Off My Mind: Why it's Time for the Return of Kathy Kane

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Posted by G-Man (18882 posts) - - Show Bio

Comic book deaths are always a tricky thing. A character's death can be a double-edged sword for readers. When they happen, fans of the character can easily get upset. If the death is short and they simply return, the readers will get annoyed as the death becomes pointless or just a stunt. It's important for the threat of death to be real for characters to understand and appreciate the dangers of being a hero. Sometimes we crave the return of characters that are just too fascinating to allow them to remain in comic book limbo.

In the pages of BATMAN INCORPORATED, while we recently saw the tragic death of someone extremely close to Batman, it appears that we may be seeing the return of another character that suffered a tragic death many years ago. This isn't really too much of a spoiler because there's been clues since 2011, but it appears Kathy Kane may be getting a chance to return to Batman's life.

Kathy Kane first appeared in 1956's DETECTIVE COMICS #233. Her origin and career was retold in BATMAN INCORPORATED, Vol 1 #4. Kathy Kane was an heiress as well as a daredevil performer in a circus. The circus was given to her by Nathan Kane. Originally Kathy had inherited the money from her Uncle. This appears to have been changed to Kathy becoming Nathan's widow.

Upon his death, she didn't think she would fall in love again...until she saw footage of Batman in action. Using her inheritance, Kathy underwent training and created the costumed identity of Batwoman.

Despite Kathy's success as Batwoman, Batman repeatedly tried to persuade her to retire due to the fact he so easily deduced her identity. He feared others could easily discover her secret which would jeopardize her life. Eventually, after several adventures and a brief romance, Batwoman did retire.

It was years later in 1979's DETECTIVE COMICS #485 we would see the last of Kathy Kane. Kane had returned to her circus. Batman had received a message that the League of Assassins had the circus and Kane in their sights. After the two fought off several assassins, it was the arrival of Bronze Tiger that proved to be too much for Batman. Catching him off guard with a sudden kick, Batman lost consciousness. When he awoke minutes later, he followed a trail and found Kathy's body, clutching her old costume.

Batman then discovered Ra's al Ghul there. He claimed he was the one that sent a note to Batman, warning him Kane was in danger. He said it was Sensei, the leader of the League of Assassins (and Ra's' father), that ordered her murder. Batman knew she wasn't an enemy of Sensei and suggested it was Ra's that lied to Sensei that she was a threat. This could have been in order to persuade Batman to have a reason to take down Sensei.

With Talia al Ghul's plans to take down Batman and Gotham City, it's the perfect time for the return of Kathy Kane. There was obviously more to Kathy's life than Batman realized. It appeared that she broke off their relationship because she didn't want to continue the life of a crimefighter and knew Batman couldn't give it up.

In BATMAN INCORPORATED, we were lead to believe there was more to it than that.

Of course we already have a ton of Bat-characters running around. Kate Kane is kicking all sorts of butt as the current Batwoman. That doesn't mean there isn't room for Kathy Kane's return. Because of her complex past and the seeds Grant Morrison has been planting, she makes for an intriguing character to have a presence in Batman's life. She was the one that broke his heart.

There's also the question of what she's been up to since her apparent death. If we are to believe she is currently appearing in BATMAN INCORPORATED, why is she associated with St. Hadrian's Finishing School for Girls? It appeared the school was taken down but the woman Batman thought was in control stated that he still didn't have the "Headmistress." The girls at the school are trained assassins and wear the yellow costumes with skull masks. These are the same costumes worn by those with the mysterious woman seen in BATMAN INCORPORATED.

If Kathy does return and is connected to St. Hadrian's or is still connected to Spyral, it's going to make an awkward reunion for Kane and Batman. That's just the sort of thing to spice up the story. With Talia's connection to Leviathan and the fact that Kathy was set up to be killed by Ra's, Kathy will have more than enough reason to come out of retirement. She obviously wouldn't need to try to reclaim her Batwoman identity. She could add an interesting twist to the Bat-titles and become a serious complication that could keep Batman on his toes.

#1 Posted by batmannflash (6226 posts) - - Show Bio

I dont mind her return but DC should really look to establish the potential return of Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain!!

#2 Posted by darkrider (463 posts) - - Show Bio

but if she return what will be her name bat lady

#3 Posted by Trevel8182 (754 posts) - - Show Bio

Wasn't the whole purpose of the character to get away from people thinking Batman and Robin

where gay.

#4 Posted by darkrider (463 posts) - - Show Bio

or maybe she should have a catfight with Kate and the winner take the name

#6 Posted by Jonny_Anonymous (34978 posts) - - Show Bio

Aren't the Kanes and Waynes related? That's pretty creepy

#7 Posted by danaandra (59 posts) - - Show Bio
#8 Posted by thesonofneptune101 (61 posts) - - Show Bio

Aren't the Kanes and Waynes related? That's pretty creepy

"Yeah I'm pretty sure Bruce's mother Martha was from the Kane family , and His Father was from the Wayne family. I don't know what Kathy Kane is to Martha Wayne but Kathy and Bruce could be cousins technically making any relationship they'd ever have a form of incest.

