Thoughts on Catwoman #1

Posted by chipsnopotatoes (340 posts) - - Show Bio

First of all, if anyone is expecting a rant about gratuitous cheesecake and bras and cleavage, I'm sorry, you won't find it here. It's not one of my hot buttons. In fact, given a choice between a sexy Selina in a two piece bathing suit courtesy of Tony Daniel vs. those dowdy prison togs she wore while chasing missing dogs in Sirens, I would pick the former hands down.

What I liked:

1. Supporting cast:

a. Lola

I like Lola. This former showgirl seems like a cool level-headed customer. I'd like Winick to tell us more about how she operates as a fence and how she transitioned from showgirl to fence.

I'll admit when I first read this page, it was a little jarring for me to see Selina so much more spontaneous and vulnerable. Her relationship with Lola is not unlike the one Holly had with her. And Winick pretty much gave it away with this interview, they are rebooting Catwoman.

IGN: Will Holly be featured in the book at all?
Winick: I love Holly Robinson. I always have, but no. This is a fresh start, and Holly is not part of it. Let the griping begin!
The truth is, Holly doesn't fit into this persona of Catwoman. Selina is younger. She less dependable. And I don't see her playing big sister to anyone. For me, that's what Holly always was: her kid sister. And I loved that. But we're going elsewhere now.

The only problem is she looks the same. I wonder if that's what's causing the dissonance and confusion with the readers. Perhaps DC should have just given her costume a total overhaul (preferably one without goggles and not designed by Tony Daniel) so we have the proper mindset coming into this book. On second thoughts, maybe not.

2. Cats

Say what you will about March and his boneless human bodies, these cats are damn cute. I like that he took the time to give each and everyone of them a personality. Now, I'm not sure if they will appeal to DC's target market (i.e. males 18-34 year olds who read Maxim), but I'm glad they threw this one in for me.

3. Language Skills

Right around the time Batman Inc #1 came out, I was complaining about Gotham City Sirens on the CBR Batman forum and why it didn't just use the Batman Inc Selina as the template for the character. In just one issue, Grant gave her a valuable social skill that had nothing to do with being physically sexual. What a novelty.

Well, now she knows Russian. I'm glad my rant didn't fall on deaf ears.

4. Disguises

While I like that Winick's employing them, I think it would be interesting to see more prep on how she does her intel--i.e. how she chooses what goes into a disguise and some insight behind it.

Any case, I'm glad Winick skipped the more obvious route of having her pose as one of the girls. Bartender is a neutral choice.

5. Introspection/Quiet Moments

It's a shame that these three panels got buried under all the controversy about bras and sex because they're really quite sweet, showing us a glimpse of what she's like in private.

What I'm on the Fence About:

1. The Flashback

In his interview, Winick was playing coy about her origin, saying we'd see little glimpses of why she is what she is. Is this the same version updated for the 2000's? I hope not. Let's see something more in line with her being a thief instead of propagating Miller's fantasy.

What I disliked:

1. Selina's Revenge

Again, let me repeat, I have no issues with the panel showing her purple bra exposed as she tries to mock seduce Renald. Reason being, it's not her. She's in disguise. And if she thinks opening her blouse and showing that bit of thong (which most of the ranters missed) is the way to get this guy's attention, I'm not going to second guess her.

My problem's more that I don't like Selina this deranged.

Someone at the DC Boards had a very good analogy about this scene, i.e. like a cat toying with its prey, viciously slapping them around before they kill them. Well that's one way to go about it, but I'd like to see her execute her revenge with a little more panache. A physical beat down doesn't make her look smart, just out of control. While I'm not a fan of Heart of Hush, its one redeeming point is how Selina employed her network and rogue connections to empty Hush's bank account. I give that one to Dini.

2. Winick's Batcat

Let me preface this by saying I love the BatCat pairing. Nothing makes me happier than seeing these two interact. However, I'm also picky about it.

