Batman’s goal is to protect the innocents of his city from the violent crime lords and gangsters who prey on the weak. But he is no longer the only hero watching over Gotham.
Kate Kane, taking up the mantle of Batwoman, quickly proved herself more capable than many vigilantes with actual powers, striking fear into her enemies as only someone wearing the infamous Bat-logo can. Here are five reasons Batwoman is even better than Batman (and five why Batman will always be better):
10 Batwoman: Not a Billionaire
To appreciate just how awesome Batwoman is, it is important to understand Batman too. Bruce Wayne’s family is ludicrously rich.
Kate Kane’s family have money, and she is even related to Bruce, but whereas she grew up living a relatively comfortable life, she did not have the kind of cash on hand needed to buy a sovereign nation. This gives her both more compassion for the suffering of others and one more obstacle she’s proven able to overcome.
9 Batman: Money Helps
Bruce Wayne’s superpower is his stock portfolio. Without it, he could not build a new Batmobile every few months, or develop a high-tech security station like the Belfry, or make a mech suit that lets him fight Superman.
In truth, he could single-handedly end world hunger. Gotham would probably be a lot safer if Batman just paid for every poor or mentally ill person to get what they needed, which would suddenly mean no one was so desperate they resorted to becoming henchmen for his villains. However, if he did that, he probably could not also build the Justice League’s Watchtower or design suits like the Hellbat to fight Darkseid when the need arose, so that money makes a difference.
8 Batwoman: Started Later in Life
Because Kate Kane chose to become Batwoman as an adult, she made a conscious rational choice. She can look at her choices critically. The emotions that drive her are backed up by a philosophical understanding of action and consequences.
Bruce Wayne made his choice as a scared traumatized kid. There is nothing rational about his choices, and while he has grown since then, he is not able to adapt to some of the morally grey nuance that Kate Kane has accommodated for. She is not as smart as him, but she is more consistent in her own internal logic for what she does.
7 Batman: Grit
Beyond money, it seems like the thing that makes Batman a hero is sheer stubborn grit. He is so bullheaded he should probably just dress like a Minotaur.
Time and again, villains have underestimated Batman’s willpower. He chose to give up the comforts of his life of luxury to become a living weapon, turning himself into a symbol. A great example of his grit is seen in the story Final Crisis. When Darkseid tries to make clones of Batman and imprint all of Bruce’s memories on the clones, they all die from the trauma of what Bruce has endured over his life.
6 Batwoman: She’s a Soldier
As a West Point cadet, Kate received the best military training officers in the United States armed forces can possibly hope for. When she was kicked out for her sexuality, she trained with some of the leading special forces operatives all over the world, pushing herself to new extremes to make herself into a living weapon. She sees her work as a mission and has trained for it as such.
When it comes down to it, Batwoman also is willing to use lethal force and military hardware if necessary. This strategic approach sets her apart from her cousin Bruce, but gives her a distinct advantage.
5 Batman: One of a Kind
As indicated in the last example about Batman’s grit, he has survived trauma that would kill most people and yet come out on top. In fact, in all the multiverse, there is no one quite like the main Batman.
Sure, there are other Batmen out there on their own worlds who are also impressive. The Soviet Batman challenged the Kryptonian of his world after Stalin’s agents murdered his parents. The Batman of Earth-6 is a professional wrestler who became a costumed hero after being cleared of charges for a crime he did not commit. Earth-1889’s Batman took on Jack the Ripper. But when it comes to it, in all the multiverse, there is really only one Batman with all the qualities fans have come to love.
4 Batwoman: Monster Hunting
Despite the fact that Batwoman has no powers, most of her enemies are supernatural in origin. She has fought Medusa, the Hydra, the vampire Nocturna, and the child-abducting spirit known as La Llorona (Spanish for the Weeping Woman).
The DEO took an interest in her because of her ability to bring down these supernatural forces. Roughly half of Batwoman’s rogues gallery is comprised of literal monsters, which she fearlessly defeats despite their terrifying power.
3 Batman: Cooler Toys
One of the reasons Batman seems so impressive is that he uses his money to develop really awesome gadgets.
To put it into perspective, Bruce spends so much just on Batarangs that Tim Drake once hid the cost of buying himself a motorcycle as a line item in the Batarang budget. Basically, the Bat Cave is just a giant toy chest for Bruce’s expensive play things.
2 Batwoman: More Obstacles Overcome
Everyone has some degree of privilege that others lack, but Bruce Wayne is quite possibly the single most privileged person on the planet. His cousin Kate has not enjoyed quite so easy a life. As a gay Jewish woman in the military, she has dealt with her fair share of hardships. She lost her dream job over who she is and has continually been underestimated or taken advantage of by others.
Adversity does not inherently make one stronger, but in the case of Batwoman, it absolutely has! If success is the result of mind over matter, she has proven that no matter what obstacles she encounters, she can take them on.
1 Batman: He’s the Original
A number of Batwoman’s entries on this list contrast her with Batman. There is a reason for this. Beyond Batman being the more famous character, he inspired her to pursue her career. In other words, there would be no Batwoman if not for Batman.
The same is true for Nightwing, all three Batgirls, and every person to don the mantle of Robin, not to mention the Justice League, whose headquarters he built. When Clark Kent was still a farm boy in Kansas, Bruce Wayne was training to for his war on crime. Before Hal Jordan was chosen by the Green Lantern Corps, Batman was taking down the Gotham mob. At the beginning of it all, there was Batman.
In a battle between DC's superheroes Batman and Batwoman, which of the two Bat Family members would win?