“You bats are all alike. You think fear is a symbol. But I can show you.. fear is a sacrament.”– Kate Kane, Batwoman.
On the outside Kate Kane seems to be just another socialite who is on her journey to find herself whether it be at the bottom of a bottle, a one night stand, or on a picturesque vacation. But when you start digging you find a woman who is charming, strong, and has a story soaked in a mixture of pain and tragedy. But what is it that makes Kate Kane worthy of falling into the ranks of the Bat Family?
Kate Kane and her twin sister came from a military family. Both of Kate’s parents were involved in the intelligence side of the government. Kate is also the biological cousin to Bruce Wayne; her father is Martha Wayne’s brother. Like most members in the Bat Family, tragedy comes early in Kate’s life. While coming home from celebrating Kate and her sister’s birthday, Kate, her mother, and twin sister were kidnapped by terrorists. Her father attempted to save them all, but Kate was the sole survivor. Kate, as any 12 year old would be, was completely traumatized by seeing her mother and sister laying lifeless on the ground. This would stick with Kate for her entire life. With the help of her father Kate was able to work through her grief.
Kate focused her pain into her studies and excelled immensely in school. She was accepted into West Point Academy as a Cadet, and her success flourished from there. Kate made her way to becoming Brigade Executive Officer, and achieved a RECONDO badge and the Superintendent’s Award for Excellence. There was no doubt that Kate was becoming a successful woman in the military, with a bright future ahead of her. Her success in her military career was cut short when an anonymous tip was given accusing Kate of homosexual behavior. Kate was given the option to stay at West Point at the risk of taking a demotion, but Kate chose her own path. This is when Kate comes out as a lesbian, and leaves her military career behind.
Life after West Point was difficult for Kate. Her lows were deep, and dark. At times it did not seem like she was going to get herself out of the depths of alcoholism or her promiscuous ways. Kate partied and traveled the world in an attempt to find herself. Unfortunately, Kate gets injured when falling into the ocean and hits her head on a rock. She wakes up finds herself on the mysterious island of Coryana, and begins a romance with the leader there, Safiyah.
After a brief stay on the island Kate comes to believe that she was poisoned when she discovers her head wound was infected with a rare disease only found in certain reefs. Kate warns Safiyah that she believes that the island is being poisoned, and when Kate discovers who it is Safiyah murders them. She then finds it was not the man she accused, but herself who brought the disease to the island, and tells Safiyah that she killed an innocent man. Kate leaves Coryana shortly after this and returns to Gotham City.
After leaving Coryana, Kate returned to Gotham City, and this is where her journey of becoming Batwoman begins. Kate begins to date Gotham City Police Officer Renee Montoya, but the relationship doesn’t last long. The break up between her and Renee made Kate fall deeper into her alcoholism, and one night changed Kate forever. A drunken Kate walked into an alley where she was confronted by a mugger. Unbeknownst to the mugger Kate was skilled in combat from her cadet days, and overpowers him. Kate was interrupted from injuring the mugger further by the Dark Knight himself. Batman makes his appearance and an impression on Kate. Kate envied what Batman did, and was inspired by his vigilantism. She realized that she enjoyed fighting crime, and the rush that it gave her. She believed that this sort of vigilante heroism was her calling, and purpose in life.
It did not take long for her father to realize what Kate was up to. Her father, as any father who just found out their only child was taking to the streets to fight crime, was not happy. Yet the idea of his daughter becoming a hero did grow on him. Her father organized many of his special forces buddies to give Kate an intense training course for her to become the best she could be.
For three years Kate trained to hone her senses and skills. She was shown the worst of the worst and was exposed to some of the darkest corners of the world. She was given a mission at the end of her three years of training that would test her skills. The situation was eerily similar to the one she faced when she was a child. A family was taken hostage by terrorists and Kate was sent in to save them. Kate is too late and discovers a room of a slaughtered family. She begins to beat two of the terrorist leaders to near death. She chooses to let them live, and this is when her father reveals that the hostage mission was fake. He told Kate that he created this for her to see that she can control herself. Kate was ready to become a hero, to become Batwoman.
“It’s easy to say that I left as Kate and came back as Batwoman. The truth, though, is that I left as your lost little girl and came back knowing exactly who I am. I came back as Kate Kane.”– Kate Kane, Batwoman.
Kate proves that no matter how damaged, beaten, or lost you are in life that it’s never too late to become a hero. She shows that even at the lowest of lows you can bring yourself back. Kate is worthy of being a member of the Bat Family because she doesn’t let fear rule her life. She takes her fears and uses them as armor.
Batwoman reading list:
Not sure where to start with Batwoman? Below is a listing of popular Batwoman story lines that have been acclaimed by many fans.
- Batwoman: Elegy
- New 52
- Batwoman: World’s Finest
- Batwoman: Hydrology