I just wanted to write about Catwoman because I think she’s a great female character and in a world saved by men, there needs to be more female role models for comic fans. We saw a glimpse of Catwoman aka. Selina Kyle, in Frank Miller’s Year One, but being a Batman feature, we don’t get much information about her. She is very much an independent, fierce femme fetal of sorts, with martial arts training, stealth, and a compassionate love of cats. Selina Kyle’s back story is a tragedy, where both her parents die while she is young and she ends up on the streets of Gotham city adopting a life of thievery to survive. She is somewhat of a gymnast, as well as having skills in martial arts and hand-to-hand combat, all of which give her ‘cat like’ reflexes.
It is said that Catwoman is only a street fighter and thief until she encounters Batman, and something changes. As in Miller’s depiction, Selina Kyle sees Batman on the street fighting thugs and trying to break up the corruption in Gotham and soon decides to make herself a costume and seek justice in her own way. She goes by her own morals and motives and isn’t impressed when people interpret her as an associate and assistant of Batman. She is represented as sort of an anti-heroine, straddling the line that separates hero and villain. She is a strong and independent female, who disrupts the conventional hero/villain dichotomy, and no one knows what to make of her. Originally she was meant to be a good match up against Batman, but she is also represented as his love interest, his ally against the greater evil, and even as just a female version of Batman.
In the 1992 Batman Returns movie, Michelle Pfeiffer dons an iconic Catwoman suit, representing good as a whole but not with the same agenda as Batman. In this version, Selina Kyle is Bruce Wayne’s love interest while their alter egos fight each other on the rooftops of Gotham. But even when they discover each other’s secret identity through the infamous line “Mistletoe can be deadly if you eat it, but a kiss can be even deadlier if you mean it”, they sort of realize they’re on the same side but are conflicted about it. In Christopher Nolan’s adaptation The Dark Knight Rises, Selina Kyle, played by Anne Hathaway, is given much more power as a female lead. She is first shown as a tough unbreakable character without much sympathy or concern for anyone else; she is looking out for #1. However, when given a choice to help Batman to save Gotham or run, she ultimately decides to be a hero, which further blurs the lines between being good and evil.