Catwoman (Selina Kyle) is a DC Comics character, associated with the Batman franchise. Created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane, she first appeared in Batman #1 (1940).
Originally, Catwoman was a catsuit-garbed burglar and adversary of Batman, but as Batman grew darker and Catwoman sexier, the two shared an attraction and Catwoman has been written, quite seriously, as a romantic interest of her one-time foe.
Catwoman's sexy mystique has meant an easy transition to live action adaptations of Batman. Several actresses, most notably Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt, portrayed her in the 1960s Batman television series and Michelle Pfeiffer played her in 1992's Batman Returns.
In 2004, Halle Berry starred in a film titled Catwoman, a new adaptation that did not follow the traditional comic book character (see Catwoman (movie)).
Comic Book History
Although originally introduced as an opponent for Batman, Catwoman's status as hero or villain is ambiguous; she has her own moral code (she abhors killing) and has occasionally teamed up with Batman against greater threats.
She is often considered a potential romantic interest for Batman; in the 1970s DC Comics even ran an ongoing series set in a parallel universe in which Catwoman and Batman had married and had a daughter who fought crime as the Huntress.
Her costume at first appearance in the comics (at which time she was known merely as 'The Cat') had a theatrically face-covering cat-mask. Later she wore a dress with a hood that came with ears, and still later a bodysuit with attached boots and either a domino or glasses-mask. In the 1960s, the bodysuit was green in color, which was typical of villains. In the 1990s, she usually wore a skintight purple bodysuit, before switching to a black leather outfit that recalls Michelle Pfeiffer's costume in Batman Returns (see illustration). In recent years, she has usually alternated between these two costumes.
Occasional attempts have been made to feature Catwoman in her own comic book series. The most recent such series, written by Ed Brubaker, was launched in 2001 and as of 2005 is still running to great acclaim.
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