Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Batwoman & Flamebird Family History

In the WordBalloon podcast , Greg Rucka mentions that Bette Kane (retconned as Kate Kane's cousin rather than niece) will appear in Kate's origin story, beginning in Detective Comics #856:

Rucka: "When we put [Batwoman] in 52 we did it in was in response to the [New York Times] thing...and consequently there were certain problems that had to be reconciled for her to be Betty Kane's aunt ...there has to be (a sibling relationship to Kate)... so they are now cousins'll see Betty in #856.""

First, it's "Bette" not "Betty." Unless we're ret-conning her name again.

And, I dunno.... Bette is like, what? 23-25 years old? And the new Batwoman (Kate Kane) is what, mid-30s? She could be her aunt OR her cousin. Pretty simple and non-convoluted. Kate's brother (Bette's father) could be 10-15 years older than Kate.

I do prefer the "aunt" angle, though. It created a nice mirror to Bruce/Dick, so I don't see the need for the "cousins" thing. With Batwoman's brother as Bette Kane's dad... that's a more interesting dynamic to me, especially if they bring Bette's dad onto the canvas and develop him as well. Whatever HIS story is, it could create some interesting story dynamics between Batwoman and Bette.

Maybe Kate was the "baby" of the family; The spoiled youngest child. Maybe she had a bunch of wild teen years. Maybe her older brother resents her, because he was the responsible one. Maybe he doesn't like Kate's influence on his daughter. Maybe he resents the fact that Bette likes "Aunt Kate" more than her own parents. Does he even know Bette was/is Flamebird? What happened when he found out, if he did?

I think having Better's father/Kate's brother open up more story possibilities than "cousins"


  • At 3:49 PM, Anonymous Diane Brendan said…

    I'm just glad Bette's being used. She's been one of my favorite c-listers since the Beast Boy mini. I was hoping she'd be the new Batgirl, but that looks unlikely now. So maybe she can take Flamebird back from the kryptonian who stole it from her.?

  • At 4:51 PM, Anonymous heffison said…

    Maybe Rucka already has some story points planned that need for Kate to be an only child. It sounds like he had a specific reason for not wanting Kate to be an aunt. Heck, maybe they can even write in something about the age difference being enough that Bette likes to call her cousin "Aunt Kate" because that's more how she saw her...or to tease her about being older.

  • At 9:20 AM, Blogger Nightwing said…

    "Maybe Rucka already has some story points planned that need for Kate to be an only child. It sounds like he had a specific reason for not wanting Kate to be an aunt."

    True. If that's the case, I just hope it's a compelling enough reason to reboot Bette's (or is it Betty's?) history again.

  • At 9:33 PM, Anonymous RedRobin said…

    Frankly, I'm just glad we're FINALLY getting some development into Batwoman. I mean, it's been several years since 52 and countdown. We should have gotten Kate's origin a LOOOONG time ago. And I'm glad the Bette hasn't been retconned out, because while she was annoying as hell, she did add some interesting stories when she did appear (i.e. Young Justice & Beast Boy Mini)

    I frankly think the idea of her being 'Aunt Kate' would be more interesting, but the cousin situation might work well too. I mean, look at Dick and Damien. They have the brother relationship going, and according to online opinion, the fans really like it (I'm still on the cusp, because I'm not fond of Damien).

    The issue I have with all this however is Batwoman I (Kathy Kane, not Kate). As all of us who read BATMAN R.I.P. have been aware... It looks like Kathy has re-established in the main continuity since the Infinite Crisis. We keep getting flash-backs to old stories involving the black haired, yellow and red costumed Batwoman.

    So, I'm trying to figure out how Kathy Kane fits in with Kate Kane and Bette Kane. Also what happened to her? Did she die at the hands of Bronze Tiger or retire? Did Kate take up the Batwoman costume in memory of her or is it just a coincidence? Did she start crime fighting before or after Flamebird? Did Flamebird ever wear the corny Bat-Girl outfit before Barbara Gordon stepped up?

    This is the thing I hate about retcon. One change inadvertently alters a thousand other things. Its why characters like Hawkman, Hawkgirl and Donna Troy were so darn confusing for so long.


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