rikerdonegal's The Cat #1 - Beware the Claws of the Cat! review

Dated, but good.

Despite all the references to "womanhood" and so forth, this is a pretty okay origin story, with an interesting villain.

Greer Grant Nelson makes a likable lead. Most of the story is told in flashback, as she goes up against the guy who killed her mentor. This way, we get to see her various powers in action. It's by-the-numbers superheroics, but well-told and well-paced. Some of it is a tiny bit crap, yes, but - overall - it's well worth reading. Mal Donalbain is an interesting villain, and his demise is superb.

Ultimately, the question after any first issue is: do I want to read issue 2? And, in this case, the answer is: Yes, I want to find out what happens next.

3 Comments
Posted by Paracelsus

Pity how superheroines rarely  get the attention they deserve(probably because the most avid consumers of comic books are adolescent boys and NOT their sisters). The Cat was as  ahead of her time as the Black Panther! 
 
Terry
Posted by info nation
@Paracelsus: Has she ever MET the Black Panther?
Posted by kcekada

I first learned of the Cat in Avengers (vol 1) 144 -- which showed her brief tenure in flashbacks just before Patsy Walker donner the Cat's uniform (or, more likely, one of the prototype uniforms shown in Claws of the Cat #2). Those briefs images drawn by one George Perez had me intrigued. A year or two later I purchase a reprint collection titled "The Superhero Women" that featured the first issue of COTC. Wow! Great stuff! While some have criticized the character and origin of being derivative of Spider-Man and having too much of a feminist leaning, this was really a well-balanced and cleverly scripted origin story. The art was just fantastic -- even by today's standards. Marie Severin was always a solid illustrator, but Wally Wood's ink really added a punch to make the art stand out.

 

And then it all fell apart. Wood was gone by issue 2, and Fite seemed unable to match the cleverness of her first story. By issue 3, Severin was gone (though Paty Cockrum did a good job) and the fourth issue had yet another artist -- two actually -- Jim Starlin being one of them.  
 
If you have any interest, track down issue one and Marvel Team-Up #8 which was a pretty good Spider-Man and Cat tale. All of these issues (including MTU) will be collected in recently announced Omnibus featuring various Marvel female characters such as Shanna, Patsy Walker and Tigra (the character the Cat later became).

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