Why Catwoman Embodies More Than A Comic Character

My Top Picks for Catwoman

Olivia Meadows
4 min readAug 28, 2021
My Top Three Cat Women

The alter ego of Selina Kyle keeps reinventing, and for good reason, the sultry feline is both a villain and a superhero whose iconic feminist persona continues to mystify fans who question whether she exemplifies good or evil.

Despite being misconstrued in her quest to do good, the fans love her in all her bad-kitty galore, including the love, hate fiesta with the cape crusader himself, Batman.

Keep in mind that cats revel in doing their own thing. And while Selina Kyle briefly toyed with the concept of settling down with Bruce Wayne, the thought of being captive to the idioms of a traditional relationship force her to choose a lifestyle of unpredictable leisure rather than love.

Lee Meriwether

Since the 1940 comic appearance in Batman, many women have depicted the infamous lady in black — starting with Julie Newmar, the first Catwoman in the 1966 Batman series.

Miss Newmar’s introduction to the Catwalk spiked interest in the DC Comic character, and from there, the role has been slayed by many, including Lee Meriwether and Eartha Kitt, the first Black Catwoman.

Eartha Kitt 1968 Catwoman, the Batman television series

Miss Kitt joined the television series in the 3rd and final season — lending her unique style and queen of cat burglar attitude for a memorable performance, raising the bar and breaking glass ceilings for women of color.

Miss Kitt, for obvious reasons, makes rank as my top pick.

But it wasn’t until the rebirth of Selina Kyle’s 1992 Batman Returns character by Michelle Pfeiffer that surpassed expectations of the cat herself. The strange but thought-provoking transition of Selina Kyle to Catwoman was jaw dropping.

The rebirth starts with Selina being pushed from a window by her boss, Max Shreck (Christopher Walken), who punishes her for stumbling across illicit company affairs from his business. As Selina lay dead on the streets of Gotham, local stray cats come to her rescue, restoring life to her listless body — symbolically reviving Miss Kyle from a series of humdrum experiences.

Michelle Pfeiffer, 1992 Catwoman, Batman Returns

For me, it was the grinding of her girly items in the garbage

disposal that signified a new chapter in the life of a cat.

It was something about watching her destroy the pink decorations inside her meager apartment and even changing the narrative of the “Hello There” neon sign on the wall to a dark and dangerous “Hell Here” that did it for me.

Even though Halle Berry’s 2004 Catwoman wasn’t referenced as Selina Kyle, Patience Phillips held her own transforming from below average to extraordinary royale with her stark metamorphosis to a feline sensation.

The antics began after Patience woke up from the effects of being flushed out of the company through the sewer by greedy executives.

After awakening, Patience learns her senses have been amplified by a liter of local cats who revive her drowned body — blessing her with superhuman ability.

Unclear of what’s happening, Patience revisits Ophelia Powers (Frances Conroy), who confirms her new identity.

Halle Berry, 2004 Catwoman, Warner Bros.

Years of suppressing the woman she was meant to be come to an end after Patience is gifted with heightened perception, speed, and agility that solidify her superhero status.

It’s impossible to say which actress portrayed the best Catwoman because they all brought a different angle to the character. There is not a woman on the face of the Earth whom, after watching any one of the feline editions, can walk away without embracing some aspect of Catwoman.

The most recent feline, 2022, Zoe Kravitz’s, was quite interesting. Although we didn’t see revolving superhero effects, the sleek and mysterious nature of her character kept viewers glued.

Whether Catwoman is on her best behavior or about to strike a match, her ability to balance strength with feminism exemplifies empowerment for women, and that’s what makes her king.

Why Zoe Kravitz Will Portray Catwoman in The Batman (yournextshoes.com)

Catwoman (Eartha Kitt) | 1966 Batman Pages (66batmania.com)

Halle Berry Says ‘Catwoman’ Was Among Her ‘Biggest Paydays’ (usmagazine.com)