Bette Kane

Bette Kane is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character first appeared in the 1960s as Betty Kane, the Bat-Girl. Her name was later modified to "Bette Kane", and she assumed the role of Flamebird.[1]

Bette Kane
Flamebird
Bette Kane as Flamebird from Beast Boy #4 (April 2000); art by Justiniano
Publication information
PublisherDC Comics
First appearanceAs Bat-Girl:
Batman #139 (April 1961)
As Flamebird:
Secret Origins Annual #3 (1989)
Created byBat-Girl:
Bill Finger
Sheldon Moldoff
Flamebird:
Tom Grummett
George Pérez
In-story information
Full nameMary Elizabeth "Bette" Kane
Team affiliationsTeen Titans
Young Justice
Abilities
  • Skilled hand-to-hand combatant
  • Light blast projection from lenses in mask
  • Utilizes projectiles and electrified bolas

Fictional character biography

Pre-Crisis

Bat-GirlBM141
Betty Kane as Bat-Girl; art by Sheldon Moldoff.

The original Bat-Girl first appeared in Batman #139 (April 1961) as Betty Kane, the niece of Kathy Kane, also known as Batwoman. After discovering her aunt's dual identity, Betty convinced Batwoman to train her as her sidekick.

Batwoman and Bat-Girl were created to be romantic interests for Batman and Robin, respectively, as well as wannabe crime-fighting associates. Bat-Girl appeared six times between 1961 and 1964, but then disappeared in 1964 (along with Batwoman, Ace the Bat-Hound, and Bat-Mite) when new Batman editor, Julius Schwartz, decided she and other characters were too silly. It has been suggested by scholars that the characters of Batwoman (in 1956) and Bat-Girl (in 1961) were introduced in part to refute allegations of homosexuality in Batman comics; specifically, the enduring claim that Batman and Robin were homosexuals.[2]

Later in the 1970s Batwoman and Bat-Girl were revived and were regarded to have been inactive for several years. Bat-Girl became a member of the Teen Titans West. However, she only appeared four times in this era, at the end of the original run of the Teen Titans magazine.

Post-Crisis

In the post-Crisis DC Universe, the character known as Batwoman was erased from existence (although her alter ego, Kathy Kane, was revealed to have existed and was murdered by the League of Assassins). Batwoman's niece, Betty Kane, disappeared as well. Unlike her aunt, Betty's removal from history would not last long.

For a brief time in the 1970s, Betty had joined the west coast version of the Teen Titans under her Bat-Girl moniker. Though "Bat-Girl" does not exist in the post-Crisis universe, her team did; therefore, a new version of the character was necessary. In Secret Origins Annual #3 (1989), the official post-Crisis history of Titans West was revealed. Instead of Betty Kane's Bat-Girl, fans were introduced to a similar character called Mary Elizabeth "Bette" Kane, also known as Flamebird. This was an in-joke, as the team of "Nightwing and Flamebird" had a history in the Silver Age continuity as a pair of supporting characters in the Superman books.

Flamebird Nightwing
Bette Kane becomes Flamebird and teams up with her idol, Dick Grayson; art by Phil Jimenez.

Bette was now a very driven and somewhat spoiled Los Angeles debutante and tennis prodigy. After seeing Robin on the news, Bette vowed that she would gain his attention and favor by becoming a masked adventurer herself. Training to Olympic-levels in gymnastics and martial arts, she created the identity of Flamebird (and a costume that resembled her pre-Crisis Bat-Girl identity) and joined Titans West in hopes of catching Robin's eye. While flattered, the driven young hero was not sure how to deal with her obsession and avoided her, much to her dismay.[1] After briefly giving up her heroic persona, Bette found that neither winning tennis tournaments nor achieving perfect grades in school matched the rooftop thrills of the hero biz. She attempted several times to reunite the Titans West team, most notably after a journey into the afterlife with Hawk and Dove, but was unsuccessful. Dove noted that Bette was essentially a very lonely person, basically desperate for company and contact with others. Bette again gave up her obsession with the Titans until malfunctioning former Titan Victor Stone collected her, along with all former Titans everywhere, in an attempt to protect his soul from the Justice League. Hoping this would lead to a formal invitation to rejoin the team, Bette was crushed to learn they did not need (or want) her assistance.

