The Real Catwoman Disappears from DC Comics

Posted by FoxxFireArt (3549 posts) - - Show Bio

The Real Catwoman Disappears from DC Comics

Selina should be a confident and self made woman

Taste and attraction are by their very basis a matter of perspective. Catwoman is one of my favorite women from the DC Universe. A lot of people who really don't understand Catwoman are under the impression that she's strong and popular becasue she's so sexual. I say, I find her sexy because she's strong. That's maybe a case of over-sharing about what I like to see in a woman. A detail that draws me to her is her confidence, and she has no problem being the aggressor in a relationship. She's always been cool in the same way Batman is. She used to be a self-actualized woman who trained and made herself special. She doesn't need powers in a universe filled with them.

The grand DC Comics reboot has given us a new Catwoman who has been stripped of her inner strength in the way she's often denied a working zipper on her catsuit. While we were all confused by her recent behavior since CATWOMAN #1. I think people were open to see what new origin she'd be given one year after the universe was set back to step one. What we were given by writer Ann Nocenti was an erratic and sloppy rehash of Tim Burton's BATMAN RETURNS. I also feel it's worth mentioning that this is also the origin used in the Catwoman porn parody, KATWOMAN XXX. (I only know that becasue I watched the trailer.)

BATMAN: YEAR ONE: Selina leaves the streets with Holly.

I think her origin was well told in BATMAN: YEAR ONE. A lot of readers were offended by the idea that Selina had ever worked as a prostitute as part of her origin. It didn't bother me. Gotham is a dark and corrupt city, and she didn't have the advantages that came with Bruce's station in life. That doesn't mean she was weak or taken advantage of in any way she didn't allow. Stan, the pimp, couldn't control her, and the most important part is that she chose to leave that life. She was the one in control of her destiny. The same way Batman chose to follow his path. This will be her origin to me.

Catwoman in ARKHAM CITY.

BATMAN: ARKHAM CITY did an impressive job of delving into Selina's motivations. While I thought the dialog got a bit cheesy for her at times. The interview tapes of her psychological sessions with Dr. Strange revealed they really put some thought into her personality and history. Just to give you an idea of how much I've played this game. On one of Catwoman's combat challenge maps I ranked 183rd on the PSN leader boards, and I wasn't even trying to get on the boards. I was just playing around.

We should have seen the trouble on the horizon when we saw the first cover for CATWOMAN #0. The New 52 Selina wasn't in control of anything in her life. She was manipulated and abused by everyone. Her confidence doesn't come from her choices or experience. It came from being licked by magical cats in an alley way. Selina doesn't need such an overly complicated origin or special powers. Why can't people just be content with her being a human cat burglar? Something I always have to roll my eyes at in reboots is that so many writers get this idea in their head a more complicated origin means it's more interesting. If you aren't thinking of a character's motivations you're just going to make a jumbled mess, and that's what we now have. Yet we're expected to accept this as canon. Nocenti is now implying that Selina Kyle isn't even her real name.

It's not just you, Selina. We're all confused.

It shows you that just becasue you put a woman writer onto a heroine comic it doesn't mean a thing if she has no understanding of who the character is. It's a sad thing in an industry when talented female creators work so hard to prove themselves. You can even see this behavior in artists. Hands down, the artist that understands Selina best is Adam Hughes. He knows it isn't about how much flesh you expose. It's all in her personality. I'd love to hear his thoughts on this new origin.

It can be amazing the kind of insight you can get when you go back and read the words of a writer before you see the outcome of what they've created. I would very much suggest that everyone go back and check some of Sara's interview with Ann Nocenti in the article "The Problem With CATWOMAN".

" 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. "

- Ann Nocenti (July 2012)

Reading this and what came out of Nocenti's CATWOMAN #0 reveals what she had planned for Selina. Rather than a fun loving, adventure junkie. The New 52 Selina was changed into a schizophrenic kleptomaniac who holds jewels with the same fixation that Smeagol clutches the One Ring. I'm expecting Nocenti to put Selina in heat some time by the end of her run....if the series lasts that long.

