Thursday, October 18, 2007

Profile: Catwoman

Selina Kyle, Catwoman
First appearance: Batman #1, Spring 1940

Current status: may be joining Batman and the Outsiders in its new incarnation.

Was subjected to the following acts of discrimination: in 1986, sometime after she’d first reformed, she was tortured and brainwashed by Dr. Moon, which made her forget the first revelation she’d made about Batman’s secret identity, and returned to crime for awhile before reforming again. In 2005, it was revealed that her initial reformation was the result of brainwashing, by Zatanna, no less.

What’s wrong with how this was done? In the case of the latter example we have here, it considerably ruins much of the development made for Selina over the years of her career as the Feline Fatale, and makes a mockery out of her personality. That she knocked Zatanna out of a window after the magic maid told her this, even if Zee survived the fall, was also incredibly tacky.

I guess it’s also worth noting that this seems to be the justification they used to get from point A to point B – her killing a supervillain, Black Mask, who, curiously enough, in an attempt to “improve” himself as a crime kingpin, threatened some of the most important people in Selina’s life after learning her secret ID, namely, her occasional boyfriend detective Slam Bradley and also her best pal Holly. She took him by surprise in Catwoman #52 vol. 2 by blasting him in the head. But this seems more than a wee bit forced, as the approach Black Mask was using here may have been a retread of what Dr. Light was blabbering off with in Identity Crisis, and, come to think of it, Blockbuster, when he threatened Nightwing in an almost similar way in his own solo book, before the Tarantula seemingly gunned down Bludhaven’s own kingpin in 2004.

Nothing against even anti-heroes and anti-heroines killing, but if they’re going to use contrived circumstances to get to that point, then I think it’s a waste of time.


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