A short time later, Gar "Beast Boy" Logan found himself alone in Los Angeles after the team neglected to ask him back. Landing himself in a bit of trouble by an impostor framing him for various crimes, Gar asked former teammate Bette for help.[3] Having been recently chastised for her dedication (or lack thereof) to crime-fighting by Robin (now in his adult Nightwing identity), Flamebird seized the opportunity to better herself and her reputation, becoming more level-headed and boosting her crime-fighting arsenal.[4] However, the design of her outfit as an adult has similarities to that of Dick Grayson's Nightwing outfit, with a red tunic and gold V running across the chest. After Bette helped Gar clear his name, his cousin Matt attempted one last recruitment drive for Titans West (dubbing the ill-fated team Titans L.A.).[1][5] None of the recruits took the event seriously except for insane and uninvited former Titan Duela Dent, who crashed the party and was subdued by Bette. Around the same time, she and Beast Boy both served on an ad hoc Young Justice team, which she hoped would raise their public profiles; however, the team only lasted for one mission. Content to remain a hero on her own, Bette was unheard from until she was captured by a Brainiac-worshipping cult leader in Oregon and eventually rescued by Oracle's covert team of female operatives in Birds of Prey. She fought Doctor Light alongside the majority of heroes who had once been members of the Teen Titans.

Infinite Crisis

Flamebird appeared in Infinite Crisis #4 to fight Superboy-Prime.[6] In this storyline, it was indicated that Flamebird had originally been the Earth-Two counterpart to Bat-Girl, and that after the Crisis on Infinite Earths, Flamebird had replaced Bat-Girl on the sole remaining Earth. Flamebird, along with most of the Justice Society, disappeared when Earth-Two was reborn. In the Villains United special, Flamebird (and the other heroes who vanished to Earth-Two) had made it back to "New Earth" at some point after Infinite Crisis #6. She was among the many heroes gathered to fight off the invasion of Metropolis by the Society.[7]Teen Titans #38 reveals that Flamebird briefly served on the Titans during the year-long gap.[8]

Relationship to Batwoman

Following the events of Infinite Crisis, it is revealed that Bette is the cousin of current Batwoman, Kate Kane. In Detective Comics #856, Bette moves to Gotham City to enroll in Gotham University. She encounters her cousin at a party thrown for the Gotham City Police Department, and attempts to chat her up, only to be blown off. According to Kate's father, Bette looks up to her and likes spending time with her. In Detective Comics #862, Bette is seen hunched over on her bed, staring at her Flamebird costume and asking Kate how to "let go of the past." Bette is kidnapped by a crazed serial killer known as the Cutter, and awakens bound and gagged in his workshop. The Cutter plans on removing Bette's ears as part of a plan to create a perfect woman through the use of stolen body parts. Batwoman rescues Bette from the killer and accidentally reveals her identity. At the end of the story, Bette is seen in her Flamebird outfit, telling Kate that she wants to become her new partner.[9] Kate eventually agrees to train Bette, and gives her a capeless grey military outfit and the codename Plebe.[10] Later still, Bette acquires pyrotechnic technology and adopts the codename Hawkfire.

A Bat-Girl looking similar to Betty Kane is revealed to have existed in the past in Batman #682, and later reappears in Batman, Inc. #4 (Apr. 2011). As in pre-Crisis continuity, she is the younger protege of the first Batwoman, Kathy Kane (who reappears in post-Infinite Crisis continuity as the original Batwoman, but with a revamped origin). It has not yet been confirmed if Bette Kane used the Bat-Girl identity in her younger years prior to becoming Flamebird or if Bat-Girl is a completely separate character.

