Catwoman is a fictional character associated with DC Comics' Batman franchise. She was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane.
The original and most widely known Catwoman, Selina Kyle, first appeared in Batman #1 (Spring 1940) in which she is an adversary of Batman known as The Cat, a whip-carrying burglar with a taste for high-stake thefts, who is revealed at the end of the story to be a socialite, Selina Kyle. Over the next few decades, the character was established as one of Batman's principal foes, usually depicted in a revealing costume, often fitted with a cat-like tail. She is typically thwarted by him in the attempt to steal valuables, especially those with some connection to a cat theme.
Catwoman's origin was revised in 1986 when writer Frank Miller and artist David Mazzucchelli published Batman: Year One, a revision of Batman's origin. Selina Kyle was reintroduced as a cat-loving dominatrix prostitute who is inspired to become a costumed cat burglar when she sees Batman in action. Subsequent writers have rejected this backstory to ascribe her turn to crime instead as a reaction to a history of abuse, first at the hands of an alcoholic father and subsequently in an orphanage. However, characters associated with the earlier stories in which Catwoman had been a prostitute have remained a part of her supporting cast.
Although most frequently depicted as one of Batman's gallery of costumed foes, Catwoman has sometimes been treated as a love interest, even as his one true love. His reaction to the attraction is usually ambivalent at best, since it is his duty to arrest her for her crimes; she, by contrast, is often depicted as flirtatious, if only to provide herself with an opportunity to escape. However, there have also been story lines in which Catwoman has acted as Batman's ally for a time, either because she has temporarily reformed or because they share a common enemy.
In 1993, Catwoman was given her first ongoing comic book series, and has since intermittently featured either in a back-up strip or separate title, as well as in the comic books featuring Batman.
Catwoman is a popular figure, and has therefore been featured in most media adaptations related to Batman. Actresses Julie Newmar, Lee Meriwether, and Eartha Kitt introduced her to a large audience on the 1960s Batman television series and the 1966 Batman motion picture. Michelle Pfeiffer portrayed the character in 1992's Batman Returns. And Halle Berry starred in a stand-alone Catwoman film in 2004, although it was only loosely based on the comic book character.