Catwoman Unmasked. What We Learned About Selina Kyle in The Batman

Introduce Catwoman

In The Batman, Selina Kyle is portrayed by Zoë Kravitz as a morally ambiguous cat burglar operating in Gotham City. Selina lives a double life, working as a cocktail waitress at the Iceberg Lounge during the day while moonlighting as Catwoman at night. She is an expert thief, using acrobatics and martial arts skills to infiltrate secure locations and steal valuables from Gotham’s wealthy elites (The Batman Universe Wiki – Fandom, 2022).

Selina has a complex history with Batman/Bruce Wayne. At first, they are adversaries, with Batman trying to stop Catwoman’s burglaries. However, they develop an uneasy alliance to take down greater threats to Gotham City, like the Riddler. There are also hints of romance between them. Selina is fiercely independent but develops a grudging respect for Batman as she gets to know his alter-ego Bruce Wayne (Batman Fandom Wiki, 2022).

Overall, Catwoman is one of the most compelling characters in The Batman. She occupies a grey area between hero and villain as she looks out for herself but also helps Batman when it suits her needs. Zoe Kravitz brings a gritty, streetwise edge to the character while also showing her more vulnerable side in her evolving relationship with Bruce/Batman.

Catwoman’s backstory

Selina Kyle had a difficult childhood as an orphan growing up on the streets of Gotham City ( She had to resort to theft and burglary to survive, developing her skills as a cat burglar. This led her down the path to becoming Catwoman, a skilled thief who typically targets Gotham’s wealthy elite.

Selina’s time living on the streets and fending for herself shaped her into a survivor and gave her an edge. She is athletic, street smart, and able to hold her own. Her difficult upbringing made her somewhat cynical and distrusting of authority figures like the police or Batman. Overall, Selina’s orphan background and life of crime inform her complex motivations as Catwoman.

First encounter with Batman

Selina Kyle first met Batman while he was interrogating Penguin at the Iceberg Lounge over the identity of a woman photographed with the recently-murdered mayor (1). Selina had infiltrated the Iceberg Lounge to steal information, and her cover was blown when Batman confronted Penguin. This led to a tense first meeting between Selina and Batman, as he tried to determine if she was involved in the mayor’s murder. Though their relationship was adversarial at first, this encounter planted the seeds for their future alliance and romance.

As described in one article, “Bruce meeting Selina before she becomes Catwoman while he’s on duty as Batman is not dissimilar to their first meeting in Batman Returns, in which Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman is caught robbing villain Max Shreck” (2). Their dynamic as Selina and Batman, before she takes on her Catwoman persona, adds an interesting dimension to how their relationship develops.


Developing relationship

In The Batman, Batman and Catwoman start out as adversaries. Selina Kyle is a cat burglar who steals from Gotham’s wealthy, while Batman tries to stop crime in the city. Their ideological differences lead to clashes, including a thrilling rooftop chase sequence early in the film.

However, as the story progresses, the two characters develop a mutual understanding and respect. They both lost their parents at a young age, leaving them angry and seeking justice in their own ways. This shared trauma forms a bond between them.

Batman and Catwoman slowly evolve from enemies to allies. Selina helps Batman investigate the Riddler’s puzzles, proving herself a worthy counterpart. Their skills complement each other well during action sequences. By the end, Batman even reveals his secret identity to Catwoman, underscoring their newfound trust.

While not overtly romantic in The Batman, the film lays the foundation for Batman and Catwoman’s complex relationship to develop further. It’s clear they care for each other deeply, despite their clashing moral codes. From initial adversaries, they’ve become partners and confidants by the story’s conclusion.

Infiltrating the Iceberg Lounge

About halfway through the film, Batman and Catwoman infiltrate the Iceberg Lounge together to find more clues left behind by the Riddler ( The Iceberg Lounge is a nightclub operated by the Penguin that serves as a front for his criminal operations. Selina Kyle poses as a waitress to sneak inside while Batman waits on a nearby rooftop.