DC Rebirth

In the DC Rebirth relaunch, Bette is said to be living in West Point and keeping in contact with Kate Kane and Julia Pennyworth. [11]

Powers and abilities

Flamebird is an exceptional athlete, trained for strength and endurance, and has worked as a professional tennis player. She has also trained in several forms of martial arts, with Kickboxing as her specialty.[12] As such, while she is a formidable martial arts opponent and combatant, she is not among the top tier or elite of DC's martial artists.

Like Robin, Flamebird has a utility belt containing a grappling hook with line, gas grenades, gas mask, flares, flashlight, radio/transmitter, handcuffs, bird-shaped throwing blades (Bird-A-Rangs), and an emergency medical kit. She increased her arsenal by equipping her mask with lenses capable of emitting powerful bursts of blinding light, and created bird-like bolas that can electrocute anyone tangled in them.

As Plebe, Batwoman's sidekick, Bette is stripped of her outfit and gadgetry, wearing a nondescriptive grey military outfit. Her martial arts prowess however is being improved by Batwoman's tutelage. Later, as Hawkfire, her costume features gold plated elements and she carries a flamethrowing device.

Other versions

BatwomanFlamebird
Flamebird assumes the mantle of Batwoman; art by Mike McKone.
  • In Teen Titans Go! #24, the Titans get their powers swapped. When Starfire is given Robin's abilities, she finds herself wearing Bette's original Bat-Girl costume. In issue #50, Flamebird is officially introduced via a small screen on the Titans Tower computer, and she appears again in issue #55 as a member of Titans North, wearing a red T-shirt with a burning bird emblem, cargo pants, and yellow goggles.
  • In The All-New Batman: The Brave and the Bold #13, after the Robins manage to save Batman from death, Madame Xanadu shows Phantom Stranger a similar team of Batgirls, including Bette, Barbara Gordon, Stephanie Brown and Cassandra Cain.
  • In part two of Neil Gaiman's Whatever Happened to the Caped Crusader?, Bette is seen in her Silver Age Bat-Girl costume describing a death of Batman. He was holding a bomb that would destroy Gotham if he released its switch or if the timer ran down. Batman then throws himself into the Gotham River with the bomb to prevent the explosion from causing any damage.
  • In the alternate future storyline "Titans Tomorrow", it was revealed that after her death at the hands of Duela Dent, Batman (Tim Drake) used the Lazarus Pit to resurrect Flamebird, who assumed the alias of Batwoman and became his partner (and lover). But when he and the other Teen Titans began to take over the Western United States, Batwoman formed a Titans East team with the Titans who opposed their rule (Cyborg, Terra, Bumblebee, and Captain Marvel Jr.) and helped the Titans' past incarnations defeat the dark adult counterparts. After Infinite Crisis, the "Titans Tomorrow" timeline was altered by the deaths of Superboy and Bart Allen, with Duela Dent also being killed during Countdown. As such, in the "Titans Tomorrow... Today!" storyline, Bette remains Flamebird in the future, with Cassandra Cain being Batwoman. With the altered timeline, all the future heroes, even those who opposed the West Coast Titans, were unified in their fascistic endeavors to "save the world."
  • She appears in the 20th issue of the Young Justice tie-in comic series, it is shown that Bette has spent the night with Dick Grayson/Nightwing.
  • She appears in DC Bombshells.

In other media

  • Bette appears in the Young Justice episode "Homefront" voiced by Alyson Stoner. She is a student at the Gotham Academy assigned to act as a liaison to Artemis Crock. In "Misplaced", Bette appears to be reading to young children with fellow school member Barbara Gordon/Batgirl.
  • Bette Kane was originally rumored to appear early in the series Gotham, portrayed by Sara Paxton. However, Paxton later debunked this rumor via Twitter.