For me, the mandatory elements of a good batcat story are:
a) a level playing field -- i.e. she's his equal. Stories where she moons over him are a skip for me. That's Talia not Selina.
b) banter -- quality banter, not the trite innuendos about batarangs in his belt.

Sex is optional.

Batman Inc nailed all three points perfectly.

What did I get in Catwoman #1?

A one sided conversation with Batman uttering three lines of dialogue which irked me no end. Why is he talking to her like she's a child? And when does Selina have nothing to say?

Looks like I just got optional. And an awkwardly drawn one at that. Next time, please get input from Mark Chiarello.

What I'm Hoping For:

1. A heist. Let's move on from all this distraction and get to the meat of it.

2. Tone down the sexy/dirty stance. Let's not get into an arms race of trying to top this last publicity stunt. It's eroding the Catwoman brand and bound to annoy Chris Nolan.

#1 Posted by entropy_aegis (16024 posts) - - Show Bio

How do you consider Selina to be Batman's equal? i mean in which sense.

#2 Posted by The Stegman (29219 posts) - - Show Bio

i compeletely agree with all your likes and dislikes, especially the ending, i know that Bruce and Selina have a past, but i don't like how that "sex?" scene happened, it's almost as if they're fourteen, and Selina is the guy trying to pressure his girlfriend (Batman) into having sex with him, it's like 
Selina- come on baby 
Bruce- no..we shouldn't... 
Selina- kisses him anyway 
Bruce N-no..wait...oh ok....kisses back 

#3 Posted by chipsnopotatoes (340 posts) - - Show Bio

@entropy_aegis: equals from a relationship perspective. Contrast how they were written in Batman Inc vs. Widening Gyre

#4 Posted by entropy_aegis (16024 posts) - - Show Bio

@chipsnopotatoes said:

@entropy_aegis: equals from a relationship perspective. Contrast how they were written in Batman Inc vs. Widening Gyre

Then i agree 100 %.

#5 Posted by battyfan1 (203 posts) - - Show Bio

i agree with your points chips.........but i still have no problems with what went on in the 1st issue......its the 1st issue.....

#6 Posted by Salinakyre (4 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a great review. I strongly second the "moons over is Talia's interaction " part. The feel of equal, that's what fascinating about batcat and Winick almost took it all away....

#7 Edited by cosmo111687 (1578 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with all of these points as well. :)

"A one sided conversation with Batman uttering three lines of dialogue which irked me no end. Why is he talking to her like she's a child? And when does Selina have nothing to say?"

All I can say to this, however, is that I think she was acting out of character in that scene because she was feeling vulnerable by the end of the issue and just wanted to skip all the banter and move right into being with Batman. As she said, most nights she just wanted Batman but that night she needed him. As for Batman's attitude towards her...well, he tends to speak that way to everybody. But, yes, I'm very much in support of seeing them more as equals. Maybe we'll see more of that relationship in the future as their relationship develops.

#8 Posted by Wattup (682 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm not really surprised at the amount of controversy the last few pages have caused but I figure I'll let the author tell his story before I judge the first issue of a new on-going too harshly.


That being said, the author IS Judd Winick who is so hit-and-miss, you'd think he was batting for the current Boston Red Sox...

#9 Posted by chipsnopotatoes (340 posts) - - Show Bio

@battyfan1: I'm still on the fence on this one, Batty. But I do think all the hoopla about it is overblown and tiresome. If the sex scene were better executed (so that it actually looked sexy), I might have been happier. Oh well, at least we know it will sell well.

#10 Posted by Glaucus (44 posts) - - Show Bio

I agree with everything that you said, chips.

Catwoman #1 makes Catwoman/Selina too slutty,trashy,unstable,and immature.

The Cat/Bat relationship should be a lot more subtle.

Yes...Bat, Inc. did a good job with Catwoman/Selina and Batman/Bruce's relationship.

I agree with you that there is too much hoopla going on about the book.

I am not sure if they actually had sex.

I just think the intimacy is way too early in their early years. I'd like to see them take things slow like them fight,flirt, and do occasional team-ups. Then friendship and romance.

