Kate Kane’s Batwoman has never benefited from an official passing of the torch. Now, that’s changing, but fans won’t believe how.
Warning: spoilers for The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #5 ahead!Kate Kane’s Batwoman long ago earned the Dark Knight’s support for her vigilante mission, but there is one blessing she has never received until now: that of her predecessor. Although Kathy Kane, the Silver Age Batwoman, long since retired from the limelight, she has reemerged to formally pass the torch to her modern-day incarnation… with the help of the mystery-solving Great Dane, Scooby-Doo.
Sholly Fisch, Dario Brizuela, and Franco Riesco’s The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries #5 sees professional tennis player Bette Kane reach out to Scooby and the gang at Batman’s request in order to help track down her missing aunt Kathy and a marauding were-rat biker gang, and Batwoman Kate Kane soon arrives to assist. It soon comes out that Bette’s aunt is in fact the Silver Age Batwoman (gone undercover to investigate the biker gang), and Bette herself was once the original Bat-Girl. Although Kathy and Bette return to their costumed identities to help thwart the rampaging “rat pack,” they are happy to hang up their uniforms once more when the mystery is solved, although not before Kathy gives Kate her formal blessing to continue carrying out her legacy as the modern-day Batwoman.
Batwoman Finally Gets Her Predecessor’s Approval
“Batwoman” as a character first appeared in Edmond Hamilton, Sheldon Moldoff and Stan Kaye’s Detective Comics #233 in 1956, with socialite-turned-vigilante Kathy Kane becoming the first female member of the Bat-Family. Although later erased during the Crisis on Infinite Earths, the legacy of Batwoman’s origins lives on through the presence of Gotham’s Kane family. Similarly, while the identity of Bette Kane originally belonged to the Silver Age Bat-Girl, the modern incarnation of the character now exists as the hero Hawkfire, the modern Batwoman’s ally and cousin. Gaining the approval of a prior incarnation is the highest honor a legacy character can receive – it’s often viewed as the thing that makes their new identity official – but because of continuity issues, it’s something Kate had yet to receive.
Batwoman Gets an Impossible Moment of Approval
The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries exists in a unique blend of Silver Age and modern continuity; for example, while Bette is still Kate’s cousin, this version of the character plays off her Silver Age incarnation, forgoing heroics after her Bat-Girl identity and never continuing her vigilante career under the Flamebird or Hawkfire monikers. This merging affords Kathy and Kate the rare opportunity to interact with each other despite their otherwise clashing continuities. Kathy acts warmly toward Kate, here having taught her many of her acrobatic skills in her youth, and declares that she “couldn’t be more proud” to see Kate Kane donning the costume and continue in her footsteps as Batwoman.
Kate Kane’s tenure as Batwoman began with a rocky start, as she was operating in Gotham under the “bat” umbrella without Batman’s consent. Although she has since become a welcome addition to the family, the warmth and joy with which Kathy bequeaths the title of “Batwoman” is a stark rebuke to Kate’s originally cold reception. Batwoman has long deserved a formal passing of the torch, and though no one expected it to be brought about by a Scooby-Doo crossover, it is good to see her finally receive the blessing of her predecessor.
The Batman & Scooby-Doo Mysteries (2022) #5 is now available from DC Comics.