References

  1. ^ a b c Beatty, Scott (2008). "Flamebird". In Dougall, Alastair. The DC Comics Encyclopedia. New York: Dorling Kindersley. p. 128. ISBN 0-7566-4119-5. OCLC 213309017.
  2. ^ York, Christopher (2000). "All in the Family: Homophobia and Batman Comics in the 1950s". The International Journal of Comic Art. 2 (2): 100–110.
  3. ^ Beast Boy #2
  4. ^ Beast Boy #3
  5. ^ Beast Boy #4
  6. ^ Infinite Crisis #4
  7. ^ Infinite Crisis #6
  8. ^ Teen Titans #38
  9. ^ Detective Comics #863
  10. ^ Batwoman #1
  11. ^ Batwoman (vol. 2) #1
  12. ^ Who's Who in the DC Universe vol 2 #2 (September 1990)

External links

1961 in comics

See also:

1960 in comics,

other events of 1961,

1962 in comics,

1960s in comics and the

list of years in comics

Publications: January - February - March - April - May - June - July - August - September - October - November - December

Alyson Stoner

Alyson Rae Stoner (born August 11, 1993) is an American actress, singer, dancer and model. Stoner is best known for her roles in Cheaper by the Dozen (2003), Cheaper by the Dozen 2 (2005), The Suite Life of Zack & Cody (2005–2007) and the Step Up series (2006, 2010, 2014).

She has been a dancer for several artists, such as Missy Elliott, Eminem, Kumbia Kings, Outkast and Will Smith. Stoner is also known for hosting Disney Channel's Mike's Super Short Show (2001–2007) and for voicing Isabella Garcia-Shapiro in Phineas and Ferb (2007–2015).

Batgirl

Batgirl is the name of several fictional superheroes appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics, depicted as female counterparts to the superhero Batman. Although the character Betty Kane was introduced into publication in 1961 by Bill Finger and Sheldon Moldoff as Bat-Girl, she was replaced by Barbara Gordon in 1967, who later came to be identified as the iconic Batgirl. The character debuted in Detective Comics #359, titled "The Million Dollar Debut of Batgirl!" (January 1967) by writer Gardner Fox and artist Carmine Infantino, introduced as the daughter of police commissioner James Gordon.

Batgirl operates in Gotham City, allying herself with Batman and the original Robin, Dick Grayson, along with other masked vigilantes. The character appeared regularly in Detective Comics, Batman Family, and several other books produced by DC until 1988. That year, Barbara Gordon appeared in Barbara Kesel's Batgirl Special #1, in which she retires from crime-fighting. She subsequently appeared in Alan Moore's graphic novel Batman: The Killing Joke where, in her civilian identity, she is shot by the Joker and left paraplegic. Although she is reimagined as the computer expert and information broker Oracle by editor Kim Yale and writer John Ostrander the following year, her paralysis sparked debate about the portrayal of women in comics, particularly violence depicted toward female characters.

In the 1999 storyline "No Man's Land", the character Helena Bertinelli, known as Huntress, briefly assumes the role of Batgirl until she is stripped of the identity by Batman for violating his stringent codes. Within the same storyline, the character Cassandra Cain is introduced. Cain is written as the daughter of assassins David Cain and Lady Shiva and takes the mantle of Batgirl under the guidance of Batman and Oracle. In 2000, she became the first Batgirl to star in an eponymous monthly comic book series, in addition to becoming one of the most prominent characters of Asian descent to appear in American comics. The series was canceled in 2006, at which point during the company-wide storyline "One Year Later", she is established as a villain and head of the League of Assassins. After receiving harsh feedback from readership, she is later restored to her original conception. However, the character Stephanie Brown, originally known as Spoiler and later Robin, succeeds her as Batgirl after Cassandra Cain abandons the role.

Stephanie Brown became the featured character of the Batgirl series from 2009 to 2011. DC subsequently relaunched all their monthly publications during The New 52 relaunch. In the revised continuity, Barbara Gordon recovers from her paralysis following a surgical procedure and stars in the relaunched Batgirl series as the titular character. These changes were retained as part of the 2016 DC Rebirth event. As Batgirl, Barbara Gordon has been adapted into various media relating to the Batman franchise, including television, film, animation, video games, and other merchandise. The character's popularity from adaptations factored into the decision to have her return to the comics, and Dan DiDio, co-publisher of DC Comics, expressed that she is the best-known version of the character.