#11 Posted by chipsnopotatoes (340 posts) - - Show Bio

@Glaucus: Really bummed that it's generating so much negative press. Short term spike in sales but detrimental to the brand. Wish DC would consider that.

#12 Posted by ticklefist (33 posts) - - Show Bio

@chipsnopotatoes: Really late posting here but great review. You know I've shared a similar concern about short term spike vs long term interest, but I don't know, I think it's going to be ok. Personally I want the same things you want. I want more character/world development. These are things I've seen Judd Winick do so I'll be happy once he actually starts here. I was really surprised to see how little the sexual bits bothered you. Between posts elsewhere and a few twitter quips I wasn't sure what side of the fence you fell on.

#13 Posted by LoganRogue24 (1313 posts) - - Show Bio

great points i agree i love selina bruce pairing to i think winick suits selina i did not like his take on power girl that much when he took over from amanda conner and her team.

#14 Posted by ticklefist (33 posts) - - Show Bio

@LoganRogue24: Interesting. Was it the shift in tone that made you dislike his Power Girl or was it something else entirely? I see the Winick/Basri run and the Gray/Palmiotti/Conner run being different but equally good. I look forward to seeing things I liked in his Power Girl run pop up here in Catwoman.

#15 Posted by LoganRogue24 (1313 posts) - - Show Bio

i did not like the new tone it felt very diferent from amandas team. plus i did not like the art on his run but i did still read it to complete pg. i just prefer amanda conners team.

#16 Posted by ticklefist (33 posts) - - Show Bio

@LoganRogue24: Perfectly understandable. They were quite different. I enjoy both but if I was forced to lean one way or the other I'd actually pick the Winick run.

#17 Posted by LoganRogue24 (1313 posts) - - Show Bio

ticklefist i think i just prefer amada conners art maybe it was the art that threw me off the winick run more then the story.

#18 Posted by chipsnopotatoes (340 posts) - - Show Bio

@ticklefist: The sex scene in this comic didn't bother me so much as annoy me. It wasn't sexy at all. It's like Winick's aiming to skeeve people out of liking this relationship. Makes me wonder if he has a hidden agenda.

As for sexy Selina, I didn't mind at first and thought nothing of the preview of her half dressed hightailing it out of her apartment. Wasn't till October rolled around when I started getting pissed off. Between the Catwoman short (which I saw in full and HATED. To add to that, anyone who gives me that bullshit that it's ok to show her stripping because she's a character that uses sexuality as a weapon, I will literally yank their balls out from their throats), Arkham City (whose preview I disliked many months back as well), and this comic, it's become really clear how DC Entertainment is marketing this character as nothing but a pair of boobs and cat puns. I don't sense a whole lot of respect for her by the TPTB at WB, do you? Compare the creative quality/marketing push they give to Batwoman vs. Catwoman. Like many Catwoman fans I know, I'm feeling shortchanged by the Catwoman offerings I've seen lately. It's like finding hair in your food, you know.

As for Winick, we're two issues in and I'm still waiting for my Ocean's Eleven heist. Surely, what I've read so far about these two rival mobs can't be it.

#19 Posted by ticklefist (33 posts) - - Show Bio

@chipsnopotatoes: Haha why they gotta have balls, Chips, why? I kid but I totally follow you. Just making this post I've typed and subsequently deleted enough to fill a short story. I'll just say that I agree on all of these points to one degree or another but I'm also trying to balance that with my fandom and just roll with it. Same way I did with GCS, though this current series is making that easier at least.

#20 Posted by chipsnopotatoes (340 posts) - - Show Bio

@ticklefist: LOL. Because. Just because. Present company exempted, of course. But, yeah, I guess you have the better attitude about rolling with it. Let's see what tomorrow brings

#21 Posted by X9 (824 posts) - - Show Bio

Well...I liked issue #1 and I have to say I'm having a good time reading CatWoman in the New 52.

I liked Lola as well, I wish she could've lasted longer. She could've been a great character to act alongside with Selina.

I'm looking foward to CatWoman #0 :)

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