Posts Tagged ‘Catwoman’

The Many Lives of Catwoman Moments, Week Four: Disguises, Escapes, and Heartbreaks

May 29, 2017

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My new book The Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale is officially out on July 1 (though it looks like Amazon and other retailers may be shipping them out already, so you can go nab one now!), and in advance of the book’s release I’ve been posting moments from Catwoman’s history on Tumblr. It’s a random assortment of important and amusing snippets of Catwoman’s past that offer a look inside the book and the myriad depictions of Catwoman throughout the decades that are discussed in it.

Last week, the moments we looked at included:

And finally, my favourite moment of the week, which comes courtesy of Batman #1 way back in the spring of 1940. Written by Bill Finger with art by Bob Kane, the debut of Catwoman, then known as the Cat, ends in a memorable way that coloured her relationship with Batman for the next eight decades. After she was captured for trying to steal a diamond necklace, the Cat boldly suggested she and Batman team up to become the king and queen of crime. Batman didn’t go for it, but he was clearly intrigued by her, so much so that he let her escape. He took her to shore by Bat-boat instead of leaving her at the scene of the crime, then impeded Robin when the Cat inevitably made her escape. When Robin called him out on it, Batman denied it all, but he was clearly infatuated with her. This affection would be a constant throughout all of her subsequent appearances, always giving Catwoman a leg up on Batman because she was the one criminal he had a soft spot for.

You can check out all of the Catwoman moments here, and follow along for more Catwoman fun in the weeks to come! And you can order the book as well and enjoy an in depth look at everyone’s favourite villainess!

The Many Lives of Catwoman Moments, Week Three: Pop Stars, Heists, and Wonder Woman

May 22, 2017

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My upcoming book, The Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale, will be out on July 1, and in advance of its publication I’ve been posting memorable moments from Catwoman’s history over on Tumblr. They’re all randomly assorted and run the gamut of her many appearances across various media over the years, and go up once a day, Monday to Friday. It’s a fun, bizarre assortment of stuff, and offers a look inside all of the interesting things that will be covered in the book.

Last week, the five moments we looked at included:

And finally, my favourite moment of the week! As you can see at the top of the post, it’s Catwoman facing off against a depowered Wonder Woman during her mod Diana Prince era in Wonder Woman #201 in July/August 1972. It was an odd time for both characters; the mod era was a well-intentioned but poorly executed attempt to make Wonder Woman a more relevant character, while Catwoman had been largely benched at this point after the collapse of Batmania in the late 1960s as DC moved away from the villains associated with the TV show. So the duo ended up paired together in the mountains of Eastern Asia, both of them looking for the same artifact and ultimately pitted against each other in a fight to the death after they were captured. But they decided to work together, freeing themselves from their perilous position over the fire pit and defeating their captors before heading off into a different dimension to rescue a friend of Diana’s.

You can check out all of the Catwoman moments here, and follow along for even more Catwoman fun in the weeks to come! The Many Lives of Catwoman, is coming soon, so be sure to pre-order it now!

The Many Lives of Catwoman Moments, Week Two: Reformation, Crises, and Bombshells

May 15, 2017

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My new book, The Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale, is coming out on July 1, and I’ve been posting peeks at the key moments in Catwoman’s history over on Tumblr. There’s one a day, Monday to Friday, all randomly assorted; in this second week of Catwoman moments we went from 1951 to 1989 to 1948 to 1985 to 2016! Each post discussed a different era of Catwoman, delving into her bizarre and intriguing past and offering a little snippet of what you’ll get when the book comes out in July.

