We're always happy to see more ladies entering the comics world and writing some of our favorite funny books; so when we heard that writer and former comics editor Ann Nocenti would be taking on the writing responsibilities for CATWOMAN this fall, the news definitely piqued our interest. Fresh off her run as the writer for GREEN ARROW, Nocenti plans on taking over the series starting with its zero issue this October, 2012. We caught up with the writer to discuss her plans for the series and how familiar she is with the character. Is Nocenti a big Catwoman fan? Is she looking forward to writing Selina Kyle? Find out the answers to these questions -- and many more -- below.
Comic Vine: Are you looking forward to Catwoman?
Ann Nocenti: Absolutely. It's Very exciting. She's legendary. She's awesome.
CV: You worked on a lot of books over the years -- many books at both Marvel (New Mutants) and DC (Green Arrow). How does writing Catwoman differ from writing your previous work?
AN: I mean it's…every character has a kind of resonance. To me she has a lot of wild schisms in her. She just loves being out in the night, you know? being a thief, you know? And chasing something unattainable. At her core though she's got some damage. So when you've got someone on such a tight wire, and the two persona's are stretchemd between this wire, it can be so exciting and rich to try to keep that tension high.
CV: There have been Catwoman runs in the past, is there one that stands out to you or that you will be taking inspiration from?
AN: You know I am not that versed in the last ten years of comics. I mean I am sure I've read some Catwoman stories in the past, but I am really not versed in her individual runs especially because I've been a Marvel girl throughout most of my career. DC is like a whole new world for me and it's an exciting new whorld. The new 52 thing I think is just terrific. This idea that you can…all that history is gone, but I feel like it's still in the DNA. Everything Catwoman has ever done is still in her even though she doesn't have any of that history. So I think it's a good way to take the characters back to their original conflict that is inside them.== TEASER ==
CV: So in the current Catwoman run, writer Judd Winick has made a point to stress that she's this sort of reckless character, do you think that you will be brining growth to her character?
AN: I like what he's established. It's this really fast ride with this electric pacing, and I think it's fun. You know because I'm doing CATWOMAN #0 which is her origin issue there will be some things revealed in her origin issue. So there will be some changes.
She has an origin issue coming out, we're going to remind readers of why she ticks the way she ticks…so that when that comes back into play…I think I will probably deal a certain amount with what drives her to want the most glittery things she can find. What is the compulsion to be a master thief? Especially because sometimes she just clearly does it for kicks. It's not like those noir robbers that do it because they want he cash. With her it's got more to do with some inner turmoil -- she will never be happy no matter how many jewels she gets.
CV: In the beginning of Judd's series we saw a very brief sexual relationship with Batman, but in more recent issues we haven't really seen much of that come up again. Is that something you will be addressing?
AN: I think that when a comic does something that has been building for years and years it's fun -- it's kind of a cool thing. But the idea that they would then actually have a relationship? You know, I don't know. It seems like a cool idea to say 'alright, these two are finally going to consummate this buildup,' and I think that gives a kind of a release from that tension…and it goes back to something much, much more complex. To me it seems like she has some rescue fantasies, you know, it's almost like she needs to know that he will rescue her yet again. That's the real sexuality if you know what I mean.
CV: Will he be appearing in the series?
AN: He'll be there thematically. Not right away. I want to take her down new roads and get to know her first.
CV: We've seen her develop a relationship with Spark, the character Winick introduced towards the end of her series. Is he going to be a character that will appear in your series?
AN: I have some stuff planned right out the gate, but then I will have take a closer look at those issues (Winnick's) and whatever else I can find…and find an angle on him that could bring him back in an impactful way. But I love continuity. I like building on characters that exist.
CV: You mentioned that you are not familiar with her stories from the last ten years. Do you plan on going back and researching her character and becoming acquainted with her character?
AN: I trust my Editor, Rachel, to tell me if there's something in particular that she thinks I should read because I think the problem with characters that have been around for 60 years…they don't want some of that stuff coming back. That's what a great editor is for. A great editor says "you should read this version of Catwoman because this is really cool." Otherwise, you know, the things they have been through when you read their Wikipedia entires are phenomenal -- there are so many twists and turns. You kind of have to trust your Editor. When I was an Editor I did this all the time. I would say "Hey, look there's this little thing you can use in Storm's past…"
CV: What are some qualities that get you excited about her character?
AN: I like every variation on the double identity world. It's kind of unrealistic, yet it's so beautiful. This tension between people with two identities. I'm really intrigued by her particular almost schism between Selina Kyle and Catwoman. Think of people that have a double life; it's like a compulsion they can't stop. That is in many ways derailing their lives.
CV: We have seen her lose some very important people in her life, (Lola) die as a result of her recklessness. We haven't really seen her character in the last ten issues really grow and recognize that her recklessness is the root of so many of her problems. Is that something you're going to be addressing in your CATWOMAN run?
AN: Definitely. I think that's a good question. Lola was her fence, and now Gwen is her fence. It's also who you choose to associate with. It's not like Catwoman is out there befriending really stable, nice people. She's clearly attracted to people who live with a certain amount of risk. I mean, Lola and Gwen were both painted as very down-to-earth girls who just happened to do these heisting gigs for her. It's like, she also picks people who are already kind of teetering on a tightrope, even if their personalities don't manifest in the way hers does.
What do you think of Ann Nocenti's take over of the CATWOMAN series? Have you been enjoying Judd Winnick's series, or are you ready for this change in the creative team?
Check out the cover to CATWOMAN #13 by Andy Clarke posted over at DC's blog.