Fans of the Arrowverse know that the annual crossover episodes between Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow like to give fans introductions to new characters. This year, a familiar comic book face came to TV screens in the Kate Kane incarnation of Batwoman. Fans of the comics know that Batwoman has gone through a lot of changes over the years, but Kate’s version of the character, who debuted in 2006, is a beloved member of the Bat Family. Inspired by Batman and his commitment to protect the city of Gotham, Kate Kane decided to put her military training to use as a vigilante as well. In addition to thorough training in the military, Kate learned a variety of martial arts and languages, studied investigative practices with the F.B.I., and even plays the guitar. With such a wide variety of skills, she’s a match for even Bruce Wayne.
Like Batman before her, she has her own dedicated rogues gallery. Chief amongst them is the mysterious group Intergang. The group is a cult who believes in the writings of ancient texts. They have a firm fixation on Kate, leading to some of her most memorable comic book story arcs. For those fans who aren’t as familiar with Kate Kane, we’ve got a good primer for you when she makes her Arrowverse debut with 25 Things Only True Fans Know About Batwoman.
25 She Debuted In 1956
For comic book fans who already know Kate Kane, they might see her as a relatively new hero. In reality, Katherine “Kathy” Kane was a Gotham socialite who made her comic book debut in 1956. Created by Edward Hamilton and Sheldon Moldoff, Kathy was an heiress who found herself by the caped crusader. She decided to find a way to fight the crime in Gotham herself and she did it by disguising her bat-accessories as everyday items.
Using a utility purse instead of a belt, she had her tools disguised as lipstick, hairnets, and makeup compacts.
24 The Original Batwoman Was Bruce Wayne’s Love Interest
In the 1950s, psychologist Fredric Wertham “outed” what he believed was a romantic coded relationship between Batman and Robin. In response, the creative team behind the comics wanted to create a out of DC was that heroes, especially those in the Bat Family, couldn’t have happy personal lives. Apparently, that unhappiness is what drives them to be heroes in the first place. That would explain why Bruce Wayne, Barbara Gordon, and Dick Grayson see so much tragedy.
It’s also become the norm in comics. Shadowcat and Colossus didn’t make it down the aisle in X-Men, and neither did Batman and Catwoman this year.
7 She Survived A Serious Incident
Batwoman has a strange list of villains. Her large story arc involved a cult pursuing her and wanting to use her as a sacrifice. The group almost succeeded. Renee Montoya tracked Batwoman down after she had been taken by Intergang. Intergang prophet Bruno Mannheim already had Kate on an altar and stabbed her when Renee reached her. Kate managed to remove the blade and use it as a weapon while Renee helped to free her.
It only took her a month to heal from the serious wound, though the scar tissue around her heart makes it weaker than it was before the incident.
6 Her Religious Choices
Plenty of publishers produce “Holiday Specials” for different characters. Most of the time, those special issues are oversized, feature a larger than normal cast, and place a story right around Christmas. Though Kate Kane appeared in the DC Infinite Holiday Special of 2006, her story didn’t center on Christmas. Instead, she talked about Hanukkah with an old friend, recovered a stolen menorah, and reunited a separated family.
At the time, she was dating Renee Montoya, so the duo celebrated the holiday together. The arc following the special revealed more than just her heritage as writers wanted to expand her backstory.
5 Her Father Created Her Suit
Batman has Alfred helping him in the background. Kate, though she’s still a Gotham socialite, doesn’t have a butler aiding her vigilante habits. Instead, it’s her own father. In addition to acting as her backup (and pulling her out of situations she can’t handle), Kate’s father’s military history leaves him with a unique perspective to help her. He provides computer support when she’s on missions, but he also designed a suit to help protect her.
He designs the suit, and all of Kate’s assorted weapons, while she spends two years away from Gotham training with her father’s military friends. She comes home to find he has it all stored in a bunker in her house.
4 She Has A Whole Team Of Batgirls
The Bombshells universe creates a different World War II timeline. In it, most of the DC comic book heroes and villains fan know are reimagined in new roles. Kate Kane is on a women’s baseball team, but she’s also the vigilante Batwoman. When she’s recruited for some overseas work, Kate doesn’t want to leave the city without protection. She does some recruiting of her own.
Kate has an entire team of young women who wear baseball uniforms with bats on them. Dubbed the Batgirls, they protect citizens while she’s away. The team grows beyond Kate’s leadership over time.
3 She Could Detect Electromagnetic Fields
Tradition holds in DC comics that none of the members of the Bat Family have superpowers. They are regular people who train in very specific skill sets. As former members of military, acrobats, and aspiring detectives, they all work very hard to be vigilantes. Every once in a while though, one of the heroes ends up with a temporary superpower. Such is the case with Kate Kane.
After a head injury, Kate’s wound was stitched shut with gold thread. For some reason, this combination of an injury and the gold stitching allowed Kate to be hypersensitive to the world around her. She could actually detect strong electromagnetic fields in the atmosphere.
2 Ruby Rose Plays Her In Live Action
Variations of the Batwoman character already exist in animation, but she’s only come to live action once. Orange Is The New Black star Ruby Rose landed the role of Batwoman in late 2018. CW’s annual crossover amongst Arrow, The Flash, Supergirl, and Legends of Tomorrow includes the live action debut of Batwoman.
The casting choice has led many to wonder if this version of Kate Kane will come with her comic book tattoos since Rose has so many of her own. Rumors of a spinoff for the character also started circulating as soon as casting was announced.
1 She Wears A Wig
When artwork for the Arrow crossover debuted, one of the promotional posters featured Ruby Rose in her Batwoman uniform. Some fans criticized the bright red hair at the top of the mask. That hair, however, has comic book precedent. Portrayed with short hair in the comics, Kate dons the long red wig while out as a vigilante as a way to help hide her identity. The bright red hair matches the red logo of her Batwoman costume.
The idea is actually fairly common amongst female heroes in the comics. Black Canary also donned a wig when she changed her hairstyle to keep people in the dark about who she really was.
Did you learn something new about Batwoman? Or are you the Kate Kane expert. Let us know if there’s something important we missed in the comments!