10 Things Dc Comics Wants You To Forget About Catwoman

Catwoman is one of the Batman series most popular characters. Initially a villain, the feline-themed thief has had a long history serving as a romantic foil to the Dark Knight, flirting with him even as he hands her over to the authorities.

Over the years, Catwoman has moved more towards heroism, protecting and looking after the down-and-outs of Gotham, but still keeping her eyes out for anything shiny she can get her paws on.

Catwoman has been an integral part of the Batman mythos outside of comics as well, appearing in movies, TV shows, animated series and video games alongside the Bat. Now it seems she’ll be starring alongside Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy in the upcoming Gotham City Sirens movie as well.

However, Selina Kyle hasn’t always had such an illustrious career and there are certainly a fair share of moments that DC have tried to brush under the carpet, from dumb origins to forgotten characters…

10. She Had A Sidekick

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Kitrina Falcone was the youngest member of the Falcone crime family. Her Uncle Mario (having given up on his once promising plumbing career) made use her natural skills in agility and escape artistry as a mapmaker, noting down weak points in buildings for heists.

Eventually Mario decided that Kitty knew too much and tried to have her killed. She was saved by Catwoman though, who decided to train Kitrina to be a hero.

Kitrina only had a brief career as Catgirl. She tried to help Catwoman take down the crazed murderer The Reaper, but her rebellious nature and impulsiveness caused her to constantly get in the way, doing more harm than good.

Selina tried to convince Katrina that she should give up as Catgirl and go live a normal life instead. At first Kitty refused and ran off with her costume. However, when an attempt to take down her uncle caused her to get shot, she decided to hang up the mantle.

Kitrina left Gotham to go to boarding school, but promised to one day return to being Catgirl. Despite that, she hasn’t been seen since.

9. That Sex Scene

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When Catwoman got her own series following the New 52 reboot, DC wanted to start things off with a bang, and boy did they.

In an attempt to appear “mature”, Catwoman #1 threw out character development in favour of gratuitous shots of Selina Kyle in her underwear. In the issue’s climax (heh), Batman and Catwoman get jiggy on the floor of her apartment, whilst still wearing their costumes. It’s an uncomfortable scene, literally, both characters seem to be in some pretty severe spinal discomfort and the detailed artwork only serves to make things more awkward.

The issue was incredibly controversial, not just for the excessive fan service, but for the way that Catwoman seemingly forces herself on Batman, raising eyebrows over the dubious consent of the scene.

When asked about it by Newsarama, writer Judd Winick gave a pretty classic non-answer of “This is a Catwoman for 2011, and my approach to her character and actions reflect someone who lives in our times. And wears a cat suit. And steals. It’s a tale that is part crime story, part mystery and part romance. In that, you will find action, suspense and passion. Each of those qualities, at times, play to their extremes”.

8. She Had Her Mind Wiped

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In another earlier attempt by DC to tell darker stories, the miniseries ‘Identity Crisis’ revealed that the villain Dr Light had assaulted Sue Dibny, the wife of Elongated Man. In response, the Justice League had the magician Zatanna wipe his mind and turn him into an ineffectual moron.

In a later story, Catwoman found out that she had undergone a similar process. At the time, Selina had more or less fully reformed and was in a committed relationship with Batman. However, she found out that her turn towards heroism was actually the result of Zatanna wiping her mind years ago at the behest of the Justice League.

The revelation and the doubt over whether she could trust her own emotions caused Catwoman to have a breakdown and she slid back towards villainy. In retaliation, she taped shut Zatanna’s mouth and threw her out a window (she survived the fall).

This return to more brutal methods meant that when the Black Mask later threatened Selina’s sister (who, on a previous occasion, he had forced to eat her own husband’s eyes), Catwoman shot him in the head, killing him.

The story seems to have been abandoned in the New 52 though, with Selina acting as an antihero again of her own free will.

7. She Got Her Butt Kicked By Elektra

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In 1996, Marvel and DC both came together to publish DC vs. Marvel Comics (alternatively Marvel vs. DC). The series revolved around two godlike beings from each universe choosing heroes to fight in one-on-one battles to decide whose universe was best (you’ll recognise the plot from “every playground argument ever”).

