Catwoman, originally known as Selina Kyle is one of the two secondary antagonists in Batman Returns. She was a lonely, frustrated woman pushed over the edge into obsession and crime after her boss, tycoon Max Shreck, tried to kill her to keep her from revealing his plot to build a power plant that would steal Gotham's electricity.
She was portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer.
Selina Kyle was once a quiet and lonely secretary who keeps getting mistreated unfairly by her boss Max Shreck, making her life frustrated. When Shreck goes too far by pushing her out of the window, she becomes resurrected and now becomes a dazed woman before suffering a mental breakdown, thus transforming herself to Catwoman as a dangerous and attractive criminal.
Catwoman once made an alliance with Penguin, but he attacked her with his umbrella after rejecting his advance. She went on her focus to kill her ex-boss and to be with Batman.
Selina Kyle is an slender, fair skinned young woman with blond curly hair, and blue eyes.
As Shreck's secretary, she wears red framed glasses, brown buttoned long sleeved dress, and matching high heels.
As the criminal Catwoman, she makes a black cat cowl and an matching jumpsuit sewn together with white stiches, she wears black leggings with matching knee high heel boots. She carries a black whip.
The first feature film to include an adaptation of Catwoman was Batman, produced immediately after production of the first season of the 1966 television series of the same name. When the producers realized that Julie Newmar would be unavailable due to prior commitments, they cast Lee Meriwether to portray the character.
Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt, a television film which aired in 2003, was a semi-documentary of the production of the 1966 television series and film. It featured dramatizations one of which included Julia Rose portraying a young Julie Newmar on set in character as Catwoman. Newmar and Meriwether also appeared in the film.
Batman Returns (1992)
Selina Kyle worked as a secretary for the powerful and ruthless Max Shreck, owner of a business empire and the department store Shreck's. Despite being a secretary, Selina fancied herself as more as an executive assistant, since she helped out in more ways than a mere secretary. On Christmas Eve, Shreck forgot his speech and Selina tried to take it to him, but the city came under attack by the Red Triangle Gang and she herself was taken hostage by one of the clowns. Batman intervened and saved her by knocking the clown out. Selina instantly became fascinated with Batman, who took his leave. She took her defeated clown captor's taser home as a self-defense weapon.
At her flat, things were no better. Selina listened to unpleasant messages on her answering machine: the first from her parents, who express disappointment at Selina not going home for Christmas; the second from her boyfriend, who had decided to go on a Christmas holiday on his own on advice from his psychologist; and the third from herself, reminding her that she has to go back to work and prepare documents for Shreck's meeting with Bruce Wayne, something she herself had anticipated she would forget.
As she went through the files, Selina inadvertently discovered that Shreck's proposed Power Plant would suck power from Gotham City and store it, effectively bringing Gotham under control of the Shreck family. Shreck himself appeared and confronted her about this information, and though Selina swore that she would not let it slip, Shreck pushed her out of the window to silence her.
Though she apparently died, she was mysteriously revived by alley cats and returned home in a daze. When her answering machine gave an advert on a perfume sold by Shreck, Selina appeared to suffer a psychotic break: ransacking her apartment, destroying her possessions, and sewing a homemade cat costume in preparation for her revenge on Shreck. Calling herself Catwoman, Selina became a vigilante in her own right; on her first night, she brutally beat a mugger for trying to rape a helpless woman, but then chastised the woman for being unable to defend herself.
The next day, Selina appeared in Shreck's office while he was speaking with Bruce Wayne, covered in bandages and sporting a more confident and assertive attitude, somewhat impressing Shreck. Selina feigned amnesia and an instant attraction developed between herself and Bruce.
A few days later, during an attack on the city by the Red Triangle Gang, Catwoman blew up the bottom floor of Shreck's store, bringing her into conflict with Batman. In the ensuing fight, Catwoman stabbed Batman in the abdomen (not severely), while Batman napalmed Catwoman's arm and knocked her into a truck of kitty litter, killing her a second time. In response, Catwoman joined forces with The Penguin to destroy Batman, and the two came up with a plan to frame him for kidnapping the Ice Princess and killing him by turning his Batmobile into a bomb.
