Holly Robinson made her first appearance in Frank Miller's Batman: Year One as a 13-year-old prostitute who lives with Selina Kyle. Holly plays a small but significant role in the story when she encounters a disguised Bruce Wayne during one of his early attempts at crimefighting and stabs him in the leg. Wounded by this attack and a subsequent battle, Wayne escapes back to his home, brooding on the fact that his enemies do not fear him. This encounter is an impetus for his creation of the Batman persona. As such, Holly plays an indirect role in the Dark Knight's origin.
Holly also appeared in the 1989 Catwoman mini-series by Mindy Newell and J.J Birch (collected in trade paperback as Catwoman: Her Sister's Keeper). In this story, Catwoman leaves Holly at a convent where Selina's sister Maggie is a nun.
Death and RebirthEdit
Holly next appeared in Action Comics Weekly #611-614, having married a successful businessman. Unfortunately, her new husband was secretly a corrupt mobster and had Holly killed off in his quest to reclaim a valuable piece of jewelry that Catwoman stole from one of his safehouses. Catwoman could not link Holly's death to her husband in order for him to be arrested for the crime, so she murdered two corrupt security guards in his employment and framed Holly's husband for their murder.
This death was ultimately overturned years later, when writer Ed Brubaker ignored this storyline in order to incorporate Holly into the cast of the 2002 Catwoman series. Brubaker admitted in an interview that he hadn't been aware of Holly's death until after he had reintroduced the character. He addressed this issue in Catwoman Secret Files and Origins #1 with a two page story titled "Why Holly Isn't Dead", in which the fourth wall is broken as Holly contemplates her own resurrection. It is implied that the Action Comics Weekly story may have been erased from continuity as a result of Zero Hour.
As established by Brubaker, Holly had run away from a bad home as a child, ending up on the streets. She and Selina had met when Selina rescued Holly from a cop who was trying to hustle her. However, when Selina became Catwoman, she left Holly behind. Holly had joined Selina's sister, Maggie, at her convent. However she never felt entirely a part of that world, and a few years afterwards she left the convent, parting ways with Maggie. She returned to the streets, became addicted to drugs, and went back to prostitution.
Holly reappeared in Catwoman Vol.3 #1. After a series of brutal murders of working girls, Holly returned to the original apartment that she and Selina had once shared, and finding that Selina had returned, was happily reunited with her friend.Holly cleans up her act and becomes a sidekick of sorts to Catwoman. She pretends to be part of the street life when in actuality, she is working as Selina's eyes and ears, ferreting out what is happening on the streets of the East End. While on the job, Holly is troubled by the fact that she still views the world from the mindset of a junkie, even though she managed to quit drugs several months before reuniting with Selina.
In the "Relentless" story arc, Black Mask attempts to destroy Catwoman's life with the help of Sylvia, a childhood friend of Selina's who has a grudge against her. Holly is reunited with her friend Maggie Kyle, but Maggie is kidnapped and tormented by Black Mask. Holly is also beaten and kidnapped, and eventually Holly kills Sylvia to save Selina's life. Holly is severely traumatized by these events and isolates herself for a time. She steals some of Maggie's painkillers, but doesn't take any of the drugs, and heals to some degree when she reconnects with Selina.
Selina decides that Holly needs some time away from Gotham to heal after the events of "Relentless", and the two embark on a road trip in Catwoman #20-24 (collected in trade paperback as Catwoman: Wild Ride). Selina arranges for Holly to be trained by Ted Grant (Wildcat). They then travel through several cities before ending up in St. Roch, where it is revealed that Selina and Slam Bradley have located her brother Davey. She finds him working at a bar and learns that he had also run away, and had traveled around the world.
Later in the series, Holly becomes a den mother to a group of street kids known as the Alleytown Gang, who act as informants for Catwoman.
The new CatwomanEdit
After the events of Infinite Crisis, DC Comics jumped forward in time. One year later, Holly Robinson has taken over as the new Catwoman, replacing Selina Kyle, who has retired.
