I have been an avid collector of Catwoman comics since the early 1990s and, today, I have found that I am only 16 issues away from completing my collection of Catty comics from the era of Jim Balent. For those of you who don’t know, Balent is the man who first drew our dear Selina Kyle in her dark-royal purple catsuit, thigh high black boots, black clawed gloves, and graceful whip. Balent took Catwoman from a rather laughable TV show character (though I worship at the feet of Eartha Kitt) and turned her into a sensual, deadly femme fatale. The writers circulated quite a bit but, throughout at least 70 issues of this series, Jim Balent remained Catty’s faithful penciller, refining and defining the form and figure of the woman that has become positively iconic in the world of Gotham City and beyond. Especially to me. Of any series that has come after, the Balent-era Catwoman has always remained my favorite version and is the most appealing to me. She goes after what she wants and rewards herself when she is successful. However, she still has a heroic mentality, unwilling to leave those who are innocent to suffer if she can help it and never taking from those who cannot easily afford it.
Last summer, DC launched its New 52, restarting all of its major comic book titles as well as adding some new titles, Catwoman. I was a little iffy on this, as I knew that they were keeping her new black outfit, which to me, has always felt clunky and with no sense of “slink” to it. But, when it dropped, I began to read it and found myself rather pleased with its beginnings. One thing that I really love about it is that they openly acknowledged the attraction between Batman and Catwoman almost immediately. In the past, it’s been rather “pussyfooted” around and implied but, in the New 52 Catwoman, it is acknowledged (and enacted) by the end of the first issue. Well done! I like it! Unfortunately, the series fell short of my expectations and, though I have collected most of its 20-something issues, I have only read a few but disliked the path the story took.
I admit it, I am a small comic nerd and proud of it. More importantly, I am a Catwoman comic nerd and proud of it. I will forever love Catty and may the Femme Fatale live forever! =^_^=