Meanwhile, whilst in the city, Selina came across Bruce and the two talked for a while before Bruce invited her for an early dinner at his house. Over dinner, Selina and Bruce spoke about Bruce's personal life, and Bruce revealed that he had trouble with his previous girlfriend, Vicki Vale, over his apparent difficulty with duality. Once Bruce makes it clear that he and Vicki were finished, Selina leapt on him and the two started kissing passionately. Their attempts to become more intimate resulted in almost exposing the other's injury and they abruptly stop. Just then, they saw a news bulletin about the Ice Princess's kidnapping with Batman the apparent culprit. As Bruce excused himself in order to suit up, Selina left and gets into her costume to carry out their plan.
Catwoman and Batman arrived at the same time and briefly fight before Catwoman forcibly dragged the Ice Princess to the building's roof. To her shock, the Penguin had engineered the Ice Princess to fall off the building while making it look as if Batman pushed her. When Batman was shot and injured from a fall, Catwoman approached him and tried to stab him again, but he kicked her aside and leaves.
Later on, she rejected an advance from the Penguin, who responded by tying her neck to a helicopter umbrella. Though she managed to free herself, she fell into a greenhouse and lost another life.
With her alliance with the Penguin shattered, Selina devised a plan to kill Shreck herself at his annual Maxquerade Ball with a concealed gun. She encountered Bruce at the ball and they danced for a while before she revealed her intentions to him. In the process, they discovered each other's identities, but before they could leave to talk outside, the Penguin attacked and revealed his plan to kidnap the firstborn sons of Gotham, taking Shreck himself hostage.
Catwoman found Shreck trying to escape from the Penguin's lair and confronted him, ready to finish him off. Batman intervened and requested that they hand him over to the police, but Catwoman objected on the basis that no jury will ever convict Shreck.
Batman unmasked himself as a sign of peace and implored Selina to abandon her vendetta and live with him in Wayne Manor, but Selina refused, determined to end things there and then. Shreck drew a gun and shot Selina four times, but ran out of bullets. With two lives remaining, Selina sacrificed her penultimate life by electrocuting Shreck with the taser she previously obtained and causing a massive explosion. In the aftermath, her body is nowhere to be found, but it is later revealed that she survived as she is shown looking up at the Bat Signal in the movie's closing scene.
Selina presumably left Gotham after this, and left her cat, Miss Kitty, with Bruce as a farewell gift.
A couple years later, Dr. Chase Meridian revealed to Batman that she had learned of the attraction between himself and Catwoman, noting that he liked "strong women with skin-tight vinyl and a whip".
In 2004, the feature film Catwoman was released. Starring Halle Berry, this film's Catwoman bears little resemblance to the comic book version. Berry portrays Patience Phillips, an artist and graphics designer who works for a cosmetics company called Hedare Beauty, which is ready to ship a new skin cream called Beau-Line that is able to reverse the effects of aging. However, as Patience visits the factory where it is being manufactured, she learns that the product has deadly side-effects. Laurel Hedare (Sharon Stone), the wife of the company's CEO, orders her killed. Hedare's minions drown her, but she is mysteriously brought back to life by Midnight, an Egyptian Mau cat, and from that point on develops cat-like abilities. A researcher named Ophelia Powers (Frances Conroy) tells Patience that Egyptian Mau cats serve as messengers of the goddess Bast, suggesting that Patience has been granted supernatural powers. Wearing a mask to disguise her identity, Patience stalks the night as Catwoman seeking revenge against her murderers. Eventually, her search leads her to Hedare, who murders her husband and frames her for it. In the film's climactic fight scene between Hedare and Catwoman, Hedare falls to her death. Patience is cleared of murder charges, and decides to become Catwoman permanently.
The movie alludes to other women who have been granted such cat-like abilities, particularly in a scene in which Patience is introduced to a series of photos of prior Catwomen, including Pfeiffer's Batman Returns version of Selina Kyle.
The film's story has nothing to do with the Batman universe, and is considered "Catwoman in name only". It was poorly received by critics and audiences, and is commonly listed as one of the worst films ever made.
Selina Kyle is portrayed by Anne Hathaway in The Dark Knight Rises. Entertainment Weekly describes this version as an enigma, a wily and witty con artist, as well as a high society grifter. She is depicted as a femme fatale antiheroine whose actions often blur ethical lines, similar to her portrayal in the comics.