Once inside, Catwoman makes her way to the Riddler’s private booth where she finds a cell phone left behind. Batman then jumps down into the club and joins Catwoman to take on Penguin’s henchmen together in an intense action sequence. As more backup arrives, Batman uses a device to plunge the club into darkness, allowing him and Catwoman to escape by swinging out a window.

This is a key scene that brings Batman and Catwoman together as allies working toward the same goal of tracking down the Riddler. Their developing relationship is shown through the trust Batman places in Catwoman and their teamwork in the fight. While initially skeptical of each other, they realize they need to cooperate to stop the greater threat facing Gotham City.

Fight at the funeral

A key scene showing the developing bond between Batman and Catwoman is their fight together at a funeral against Riddler goons. As Batman arrives at the funeral to pay respects, a group of Riddler’s followers interrupt the proceedings and attack him. Catwoman jumps in to help Batman, fighting back-to-back with him against the goons. This demonstrates that despite her mysterious motivations, Catwoman is willing to protect Batman when he needs help. Batman returns the favor, shielding Catwoman from blows during the fight. Their chemistry is evident as they work together battling the Riddler’s thugs. Though early in their alliance, the funeral fight shows Batman and Catwoman watching each other’s backs and hints at their budding relationship. (Source)

Flood in Gotham

One of the Riddler’s bombs destroys Gotham’s sea wall, flooding most of the city ( Batman realizes the Riddler timed the bombs to coincide with a storm surge and seeks Catwoman’s help to stop Penguin, who is taking advantage of the chaos to enact his own plan. Catwoman accompanies Batman as they ride on motorcycles through the flooded streets of Gotham to Penguin’s location at the Iceberg Lounge. There is an intense action sequence as Batman and Catwoman work together to defeat Penguin’s gang ( Their teamwork highlights the trust that has developed between them. Ultimately, they are successful in stopping Penguin’s scheme.

Confronting the Riddler

Batman and Catwoman team up to take down the Riddler after he kidnaps her and unleashes chaos in Gotham City. The Riddler has set up elaborate death traps and puzzles for Batman to solve in order to save Catwoman and stop the flooding in Gotham.

Batman tracks Catwoman to an orphanage where the Riddler is keeping her hostage. To free Catwoman, Batman must complete 10 complex trials set up by the Riddler that test his intelligence and deductive skills. Catwoman assists by providing hints and solutions when Batman gets stuck on a trial. She is instrumental in helping Batman pass the final trial by identifying the location of the Riddler’s secret bunker based on childhood memories of the orphanage.

By working together and playing to each other’s strengths, Batman and Catwoman are able to outsmart the Riddler. Catwoman’s intimate knowledge of the orphanage from her childhood enables Batman to locate the Riddler and stop him from destroying Gotham City with his deadly puzzles and games. Their teamwork demonstrates that they make an excellent duo when confronting dangerous villains like the Riddler.

Relationship at the End

At the end of The Batman, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle have developed a close bond but decide to go their separate ways. After defeating the Riddler together, Batman and Catwoman meet on a rooftop overlooking Gotham City. There is clearly a connection and affection between them, but they acknowledge that they are on different paths at the moment (ET Online). Catwoman tells Batman “I’m not going with you,” and he responds “I know” before grappling away into the night.

This ending hints that while Batman and Catwoman care for each other, they are not ready for a romantic relationship yet. Catwoman is still finding her way in Gotham and rediscovering her moral compass after being manipulated by the Riddler. Batman remains dedicated to his mission of justice and protecting the city. There is hope they may come together in the future, but for now they feel it is best to focus on their own paths (ScreenRant). Their bond is left open-ended, allowing for the potential of romance down the line if their two worlds can find a way to co-exist.

Impact on future films

The Batman sets up many possibilities for future stories in sequels. Catwoman is still alive at the end of the film, leaving the door open for more development of her complex relationship with Batman (source). Zoe Kravitz has expressed interest in exploring this relationship further, especially now that Selina Kyle knows Bruce Wayne is Batman. There is potential to dive deeper into Catwoman’s backstory and motivations as well (source). Fans are eager to see Catwoman suit up in her iconic comic book costume in a sequel. The grounded, noir-inspired take on these characters leaves lots of room for further evolution in potential follow-up films.

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