This year, DC Comics’ Catwoman celebrates her 80th anniversary! She was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane as a romantic foil to Batman and has been Batman’s most enduring femme fatale since her first appearance as “the Cat” (real name Selina Kyle) in Batman #1 (1940).
From the beginning, Catwoman was never intended to be a killer or evil. Instead, Kane and Finger created her as a “friendly foe who committed crimes but was also a romantic interest in Batman’s rather sterile life,” and was meant to be a love interest that would engage Batman‘s wits even as he tries to reform her. They decided to use a “cat,” which they saw as “kind of the antithesis of bats,” explaining:
I felt that women were feline creatures and men were more like dogs. While dogs are faithful and friendly, cats are cool, detached, and unreliable. I felt much warmer with dogs around me—cats are as hard to understand as women are. Men feel more sure of themselves with a male friend than a woman. You always need to keep women at arm’s length. We don’t want anyone taking over our souls, and women have a habit of doing that. So there’s a love-resentment thing with women. I guess women will feel that I’m being chauvinistic to speak this way, but I do feel that I’ve had better relationships with male friends than women. With women, once the romance is over, somehow they never remain my friends.– Bob Kane, Batman and Me (November 1989)
To mark the 80 years since her first appearance, DC Comics has published a 100-page spectacular boasting a whole host of covers, stories and pin ups. For our part, we’ll be celebrating along with a few ideas of our own. Meanwhile, check out these amazing variant covers for depicting Catwoman throughout her eight decades:
Which is your favorite one? Let us know in the comments!