In the film, Selina Kyle is hired by corrupt businessman John Daggett to steal Bruce Wayne's fingerprints; Daggett in exchange promises to expunge her criminal record with a "Clean Slate" computer program. Bane subsequently uses Bruce's prints to attack Gotham City's stock exchange and bankrupt Bruce with bogus stock trades. She also steals the pearl necklace belonging to Bruce's deceased mother and takes a congressman hostage. After Daggett betrays her, Selina leads Batman to Bane's trap without realizing that Batman and Bruce are the same person. She attempts to flee Gotham, fearing that Bane's terrorist group will eventually kill her. She is arrested by John Blake for kidnapping and takes her to Blackgate Prison to await trial. She is subsequently "released" when Bane takes control of Gotham. When Batman returns to Gotham and offers her the "Clean Slate", she aids the Dark Knight in liberating Gotham City from Bane's chaos. With Selina's help, Batman rescues Lucius Fox. Using the Batpod, Selina destroys the blockade at the tunnel leading out of Gotham. During the battle, Selina kills Bane with the Batpod's grenade launcher and helps Batman destroy Talia al Ghul's convoy. At the end of the movie, Bruce leaves the Batman mantle behind and enters a relationship with Selina. She is never referred to as "Catwoman" in the film, although she does receive the moniker in related The Dark Knight Rises collectibles and books. Instead, emphasis is made upon her profession as a "cat" burglar in headlines shown in the film; also, her safecracking goggles resemble cat ears when not in use.
Catwoman will appear in Gotham City Sirens.
Live action television series
Catwoman in the 1966 live action television series Batman is portrayed by Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt. Newmar portrayed Catwoman in the first and second season, and Kitt portrayed Catwoman in the third season. This version of the character was given neither a background nor an alter ego, but focused instead on her costumed aspects. The costume created for the series was similar to the green catsuit appearing in the comics at the time, though it was constructed by Newmar from black Lurex fabric. One of these costumes tailored for Newmar is part of the collection of the Smithsonian Institution.
Due to other commitments, Newmar was unavailable for the tie-in film produced after the first season, and for the series' third season. The producers cast Meriwether for the film and Kitt for the third season. An uncredited Caucasian body double played the role in a cameo in "The Entrancing Dr. Cassandra", the series' penultimate episode.
The 2002 television series Birds of Prey included an adaptation of the Silver Age Huntress as one of its main characters. Catwoman was also adapted for the series as she is an integral component of the back story for Huntress. That adaptation was limited to the alter ego, a costume design similar to the one used in the 1992 film Batman Returns, and adding the aspect of the character being a "metahuman". Catwoman was portrayed by actress Maggie Baird and her appearances were limited to a flashback of her death which was edited into the series title sequence and the rare in-episode flashback.
A younger version of Selina Kyle is featured in the TV series Gotham, portrayed by Camren Bicondova. Selina Kyle is depicted as a 14-year-old thief and orphan who lives on the streets of Gotham City. In the series' pilot episode, she witnesses the murders of Thomas and Martha Wayne. She forms a tenuous alliance with Gotham City Police Department Detective Jim Gordon after he saves her from kidnappers working for the Dollmaker. She promises to help him solve the Wayne murders if he helps her get out of trouble with the law. Gordon arranges for her to stay at Wayne Manor, where she befriends the young Bruce Wayne. She saves him from a gang of hired killers, and gives him his first kiss. She also helps Bruce find Reggie Payne, the man who stabbed Bruce's butler Alfred Pennyworth. She pushes Payne out of a window to prevent him from telling the people who hired him that she and Bruce are onto them. In the season finale, "All Happy Families are Alike", Selina meets mobster Fish Mooney upon her return to Gotham City and joins her gang. She disappears during a skirmish between Mooney and Maroni's forces.
In the show's second season, she is working for Oswald Cobblepot. She also helps a young Firefly take revenge on a gang of sex traffickers, and tries to protect Bruce from corrupt billionaire Theo Galavan and his niece, Silver St. Cloud. She teams up with Gordon and Cobblepot to save Bruce when he is kidnapped by the Sacred Order of Saint Dumas. She then briefly takes him to live with her on the streets so he can learn firsthand how criminals operate. She volunteers to help Bruce find out what Hugo Strange is up to at Indian Hill, a secret laboratory in the bowels of Arkham Asylum, but once inside she finds herself threatened by Firefly and Mr. Freeze. Firefly ultimately decides to defend Selina, however, and incapacitates Strange. Selina then offers to help Bruce investigate the secret society behind his parents' murder.
