This page updated 12 March 2007.
Catwoman made her debut in the premiere issue of Batman (#1, Spring 1940). As “The Cat,” she wore no mask or special outfit. Here, she resembles nothing less than Hedy Lamarr, the Austrian actress.
However, she is a thief whom Batman ends up having a soft spot for. At the end of this story, she even manages to get away with her loot!
Catwoman, in her next appearance, wears her first mask, a theatrically face-covering cat-mask that had the appearance of a real cat. She soon would use a more stylized face mask seen in her later incarnations.
1940 also saw the debut of The Joker. Sixty-seven years later, he remains Batman’s deadliest nemesis, while Catwoman has gone through many changes.
One thing is certain: Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Catwoman with the intent of wooing female readers.