Batman‘s line of books is typically male lead, obviously. With either Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Azrael or someone else handling the cowl. However, he is never too far from a female presence either as an ally or a foe. Over the many decades Batman books have been in print there have been some giant female presences around who have had a great impact on the events and Batman himself. Here I list some of my favourite female Batman characters which I’ve encountered – I haven’t read all Batman books so this is always going to be a work in progress. This list is also in no particular order.
The following female characters have been involved with Batman directly rather than in crossovers so the likes of Wonder Woman, Supergirl etc do not qualify.
Female Batman Heroes
Cassandra Cain (Batgirl, Black Bat, Orphan)
|Aliases||Batgirl, Black Bat, Orphan|
|Created By||Kelley Puckett, Damion Scott|
Admittedly, I haven’t read too many books with Cassandra Cain as a featured character but from what I have read I find her to be a fascinating characters and among my favourite girl Batman characters. In particular; I am a huge fan of her Batgirl costume from War Games. Her demeanour is cold, short and to the point. She’s also an extraordinary good fighter. Whenever she had been focussed on she gets on with it quickly and efficiently.
I wish I had read some of her backstory books to learn a little bit more about her but from what I have seen I really love her character and what she brings to the team. Cassandra Cain is the daughter of Lady Shiva which goes a long way to explain Cassandra’s phenomenal fighting ability.
Cassandra Cain was created by Kelley Puckett and Damion Scott debuted as herself in Batman: #567 and as Batgirl in Legends of the Dark Knight #120 during No Man’s Land.
- Greg Rucka
- Publisher: Titan Publishing Company
- Edition no. 0 (12/01/2011)
Dr. Leslie Thompkins
|Name||Dr. Leslie Thompkins|
|Debut||Detective Comics #457|
|Created By||Dennis O’Neil|
Probably not a character you were expecting to see on a female Batman characters list but Leslie Thompkins is one of my favourite female characters in the Batman universe because of what she brings to the storyline and the dynamic between her and Bruce. She is a pacifist medical professional who just wants to do good and heal people. She has been a part of Bruce’s life almost as long as anyone’s as disapproves of his vigilante activities but ultimately has always been on his side, well maybe not always…
She brings a different side out of Bruce and allows the reader to sometimes take a glimpse of a more vulnerable Bruce.
Leslie Thompkins made her first appearance in Detective Comics #457.
Stephanie Brown (Spoiler, Batgirl, Robin)
|Debut||Detective Comics #647|
|Aliases||Spoiler, Robin, Batgirl|
|Created By||Chuck Dixon|
Stephanie Brown is one of the most controversial characters in recent history. Originally debuting in Detective Comics #647 by Chuck Dixon as simply a lot device to foil her criminal father, Cluemaster’s, plans. She was well received before going on to become a character in her own right. Often a very troubled character she has been through some major storylines including a pregnancy and her own death during War Games where she played a major part herself. Stephanie Brown has been Spoiler, Robin and Batgirl during her time in Gotham.
Stephanie Brown has also been known to be extremely close to the 3rd Robin, Tim Drake and has had a contentious relationship with Bruce Wayne.
- Bryan Q. Miller
- Publisher: DC Comics
- Paperback: 168 pages
Barbara Gordon (Batgirl, Oracle)
|Debut||Detective Comics #359|
|Created By||William Dozier, Julius Schwarz, Carmine Infantino|
Barbara Gordon has been around a long, long time debuting in Detective Comics #359 in January 1967. However, it’s not her early days or her time as Oracle (found her to be wasted here and boring) but more her time as Batgirl again the New 52 and beyond that I love. She is a strong young woman who engages readers with her honest thoughts and her clear and present confidence issues. Not only that but she is hot!
Batgirl has always been an intriguing character regardless of who wears the cape and cowl but it’s Barbara who’s the original and it’s Barbara that has the best stories behind her. If you love Batman and want to get into Batgirl I highly recommend starting with Darkest Reflection and take it from there.
- DC Comics
- Gail Simone
- Publisher: DC Comics
- DC COMICS
- Hope Larson
- Publisher: DC Comics
Selina Kyle (Catwoman)
|Created By||Bob Kane, Bill Finger|
Selina Kyle and Catwoman are almost as old as Batman himself, debuting in Batman #1. Another morally ambiguous character who is a love interest to Bruce and the occasional enemy. At first, I found Catwoman to be a thin character when in a crossover storyline and over sexualised to get the interest of male readers with her skin tight leather outfits and dangerously low zipped top. However, Catwoman has had some great storylines throughout the years.
|Name||Renee Maria Montoya|
|Created By||Sean Catherine Derek, Karen Bright, Mitch Brian|
Detective Renee Montoya is one of my favourite Gotham girls. She’s not a superhero or a supervillian – she’s a real cop working alongside Harvey Bullock and James Gordon trying to clean the streets of Gotham. She’s very tough, can handle herself and has some depth to her as a character when she gets the attention of the writers. She is a Latina and has come out as a lesbian and not so that it looks forced or done for DC to tick boxes. She is one of biggest symbols of diversification and feminism in all of the DC comic books – Montoya is one of the few female characters who doesn’t suffer from over sexualisation so that the focus is always on the character and not the looks.