In the third season, Selina and Bruce begin a relationship. Their relationship is tested, however, by the arrival of Selina's estranged mother, Maria, who claims to need money to pay off a man who is threatening her. Bruce sees immediately that she is just using Selina to pull a scam, but goes along with it to avoid hurting Selina's feelings. When Selina sees her mother's true colors, she blames Bruce and breaks up with him.
Catwoman was originally supposed to be featured in the Challenge of the Super Friends season of Super Friends as a member of the Legion of Doom. However, due Filmation's The New Adventures of Batman development at that time, Catwoman was restricted to appear in the show. She was eventually replaced with Cheetah.
Filmation's Batman series
Catwoman was first adapted to television animation by Filmation, for the 1968 series The Batman/Superman Hour. The character design and aspects adapted were similar to those used in the previous live-action television series: a focus on the character in costume, lack of a backstory, and use of the then-current green catsuit. Like the live action TV series, Catwoman behaved like many of her villainous counterparts (Joker, Riddler), by speaking in puns and hiring henchmen who wore outfits similar to hers. Jane Webb was cast to provide the voice for the character.
Filmation returned to the character in 1977 for the animated series The New Adventures of Batman, where Melendy Britt was cast to voice the character in four episodes. Again, no backstory or alter ego were presented within the episodes. The yellow and orange costume design used was unique to the series.
Catwoman was adapted for Batman: The Animated Series and The New Batman Adventures, set in the same continuity from the DC Animated Universe, voiced by Adrienne Barbeau. A spin-off focused on the character was in production before being cancelled, and was reconsidered years later as a dual spin-off also focused on Nightwing.
The character design for Batman: The Animated Series was as a long-haired blonde look (based on Michelle Pfeiffer's appearance) when Selina wasn't wearing her costume, and the costume itself was a predominately gray catsuit based on the costume used in Batman Returns as well, and with long black gloves and high-heeled boots.
When The New Batman Adventures went into development, Catwoman's redesign resulted in an all-black catsuit, blue-white face make-up and short black hair. The first series establishes Catwoman as a socialite and animal rights activist in addition to a costumed thief in the early appearances. Beyond this, no backstory or actual origin is provided within the series. The series does play somewhat on the relation between Batman and Catwoman. She had a crush on Batman, but tried to keep her distance between her and Bruce Wayne.
Catwoman also appears in the short featurette "Chase Me".
In Batman Beyond, Catwoman doesn't appear as her ultimate fate after her last appearance in "Chase Me" remains completely unknown. However, she was mentioned by Bruce at the end of the episode "Dead Man's Hand". After the release of Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, a second movie with an ancient Catwoman as a main character was planned by Bruce Timm, but was finally scrapped. However, in Justice League Unlimited's episode "Epilogue", it was revealed that Selina eventually reformed and became an ally of Batman.
Catwoman was adapted along with a number of other Batman related characters for the 2004 animated series The Batman, voiced by Gina Gershon. The character design used was based loosely on the then-current costume used in the comic books. This resulted in a black/dark grey catsuit with a pull-up collar mask, dark red, claw-tipped gloves, a black cowl with exaggerated cat ears, and large amber goggles. The initial episode featuring Catwoman establishes her as working as a charity fund raiser in her identity of Selina Kyle. With the remaining appearances focusing on her activities only as Catwoman, an origin for the character is never provided.
Catwoman was among the many DC Comics characters adapted for the 2008 animated series Batman: The Brave and the Bold, voiced by Nika Futterman. Keeping with the tone of the show, the character design used for most of her appearances was drawn from the 1950s through mid-1960s and again from the late 1970 to the mid-1980s. This being the purple long sleeved dress with green cloak and purple headdress/mask with cat-ears.
Catwoman appeared in the Batman of Shanghai shorts on the DC Nation block voiced by Stephanie Sheh. In a departure from the comics, she was portrayed as a Chinese thief active in Shanghai during the 1930s.