The issues contained a mixture of predetermined battles, like Aquaman dropping a whale on Namor, and fights decided by reader vote, like Storm realising she can just electrocute Wonder Woman from miles away.

One of the predetermined battles was a face-off between antiheroes Elektra and Catwoman. Now you might think that the outcome of a fight between a kleptomaniac and a lady who kills at least eight people before breakfast would be obvious, and you’d be right. Elektra handily trounced Catwoman, slicing Selina’s whip in half with a sai as she dangled off a building. Catwoman survived the fall by landing in a dumpster full of sand, but was tragically too unconscious to realise the obvious kitty litter joke.

The series led to the creation of the Amalgam Universe, where DC and Marvel heroes were combined. Catwoman and Elektra were merged into Catsai, a master assassin.

6. Her Dumb Origin

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Like a lot of characters, Catwoman’s origin story has changed over the years. Usually it revolves around Selina turning to a life of crime to escape a childhood of poverty and abuse, but her original origin was far dumber.

After making numerous appearances throughout the early issues of Batman, Batman #62 in 1950 finally gave us Catwoman’s origin story. Selina Kyle was actually an amnesiac flight attendant who had lost her memory in a plane crash.

She remembered all of this after being hit on the head by rubble while saving Batman from a collapsing building. Why amnesia turned her into a criminal or how more brain trauma counteracted the earlier brain trauma is anyone’s guess, but it’s probably best to just leave it. Trying to argue with 50’s comic book logic is a path down which lies only madness.

This origin would be retconned a year later anyway when Catwoman revealed that she’d lied about her past to temporarily retire from crime. It would be a long time before we would learn her real origin though, as the Comics Code of Authority banned the use of the seductive femme fatale for over a decade.

5. She Used To Be A Dominatrix

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Frank Miller is well known for his ability to write a dark and brooding Batman in a grim and gritty Gotham, so it’s no surprise that his Batman: Year One is hailed as one of the best Batman stories ever written. Frank Miller is also well known for is less than progressive views on women, so it’s also no surprise that his version of Catwoman is a sex worker.

This version of Selina Kyle worked as a dominatrix to get out from under her pimp until Batman’s actions inspired her to give up her former life and become a vigilante, also adopting an underage prostitute named Holly Robinson as her ward.

Amazingly, this origin story is still technically canon as it hasn’t been explicitly retconned and was even a big part of the 1989 Catwoman series. However, while stories since have touched on the fact that Selina has an abusive past, they’ve understandably shied away from talking about her red-light district days and it seems unlikely that DC would want it mentioned in any of their other media.

Having a hero who is an ex-prostitute seems a little dark even by the standards set by Zack Snyder.

4. She’s A Murdererde2d50fa0ed601c6-600x400

One thing that has traditionally separated Catwoman from the rest of Batman’s rogues is that she operates by a strict no-kill rule, going out of her way to avoid harming innocents during her crimes.

When she chose to kill Black Mask it was treated as a huge moment for Selina, it was the first time she had knowingly chosen to kill someone and the guilt of that decision haunted her. Turns out though, Catwoman was just super forgetful.

During the 1970’s, Catwoman was portrayed as far less moral and willing to do whatever it took to complete crimes. This version of Catwoman was happy to kill anyone who got in her way and was frequently shown happily committing murder. These stories were later declared to have taken place in the alternate reality of Earth-B, named after writer Bob Haney, whose stories were notorious for their continuity mistakes.

A recent issue of Tom King’s Batman completely blew this out of the water though with the revelation that Catwoman had actually killed 237 people. The members of the terrorist group ‘Dogs of War’ blew up the orphanage where Selina grew up, killing everyone inside. She then took it upon herself to travel the world, hunting down and killing every last one of them.

Apparently, it’s more of a no-kill guideline.

3. She Had A Daughterfa344a1e36fec6a3-600x400

In the alternate timeline known as Earth-2, Catwoman and Batman married and had a daughter named Helena, who grew up to be the hero Huntress.