Helena Bertinelli (The Huntress)
|Debut||The Huntress #1|
|Created By||Joe Cavalieri, Joe Staton|
Helena Bertinelli aka The Huntress is an old character but fairly modern as Helena Bertinelli. She is a long time member of the Birds of Prey. She has a very troubled past having been born into a mafia family and sexually assaulted at a very young age. From then she was sent away and learned martial arts. Similarly to Bruce Wayne, she sees her parents murdered and turns to crime fighting to stop it happening to others. Like many other female characters created by DC she is extremely attractive while still being a strong woman. She has run ins with Batman often and is a love interest to Catwoman.
|Created By||Julius Schwarz, Gardiner Fox, Murphy Anderson|
Zatanna Zatara is a well known stage magician as well as an actual magical and is well travelled in the DC Universe as a whole as well as the Batman family of stories. A gifted magician and a force to be reckoned with who will often speak lines in the wrong order and just make things appear out of thin air. Debuting in Hawkman #4 Zatanna has over the years crossed lines with Batman more than once as a friend, enemy and a love interest. Perhaps her best known storyline was as a short story in Batman: Private Casebook.
Sometimes, Zatanna is another DC character who is over sexualised with revealing outfits when there is no real reason to. Some people like it, some people don’t.
|Debut||Detective Comics #233|
|Created By||Edmond Hamilton, Sheldon Moldoff|
Kate Kane AKA Batwoman is a mysterious red haired heroine who has been around a long time but on and off through history. Originally devised as a love interest for Batman, Batwoman’s series was soon cancelled. Upon her return in the modern age Kate Kane returned to the fold as red haired crime fighter most affiliated with Batman Incorporated and Spyral. Kate Kane is an openly gay Batman family character and a lesbian icon for many comic book fans. Batwoman can currently be gound in her own solo Rebirth series.
|Debut||Detective Comics #31|
|Created By||Gardner Fox, Bob Kane,Sheldon Moldoff|
Not sure if you can strictly call Julie Madison a hero as she’s usually portrayed as Bruce Wayne’s love interest and more recently a “what if?” love interest as her and Bruce got close to Alfred’s pleasure when Bruce suffered amnesia following Endgame. However, she is an ancient character who first came around in 1939 and has had sporadic appearances since. Bloom is a book with a storyline where Julie Madison features prominently.
Female Batman Villains
|Name||Harleen Frances Quinzel|
|Debut||The Batman Adventures #12|
|Created By||Paul Dini, Bruce Timm|
Harleen Frances Quinzel aka Harley Quinn is probably one of the most recognisable girl Batman villains in history especially in mainstream media despite only been around since the early 90s. Harley Quinn was actually created through the TV series Batman: The Animated Series and then adapted into the comic books. Created by Paul Dini and Bruce Time Harley Quinn’s first comic book appearance was The Batman Adventures #12 and she’s been a stalwart alongside the Joker since, even getting her own book series and heavily involved with the Suicide Squad.
She has a simple backstory – she was a psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum trying to analyse the Joker of all people. The Joker ‘breaks’ her and she quickly becomes his on/off girlfriend who is as crazy as he is. A phenomenal fighter and strategist Harley Quinn is often the life and soul of the issue. Often, artists can over sexualise her character as is the unfortunate fate of many female Batman characters to sell some issues but generally she is a character with a lot of substance.
Sofia Gigante Falcone
|Name||Sofia Gigante Falcone|
|Debut||Batman: Year One #6|
|Created By||Jeph Loeb, Tim Sale|
A ferocious and formidable female crime boss who started way back in Year One, Sofia Gigante Falcone was for a time the head of the Falcone crime gang and the killer known as ‘Hangman’. She was introduced in Year One, expanded greatly in The Long Halloween and met her fate in Dark Victory. She is notable for being a cunning strategist and one of the rare female Batman characters to be able to toe-to-toe with Batman in a fist fight. One day I hope someone brings her back from the dead somehow.
|Debut||Richard Dragon, Kung Fu Fighter #5|
|Created By||Dennis O’Neil|
Lady Shiva otherwise known as Sandra Wu-San is one of the most ferocious fighters in all of DC Universe and quote often in the Batman universe. Lady Shiva is known as one of the best fighters in the world and gives Bruce a run for his money every time. From time to time she can drift from being good or bad but most recently as an ally of the Batman family. Many female Batman characters are good fighters but Lady Shiva is arguably the best. Cassandra Cain is Lady Shiva’s daughter and it was only after her birth that Sandra Wu-San actually came to be known as Lady Shiva.
|Debut||The Dark Knight Returns|
|Created By||Frank Miller|
Bruno is and will always be one of the most controversial Batman female characters ever. Twin swastikas on her giant breasts and her giant ass as well as hyper aggression make Bruno a memorable character despite only being in The Dark Knight Saga. An enormous woman with great strength and dubious political choices this neo-Nazi is one of the moments that help make The Dark Knight Returns famous, wrongly or rightly. Once seen can never be unseen.