Catwoman appears in the web series DC Super Hero Girls as a student at Super Hero High, voiced by Cristina Pucelli.
- A Crime Syndicate of America version of Catwoman named She-Bat briefly appeared as one of Superwoman's henchmen in Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths. She-Bat is a cross between her and Man-Bat.
- Eliza Dushku voices Catwoman in Batman: Year One. The DVD and Blu-ray release also features a short film DC Showcase: Catwoman, again with Eliza Dushku providing the voice.
- Selina Kyle appears in Batman: The Dark Knight Returns, voiced by Tress MacNeille.
- Newmar reprised her role as Catwoman in the animated movie Batman: Return of the Caped Crusaders, which is a continuation of the 1960s television series. The movie includes a brief reference to the Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt versions of the character when a hit on the head causes Batman to see a triple image of Catwoman.
- Catwoman appears in The Lego Batman Movie voiced by Zoe Kravitz. She is a member of The Rogues, the team of supervillains in league with Joker.
- Catwoman appears as a boss in the 1993 Batman Returns game based on Tim Burton's 1992 film.
- In the 1999 side-scroller Catwoman video game by Kemco, Catwoman is hired by Talia al Ghul to steal an ancient crystal skull from the Gotham City Museum. Ra's al Ghul wants to use the skull to create a powerful weapon that will be capable of destroying an entire city.
- The Patience Phillips version of Catwoman appears in the Catwoman video game (a tie-in to 2004's Catwoman feature film) voiced by Jennifer Hale.
- Catwoman appears as a fighter in the crossover fighting game Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe, played by Brenda Barrie and voiced by P. J. Mattson. This version is classified as a villain in the game. Her role in the game is small. Her game ending features her returning to Gotham City and discovering that due to the magical essence of the worlds merging, she now has the ability to transform into a black panther at will, enhancing her speed and strength.
- Catwoman appears in Batman: The Brave and the Bold – The Videogame, voiced again by Nika Futterman. In the game, she teams up with Catman to steal an ancient artifact and turn all of the police into cats, in order to terrorize the city easier.
- Catwoman appears in DC Universe Online, voiced by Kelley Huston. She is classified as a villain and is seen as a member of the Secret Society of Super Villains, although her main plot is considered heroic and far from villainy.
- Catwoman appears as a playable fighter in Injustice: Gods Among Us, with Grey DeLisle reprising her role from Batman: Arkham City. This version is classified as a villain in the game. In Catwoman's ending, Catwoman resolves to fight crime in the newly-rebuilt Gotham City until she can reconcile with Batman. In the game, Catwoman has various alternate outfits such as mainstream and alternate as well as the design from Batman: Arkham City.
- Catwoman appears as a playable character in Infinite Crisis, voiced again by Grey DeLisle.
- Selina Kyle appears in Telltale's Batman series, voiced by Laura Bailey. At the beginning of episode 1 she steals a hard drive from Mayor Hill as Catwoman, fighting with Batman before he saves her from falling off a building. In episode 2, she assists Batman in battling the Children of Arkham at the mayoral debate. In episode 3, she briefly assists the Children of Arkham before Batman arrives and the two fight the terrorists. In episode 4, Selina leaves the manor, refusing to be caught up in the war between Batman, Harvey, and the Children of Arkham. In episode 5, it's revealed that Selina was using Bruce and Harvey in order to steal an electronic skeleton key that would allow her to bypass Wayne Tech.
- Catwoman returns as a playable character in Injustice 2. Voiced again by Grey DeLisle.
Lego Batman series
- Catwoman appears in Lego Batman: The Video Game, voiced by Vanessa Marshall. She appears as an enemy of Batman and a 1st deputy of the Penguin.
- Catwoman appears in Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes, voiced by Katherine Von Till. She is among the inmates freed when Lex Luthor frees Joker from Arkham Asylum.
- Catwoman appears as a playable character in Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham, voiced by Laura Bailey. In the game, the primary version's default design is her New 52 costume with the 1966 and Pre-52 design as an alternate. Also, The Dark Knight Rises version of Selina Kyle is a separate playable character via DLC.
- The Lego Batman Movie version of Catwoman makes a cameo in Lego Dimensions. The player has to rescue her in a sidequest.