Last week, the five moments we looked at included:

And finally, my favourite moment of the week! The image at the top of the post is classic 1940s supervillain Catwoman. It’s from Batman #47, published in June/July 1948, written by Bill Finger with art that’s allegedly by Bob Kane but probably drawn by Lew Schwartz. We see Catwoman lounging in a chaise with her cat Hecate by her side, casually smoking as she discusses her latest elaborate plan to rob the wealthy citizens of Gotham. In this outing, she posed as a fashion magazine editor in order to throw a soiree that would bring all of the rich women of the city together for an easy thieving opportunity. Catwoman was forever coming up with clever schemes throughout the decade, with Batman always on her tail.

You can check out all of the posts here, and follow along for more Catwoman fun in the weeks to come! And The Many Lives of Catwoman is coming soon, so be sure to pre-order it now!

The Many Lives of Catwoman Moments, Week One: Origins, Romance, and Hip Lingo

May 8, 2017

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In advance of my new book, The Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale, coming out July 1, I’ve been posting key Catwoman moments on Tumblr. I do one a day, randomly scheduled, to offer glimpses into the bizarre history of the character and take a peek at the important stories and moments I discuss in the book. It’s weird and informative and fun all around, and I hope you’ll check it out.

Last week, the five moments covered included:

And finally, my favourite moment of the week! You can see it at the top of the post. Batman #461 is an enjoyable issue, the second issue of a story in which Catwoman is essentially dared to steal an item and she does so anyway, knowing full well that it’s a trap. It’s also a rare early 1990s appearance for Catwoman, who had been largely sidelined since her dark reintroduction a few years earlier in  Batman: Year One. But the best part, as I point out in the post, is that it features Catwoman saying “Bye-eee!” It’s an expression that’s hip with the kids today, and it amused me to no end to see Catwoman saying it more than a quarter century ago. She was ahead of her time!

You can check out all of the posts here, and follow along for lots more in the weeks to come! Also, if you’re reading this and you’ve got your own Tumblr, let me know what it is in the comments and I’ll follow you back; it’s always fun to see what you all are into.

Happy International Women’s Day AND A Day Without a Woman!

March 8, 2017

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Today is International Women’s Day, a day to recognize the achievements of women everywhere while also acknowledging the systemic oppression they continue to face across the world. As always, I’m celebrating International Women’s Day with the women that I’ve written books about: Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, and now Catwoman!

All three women could definitely get behind this year’s official theme on the International Women’s Day website, which is #BeBoldForChange. They explain:

Each one of us – with women, men and non-binary people joining forces – can be a leader within our own spheres of influence by taking bold pragmatic action to accelerate gender parity. Through purposeful collaboration, we can help women advance and unleash the limitless potential offered to economies the world over.

The United Nations celebrates International Women’s Day as well, and their theme for the year is “Women in the Changing World of Work: Planet 50-50 by 2030.” The UN has a variety of goals for their 2030 Agenda, including:

  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys complete free, equitable and quality primary and secondary education leading to relevant and Goal-4 effective learning outcomes.
  • By 2030, ensure that all girls and boys have access to quality early childhood development, care and preprimary education so that they are ready for primary education.
  • End all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere.
  • Eliminate all forms of violence against all women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation.
  • Eliminate all harmful practices, such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation.

It’s a bold list, to be sure, and one very much worth pursuing.

This year, the folks behind the fantastic Women’s March last January are getting in on the International Women’s Day fun as well by holding “A Day Without A Woman” to recognize the value of women. It’s a three pronged event which you can support in these ways:

  • Women take the day off, from paid and unpaid labor
  • Avoid shopping for one day (with exceptions for small, women- and minority-owned businesses).
  • Wear RED in solidarity with A Day Without A Woman

Some people can’t take the day off, of course, which is why it’s great to see that they’ve got a solidarity option. Wearing red is a clear and simple way to express your support for women across the world, and our three comic book heroines are definitely on board.

