwoman (Kathy Kane) that existed before the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths. She appeared from 1956 to the early 1980s. Famously enough, she was added to the stories to combat accusations that Batman (Bruce Wayne) and Robin (Dick Grayson) were gay. The 1950s were awful.

In the post-Crisis version of the DC Universe, this Silver Age  Batwoman never existed. But slowly hints that there had been a Kathy Kane in Batman’s past emerged. It became much more direct when Grant Morrison brought the character back, but that occurred years after Kevin’s notes. So we’ll have to redo this profile, eventually.


Background

  • Real Name: Kathy Kane.
  • Marital Status: Single.
  • Known Relatives: Betty Kane (niece).
  • Group Affiliation: Partner of Bat-Girl.
  • Base Of Operations: Gotham City.
  • Height: 5’ 6” Weight: 123 lbs.
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

Batwoman’s circus training has made her an expert acrobat and motorcycle driver. She is also a skilled hand-to-hand fighter.


History

Kathy Kane led a life that most would consider exciting. She worked at a circus as a trapeze artist and motorcycle stunt-driver.

But she wanted more. She was an admirer of the famous Batman, and wanted to use her talents to fight crime as he did. When a rich uncle left Kathy his entire fortune, she saw her chance. She built her own “Bat-Cave” in an abandoned mine, then created a colorful costume and an arsenal of exotic weapons. Thus she became Batwoman, Gotham’s newest crimefighter.

Batwoman made a big splash, even upstaging Batman & Robin on a few occasions. But Batman became concerned that her recklessness and lack of experience were going to get her seriously hurt. Batman may have also felt a few pangs of jealousy over her success, as well as being attracted to the stunning lady crimebuster.

Batman uncovered Batwoman’s true identity, and confronted Kathy, saying that if he could discover her secret, criminals could do it too. Discouraged, Kathy agreed to retire her Batwoman identity for good.

Mellow yellow

But it was not to be. Kathy managed to find excuses to get back into costume on numerous occasions. Batwoman picked up a sidekick as well, when her young niece Betty adopted the role of Bat-Girl.

Batman slowly grew to accept Kathy as a partner in crimefighting. Furthermore, there seemed to be a romance developing between them as well. Batman even confessed his love for her on one occasion, though he later tried to weasel out of it.

However, at some point Batwoman and Bat-Girl gave up their costumed identities. Kathy bought a circus of her own and left Gotham City and Batman behind. Years later, Batwoman came out of retirement briefly and shared adventures with Robin, the second Batgirl, and the Freedom Fighters. But she soon dropped out of the superhero scene again.

Tragically, Kathy was marked for death by the League of Assassins, as part of a scheme by Batman’s old foe Ra’s Al Ghul. This ironically fulfilled Batman’s long-ago prophecy that criminals might deduce her identity and strike at her.

A team of assassins led by the brainwashed Bronze Tiger were sent to carry out the execution, and Batman was unable to stop them from ending Kathy’s life.

Another time, another universe

On Earth-2, Batwoman’s career and life lasted much longer. Although she intermittently “retired” like her Earth-1 counterpart, she was shown to still be active a few years before Crisis erased her timeline.

Post-Crisis, it’s not clear whether Kathy Kane and/or Batwoman are still considered part of continuity. Her niece Betty is still around, with the retconned identity of “Flamebird”.

By that logic, Kathy might well have once been a heroine called “Nightwing” — a name that Dick Grayson would later adopt, no doubt in tribute to the brave woman who died so tragically.


Description

Kathy Kane is a glamorous beauty, with long black hair and blue eyes.

As Batwoman, she wears a striking yellow and black leotard, with red gloves, boots, cape, and pointed eyemask. She also wears a red and yellow belt with a diamond-shaped buckle, and has her red purse-like “Weapons Bag” slung over her shoulder.


Personality

Kathy is courageous and enthusiastic to the point of recklessness, fighting crime as much for the excitement as anything else.

She clearly has a major crush on Batman, which he reciprocates to some degree. Batwoman is not a great detective by any means. In fact, she can be sometimes be downright dense, and is easily led astray. But she manages to get by with her physical skills, determination, and a bit of luck.


Quotes

“Don’t worry, Batman and Robin – I’ll save you !”


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Batwoman

Dex: 07 Str: 03 Bod: 04 Motivation: Thrill of adventure
Int: 04 Wil: 05 Min: 05 Occupation: Ex-circus performer, heiress
Inf: 05 Aur: 06 Spi: 05 Resources {or Wealth}: 013
Init: 018 HP: 035

Skills:
Acrobatics*: 07, Gadgetry: 05, Martial Artist*: 07, Vehicles (Land)*: 07

Advantages:
Attractive, Expansive Headquarters (Bat-Cave)

Connections:
Batman & Robin (High), Gotham City Police Department (Low)

Drawbacks:
Secret Identity

Equipment:

  • Bat-Bolo [BODY 04, STR 05. The Bat-Bolo is concealed as the shoulder-strap of Batwoman’s Weapons Bag]
  • Bat-Rope and Grapple [STR 05 BODY 06. Line is 4 APs long]
  • Charm Bracelets [BODY 07. Batwoman’s bracelets can be quickly converted into a pair of handcuffs. Cuffing an unwilling target is a Trick Shot]
  • Hair net [BODY 04. The net expands to cover a 1 AP area, and can be used for Sweep Attacks]
  • Lipstick [BODY 02, Telescopic Vision: 01. The Lipstick tube unfolds into a handy periscope]
  • Perfume Flask [BODY 01, Fog: 05, Poison Touch: 04. This perfume bottle actually contains tear gas]
  • Powder Puff [BODY 02, Chemical Attack: 04. Contains sneezing powder]
  • BAT-CYCLE [STR 03, BODY 05, Running: 07, R#:2]
  • 5 AP ABCD Omni-Gadgets (x2) (Note: Omni-Gadgets should always take the form of cosmetic products, jewelry, or some other stereotypically “girly” item)

By J. Kevin Carrier

Source of Character: Pre-Crisis Batman comics

Helper(s): Sean MacDonald, Jackson, S. Andrivet, Dan

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