#9 Posted by Kwodam (97 posts) - - Show Bio

nah i like batwoman just fine atm

#10 Posted by darknightspideyfanboy (1451 posts) - - Show Bio
#11 Edited by LaserLambert (636 posts) - - Show Bio

.... seriously? the character created solely because people accused batman of being gay?

do we need two dozen Robins a bushel of Batgirls and a couple of Batwomen?

#12 Posted by Arkhamc1tizen (2146 posts) - - Show Bio

I love Kathy Kane!!!!!!!!!!!

#13 Posted by MyraMyraMyra (296 posts) - - Show Bio

Nah, I don't think there's any room for her - unless she is completely reinvented as a character (which is basically what happened when Kate Kane/Batwoman was introduced) & given an alternate civilian name to set her apart from Kate Kane, and that would more or less defeat the purpose of bringing her back to begin with (as opposed to creating a new charcater altogether). I think she's an unnecessary character who would be unavoidably confused with the current Batwoman, and I don't find her backstory nor her special relationship with Batman compelling enough to justify her return to comics.

#14 Posted by dngn4774 (3504 posts) - - Show Bio

Bringing Kathy back would just weaken Kate's character. It's bad enough they had to bring her sister back, if you bring back her mom to it takes away any of the conflicts that made her decide to protect others.

#15 Posted by fables87 (1082 posts) - - Show Bio

Would be cool to see her in the pages of the new Batwoman maybe.

#16 Posted by queenfrost_ (2490 posts) - - Show Bio

We already have one Kate Kane. If any female bat family member needs to be back its a toss-up between Cass and Steph

#17 Posted by Perfect 10 (1239 posts) - - Show Bio

we have kate, the new and improved kathy.

#18 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6532 posts) - - Show Bio

@dngn4774 said:

Bringing Kathy back would just weaken Kate's character. It's bad enough they had to bring her sister back, if you bring back her mom to it takes away any of the conflicts that made her decide to protect others.

Kathy isn't Kates mum. Kate and Beths mum was called Gabrielle.

#19 Posted by G-Man (18882 posts) - - Show Bio

As I mentioned, her coming back in a bigger role wouldn't mean coming back as Batwoman. Just like when Jason Todd came back, it wasn't as Robin. With everything she's been up to since, she's way beyond the character she used to be. There's plenty of layers that have been added to would be fascinating to see explored.

#20 Posted by herrweis (437 posts) - - Show Bio

I think its a bad idea.and one that's not needed. More than anything I think it takes away from Batman himself to keep bringing back long gone characters or keep adding characters to his mythos when it is already congested.

#22 Edited by ChiSoxRox (235 posts) - - Show Bio
#23 Posted by IanPrime (27 posts) - - Show Bio

I dont mind her return but DC should really look to establish the potential return of Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain!!

This.

#24 Edited by Xwraith (21385 posts) - - Show Bio

Is Kathy Kane related to Kate in any way?

Online
#25 Edited by Miss_Garrick (1757 posts) - - Show Bio
#26 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6532 posts) - - Show Bio

@xwraith said:

Is Kathy Kane related to Kate in any way?

There's been no evidence of it. Jacob Kane knows about Kathy, and hasn't been shown mentioning any relation.

Because Kathys maiden name wasn't Kane, it would have to be that Nathan Kane was blood related to Jacob in some way. It's possible that they are related somehow, but it would be a fairly loose connection.

#27 Posted by clayscarface (121 posts) - - Show Bio

@myramyramyra: totally agree with you. the whole point of Kate Kane seemed to be a reimagining of Kathy. with Kate kicking so much butt in such a quality book, there's no need for the confusion when there are so many other characters who would stand apart as something unique that have yet to be introduced.

#28 Posted by umbrafeline (5217 posts) - - Show Bio

I know this is a dc story but, if We know comic characters never die, then why is uncle ben pushing up daisies?

#29 Edited by jakester217 (29 posts) - - Show Bio

.

#30 Posted by Xwraith (21385 posts) - - Show Bio

I know this is a dc story but, if We know comic characters never die, then why is uncle ben pushing up daisies?

Everyone but him, Thomas and Martha Wayne, and Thunderbird.

Online
#31 Posted by wtk1013 (269 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope she does come back,with a new name.....hmm what if she joined Justice League of America

#32 Posted by DarkDay (634 posts) - - Show Bio
#33 Posted by Mbecks14 (2029 posts) - - Show Bio

At first I was like "No, we already have Kate." But after reading the article I realized how far behind on Batman Inc I am and this could be really interesting. As long as she's not replacing Kate, I'm all for it.

#34 Posted by Decoy Elite (29923 posts) - - Show Bio

Her story in Batman Inc was pretty neat, love to see some more flashbacks to her old adventures and stuff.

As for returning as a villain, she could work but it'd be a hard sale given how many "Batman except they might be better" characters there already are.