CATWOMAN #0: Young Selina exposed

A scene that caught my eye that exposes Nocenti's complete lack of understanding of Selina was when she's invited to a club and tries to sell herself as a pre-med student, but the handsome, young journalist calls her out on her lie saying that no doctor would have such dirty hands. In this scene, she then runs off crying. The Selina that I know wouldn't run off in tears like some heartbroken, high school girl. This is what I think the real Selina would have done to someone who had embarrassed her so publicly:

Selina would have been angry but kept her cool. With a coy smile and a chuckle, she would admit that she was busted. She would turn flirtatious then slowly and seductively slipping her fingers between his as she says, " I may not be pre-med, but I do have a fair bit of experience with 'anatomy'... I might even be able to teach you a few things.". Just as this journalist is getting his hopes up that he's going to get lucky he replies, "Oh, what could you teach me?". Leaning in, Selina tightening her grip and whispers seductively, " For example,... It only takes five pounds of pressure to break a man's wrist.". As he's off guard by such an odd statement, Selina swiftly twists her hand and breaks the man's wrist and three of his fingers in the process. She turns to walk away as he's screaming in pain on the floor, and everyone in the club is standing around confused. She says coldly, "Good luck dealing of your editorial load with a broken hand, jerk.". She storms out of the club angry at herself -- not crying -- for being so easily revealed for such a stupid mistake and swears to get better. However, she suddenly stops and gets more angry at herself for having not thought to lifted his wallet before she left him back there.

That's how I see the real Selina reacting.

We all look forward to the real Selina's return.

One of the most blatantly offensive scenes in Nocenti's version of CATWOMAN has to be in the internal dialog Selina has while she thinks she's falling to her death, She seems happy to die. Happy that she's at least worth enough to someone to murder. That's beyond low self esteem. That's clinical depression.

The thing that has me worried is that it's this kind of aimless writing that got the VOODOO comic canceled. Sadly, that might be what we really need for her now. Cancel this abomination, then get a writer to restart and wipe this embarrassment away the same way they did for the whole "baby" issue. DC called CATWOMAN #0 "The secret origin of Selina Kyle!". I'm pretty sure many of us had wished this origin had remained a secret.

-Kristoffer Remmell (FoxxFireArt) is a freelance graphic artist, writer, and over all mystery geek.- Follow for news updates: @ FoxxFireArt

#1 Posted by Strafe Prower (11887 posts) - - Show Bio

@FoxxFireArt: FINALLY SOMEONE ELSE SAID IT!

Great article and great job. I agree 100%

#2 Edited by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

Great job! LOVED this blog. And the caption in that last AH! pick bottom left? I couldn't have said it better myself. :)

#3 Posted by sora_thekey (8153 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't read this Catwoman series... Now I don't want to.

Moderator
#4 Posted by Lvenger (18429 posts) - - Show Bio

The New 52 has its ups and downs. Unfortunately this down is as steep as Mt Everest.

#5 Posted by X9 (752 posts) - - Show Bio

I totally see your point, but about the "running off crying" thing...she was much younger, it's understandable.

Plus... I think her title is trying to show us a different side of Selina...make her more reliable. I'm not saying they succeeded or failed, I'm just saying that seems to be what they're doing.

#6 Posted by Skunkstein (591 posts) - - Show Bio

I have never really read much Catwoman, but i always liked her when she had a cameo in something i read i also liked her in Batman Year One, i was actually thinking of checking her out with the dc reboot but this kinda makes me sad, i dont really wanna read her now.

#7 Posted by GR2Blackout (2564 posts) - - Show Bio

@sora_thekey said:

I haven't read this Catwoman series... Now I don't want to.

#8 Posted by Selinaky (677 posts) - - Show Bio

Catwoman is one of my favourite characters, but I quickly lost interest in her new series after a few issues. I am just not motivated or interested in reading it, especially since I've heard it's not so good. Shame... I hope something changes too.