Wonder Woman’s been wearing red since her very first appearance in 1941. It’s her go-to color choice for bustiers and boots, as we can see here at the end of her debut in All-Star Comics #8:

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Lois Lane’s commitment to wearing red goes back even further, to her own first appearance back in 1938. She was wearing red at the office when Clark Kent asked her on a date:

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And she was wearing red later that evening when a goon tried to dance with her. She wasn’t in any mood for it; she didn’t even want to be out with Clark, much less have some other dope get all up in her space:

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While Wonder Woman and Lois Lane have been showing solidarity for ages with their red outfits, Catwoman’s never been much for red. She’s worn a lot of black and purple, and even green and orange at times, but red has never been her primary color. She has used it for accessories, though. In Batman #210 in 1969, Catwoman debuted a new pair of red goggles:

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The outfit didn’t last for long, but the red has recently returned to the lenses of her goggles, as we can see on this cover from last year’s Catwoman #48:

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She’s subtle about it, but Catwoman’s on board for “A Day Without a Woman” too!

Happy International Women’s Day everyone, and cheers to all of the women participating in today’s general strike as well as all of those who can’t but who are nonetheless showing their solidarity!

Cover Reveal For My New Book: The Many Lives of Catwoman, Coming In Summer 2017!

September 1, 2016

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There was a big reveal on the Chicago Review Press Instagram account yesterday: The cover of my new book! I’ve now written a trilogy! And the third book is The Many Lives of Catwoman: The Felonious History of a Feline Fatale, due out in Summer 2017.

The book was an absolute blast to write. Catwoman is a fantastic and fascinating character with so many distinct incarnations over the past 75 years, and digging into all of the comics, shows, and movies was so much fun. Apart from the Halle Berry movie, I suppose. That sucked pretty bad, but so much so that it eventually became kind of hilarious, and I ended up writing an entire chapter on what went wrong with the movie and how it influenced the superhero film boom of the past decade. Plus I got to watch the good stuff too, like the old Batman show and Batman Returns, both of which are amazing in completely different ways.

And the comics! I had a rough idea of Catwoman’s comic book history before I started the book, but her journey over the decades was even more intriguing than I’d imagined. From her transition from small time cat burglar to supervillain to reformed citizen in the Golden Age to her disappearance in the Silver Age to her often dark and twisted romantic stories in the Bronze Age, the old comics were spectacularly interesting. And her more modern incarnations were just as compelling, from unpacking the sexualization and objectification of “Year One” and the 1990s series to exploring her renaissance in the 2000s. Catwoman’s always had something fascinating going on in her adventures; there was little in the way of flat, boring stories.

Ultimately, the book is an examination of the superhero genre from the perspective of a female villain, and the ups and downs of empowerment and exploitation that come with being a part of this world over the past 75 years. After doing two books on outright heroines, it was  fun to dig into the morally ambiguous world of Catwoman and see how the trends of the genre impacted her depictions in new and different ways.

The book’s not out for a while yet; it’s scheduled for July 2017 right now, so we’re ten months out. It’s not even available for pre-order yet, though you can be sure I’ll let you know when it is. But it’s written and it’s happening and it’s got a cover and I couldn’t be happier about it all. I’m really excited for you all to get to check it out, and I hope you’re looking forward to some Catwoman-centric fun as we ramp up to the book’s release starting early in the new year!

My Top 10 Favourite Comic Books of 2015

December 29, 2015

Now that the year is almost over, it’s a good time to look back at the comic books I most enjoyed this year. Usually I like to do an all new Top 10, focusing on my new favourites, but so many books stayed ridiculously good this year that my pull list hasn’t changed a lot. So we’ll go for a split, with half returning favourites and half new books that I’m all about. We’ll start with the former!

MY FIVE FAVOURITE COMIC BOOKS

It’s been a fantastic year for comics, and several of my best books from 2014 remain at the top of my list here at the end of 2015. My top books, in order, are:

 bestCRIMINALS

5) Sex Criminals by Matt Fraction and Chip Zdarsky: The book is hilarious and great and surprisingly heartwarming, but what I love more than anything is the letter column. It’s the funniest thing I read each month, comics or otherwise.