#35 Edited by batmannflash (6226 posts) - - Show Bio

@ianprime: thanks. I've been rereading both Stephanie Brown's and Cassandra Cain's old Batgirl series and I miss Steph so much. I love Barbara but it'll be awesome for Steph to return and Babs become Oracle.

I was thinking they could bring Stephanie back as Spoiler and in a good amount of time, slowly make Barbara become Oracle and Stephanie assume the role of Batgirl.

Oh and welcome to ComicVine!

#36 Posted by charlieboy (7095 posts) - - Show Bio

@xwraith: Well, Kathy was Bette Kane's aunt in the old continuity. Bette is Kate's cousin. I would say they probably are related.

#37 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (8004 posts) - - Show Bio

Is she related to Kate Kane?

#38 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6532 posts) - - Show Bio

Is she related to Kate Kane?

There's been no evidence of it. Jacob Kane knows about Kathy, and hasn't been shown mentioning any relation.

Because Kathys maiden name wasn't Kane, it would have to be that Nathan Kane was blood related to Jacob in some way. It's possible that they are related somehow, but it would be a fairly loose connection.

@xwraith: Well, Kathy was Bette Kane's aunt in the old continuity. Bette is Kate's cousin. I would say they probably are related.

I think this may have been changed. I kind of get the feeling someone would have mentioned it if it was still like that.

#39 Posted by Nahuel (391 posts) - - Show Bio

Uhm... no

#40 Posted by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6532 posts) - - Show Bio
#41 Posted by MadeinBangladesh (8004 posts) - - Show Bio

@madeinbangladesh said:

Is she related to Kate Kane?

There's been no evidence of it. Jacob Kane knows about Kathy, and hasn't been shown mentioning any relation.

Because Kathys maiden name wasn't Kane, it would have to be that Nathan Kane was blood related to Jacob in some way. It's possible that they are related somehow, but it would be a fairly loose connection.

@charlieboy said:

@xwraith: Well, Kathy was Bette Kane's aunt in the old continuity. Bette is Kate's cousin. I would say they probably are related.

I think this may have been changed. I kind of get the feeling someone would have mentioned it if it was still like that.

I think something will happen in the current Batwoman title since this new arc is about batman and kate kane

#42 Posted by Nahuel (391 posts) - - Show Bio

@v_scarlotte_rose: because I don't care about bringing dead characters to life just to keep messing with the continuity even if it's well justified

For me Batman Inc. it's a pretty dumb concept and I didn't mind it at all with the New 52, because it felt like an elseworld story just to make Grant Morrison happy to finish what he started, but right now is just a timeline scramble machine.

And finally I disagree with what human says, even if it turns out to be real. We already have a great Batwoman and too many plot holes in the Batman continuity...

#43 Posted by blackkitty (352 posts) - - Show Bio

I really don't see the point of her return to be honest. We already have a Batwoman and a Batgirl. She adds nothing I can see to the dynamic. Yes, I want Stephanie Brown and really feel this is kinda a big slight to all those who are asking for Stephanie Brown to return. It's like they're saying, you wanna see her... well... heck no, here's a character from the 1950's, we'd rather see her back than Stephanie.

#44 Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6532 posts) - - Show Bio

@v_scarlotte_rose said:

@madeinbangladesh said:

Is she related to Kate Kane?

There's been no evidence of it. Jacob Kane knows about Kathy, and hasn't been shown mentioning any relation.

Because Kathys maiden name wasn't Kane, it would have to be that Nathan Kane was blood related to Jacob in some way. It's possible that they are related somehow, but it would be a fairly loose connection.

@charlieboy said:

@xwraith: Well, Kathy was Bette Kane's aunt in the old continuity. Bette is Kate's cousin. I would say they probably are related.

I think this may have been changed. I kind of get the feeling someone would have mentioned it if it was still like that.

I think something will happen in the current Batwoman title since this new arc is about batman and kate kane

You think Kathy will be in Batwomans series?

#45 Posted by TraylorAlan (1 posts) - - Show Bio

@jonny_anonymous: In the new 52 retcon, yes. Both Kathy & Kate are probably Bruce's cousins.

#46 Edited by End_Boss (735 posts) - - Show Bio

@umbrafeline:

Ah, so you haven't heard the full expression.

"In comic books, no one ever stays dead... Except Uncle Ben."

It's basically because he's Peter's first and most formative push toward being Spider-Man.

As for the actual topic, I think Kathy will return, but not as a costumed vigilante. If anything, she will probably be an Oracle-esque character, and information broker that helps the Bat family out with their cases. That, and DC will inevitably attempt to revive Kathy and Bruce's flame (which will end in her tragic death, just like every other woman Bruce takes a liking to).

#47 Posted by BaneStrokeLoboGrundyBatArrow (1402 posts) - - Show Bio

sure why not?

#48 Posted by Justthatkid (4704 posts) - - Show Bio

More Batman characters what about the other characters missing or deceased before the new 52, Batman literally owns DC :/

#49 Edited by V_Scarlotte_Rose (6532 posts) - - Show Bio
#50 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6836 posts) - - Show Bio

I say its high time for her return as well! Let the good times roll in the Bat Family!

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