Superwoman is the name of several fictional characters from DC Comics. Most of them are, like Supergirl, women with powers similar to those of Superman. The name was trademarked by Detective Comics, to prevent competitors from using it. As was the practice, an ashcan copy was created with the title of Superwoman. The cover was a reproduction of More Fun Comics, with the interior being a reprint of the third issue. The first true appearance of Superwoman was in Action Comics.
The first appearance of “Superwoman” in a DC comic is a story in Action Comics #60, where Lois Lane dreams that she has gained superpowers from a blood transfusion from Superman and launches a career as Superwoman.
The theme is revisited in a 1947 Superman comic in which a pair of fraudulent magicians cast a “spell” on Lane, making her believe she has superpowers. Superman is forced to play along with the ruse for a time, using super-speed to invisibly intervene in Lane’s adventures, supporting the illusion. She briefly sports a costume modeled on Superman’s before the spell is “broken”. A story from Action Comics has Lois actually gaining superpowers from one of Lex Luthor‘s inventions and launching a short-lived career as “Superwoman.”
Later stories sporadically feature tales in which Lois gains superpowers and functioned as a “Superwoman” of sorts, but all of these are, like the 1951 tale, temporary. The powers always wear off by the end of the story. A typical example of this is “The Turnabout Powers” from Superman Family, where the Earth-Two Lois Lane gains powers from her husband (the Earth-Two Superman) through the unexpected effect of an exotic extraterrestrial plant Superman brings into their home. The plant’s death reverses the effect. Another example is the Batman/Superman: World’s Finest mini-series where Mr. Mxyzptlk briefly transforms Lois into a “Superwoman” with costume and powers.
At the end of All-Star Superman #2, Lois Lane is presented with a formula called “Exo-Genes” created by Superman that allows her to have his powers for 24 hours, and she became Superwoman. During her adventures with her new Kryptonian powers, she is wooed by two superhumans named “Samson” and “Atlas“, and she is captured by a time-Ultrasphinx. Her powers fade away at the end of the day. Her costume seems to be exactly the same as that of the Anti-Matter Universe’s Superwoman, but in Superman’s colors. Both outfits were designed by Frank Quitely.
Batwoman is a superheroine appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. In all incarnations, the character is a wealthy heiress who becomes inspired by the superhero Batman and chooses, like him, to put her wealth and resources towards a war on crime as a masked vigilante in her home of Gotham City. The identity of Batwoman is shared by two heroines in mainstream DC publications; both women are named Katherine Kane, with the original Batwoman commonly referred to by her nickname Kathy and the modern incarnation going by the name Kate.
Batwoman was created by writer Edmond Hamilton and artist Sheldon Moldoff under the direction of editor Jack Schiff, as part of an ongoing effort to expand Batman’s cast of supporting characters. Batwoman began appearing in DC Comics stories beginning with Detective Comics #233 (1956), in which she was introduced as a love interest for Batman in order to combat the allegations of Batman’s homosexuality arising from the controversial book Seduction of the Innocent (1954). When Julius Schwartz became editor of the Batman-related comic books in 1964, he removed non-essential characters including Batwoman, Bat-Girl, Bat-Mite, and Bat-Hound. Later, the 1985 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths retroactively established that Batwoman had never existed, though her alter ego Kathy Kane continued to be referred to occasionally.
After a long hiatus, Batwoman was reintroduced to DC continuity in 2006 in the seventh week of the publisher’s year-long 52 weekly comic book. Reintroduced as Kate Kane, the modern Batwoman began operating in Gotham City in Batman’s absence following the events of the company-wide crossover Infinite Crisis (2005). The modern Batwoman is written as being of Jewish descent and as a lesbian in an effort by DC editorial staff to diversify its publications and better connect to modern-day readership. Described as the highest-profile gay superhero to appear in stories published by DC, Batwoman’s sexual orientation drew wide media attention following her reintroduction, as well as both praise and criticism from the general public.
From 2009–2010, the character replaced Batman as the lead in Detective Comics. She subsequently starred in the eponymous Batwoman monthly comic book as part of The New 52 relaunch. Following the cancellation of Batwoman, the character has been returned to Detective Comics in a leading role for the DC Rebirth event and will be getting another solo series in 2017.