Dark Heroines: Catwoman

Anne Hathaway as Catwoman/Selina Kyle

I have to admit to wracking my brains for a Dark Heroine to talk about – they really are under-represented – but I eventually decided on Catwoman. I’ve not seen either the Berry film (which isn’t really canon) or The Dark Knight Rises, but it’s Pfeiffer’s version that I want to talk about (yes, I know the photo is Anne Hathaway, hush)

In Batman Returns, Selina Kyle is secretary to Max Shreck. She comes into her “powers” when Shreck pushes her out of a window and she’s revived by the neighbourhood cats. Driven by revenge, she sets out to destroy Shreck and this puts her at odds with Batman, with who she develops a love/hate relationship. When Catwoman realises that she’s gone too far, she takes revenge and, seemingly, her own life by kissing Shreck to death courtesy of a tazer.

What I liked about Burton’s tale is that Selina/Catwoman remains in control of her own fate, rather than allowing Batman to take revenge on her behalf. There seems to be a tendency to disallow female characters autonomy, especially in the comic genre, so this plot point made a great impression on me. She refuses to be a victim, and that’s powerful, as is the fact that she redeems herself.


Misa Buckley is a sci fi geek who escapes the crazy of raising five children by creating imaginary characters who experience adventure, romance and really hot sex on their way to a happily-ever-after. You can keep up to date with Misa’s latest news by following her on Twitter or at her website.

About Misa

Crochet designer, occasional author of science fiction romance.

Posted on December 5, 2012, in Misa Buckley and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Catwoman was on my list of possibilities for dark heroines. I am glad you did her. There really are so few out there.

  1. Pingback: Darker Temptations: Catwoman |

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