Batwoman

Batwoman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. In all of the character's incarnations, she is a wealthy heiress who becomes inspired by the superhero Batman and chooses, like him, to put her wealth and resources towards a campaign to fight crime as a masked vigilante in her home of Gotham City. The identity of Batwoman is shared by two heroines in mainstream DC publications; both women are named Katherine Kane, with the original Batwoman commonly referred to by her nickname Kathy and the modern incarnation going by the name Kate.

Batwoman was created by writer Edmond Hamilton and artist Sheldon Moldoff under the direction of editor Jack Schiff, as part of an ongoing effort to expand Batman's cast of supporting characters. Batwoman began appearing in DC Comics stories beginning with Detective Comics #233 (1956), in which she was introduced as a love interest for Batman in order to combat the allegations of Batman's homosexuality arising from the controversial book Seduction of the Innocent (1954). When Julius Schwartz became editor of the Batman-related comic books in 1964, he removed non-essential characters including Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Bat-Mite, and Ace the Bat-Hound. Later, the 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths retroactively established that Batwoman had never existed.

After a long hiatus, Batwoman was reintroduced to DC continuity in 2006 in the seventh week of the publisher's year-long 52 weekly comic book. Reintroduced as Kate Kane, the modern Batwoman began operating in Gotham City in Batman's absence following the events of the company-wide crossover Infinite Crisis (2005). The modern Batwoman is written as being of Jewish descent and as a lesbian in an effort by DC editorial staff to diversify its publications and better connect to modern-day readership. Described as the highest-profile gay superhero to appear in stories published by DC, Batwoman's sexual orientation drew wide media attention following her reintroduction, as well as both praise and criticism from the general public.

The modern character as depicted in comics works relatively independently of Batman, but has gained considerable profile in recent years, both within the DC Comics publishing schedule and the publisher's fictional universe. She since had several runs in her own eponymous Batwoman monthly comic book and has had stints in the lead role in Detective Comics, the flagship Batman comic book for which DC Comics is named. Outside of comics, a number of interpretations of Batwoman featured in animated Batman productions in the 2000s, but few closely resembled either Kathy or Kate Kane. The Kate Kane version of Batwoman was later adapted for the 2016 direct-to-video animated film Batman: Bad Blood. Ruby Rose portrays the character in her live-action debut during The CW's 2018 Arrowverse crossover "Elseworlds". Rose is set to star in her own television series set in the Arrowverse.

Betty

Betty or Bettie is a common diminutive for the name Elizabeth. In Latin America, it is also a common diminutive for the given name Beatriz, the Spanish form of the Latin name Beatrix and the English name Beatrice. In the 17th and 18th centuries, it was more often a diminutive of Bethia.

Bluebird (DC Comics)

Bluebird (Harper Row) is a fictional character appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. She is a supporting character of Batman. Harper Row was created by writer Scott Snyder and artist Greg Capullo, first appearing in Batman vol. 2, #7 (March 2012), before debuting as Bluebird in Batman #28 (February 2014). Harper Row's Bluebird identity was designed by artist Dustin Nguyen. Within the fictional DC Universe, Harper Row officially joins Batman's group of allies during the events of Batman Eternal, a year-long weekly maxiseries.

Instead of taking on the mantle of Robin, which is traditionally that of Batman's sidekick, Harper Row instead adopts an entirely new superhero identity, Bluebird. Her appearance marks the arrival of the first new "Bat-family" character in Batman comics since DC relaunched its entire line in 2011 as part of its The New 52 publishing event.

Bob Rozakis

Robert "Bob" Rozakis (; born April 4, 1951) is an American comic book writer and editor known mainly for his work in the 1970s and 1980s at DC Comics, as the writer of 'Mazing Man and in his capacity as DC's "Answer Man".

Duela Dent

Duela Dent is a fictional character in the DC Universe. She is a former member of the Suicide Squad, the Teen Titans and its counterpart, Titans East. Introduced under the alias of the Joker's Daughter, she has also used the aliases Catgirl the Catwoman's Daughter, Scarecrone the Scarecrow's Daughter, the Riddler's Daughter, the Penguin's Daughter, the Card Queen and the Harlequin.