#9 Posted by InnerVenom123 (29499 posts) - - Show Bio

Wow.

The crying and the falling scene....

just wow.

#10 Posted by cameron83 (6696 posts) - - Show Bio

*sigh*,im not even going to complain about the hundreds complaining about the new 52.

BTW,she still does steal for the thrill,nobody didn't say she didnt,especially with the things she does that reveal this.And her actions don't show her being a mentality disordered kleptomaniac.

She still was a prostitute,she still helps little girls o the street because she feels for them,she STILL does things for thrill and enjoyment,still keeps her cool in situations,DAMMIT SHE IS THE SAME DAMN CHARACTER,you know what,i honestly don't give a flying f*&( anymore,i am just that annoyed

#11 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3549 posts) - - Show Bio

@Babs:

Adam Hughes seems to be one of the only artists who really understands what it takes to make a good Selina picture. Other artists may be able to draw her well, but they never really seem to get her personality right in them.

@Skunkstein:

If you want to read some good Catwoman stories. Sara mentions a few in that Nocenti interview article. Look those up.

CATWOMAN: WHEN IN ROME & CATWOMAN: SELINA'S BIG SCORE

@cameron83:

Nothing in Nocenti's origin issue ever even touches on her time as prostitute as told in YEAR ONE. No scene where she clashes with an undercover Bruce or punching out Stan as she leaves with Holly. How she even becomes Catwoman is completely different as told in this original origin. oh yeah, and The real Selina wasn't raised from the dead by freakin' alley cats!!

BTW,she still does steal for the thrill,nobody didn't say she didnt,especially with the things she does that reveal this.And her actions don't show her being a mentality disordered kleptomaniac.

Also, did you read CATWOMAN #0? Does she look as if she's having a good time in this scene? This was what she did after she got exposed by that journalist as a fraud. She ran off looking for just any random house to rob, and she starts clutching the first set of jewels she finds to her face and is crying for no apparent reason and saying fanatically, "Mine.". This doesn't look like someone with a disorder to you? She looks like Smeagol with the One Ring.

It's even in Nocenti's own words. "she will never be happy no matter how many jewels she gets.". That's a sign of being a kleptomaniac or a horder. Trying to fill a psychological emptiness with physical possessions. She makes zero mention of it being a thrill.

#12 Posted by chipsnopotatoes (328 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd actually be ecstatic if they eradicated the prostitute origin. Don't know why people are so attached to it. I'm sure there must be a more logical story in terms of how she became a world class thief. That said, this nod to Batman Returns and the psychotic Selina in it is about 20 years too late. I guess we'll see Anne's Catwoman grace the comics in 2032. As for Nocenti, I knew she was bad news for Selina from Day One. Anyone who's read Trail of the Gun would know that.

#13 Edited by FoxxFireArt (3549 posts) - - Show Bio

@chipsnopotatoes:

Most Selina fans don't have a problem with her having been a prostitute some time in her past becasue of how well it was shown in BATMAN: YEAR ONE. They could have shown her as some sort of victim being used and manipulated, but she was seen as strong, willful, and even gave a younger Bruce a challenging fight. The most important part is that it shows how she got fed up and chose to leave. It's a lot better than the standard cliches of women characters having abusive spouses or being rape victims.

Nocenti's version is so offensive, becasue this Selina doesn't look as if she's even in control of herself. She has such low self esteem that she's happy someone wants to kill her.

#14 Posted by mpgeist (75 posts) - - Show Bio

Been pulling Catwoman for a long time and this is the first time I'm dropping her. Ann Nocenti is a hack.