- Main article: Batman: Arkham
The character is voiced by Grey DeLisle, where this version has a range of different animations and abilities.
- Chronologically, she first appears in Batman: Arkham Origins Blackgate.
- While Catwoman does not appear in Batman: Arkham Asylum, parts of her costume are found on display inside Arkham Asylum's old mansion and scanning them to solve one of the Riddler's riddles will unlock her bio. She is also referenced by the Joker addressing a crate of Venom to the character as a gift, and appears on a list of Arkham inmates liberated by Harley Quinn.
- She physically appears as a playable character in Batman: Arkham City. The character's storyline has been estimated to be approximately ten percent of the Arkham City content. She first appears in the prologue of the game, breaking into a safe belonging to Two-Face, in order to retrieve the blueprints of Hugo Strange's confiscated goods vault, where the prison warden is holding loot of Selina's. However, she is captured by Two-Face in the act, is held hostage in his courthouse. Dangling above a vat of acid, Catwoman is given a mock-trial by Two-Face, before being rescued by Batman. She retrieves the blueprints, and seeks out Poison Ivy's help. After some convincing, Ivy agrees to help her break into the vault. Once Catwoman is in, however, Hugo Strange's genocidal Protocol 10 is enacted, and she reluctantly leaves her loot to rescue Batman, who is pinned under fallen rubble and left for dead. After saving his life, she attempts to retrieve her belongings from her apartment and flee the prison-city, only to find a bomb planted by Two-Face. Surviving the explosion, she seeks out Two-Face once again, slashing him across the face and leaving to collect her belongings.
- She later returns as a playable character in Batman: Arkham Knight. Riddler contacts Batman, and informs him that he has Catwoman hostage, and that in order to free her, Batman must complete a series of trials. With each trial he completes, Catwoman is rewarded with a key that will defuse one of the bombs strapped around her neck. Batman and Catwoman eventually find all nine keys, and Catwoman is free to leave the orphanage where she was hostage. However, she returns when Batman comes back to confront the Riddler, and the two defeat him. After the fight, Catwoman and Batman finally kiss, before Batman pushes her away, telling her this is the last time they will see each other. Later that night, he is unmasked and seemingly kills himself.
- Catwoman returns as a playable character in the DLC expansion mission Catwoman's Revenge. Taking place the night after Arkham Knight, Catwoman infiltrates one of the Riddler's hideouts while he is in prison. She finds his robot factory underground, and steals all of his money before destroying the facility.
- Catwoman appears in the mobile game Batman: Arkham Underworld, acting as an information officer who keeps the player updated on the activities of Gotham City, as well as teaching new mechanics to the player and occasionally giving them missions in the form of favors for her services.
- In the comic series The Batman Adventures, Selina Kyle is featured in issue #10; in the back up story she breaks into a vault at the Wayne Manor during Bruce Wayne's New Year's Ball. After she has left the scene, Bruce tells Robin and Alfred Pennyworth that he felt betrayed, stating that he was the only one of Gotham's high society not to shun her after she was unmasked. He is reassured of her friendship, however, when he finds she has stolen nothing and has left him a card stating her New Year's resolution is to stay on the right side of the law. After Robin questions her sincerity, Bruce states that he believes she will keep her promise.
- Catwoman is portrayed by Denise Donovan in the web-musical Holy Musical B@man!.
- Catwoman, voiced by Lorelei King, appeared in the Batman radio drama The Lazarus Syndrome (1989)
- Catwoman was never seen again after Batman Returns, which is consistent with each of Batman's various girlfriends only appearing in one movie each. Her fate is left unknown, though she only has one of her nine metaphorical lives left by the end of this film. With this "reality", and her attempted murder avenged, Selina may have chosen to protect herself, and given up her dangerous activity as Catwoman. It is possible she sought out Bruce. He was again single at the end of the events of Batman & Robin, seemingly taking place only five years after the events of Batman Returns. However, if one counts The Lego Batman Movie as canon, she returns as one of the villains Joker's Rogues gang.
- Her character arc bears a striking resemblance to that of Pamela Isley from Batman & Robin. Both women are implicated in a scheme when they witness their bosses practice an illegal activity. They are then killed by their bosses, but resurrect and in return, cause their killers to perish themselves.