The First Catwoman (1940-1977)
The original version of Selina Kyle and her earliest published adventures were later revealed to occur on the parallel Earth known as Earth-2. This version of Selina, who first appeared in Batman #1 in 1940, eventually renounced her criminal ways and married Bruce Wayne, with the wedding shown in Superman Family #211 in 1981. The two had a daughter named Helena Wayne.
This version of Catwoman died in DC Super-Stars #17 in 1977, after which Helena became a costumed crime-fighter called the Huntress.
Early Adventures (1986-2012)
In the modern version of the DC Universe, some of Selina’s early history as Catwoman is still unexplored territory. Some things that remain relevant are her exploits in aiding Batman against other villains from time to time. It was when she helped him against the villain Hush that the Dark Knight finally trusted her enough to reveal his secret identity to her in the 2002-2003 story “Hush” (Batman vol. 1 #608-619).
Catwoman also developed a friendship (though they still clashed from time to time) with Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, as depicted in the series Gotham City Sirens which ran from 2009 to 2011. Selina believed that there was more good than bad in both Ivy and Quinn, and hoped that by staying close to them she could encourage this and keep them from being arrested. Eventually, they went their separate ways.
New 52 (2012-2016)
Catwoman’s earliest depicted adventures in the New 52 universe are no longer compatible with the current DC Universe. Likewise, New 52 stories that depict her as a member of a version of the Justice League of America don’t seem to work with current canon. But certain New 52 adventures seem to have remained intact, such as her clashes with Carmen “The Roman” Falcone, a crime lord who took Rex Calabrese’s seat of power in Gotham. After Falcone kidnapped and nearly killed her, Catwoman attempted to kill him in revenge but was stopped by Batman in Batman Eternal #9-10 in 2014.
During the year-long series Batman Eternal (2014-15), Rex Calabrese summoned Selina for a reunion. Despite Selina’s anger towards him, Rex argued that the new gang wars in Gotham could only be quelled if she took over the family business and used her power to bring together the Gotham’s crime families. After witnessing a young girl be killed in gang crossfire, Selena decided to accept the role and reunited with the Calabrese family. No longer acting as Catwoman, Selina used her new role as head of her crime family to keep some order among Gotham City’s gangs, while also secretly sabotaging certain criminal operations. In her mind, this was all working towards a greater a good.
In Catwoman vol. 4 #35-40, Selina learned that Eiko Hasigawa, daughter of a rival mobster, had taken it on herself to become the new Catwoman. Selina was initially against this, but came to admire Eiko and even develop romantic feelings for her. On occasion though, Selina still donned her old suit, such as when she investigated reports that Batman had died while fighting the Joker. After a few months of doing what she could and suffering losses, Selina stepped away from leadership of the crime family and returned to her old role as Catwoman. Around the same time, Eiko’s father was killed for being connected to the new Catwoman, and she killed several of Gotham’s crime family leaders in revenge. Eiko then left Gotham and her time as the new Catwoman behind her
Years later, after Richard Sionis’ death, Catwoman discovered that David had secretly agreed to take over Sionis’ business operations in Europe, under the identity of White Mask. To aid in this, he decided to cut off ties with Gotham and Selina by faking his own death in front of her. With Richard gone, his son Roman Sionis AKA Black Mask decided that he didn’t need White Mask alive as a possible rival. Despite David’s pleas, Catwoman left him to Black Mask, declaring that her boyfriend David had died years ago already.
We next saw Selina Kyle in the story “I am Suicide” shown in Batman vol. 3 #9-13 in 2016. Months after leaving behind her role as a crime boss, she was now incarcerated and scheduled to be executed for the murder of 237 people. Batman himself had brought her to the police, but believed she was innocent. After her conviction, he arranged for Catwoman to join a Suicide Squad mission in exchange for her death penalty being altered to a life sentence without parole.
In Batman vol. 3 #14-15 in 2017, it was revealed that Selina had taken the blame for these murders in order to protect the real killer Holly Robinson. A terrorist group called the Dogs of War had bombed their old orphanage, killing 163 children living there at the time, along with seven teachers and the janitor. Holly became consumed with vengeance and hunted down every single member of the Dogs of War organization. Realizing this, Selina had refused to let her suffer any further by going to prison or getting the death penalty.
Following her work with the Suicide Squad, Selina’s sentence was altered to life without parole. But after spending one night of freedom with Batman where the two finally admitted and gave into their romantic feelings for each other, she escaped rather than return to prison.
Recently, Batman was inspired to pursue some form of happiness for himself and proposed marriage to Selina. Hesitant at first, she has accepted the proposal in Batman vol. 3 #32 in 2017.
In one version of the DC Universe, Catwoman had a sister named Maggie rather than a brother, and her real name really was Kyle. This version of Selina eventually had a child named Helena, the result of a one-night romantic encounter with her friend Sam Bradley Jr. Deciding to focus for a while on being a mother, Selina temporarily let Holly Robinson adopt her costumed role. Later on, she decided her life was too dangerous and she returned to the Catwoman identity while asking Bruce Wayne to send her child to a family that would love her and keep her safe. These events, however, did not happen in the current version of the DC Universe.