#15 Edited by chipsnopotatoes (328 posts) - - Show Bio

@FoxxFireArt: If I'm not mistaken, Her Sister's Keeper showed her raped by her pimp and dumped into a dumpster where she was licked to life by cats. That panel actually inspired Burton for that famous scene in Batman Returns. So, I don't think the prostitute origin shows that she started out stronger than any of her other origins. Plus, it's not really an origin that can work across platforms, can it? Do you think they'd show Catwoman started out a prostitute on Cartoon Network? Even Nolan shied away from it in the big screen. So, for consistency's sake, give her one that can work across all media. We may not like the Batman Returns origin but I think that's largely because of how it's written and the number of pages to tell that story. I wonder if another writer might have made it work.

As for her death wish and low self esteem, I totally agree, but this is not Nocenti who started this trend. Winick did. If you recall the earlier issue with BoneBlaster (or whatever his name was) where Batman shakes her and asks if she has a death wish and she replies "Maybe I do" or a more recent Winick issue where she identifies with Dollhouse because she thinks of herself as a monster. So I blame Winick for this characterization. As well the compulsive reckless stealing.

Actually, I really hate how DC has handled her in the DCnU and I hope it blows up in their faces. Where's the smart savvy cool operator that we know and love. Guess I'll have to stick with Nolan/Hathaway.

#16 Edited by FoxxFireArt (3549 posts) - - Show Bio

@chipsnopotatoes:

You seemed to have missed the part where I said "BATMAN: YEAR ONE" despite that I wrote it all in caps. Since this ties into the origin of Batman and many others. This is by far considered the more canon story. YEAR ONE was from 1987, HER SISTER'S KEEPER was from '92 and implied she had been beaten up by Stan, and that was just Mindy Newell trying to add on to that story but ignored much of what was shown in YEAR ONE. HER SISTER'S KEEPER also tried to say that Selina had a sister who was a nun. You know how no one ever mentions the whole "baby" issue? It's the same thing.

YEAR ONE showed a confident and hard to control Selina. HER SISTER'S KEEPER added all the weakness and having to be saved by others. It's irrelevant if it can't work across another platform.

#17 Edited by chipsnopotatoes (328 posts) - - Show Bio

@FoxxFireArt: Eh? Aren't those related stories? HSK built on top of Year One and it wasn't ignored as Brubaker pretty much brought that back into continuity including Sister Maggie.

I think you mean irrelevant, right? That's if you're only living in the little world of comicbooks. I'd argue that iconic brands marketed to mainstream demand consistency. You don't see them f*ing around Batman's "his parents are dead" origin in different media, do you? Like what they did or not, there is a business rationale behind it.

#18 Edited by FoxxFireArt (3549 posts) - - Show Bio

@chipsnopotatoes:

Just becasue it was adding to YEAR ONE doesn't make it canon. They were written years apart by completely different creative teams. Selina had completely different personalities in the separate stories. Topping ice cream with shit doesn't improve the flavor or make it the same thing. Guess which story I'm comparing to shit?

#19 Posted by chipsnopotatoes (328 posts) - - Show Bio

@FoxxFireArt: I'm no fan of either, so you calling one shit merits a shrug from me. But as I mentioned before, Brubaker did make what you're referring to as shit canon.

#20 Posted by CrashofRhinos (15 posts) - - Show Bio

Great analysis. While I prefer your alternate scenario regarding Selina's reaction to the guy in the club, I think I would have stopped short of havig her break the guys wrist.

#21 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3549 posts) - - Show Bio
@CrashofRhinos Nah, the real Selina would never have put up with some asshole who seemed to go out of his way to humiliate her. It also set me up for that line about dealing with his "editorial load" with a broken hand. That was something he mentioned earlier in the scene.
#22 Posted by JSH92 (414 posts) - - Show Bio

I really wish they had kept Judd Winick writing it. I actually liked the Catwoman series and collected it monthly. Once I heard about what Nocenti had done I decided to drop it. What a shame.

#23 Posted by GillaDro (236 posts) - - Show Bio

Catwoman #13 is to reveal her true origin. Issue #0 is supposed to be the origin of her stolen secret identity.

#24 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3549 posts) - - Show Bio

@GillaDro:

Nocenti's just going to expand on what she created in CATWOMAN #0 and explain the whole "Selina Kyle isn't her name" issue she left off on. All this licked by cats in the alley is still going to stay. At least until we can get another writer to wipe all this crap away.

