It would be hard to find a bigger fan of the new Batwoman (Kate Kane) than I. But today I sing the praises of the original Batwoman, Kathy Kane.
Kathy was a wealthy heiress/circus daredevil. Now, that may seem odd to you, if you don't live in the DCU. But attention-seeking media-hound wealthy heiresses are, in fact, not unheard of in our own universe. Kathy Kane was essentially Paris Hilton.
Except Kathy was smart. And attractive. And capable. And devoted to helping others. And clothed. And able to open a door without an instructional manual or a major loss of blood.
Okay, okay; she wasn't like Paris Hilton at all. But Kathy Kane was both glamorous and bold. BOLD! Characters really don't come any bolder than Kathy Kane.
How bold was Kathy Kane?
So bold that she decided to become a crimefighter, without even a scarring childhood loss to motivate her.
So bold that stole Batman's schtick without asking him.
So bold that she said, "Piffel!" when Batman told her to stop.
So bold she once slapped Batman in public.
So bold that she fought crime in a bright red, yellow, and black outfit. To do that you have to be either a total moron or incredibly bold.
She was not merely bold, but noble. When the opportunity presented itself for her to unmask Batman and get him off her back, she let it pass because to take advantage that way would have been unfair. When the opportunity presented itself for Batman to discover her identity, he did, and promptly blackmailed her out of being Batwoman again. Paternalistic, chauvinistic control-freak.
Oh, and lest anyone forget, without Batwoman we wouldn't have Cat-Man; he was introduced to be her counterpart to Batman's Catwoman!
So while I love our current Batwoman, let's all give some credit to one of comics' original groovy chicks, Kathy Kane. Over time, I've become one of her biggest fans!