This year marks the 75th Anniversary of Catwoman. She made her first appearance in Batman issue 1 which came out in April 24th, 1940. In her 75 year history a lot has happened to Catwoman and there have been a lot of interpretations of the character. She’s had three on going comic book series, been in TV (animated and live action), and in two different movies! So in honor of her 75th birthday (I saw she doesn’t look a day past 60!) we are going to go over 9 facts about her you may not know.
1) Catwoman has been Portrayed in Film by TWO Academy Award Winning Actresses
Not only have both Halle Berry (Catwoman 2004) and Anne Hathaway (The Dark Knight Rises 2012) have both portrayed Catwoman and won Academy Awards but Michelle Pfeiffer (Batman Returns 1992) has been nominated for Academy Award as well. Julie Newmar (Batman TV 1966) has won a Toni award for best actress in a musical and Eartha Kitt (Batman TV 1966) has won a Daytime Emmy for Best Actresses. Lee Meriwether (Batman TV 1966) has been nominated for two Golden Globes and one Emmy. So far the only Catwoman actress not to win or be nominated for a major award has been Gotham’s Camren Bicondova, but seeing as she is only 15 I don’t think it will be long before she joins this list as well.
2) Catwoman was Ranked on IGN’s top Heroes AND Villains List
Is Catwoman a hero or a villain? During IGN.com’s 2009 rundown of the greatest heroes and villains Catwoman ranked 20th on the list of greatest heroes and 11th on the list of greatest villains. So it seems our femme fatale is a little bit of both, as Selina Kyle says in The Dark Knight Rises, she’s adaptable.
3) Catwoman has been a Member of the Justice League
In 2011 the reboot of DC Comics entire line of comic books was centered around the Justice League comic book which started at the origin of the team. After some misadventures Amanda Waller of the shady government agency A.R.G.U.S. decided America needed their own Justice League in case something were to happen and the original Justice League went rogue. This lead to the creation of the Justice League of America whose members included: Steve Trevor, Martian Manhunter, Green Arrow, Hawkman, the new Green Lantern Simon Baz, Stargirl, Katana, Vibe, and Catwoman. Each member was meant to counter a specific member of the original Justice League with Catwoman on the team as direct counter to Batman.
4) She was Once a Flight Attendant
Comic books be crazy yall. I was unaware of this but going through the DC Wiki there was an origin story of Catwoman in which she used to be a flight attendant but during a crash got amnesia which lead her to her life as a criminal. You can’t make this shit up. I’ll let the DC Wiki tell the story since it is not available digitally and I wasn’t able to read the issue first hand.
“When Catwoman leaves her hideout, she finds Batman and Robin waiting for her. They try to give chase, but she throws a box at them with angry cat inside it. Batman runs towards falling debris, and Catwoman realizes he will be killed. Instead of escaping, she leaps to save Batman’s life and gets hit in the head by a brick.
They wake her up in the Batcave, where she feverishly screams about airline rules. It’s revealed that Selina Kyle was a stewardess, who fell out of a crashing plane and got amnesia. Kyle is horrified to hear that she’s become a criminal in her amnesiac state. Batman asks about her obsession with cats, and she explains that her father used to own a pet store. He taught her all about cats, and she subconsciously remembered that through her amnesia.”
5) On Earth-2 She is Married to Batman and They Have a Child
Yes its true! Gotham’s favorite on again off again couple had a love child! Well, technically this takes place in an alternative reality, I tried to avoid dipping into the Elseworlds stories of Catwoman but I can’t avoid this one. The character of the Huntress has grown in popularity and had her own mini-series and ongoing series in the new 52. She has appeared as the main star of the short lived Birds of Prey TV Series along with a few guest appearances in the CW’s hit Arrow.
There are two versions of this character, the first is Helena Bertinelli, the daughter of a crime boss that shows up in the main continuity stories of DC Comics. Bertinelli is the version they used for the TV Series Arrow. The other version is Helena Wayne, the daughter of Catwoman and Batman. Helena is the version that is used for the TV Series Birds of Prey. Helena is also the version of Huntress that was used in the recent on going comic series Worlds’ Finest which was centered around her and Powergirl (Earth-2’s version of Supergirl).
6) Catwoman Has her Heart Removed by Hush
The popular villain Hush returned during “Heart of Hush” story arc that took place during the larger Batman RIP story. In this story Hush performs plastic surgery on himself in order to make him self look identical to Bruce Wayne. His plan is to kill the actual Bruce Wayne and live the rest of his days off of the Wayne fortune. During a scuffle with Catwoman she tears his bandages to reveal his new face and give away his plan. He manages to subdue Catwoman and removes her heart.
Batman tracks down Hush who uses a paralyzing gas and reveals his big plan. Batman is able to over come the gas and eventually over take Hush.
Batman gets Catwoman’s heart back to Doctor Mid-nite and he is able to return her heart back into her body. He warns her however that she may not ever return to her former level of physical prowess again. However in true Catwoman fashion Selina enlists an all-star team of friends (Oracle, Holly Robinson, Poison Ivy, Harley Quinn and Slam Bradley) to find and drain all of Hush’s bank accounts leaving him penniless.
7) Catwoman is Currently the Head of a Mafia Family
During the year long Batman Eternal comic event it was revealed that Catwoman is the daughter of mafia boss Rex Calabrese. Rex is a new character who was the cell mate of James Gordon who was in jail while being tried for murder. Rex had been in prison for a some period of time and used to be known as “The Lion” due to the scars on his face and his sharpened teeth. Catwoman breaks into Blackgate to speak with Rex where he tells her to seize power and unite the crime families of Gotham under her leadership.
Selina’s crime boss story picks up in the on going Catwoman series starting with issue 35.
8) Catwoman has a Side-kick Catgirl
In Batman issue 695 Catwoman steals the contents of a safe belonging to the Falcone crime family. When she returns home she finds Kitrina, a teenaged escape artist and Carmine Falcone’s long lost daughter, breaking into her apartment.
Selina leaves Kitrina bound in a locked room and calls Batman to her house in order to turn her over to the police, but discovers that Kitrina had managed to free herself. This impresses Selina, who had tied up Kitrina using an “inescapable” knot that Bruce had shown her years earlier. Following a massive battle with Black Mask and his henchmen, Selina agrees to take on Kitrina as her new sidekick, Catgirl.
During the legendary story by Frank Miller, the Dark Knight Returns, Carrie Kelly took up the mantle of Robin. Well in its sequel the Dark Knight Strikes Again Carrie Kelly has ditched her role as Robin and continued her work under the title of Catgirl. In the Miller-verse Selina Kyle exists and is the Madam at a brothel, having long retired as her role as Catwoman.
9) Catwoman has a Sister Named Maggie
Selina Kyle’s parents both died pretty grisly deaths (her mother committed suicide and father died of alcohol poisoning) while Selina and her sister Maggie were young. Maggie went to an orphanage and was quickly adopted while Selina grew up on the streets. The two lead pretty different lives and while Selina entered the criminal world her sister Maggie became a nun. Selina’s criminal activities have had a big impact on Maggie in that she was at one point kidnapped and beaten by Black Mask. Things get worse for Maggie Black Mask then forces Maggie to eat her own husbands eyes.
Selina does get revenge however and kills Black Mask, shooting him in the head. Maggie however goes insane and is committed to a mental institution. She later escapes and takes on the villainous persona of Sister Zero after killing a nun and using her nun-tools as weapons. Sister Zero then hunts down Selina and attempts to kill her believing that her soul has been taken over by a Cat Demon.
That’s it folks! I hope you enjoyed and maybe learned something new about every ones favorite feline femme fatale!