#25 Posted by cameron83 (6696 posts) - - Show Bio

@FoxxFireArt said:

@Babs:

Adam Hughes seems to be one of the only artists who really understands what it takes to make a good Selina picture. Other artists may be able to draw her well, but they never really seem to get her personality right in them.

@Skunkstein:

If you want to read some good Catwoman stories. Sara mentions a few in that Nocenti interview article. Look those up.

CATWOMAN: WHEN IN ROME & CATWOMAN: SELINA'S BIG SCORE

@cameron83:

Nothing in Nocenti's origin issue ever even touches on her time as prostitute as told in YEAR ONE. No scene where she clashes with an undercover Bruce or punching out Stan as she leaves with Holly. How she even becomes Catwoman is completely different as told in this original origin. oh yeah, and The real Selina wasn't raised from the dead by freakin' alley cats!!

BTW,she still does steal for the thrill,nobody didn't say she didnt,especially with the things she does that reveal this.And her actions don't show her being a mentality disordered kleptomaniac.

Also, did you read CATWOMAN #0? Does she look as if she's having a good time in this scene? This was what she did after she got exposed by that journalist as a fraud. She ran off looking for just any random house to rob, and she starts clutching the first set of jewels she finds to her face and is crying for no apparent reason and saying fanatically, "Mine.". This doesn't look like someone with a disorder to you? She looks like Smeagol with the One Ring.

It's even in Nocenti's own words. "she will never be happy no matter how many jewels she gets.". That's a sign of being a kleptomaniac or a horder. Trying to fill a psychological emptiness with physical possessions. She makes zero mention of it being a thrill.

Have you read the catwoman series,i am pretty sure there are multiple references to her being a prostitute,HAVE you even read the first issue.Because what she does there and throughout the series shows she does alot of things and stealing for the thrill.In fact,more than just stealing.AND did you notice that catwoman is young When she first started out.She doesn't have to say she does it for the thrill,and frankly i think it's just retarded that she will just steal stuff just for the adrenaline rush.And who cares what happened to her.She was abused,she doesn't have to have a husband.And she was treated crappy by men,and she was young back then,honestly,common sense people?

And sorry if you want year one,but maybe you should read the actual comic a little bit.AND it does make reference to her being a prostitute,EVEN HER ACTIONS show that,and her motives and what she does that her PRE new 52 version did.Are people just forcing in ways not to like the new 52,because the arguments are VERY weak.And all they are doing is showing the catwoman we know,and showing the side of her we haven't seen

#26 Posted by dizzybone011 (11 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't see why they would change Catwoman's origin, it was fine how it was in Batman: Year One (though I never read it, I watched the animated movie). It was meaningful and it stuck as what Catwoman should be. A strong, sexy, and independent woman. As of now she's just reckless, callous, and rather petty.

Thought after some time they would've given her a story/origin she deserved because I loved her in Arkham City and Year One but all I am left are several disappointing books.

#27 Posted by sunhawk (550 posts) - - Show Bio

n52 has been horrible for female characters not named Princess Diana

#28 Posted by BR_Havoc (1272 posts) - - Show Bio

I could only last 9 issues then I wanted this book as far away from me as possible. I feel that many of the new 52 female characters got ruined Harley is terrible and Catwoman falls into the same trap. I think its time to cut there loses on certain characters and start fresh.

#29 Posted by Crimsonlord53 (1305 posts) - - Show Bio
stripped of her inner strength in the way she's often denied a working zipper on her catsuit.

To true the new 52 has being unkind to a lot of character's.

O.T I really hope the JLA can fix her zipper problem.

#30 Posted by Ultra_beleco (184 posts) - - Show Bio

@sunhawk said:

n52 has been horrible for female characters not named Princess Diana

Disagree. Batwoman and Supergirl (except her costume) are also cool in new 52.

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