Hi! How are you? Still following your blog with the same level of rapture. I was just wondering if you could give me your opinion on Kate Kane carrying the title 'Batwoman'. Don't get me wrong, I have huge respect for the character, I think she's amazing, but she is a relative newcomer compared to all the others, and I sort of feel that the title 'Batwoman' should carry the same weight, or be interchangeable with 'Batman'. Like if Cass takes up Bruce's mantle (there is no New52). Any thoughts?
Hi! Thanks. I feel sort of unqualified to speak on Kate since I’ve barely read anything with her in it. I always did have this kneejerk annoyance at her carrying the Batwoman title, because it’s true that she’s not truly part of the Batclan. If anything, she rejected the offer. Kate does her own thing independently, but she wears the bat symbol for the power it gives her.
I would like the idea a lot more if she was legitimately part of their team, because otherwise, I agree that an actual core member like Cass should be the one carrying the title of Batwoman. Not only is Kate a newcomer, but she isn’t even considered a formal part of the Batclan despite wearing their logo. It was primarily done as a throwback to the golden age.
(Batman Vol 1 #233)
Ross and comic book author Paul Dini initially planned to revive the former Batgirl Barbara Gordon using an updated version of the character’s original costume, with red accents in place of the traditional yellow. However, since Gordon served as one of a very small number of disabled superheroes of DC Comics as Oracle, DC’s editorial staff decided to revitalize the original Batwoman instead. [x]
Which is pretty cool in its own right since Kate Kane has existed since the 1950s. She was originally created to have a crush on Bruce Wayne, so it’s funny that comic writers brought her back as a lesbian to directly counter that. From a historical perspective, seeing Kate Kane debut as Batwoman independent of Batman is really cool, especially since they made it clear that it’s in no way being done for a man, all while offering legitimate LGBT representation.
From a storytelling perspective, it doesn’t click as well because of this separation Kate has to the Bat legacy. In the Golden Age, the Bat legacy wasn’t as much of a thing, so it was easier to just throw on the cape and run around in it. In the modern age of comics, we have a hierarchy of Robins, Batgirls and other Gotham allies that built up this core network on teamwork, mentorship, and surrogate family. If comic writers were to approach the Batwoman mantle from a storytelling perspective, then I think Cassandra Cain was the most obvious and most natural fit. I do think it’s unfortunate that this didn’t happen even though I love how far Kate has come. Bruce is usually so against unauthorized people wearing his logo without being sanctioned by him that the separation Kate has to the general Batfamily forces some level of suspension of disbelief in my opinion. If it had been Cass becoming Batwoman, she would have immediately had Bruce’s blessing and support, which feels like a more natural fit in the Bat mythos, especially since Cass has a tendency to get thrown to the wayside. It would have been an easy way to raise a character (who deserves it) directly onto Batman’s level without needing to undersell Bruce.
When it comes to Dick Grayson, he’s not allowed to permanently take the mantle of Batman because it takes that away from Bruce. With Cass, she’s capable of being Batwoman at the same time he’s Batman, which opens a nice door for a legacy character to surpass their mentor without removing the mentor from the equation