Talia al Ghul
|Name||Talia al Ghul|
|Debut||Detective Comics #411|
|Aliases||Talia Head, Leviathan|
|Created By||Dennis O’Neil|
Another Dennis O’Neil created formidable woman is Talia al Ghul. Perhaps one of the most important female character connected to Batman ever as Bruce Wayne’s former lover and the mother of his son, Damian Wayne. Talia is a cold, calculated and diabolical character who often does whatever it takes to get what she wants. Although many would say Talia is morally ambiguous she has recently been on more of the enemy side rather than an ally.
Pamela Lillian Isley (Poison Ivy)
|Name||Pamela Lillian Isley|
|Created By||Robert Kanigher, Sheldon Moldoff|
Poison Ivy is another female Batman character who wasn’t born with her powers. A former Gotham City Botanist, Poison Ivy was transformed after a laboratory accident. Obsessed with plants, flowers and all thing nature Poison Ivy is Gotham’s most famous eco-terrorist. One of the many female characters who uses her hyper-sexual charms to her advantage she is also a fearless tactician and a thorn in Batman’s side. Has also been suggested to have been in a lesbian relationship with Harley Quinn for a spell.
Ivy’s one of the most recognisable characters in the Bat-verse and with good reason – she’s an original character with more than just death and crime as motives who has a rich history having been in the comics since the 60s. She also shares the same curse as other Batman girls as being drawn in an overly sexualised way when sometimes it would appear as if it’s unnecessary.
Jaina Hudson/White Rabbit
|Debut||Batman: The Dark Knight #1|
|Created By||David Finch, Paul Jenkins|
Jaina Hudson aka White Rabbit is probably the hottest Batman character ever, she may well have been created just for that reason alone. Her description on the DC Wiki is “White Rabbit is a mysterious woman dressed up like a rabbit who likes to be chased, but can never be caught. White Rabbit is a master escape artist thanks to her ability to separate into two different women. Perhaps there is very little substance in the character but it certainly is not straining to look at the pages she’s drawn on.
|Debut||Batman Family #6|
|Aliases||Duela Dent Nigma Napier|
|Created By||Bob Rozakis|
Duela Dent could possibly be as crazier if not crazier than Harley Quinn. Duela has a mysterious origin like Joker where you never know which origin story is right. At once stage she has been called the daughter of practically every super villain in Gotham. Duel has had mixed reactions the past, possibly due to not being a good character in her own right and instead taking inspirations from others. Nevertheless, she is an interesting character and now a member of the Suicide Squad.
|Created By||Gail Simone, Alithia Martinez|
A relatively new female character is Charise Carnes aka Knightfall. Although they could have named Charise’s alias anything they chose to use the same name as the major Batman crossover arc. A daughter born into a very wealthy family and a very dark past as she is accused of murdering her entire family. Now the head of the family with a wide reaching network of lawyers, city officials and loyal guards. Charise Carnes is a masterful fighter and tactition who so far is limited to the Batgirl series of books.
Shauna Belzer (Ventriloquist)
|Created By||Gail Simone, Daniel Sampere, Carlos Rodriguez|
Let me tell, you. Shauna Belzer AKA Ventriloquist is one of the creepiest girl villains in the Bat-family series. Debuting in Batgirl Volume 4: Wanted as a twisted young lady obsessed with murder accompanied by her dummy, Fergie, named after her dead twin brother that she likely killed. She has some strong telekineses powers and is able to throw her voice. Gave Batgirl a real run for her money, this girl is not messing around.
- Gail Simone
- Publisher: DC Comics
- Edition no. 52 (05/27/2014)
Leigh Carson (Ankh)
|Debut||Batman Confidential #26|
|Created By||Nunzio DeFilippis,Christina Weir|
One of the least known female characters of all times as Leigh Carson AKA Ankh only appeared in one short story despite the story ending in somewhat of a cliffhanger which involved Ankh. That book was King Tut’s Tomb. Leigh Carson was gloriously sexy in the book and became arguably sexier when she transformed into Ankh. Unfortunately no one ever continued her story so you’ll only ever find her in King Tut’s Tomb. You’ll only find any sort of profile for Leigh Carson/Ankh right here at The Gotham Archives.
|Debut||Batman Annual Vol 2 #2|
|Created By||Marguerite Bennett, Scott Snyder|
An ancient and seemingly immortal villain that Batman didn’t even know about. The Anchoress was a trouble child and one of Arkham’s first ever inmates.. and she’s been in there since then! Possessing unreal powers of Quantum Tunnelling and manages to get through to Batman with relative ease. She was quickly taken down after some quick thinking but could be a formidable foe if she was ever truly evil and had enough of a motive.
- Batman Vol 6 Graveyard Shift the New 52
- Scott Snyder
- Publisher: DC Comics
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