'Batgirl': How the Comics Answer Joss Whedon's Big Question About the Hero

The filmmaker wonders what makes a woman follow in Batman’s footsteps, and it isn’t always past trauma.

Joss Whedon might not know who his cinematic Batgirl is going to be just yet, but he does know what story he wants to tell. “I started getting obsessed with how a young woman could get hardcore enough to need to put on the cowl. Like, what’s her damage?” he told Heat Vision Wednesday. “Who is this person, who decides — rather than being forced to by their childhood trauma — decides to pick up this life?”

In DC’s comic book mythology, there have been all manner of women who’ve worn the cowl. Here’s what their damage is.

Batwoman 1 (Kathy Kane; 1956)

Kathy Kane has the simplest of origins: a former circus performer, she was a fan of Batman —…

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