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'In Character' On the Air

On Air: Catwoman

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Cat on the attack: The modern antiheroine may have some new tricks, but her self-confident independence has long made her an appealing, strong female character. Courtesy DC Comics hide caption

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Courtesy DC Comics

NPR's Allison Keyes takes a look at the ever-alluring Catwoman. The lady in the black suit may have made her debut nearly 70 years ago, but you'd never know it, what with her new outfit, martial-arts moves and even a daughter. The Cat's enduring appeal may well rest in her basic identity as an independent, no-nonsense woman, equal parts crook and (more recently) courageous heroine.

"This was one of the first female characters we saw on television that really spoke to empowerment," Suzanne Colon, author of a book on the life and times of Catwoman, tells Keyes. "Not only empowerment; a proto-feminism that was very sexy and pretty and female, and yet very take-charge."