Flamebird

Flamebird is the name used by six different fictional comic book characters who have appeared in books published by DC Comics, specifically from the Superman and Batman mythos.

The primary character to use the Flamebird name is Bette Kane, who was the pre-Crisis hero Bat-Girl. However, the original pre-Crisis Flamebird was Jimmy Olsen, who was later succeeded by a Kandorian scientist. Post-Crisis a Kryptonian hero used the name Flamebird, and in a "One Year Later" storyline, so has Kara Zor-El.

Flamebird characters are also often associated with characters who use the name Nightwing.

Homosexuality in the Batman franchise

Homosexual interpretations have been part of the academic study of the Batman franchise at least since psychiatrist Fredric Wertham asserted in his 1954 book Seduction of the Innocent that "Batman stories are psychologically homosexual". Wertham, as well as parodies, fans, and other independent parties, have described Batman and his sidekick Robin (Dick Grayson) as homosexual, possibly in a relationship with each other. DC Comics has never indicated Batman or any of his male allies to be gay, but several characters in the Modern Age Batman comic books are expressly gay, lesbian, or bisexual.

Kane (surname)

Kane is an Irish surname and is an anglicisation of Cathan meaning war like (see Ó Catháin).

List of Batman creators

Although Bob Kane achieved renown for creating the fictional superhero Batman, he and others have acknowledged the contributions of Bill Finger for fleshing the character out, writing many of his early stories, and creating the character's origin. Many other comic book creators (writers, artists, and sometimes editors who contributed important ideas or altered how the character would be presented) have contributed to the character's history since Batman's introduction in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. This list identifies some who made notable contributions with enduring impact.

List of Batman supporting characters

The Batman supporting characters are a collective of fictional characters appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics featuring the superhero, Batman, as the main protagonist.

Since Batman's introduction in 1939, the character has accumulated a number of recognizable supporting characters. The first Batman supporting character was Commissioner James Gordon, who first appeared in the same comic book as Batman in Detective Comics #27 (May 1939), and is Batman's ally in the Gotham City Police Department. Robin, Batman's vigilante partner, was introduced in the Spring of 1940, Alfred Pennyworth, Batman's butler, was introduced in 1943, and Barbara Gordon was introduced in 1967.

"Batman Family" is the informal term for Batman's closest allies, generally masked vigilantes operating in Gotham City. Batman also forms strong bonds or close working relationships with other superheroes, including Justice League members Superman, Green Arrow, Zatanna and Wonder Woman as well as members of the Outsiders superhero team. Others such as Jason Bard, Harold, Onyx, and Toyman work for him.

In addition, Batman has perhaps the most well known collection of adversaries in fiction, commonly referred to as Batman's rogues gallery, which includes the Joker, Penguin, Riddler, and Two-Face, among others.

List of Teen Titans members

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List of superheroines

The following is a list of superheroines (female superheroes) in comic books, television, film, and other media. Each character's name is followed by the publisher's name in parentheses; those from television or movies have their program listed in square brackets, and those in both comic books and other media appear in parentheses.

Titans East

Titans East is the name of several DC Comics teams. The teams appear in the Teen Titans comic books and animated series. The comic book incarnation of Titans East first appeared in the "Titans Tomorrow" storyline, which is set in the future. The first modern incarnation appeared in Teen Titans vol. 3, #43 (2007), as a group of villains led by Deathstroke. Cyborg has recently assembled a new version of the team.

Titans Tomorrow

"Titans Tomorrow" is a storyline of a possible alternate future in the DC Comics Universe, from Teen Titans vol. 3 #17-19 (2005), by Geoff Johns and Mike McKone. The story arc has been collected as part of the Teen Titans: The Future is Now trade paperback.

The concept was revisited in the Teen Titans monthly title by writer Sean McKeever and artist Alé Garza in the "Titans of Tomorrow... Today!" storyline.

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