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4) The Mighty Thor by Jason Aaron and Russell Dauterman: The series was a blast all year as Thor, and now that it’s been relaunched as The Mighty Thor the fun continues. I liked the initial mystery aspect of the book, but the reveal of Thor’s identity has led to some interesting angles and new storylines that are even more compelling.

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3) ODY-C by Matt Fraction and Christian Ward: It’s a gender swapped take on The Odyssey in space. This concept could not be more up my alley, and the execution has been fascinating and gorgeous. And also informative! The essays in the backmatter are great, and are a fantastic compliment to the trippy main story.

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2) Bitch Planet by Kelly Sue DeConnick and Valentine De Landro: Feminism in space again. What can I say, I have a type. The Mighty Thor sort of fits that theme too, now that I think about it! Last year, I compared the first issue of Bitch Planet to a punch in the stomach but in the best way, and the series has continued as such throughout the year. While it’s often brutal, there’s a fury to the book that I love and that is much needed.

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1) Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson, Adrian Alphona, and others: This was my top pick last year, and it’s my top pick this year too. It’s just so good! I LOVE Kamala Khan, I love the world they’ve built around her in Jersey City, and I love that the book is classic superhero fun in a very fresh and new way. And now, Kamala’s made it through Secret Wars and is back in a relaunched title that continues her story in enjoyable new ways. Plus she’s an Avenger! 2015 was the year of Kamala, for sure.

MY FIVE FAVOURITE NEW COMIC BOOKS

The year also saw a bunch of new great books, from multiversal destructions to gals across various eras to a modern day crime lord. These were my favourite new books/revamps of 2015:

 bestSECRETWARS

5) Secret Wars by Jonathan Hickman and Esad Ribic: This book is bananas, and I love it. I’ve been following Hickman since he relaunched Avengers and New Avengers a few years back, and while the buildup was impressive, the payoff is epic. This is the first event series in ages that I’ve really enjoyed, plus it’s also led to some great tie-ins, including A-Force, Captain Marvel and the Carol Corps, and Runaways.

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4) Catwoman by Genevieve Valentine, Garry Brown, and David Messina: This storyline began in 2014, but it ran for most of this year and it was ridiculously good. Selina Kyle took over a crime family and tried to keep Gotham from falling into a gang war, with often tragic results. It was dark and tense and an absolutely fascinating new take on the character, and I was so disappointed when DC brought in a new creative team at the end of the year.

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3) Paper Girls by Brian K. Vaughan and Cliff Chiang: It’s just so gorgeous. Regular readers will know that Cliff Chiang is my favourite artist, hands down, and he doesn’t disappoint here. Plus that Vaughan fellow is pretty good too, and he’s crafted a weird, mysterious story; we’re a few issues in, and I’m still not 100% sure what’s happening. I just know that it’s rad.

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2) The Legend of Wonder Woman by Renae De Liz and Ray Dillon: The print edition of the book doesn’t start until January, but the digital version has been coming out for weeks and it’s GREAT. It’s a classic take on Wonder Woman and the Amazons but with several new, fun twists, and the first few issues have spent a lot of time establishing Themyscira and introducing us to a young Diana. Simultaneously cute and ominous, this is the best Wonder Woman book in years.

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1) DC Comics Bombshells by Marguerite Bennett, Marguerite Sauvage, and more: When DC did their World War Two era “Bombshell” variant covers a while back, I thought it was kind of silly and unnecessary. But they were a hit, and now this series fleshes out the story behind the new designs, reimagining the war with scores of DC’s female heroes in the mix, and nary a male hero in sight. It’s so much fun and delightfully bad ass to see DC’s ladies working together to bust up Nazis, and I love how Bennett and her team of artists have added so much depth to what began as a line of pin-ups.

And those are my favourite books of the year! It’s all so much awesome. The comic book industry is an embarrassment of riches right now.


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