DC would later adapt this idea into their main continuity. Following ‘Infinite Crisis’, the DC Universe jumped ahead a year to find some of its heroes living very different lives. One of the biggest changes was that Selina Kyle had retired as Catwoman after giving birth to a daughter, who she called Helena.

The mystery of who Helena’s father was stretched out over the course of the Catwoman series, with plenty of clues being dropped that it was Batman. However, in a twist not even Jeremy Kyle saw coming, Helena’s father was actually a man named Sam Bradley, Jr, the son of one of Catwoman’s allies Detective Slam Bradley.

Selina later returned to being Catwoman to save her friend Holly Robinson. This ultimately led to her giving up her daughter after the movie inspired serial killer Film Freak kidnapped her. Catwoman was able to save Helena, but the ordeal made her realise that her life as Catwoman would always put her daughter in danger so she gave her up for adoption.

Neither Helena nor Sam Bradley, Jr have been mentioned since in the New 52 and they’re both unlikely to show up again.

2. Her Ridiculous Costumes

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Catwoman’s iconic costume is as simple as it is practical, it’s just a black catsuit with a pointy-eared hood and goggles. However, her original costume was anything but.

Well, second costume technically. In her first appearance, Selina Kyle’s silly gimmick was actually dressing up like an old woman to commit crimes. She was also called The Cat, despite lacking any feline-themed equipment.

In subsequent appearances though, she went by Catwoman and wore her “classic” costume, an outfit that only someone in the 1950’s would think is a good idea. Although, on the other hand, the fact that Catwoman is able to race across rooftops in the middle of the night wearing high-heels and a tight knee-length dress is actually pretty impressive.

Selina has made some other pretty questionable fashion choices over the years, including a mask with whiskers, a suit that looks like her costume from the Batman TV show, but it a particularly vivid shade of snot green and a costume combining the worst aspects of the others, a bright yellow dress with a mask that made her look like an actual cat.

It’s probably unlikely that any of these will inspire Catwoman’s Gotham City Sirens costume.

1. The Movie

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Of course the movie is going to be top of the list. The only people reading this who didn’t expect the Catwoman film to be #1 are the ones who spent millions on therapy to block out the memory that this abomination ever happened. If you’re one of those people then… oops, sorry.

That being said, it almost feels like a cheat to put this on this list because, despite originally being conceived as a spinoff to Batman Returns, the film has absolutely nothing in common with Catwoman.

Instead we get the story of a woman named Patience Phillips (astute readers will notice that is not how you spell or pronounce Selina Kyle) who gets murdered by and evil cosmetics company and brought back to life by a magic cat. This gives her the abilities of a cat, which also apparently include worse fashion sense than 1950’s Selina Kyle and the power to turn into a flailing mass of bad CGI whenever she jumps.

Everything about this movie is horrible, the Golden Raspberry-winning acting, the plot (which again, is about a magic catlady fighting an evil makeup company), the effects, the costume, the soundtrack and the acting and plot again because it is impossible to overstate how bad they are.

Thankfully there’s no chance of any of that making it into Gotham City Sirens.

Wait a minute. Black Mask might be the villain of that film. He owned a cosmetics company in the comics.

Oh no.

Image and News Courtesy: WhatCulture

 

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6 thoughts on “10 Things Dc Comics Wants You To Forget About Catwoman

  1. This was a really great read, never knew about her origin story! I’m actually a community manager over here and moviepilot.com and wanted to ask if you shared your posts on any other film/TV sites? If not, would you be interested in showcasing some of your work on our site?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hey Jsebastian,

      Thank You for visiting our blog and reading the article posted. We still haven’t shared our posts on any other film/ TV sites. We are still trying to build our repertoire on comic blogs. We have our own blogs where we review anime, comment on the history of comics try to write about various Indian comics- coz that’s where we come from and we have centuries of stories in India which are slowly being developed into comics. We would love to showcase our work on your site. Let us know how we can go about with it.

      You can get in touch with us on facebook: facebook.com/comicclandotcom
      or over email: contact@comicclan.com

      Like

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