She’s Purrfect: Celebrating 75 Years of CatwomanApril 25, 2015
This week is the cats meow, marking the 75th anniversary for the femme fatale Selina Kyle, Catwoman. While last year marked the 75th anniversary of the Dark Knight with Detective Comics #27, it wasn’t until a full year later that Batman #1 hit the shelves, marking the first appearance of Catwoman. It also saw the first appearance for a more clownish character, but I guess you’ll just have to check in for tomorrow’s post for that one!
Catwoman has had her fair share of stories over the years. 75 years worth in fact, featuring in over 1500 issues, spanning across multiple titles and has even been had four self titled series of her own. This includes the ongoing run of Catwoman being lead by the stunning Genevieve Valentine. Seriously, if you’re not reading her ongoing right now you’re missing out. Head out to your comic shop or pop on over to Comixology and pick up Catwoman #35-40.
Gotham’s favorite cat is spotlighted in various media including animation, television, movies and even video games, as well as some fantastic merchandise over the years. Julie Newmar and Eartha Kitt were some of the first women to portray the feline siren in the Batman 66’ television series and today you can catch Camren Biocondova and her portrayal of Selina Kyle in Fox’s hit show Gotham. She’s also been featured in hit video games like 2011’s Batman: Arkham City and the 2013 fighting game Injustice Gods Among Us.
Throughout the years, the character has ran through a number of outfit changes, each one glamorous in their own way. There’s Selina’s very first look, which included her purple dress, complete with green cape and cat eared cowl. 1992 gave us Michelle Phieffer who donned the iconic stitched suit in Batman Returns. Jim Balent saw us through the 90’s with Catwoman’s purple suit which we’ve recently seen in Convergence: Catwoman. More recently though has been the Princess of Plunder’s traditional black suit and goggled cowl inspired by Darwyn Cooke during his work on her third series which debuted back in 2002. There are many more outfits and variations of the cat suit, but those are some just to name a few.
Whether we categorize her as a villain or a hero what makes Catwoman such a likeable character? Is it her snarky and often sassy personality? Could it be her struggle with her own morality that we’ve seen throughout multiple stories that keeps readers interested? Or maybe it’s the sheer fact that 75 years has allowed a character to flourish into one of power and an extreme sense of self confidence.
Catwoman has seen more than enough trouble and adventure over the years. She’s teamed up with the Justice League and the Birds of Prey, had her heart ripped out during a vendetta with Hush and discovered that she’s the heir to the Falcone legacy. She’s even partnered up with characters like Vampirella and squared off against Elektra.
We’ve seen her struggle only to conclude in her eventual triumph as readers have watched Selina Kyle transform from a simple thief to the current queen of Gotham. Check out some of Catwoman’s most iconic stories below and be sure to let us know in the comments some of your favorite Catwoman moments!
Catwoman: When In Rome – One of the first stand alone stories for Catwoman, and one of the most essential. Selina Kyle struggles to figure out who she really is in this amazing story crafted by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale. It’s one of her first of many conflicts with the Falcone family as Selina discovers she has more ties to the mob family then just bad blood. (See also Batman: The Long Halloween)
Batman Hush – Intrigue, action and even romance! Yet another iconic story from Jeph Loeb, Batman Hush can be considered an essential storyline for Catwoman as it sets up a domino effect for events to come. This story works as a huge developmental factor for the Batman/Catwoman romance as Batman finally reveals his secret identity as Bruce Wayne to Selina Kyle. This book also leads directly into the events of Heart of Hush another essential story for the feline fatale.
Gotham City Sirens – Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy take the city of Gotham by storm in this fun and fantastic series. This series can serve as a perfect starting point for any reader looking to get into comics or for a reader with an interest in any of these lovely ladies. DC comics is currently working on releasing the story into trade paperbacks with the first one available in stores and book two available later this month.
Catwoman: Guardian of Gotham – It’s not often that you see an Elseworld’s story among a recommended character reading, however it’s one of my favorite Catwoman stories by far and I can’t help but add this one to list. Done by Jim Balent and Doug Moench Guardian of Gotham is one of those books that is just utterly captivating and if you can get your hands on it do so! Roles are reversed with Selina as Gotham’s champion as she works to defend her city from the dangerous and ever menacing Batman!