In Catwoman #53, Holly Robinson made her first appearance as Catwoman; at the close of the issue she is ambushed by the Angle Man. He proceeds to bind her hands and feet, cover her mouth with a piece of duct tape, and then tries to throw her off of a rooftop. Although Holly escapes, she is caught on film administering a brutal beating to Angle Man. Reluctant to ask Selina for help, Holly turns instead to Ted Grant.
Holly is arrested and takes the blame for the murder of Black Mask (Selina had actually committed the crime.) She is rescued from jail by Selina and takes a short break from being Catwoman. While Selina is getting Holly's name erased from the police database, Holly again suits up as Catwoman to stop a new villainess named Blitzkrieg, who is about to execute a bound and gagged young girl on a live video-feed to the internet. Holly manages to save the girl, but not before she is unmasked on the live webfeed.After the rescue, Holly runs into Detective Lenahan, a Gotham cop who has become fixated on capturing Catwoman. They are confronted by Hammer and Sickle, who want Selina dead, and are perfectly willing to dispose of Holly in the meantime. Lenahan is killed by the Russian supervillains, but Selina arrives in time to save Holly. The police assume that Holly and Catwoman are responsible for Lenahan's death after finding the two women next to his decapitated corpse in Catwoman #67.
Holly and Selina manage to escape from the GCPD and defeat Hammer and Sickle. However, Holly is now wanted for Lenahan's murder and her identity as Catwoman is public knowledge. She exits the series in Catwoman #69 and begins a new life as a fugitive.
Holly first appears in Countdown #47; she rescues an elderly homeless man, moving him away from debris falling from a destroyed building. Homeless herself and on the run for the murder of Black Mask, she is offered a place to stay by a mysterious woman wearing a stola or chiton who goes by the name Athena. Holly accepts the offer to stay at an Athenian Women's Shelter, which houses battered and abused women. One of the residents is a reformed Harley Quinn.
After some time at the women's shelter, it eventually becomes apparent that Athena, running the shelter, is in fact the nefarious Granny Goodness who takes to training these women - Holly and Harley among them - to be her new Female Furies. After they are brought to an island for training, Holly and Harley meet the Amazon queen Hippolyta, and encounter Mary Marvel. The group reveal Granny's deception, and Holly, Harley and Mary follow her as she retreats to Apokolips. With Mary's help, the group manages to free the Greek gods, and Holly is granted the powers of Diana (Goddess of the Hunt) as a reward and displays both archery skills and feral, cat-like physical enhancements. After returning to Earth, Holly loses these powers. After witnessing the "Great Disaster" on Earth-51, she returns to Gotham City alongside Jason Todd and Harley, with whom she lives at the end of the series.
Powers and AbilitiesEdit
Holly has no meta-abilities. She has been taught stealth, athletics, hot-wiring, lock-picking, thieving, acrobatics, and the martial arts by Selina. Ted Grant trained her in a form of kick-boxing adapted for street use, as well as English boxing. She has also spent time at a Female Furies training camp. She is proficient in the use of the whip, firearms, and knives. As of Countdown to Final Crisis #10, Holly had a portion of the cunning and skill of Diana, Goddess of the Hunt. While she possessed these powers, she was an excellent marksman, and had the ability to track people by their scent. She lost these powers after returning to Earth.
In other mediaEdit
- Holly Robinson appeared in Batman: Year One (film) voiced by Liliana Mumy.
- Juno Temple's character in Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight Rises plays a very similar role to Holly Robinson but is credited as Jen.
In a secret audio tape, Hugo Strange threatens to send TYGER guards to kill Holly if Catwoman does not answer his questions. Catwoman responds by threatening to kill Strange herself, though she complies with the interview to save Holly. At the end of the last tape Strange tells Catwoman he has no interest in Holly unless she lands herself in Arkham City and that she is safe. As Holly never physically appeared in Arkham City it is likely Strange actually kept his promise and Holly remained free of Arkham City.