Lights, Camera, Cat-Action!: Catwoman

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Lights, Camera, Cat-Action! will investigate cat-inspired characters in comics and film. The series begins with the iconic Catwoman.

Catwoman. We know the name,we’ve seen the films, but how much do we know about the actual character? I know what you’re thinking: When did she debut? What makes her tick? Is she good or evil? Does she..

Whew…hold on…I’m about to answer everything for you, just give me a moment.

Okay, now I’m ready.

Her Beginnings

Catwoman (Selina Kyle) made her first appearance in the first issue of Batman in the spring of 1940, then being only know as “The Cat.” By issue three she

Early Catwoman,
Early Catwoman,

had already shown her complexities of neither being a hero or villain (while beginning to wear her iconic costume which was not present during her first appearance). She had already switched allegiances from aiding Batman’s more mentally disturbed allies to betraying them when they went a bit too far.

The direct origin of the character is muddled, however her impact on Batman, the comic book industry, and pop culture are as strong as any other female character that began in comic land.

Hero, Villain, Anti-Hero?

Selina Kyle,
Selina Kyle,

That honestly depends on Catwoman’s current state of mind – however for all intents and purposes she’s best described as an anti-hero. Catwoman goes from stages of aiding Batman’s (and Gotham’s) most notorious enemies, to engaging the caped crusader in a steamy love affair, only to begin the cycle all over again. If anything it adds to the engrossing complex nature of the comic version of Catwoman who finally received her own coming in the early 1990s.

Catwoman Re-imaged

Once finally receiving her own comic, which lasted for 94 issues before being cancelled in 2001 – the series focused on the more fanatical aspects of the
Catwoman through the years,

character and was the precursor to the character’s appearance in Trail of Catwoman. In the new title Selina Kyle would use her Catwoman persona to protect the poor citizens on Gotham’s East End from the villains who were looking to take advantage of them.

The latest comic portrayal of Catwoman mentioned above was said to be the inspiration for the version of Catwoman that appeared in Christopher Nolan’s, The Dark Knight Rises. With Catwoman’s role in DC’s New 52 guarantee the character will stay in comic book lore for years to come and remain a pop culture icon.

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