34 years ago - Kate Kane is born, the daughter of Colonel Jake Kane.
20 years ago - 14-year-old Kate's father Jake becomes a military adviser to Israel.
16 years ago - 18-year-old Kate is accepted to West Point. She excels, performing near the top of her class.
12 years ago - 22-year-old Kate learns that her father was apparently killed by insurgents. She leaves school shortly before graduation to enlist in the Israeli army, quickly becoming one of very few non-native-born Mossad agents.
9 years ago - 25-year-old Kate discovers that her father died pursuing the activity of an international criminal organization. She takes over his investigation, following their trail around the globe, training in martial combat around the world.
4 years ago - 30-year-old Kate discovers the League of Assassins, and their involvement in her father's assassination. She resigns her Mussad commission and becomes in independent operative. working to dismantle their organization.
now - 34-year-old Kate is captured by the League of Assassins. she is imprisoned alongside Bruce Wayne.
Batwoman was constructed out a very particular collection of wants that were all happening in the mid-2000's. DC was starting to get push-back on the absence of high profile queer characters, and for some reason they seemed to want to have a redheaded Batgirl again, but even as they introduced her in the pages of the Infinite Crisis follow-up series 52 with a very cool Alex Ross design, she didn't ever really feel like a complete character.
The ongoing Batwoman series by J.H. Williams III & W. Haden Blackman was a launch title in the new 52, and Kate became a much more complex, interesting character, with a complex backstory involving her relationship to her father. The character was a lot of fun to read, but the writers had to drop out of the series before they finished their run when DC refused to let them have Kate marry her girlfriend. Which is.... just dumb, DC.
We really like the overall character of Batwoman, and wanted to build her into the structure of our DC universe, but there were a series of things we felt like a character named Batwoman HAD to have that her existing backstory just didn't seem to do. She had to have a really unique bond to Bruce. She had to have earned her place in the Batman family, especially with Barbara. She needed to have undergone a unique, worldwide training journey. Everything she does needs to be HER choice, she can't be the direct result of any one other character's instruction or direction.
In an effort to make her unquestioningly badass, it was actually my wife that suggests that we make her Israeli so that she could join the IDF. This means that she can't be Bruce's cousin, but that always felt forced, anyway. There's no record of non-native-born IDF soldiers joining Mossad, but the idea that Kate does it just makes her a world-class badass. Rather than have her be trained by her father, we made her father's disappearance at the hands of the league of assassins the impetus for her to embark on her own worldwide journey similar to Bruce's.
We's already crafted the idea of Bruce spending the better part of a year imprisoned by the League of Assassins. In order to give Kate and Bruce a truly unique bond, the two of them are imprisoned together. They come to depend on each other, something intensely hard for both of them, but they very quickly come to realize that they are both intensely strong, reliable & unwavering. We even imagine that there would be no secrets between them, that Kate would soon know everything about Bruce's dual life.
Tim Drake is, at the time of our timeline, on a mission to rescue Bruce. When he ultimately finds his mentor, they find themselves in a situation where he can only save one of them, and Bruce insists that he take Kate. The League is now waiting for them. The entire bat family needs to band together to free Bruce... and it's Kate that puts forward the plan that will let them do it. Barbara and Tim and Dick all see that she's right, and her vast military experience allows her to lead them.
When Bruce is freed, there's a true bond between he and Kate, something that feels organic and earned... especially when she chooses not to kill Merlyn, the man that killed her father (a deliberate reference to Dick Grayson not killing Boss Zucco). We imagine him handing her a batarang and asking her "what are you going to do now?"
This is entire storyline is kind of unique in our timeline, because it's not actually IN our timeline. As of right now, Kate is still a prisoner. But we just happen to be at a point that is absolutely ideal for delivering exactly the character as we imagine her, and it was just too good a situation to pass up.
There isn't a lot to improve on as far as her costume is concerned. It's a great riff on Batman but with it's own color language that just sets her off fantastically. Some of the daring design work done for Kate's civilian identity could be improved on, possibly: We really want her to be slightly closer in age to Bruce than to Barbara and made her in her early thirties, and our version of the character has spent over a decade training and tracking the League of Assassins. The punk-psychobilly-goth vibe she's sporting is very singular and cool, and fitting with her civilian identity as a club-going partier, but in this context it all just feels a little forced. Obviously don't remove her cool punk-rock vibe completely, but you might just need to re-contextualize it.
Also, you'll notice we've completely removed any mention of her being discharged from the military for being gay. Don't Ask, Don't Tell was abolished, thankfully, in 2011, which means it is very quickly becoming a relic of history, which means it doesn't have a place in our timeline. All the better, I say. Nobody tells Kate Kane what to do.