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When people try to kill me, I don't hop in bed with them a tick later. I just kick their ass. I'm funny like that.
~ Catwoman
Just goes to show there are more honest ways of making a dishonest living. But I like my style the best.
~ Catwoman justifying her criminal ways.

Catwoman (real name: Selina Kyle) is a major anti-villainess of the DC comics' Batman franchise. Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane. Catwoman is a seductively sneaky female burglar and a jewel thief who dresses like a cat and carries a bullwhip while performing her thefts. Though most modern iterations of the character are just as heroic as they are villainous Catwoman is still commonly recognized as a villain by most viewers and fans, representing Batman's chief female nemesis.

Nevertheless, Catwoman is still sometimes an ally to Batman and also is often his lover.  And despite being a villain, Catwoman operates under a strict moral code that does not include killing. Due to her more benign and honorable nature (as well as his feelings for her) Batman usually lets her slip through the cracks.

She has her own DC comic series, where she is now a Superhero, a transition the character has been making well since the 1990s.

Alternate Earth versions of the character

In addition to Catwoman's long and varied history within mainstream canon comics, the character has several notable alternates, both villainous and more heroic, though the focus here is obviously on villainous versions, some as conflicted as her mainstream version, some much less so.

On the Golden Age influenced Earth-2 (Pre Crisis on Infinite Earths), her relationship with Batman was often far better than many others, at least after Batman helped her reform. It had turned out she had amnesia for all the years she was Catwoman, and renounced her crimes once she had her memory back. Later on, when Batman needed her aid against the Scarecrow, she admitted that while her reform had been legitimate, her amnesia was concocted to avoid serving prison time. Batman also had an admission of his own, being that amidst a parade of freaks and killers, going up against a simple (if extremely skilled and clever) thief was almost refreshing. As Batman began to succumb to the delusions enacted by Scarecrow's latest fear gas, the only way to break out of them was with the frank admission that he loved Catwoman, and unmasked before her. The two made plans to be married, with Selina aiding her fiance in bringing in her brother Carl Kyle, known as The King Of Cats. Their wedding was not without some small drama, as the attending Clark Kent, with his wife Lois Lane Kent, detected and thwarted an assassination attempt on the (unrelated) Harvey Kent, the permanently cured Two-Face of that world. Bruce Wayne largely retired from being Batman after this, and the couple enjoyed a long happy marriage, producing a daughter, Helena. Sadly, Selina's past came back to haunt her when ended up killed by former associates, a crime that now-Police Commisioner Wayne felt constrained from avenging himself. Enraged, Helena took up both her parents' mantle and became the crime-fighting Huntress, sometimes aided by her 'older brother' Dick Grayson.

During the issue The Brave And The Bold # 131, Batman teamed up with Wonder Woman to face down a Catwoman whose plots involved cold-blooded murder. This was so radically unlike all her depictions and DC policy towards the character, the issue was very rapidly placed out of canon. Originally set on the then-standard 'Earth-One', the story was eventually relegated to an unofficial world called 'Earth-B', where plot elements that were not history-changers but also did not fit canon (such as a magical explanation for Flash's powers, an alien origin for Gorilla City, a lost older brother for Batman, and a living death for Jor-El and Lara) were said to exist. This world, otherwise a mirror for Earth-One, was never seen in and of itself, even during Crisis events. The issue's other contribution to Catwoman lore was an ironic one. The costume design used in this issue, and only this issue, was used by Mego Toys to produce its Catwoman figure in the mid-1970's. This was likely the only official Catwoman figure made until the feature film Batman Returns hit theaters in 1992.

Media appearances

Batman: Arkham Asylum

Catwoman does not appear in the video game Batman: Arkham Asylum. One of the riddles from the Riddler revolves around her.

She has a profile in the character bios. Her profile states:
Catwoman arkhamcity

An orphan who learned to survive on Gotham City`s streets, Selina Kyle took to thievery to survive… but determined to do it in style, she learned martial arts and trained extensively to perfect her skills at cat burglary. Her criminal activities are often tempered by a reluctant altruism, making her an inconstant villain and occasional hero. She regularly eludes capture by the Dark Knight and maintains a complicated, adversarial relationship with The Batman that frequently turns flirtatious and occasionally legitimately romantic.

Batman: Arkham City

Catwoman appears in the 2011 video game Batman Arkham City as a playable character and the anti-heroine of the game. She goes on a vendetta against fellow villain Two-Face and ends up getting captured at the beginning of the game. After Batman saves her from Two-Face, she is almost assassinated by a robot replica of the Joker. She is next seen when she goes to Poison Ivy for help to break into Hugo Strange's TYGER vault and escape with the loot inside it. Later on, she helps Batman escape from TYGER troops and moves on to continue her quest.

Batman: Arkham Knight

Catwoman will return in the upcoming 2015 video game Batman Arkham Knight (which is the conclusion to the Arkham series). She will be an ally to Batman when most of his rogue's gallery team up to take him down.

Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate

In Blackgate, Catwoman portrays herself as an anti-hero, but becomes the final boss as she tries to escape the prison with Bane, Batman realizes that Catwoman was using him to escape.

Batman Returns (1992 film)

Catwoman batman 2
"I'm a woman and can't be taken for granted." "Life's a bitch. Now so am I!"
~ Catwoman to Batman

Catwoman is the secondary antagonist of Batman Returns. She is played by Michelle Pfeiffer. She was born when her boss, businessman Maximillian Shreck, pushed her out the window of his office which caused her to go into a brief state of unconsciousness and gain catlike abilities after a psychotic episode of rage. She even sided with the Penguin to defeat Batman, but at the same time, she fell in love with the Dark Knight.

At the end of the film, she got her revenge on Shreck for betraying her by electrocuting him and kissing him at the same time which seemingly killed her. However, it was revealed that she did survive as she is seen on a building while watching Bruce Wayne driving out in the Christmas Eve night.

Catwoman (2004 film)

Catwoman was also the star and hero in the poorly received movie Catwoman, starring Halle Berry. In the film, it centers on Catwoman's life and how she became as she is today. After surviving drowning she is given expert acrobatics and many cat-like abilities. In the day, she was her normal self. But by night, she wore a black spandex costume and robbed places while taking out other crooks.

The Catwoman in this movie is not Selina Kyle, however. Her name is Patience Phillips, but has many similarities to the mainstream Catwoman.

Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe

Catwoman Mortal Kombat

Catwoman in Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe

Catwoman was portrayed as a Playable character in Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe.

In her ending, she gains the ability to morph into a black panther, thus showing Gotham how a kitten can never again be caged.

The Dark Knight Rises (2012 film)

Catwoman appears in The Dark Knight Rises as the initial secondary antagonist/anti-heroine turned deuteragonist. She was played by Anne Hathaway, where she seeks to erase her past with a device promised by the corrupt John Daggett.


Selina Kyle Gotham

Selina Kyle appears as an anti-heroine of the Fox television series Gotham. She is a teenage thief who witnessed the murder of Bruce Wayne's parents Thomas and Martha Wayne. For most of the series she is not depicted as an antagonist or major threat and even befriends Bruce to help him on his quest to finding out the truth behind his parent's murder. However she does do some questionable things, and even acted as a villain in the season 1 finale "Happy Families are Alike" in which she briefly teamed up with Fish Mooney to kill James Gordon, Oswald Cobblepot and Carmine Falcone, with the claim she was doing it for "kicks". In Season 2 she becomes an enforcer for Cobblepot.

Holy Musical Batman

In the show, (as seen on YouTube) Catwoman was one of the rogues who worked with Sweet Tooth in his scheme to destroy Batman and put the nuclear Warheads in Gotham's water supply. She did have a flirting relationship with the Penguin.

  • "Suffering succotash! Who invited Two-Face?"
  • "Let's get this meeting started Meow shall we?"
  • "Aw, hiss and vinegar! What are we going to do meow?"
  • "I'm a pretty little kitty but I ain't no-"
  • "I hate to be the one who let the cat drag in, but you're a cat-tastrophe."

Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders


  • Trained gymnast and athlete
  • Expert hand-to-hand combatant
  • Highly skilled with her specialized whip, a cat-o'-nine-tails
  • Capable of astonishing stealth
  • Obsessed with (and adept at) stealing famous and well-protected items
  • Drawn to cat motifs


See also

Batman Villains

Amygdala | Anarky | Baby Doll | Bane | Black Glove | Black Mask | Blockbuster I | Blockbuster II | Calculator | Calendar Man | Carmine Falcone | Catman | Catwoman | Circus of Strange | Clayface | Clock King | Cluemaster | Condiment King | Copperhead | Crazy Quilt | Crime Doctor | David Cain | Deacon Blackfire | Deadshot | Doctor Death | Doctor Double X | Doctor Hurt | Doctor Phosphorus | Electrocutioner | Firefly | Floronic Man | General Ulysses Armstrong | Great White Shark | Gotham City Police Department | H.A.R.D.A.C. | Harley Quinn | Holiday | Humpty Dumpty | Hugo Strange | Hush | Jason Todd | Jay, Raven and Lark | Joe Chill | Joker | KGBeast | King Snake | King Tut | Killer Croc | Killer Moth | Lady Shiva | League of Assassins | Lex Luthor | Lock-Up | Mad Hatter | Mad Monk | Magpie | Man-Bat | Maxie Zeus | Mr. Freeze | Onomatopoeia | Orca | Penguin | Professor Pyg | Prometheus | Poison Ivy | Polka Dot Man | Ra's al Ghul | Ratcatcher | Reaper | Red Claw | Riddler | Roland Daggett | Roxy Rocket | Rupert Thorne | Sal Maroni | Scarecrow | Solomon Grundy | Spellbinder | Talia al Ghul | Tally Man | Timecode | Tony Zucco | Tweedledum and Tweedledee | Two-Face | Ubu | Ventriloquist and Scarface | Vertigo | Victor Zsasz | Wrath |

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