A Look At Catwoman: Past, Present and Future
One Month Before The Dark Knight Rises is released, a fun look Catwoman.
With the release of the Dark Knight Rises approaching quickly, I thought it would be fun to take a look back at some of the faces and depictions of Batman's occasional fling. Catwoman was first seen all the way back in issue #1 of Batman in the spring of 1940. She was introduced as Selina Kyle, a professional thief who wore a full body leotard that looked like a cat, and carried a whip and caltrops. As the years went by she changed very little and was a main stay in the stories of Gotham. After a period of censorship during the late 50s and early 60s she returned not only to the comics but onto television as well in the hit Batman TV show that starred Adam West. While the show aired three different actresses played the sexy feline: Julie Newman, Lee Merriwether and Eartha Kitt. All of them portrayed Catwoman as a sexy femme fatale who enjoyed antagonizing Batman. People still argue about who was the sexiest of the three!
Though the campy over the top Batman show came to end, Catwoman had been indelibly put into the minds of pop culture. In the comics her relationship with the Caped Crusader took all sorts of twists and turns. At times she was a friend, villain, lover, enemy, ally, companion, antagonist and confidant to the Bat and to Bruce Wayne. As many different writers penned the comic, each of them had their own take and story to tell for Catwoman.
Finally in 1989 the first Batman film came out starring Michael Keaton as Batman and Jack Nicholson as the Joker. The movie did exceptionally well at the box office. Rumors began to swirl as a sequel was announced that Catwoman would make in appearance in the next movie. Director Timothy Burton did not disappoint the fans when he cast blonde haired Michelle Pfeiffer to be the next Catwoman. She took the character's sexiness to an all new level by donning a tight black latex ensemble, complete with bull whip. Despite Batman Returns mediocre success her portrayal of the character led to an all new level of popularity for Catwoman and in a way set the stage for the character we know today.
To capitalize on the new found interest in the character DC launched her very own comic book in 1993 that lasted 94 issues until her open ended death at the hands of Deathstroke.
After a brief hiatus she later reappeared in August of 2001 in the pages of Detective Comics.
Leaving the written page, she appeared once more on the big screen in 2004, with the Warner Brothers release of Catwoman with Halle Berry playing the role. The movie was lambasted by critics and fans alike. The movie did not have the traditional storyline of Selina Kyle. Catwoman's alter ego in the film was named Patience Philips and the story went downhill from there. The movie was written to be a stand alone film, (although in one awkward part of the movie other Catwoman costumes were seen) rather then pulling from the lore of Batman. Halle Berry wore a revealing leather outfit in the film complete with whip and kitty ears (not a bad look) but the movie was a complete flop.
Video games liked the feline character as well and have used Catwoman many times over the years in many different games. Most notably some fans may remember recently her character in 2008's Mortal Combat vs. DC Universe as well as in 2011's DC Universe Online. Then in September of 2011 Batman: Arkham City was released. For the first time a true to form, fully playable Catwoman was made for the game that captured the essence of classic character. Her quick playful banter and darting use of her whip, while bad guys grabbed their feet from the caltrops on the ground, showed game players what Batman liked about the eccentric Kitty.
Also in September of 2011, DC made headlines with a relaunch of 52 of their most iconic characters, and Catwoman was one of them.
She once again has a monthly comic book and her very own storyline! In the stories she plays a very naughty kitty and as a result the comic is written towards a more mature audience. It has been widely regarded as one of the best titles in the New 52 lineup and since its release has been one of DC's top sellers.
Now just a month away from the release of The Dark Knight Rises, the third and final installment of Christopher Nolan's extraordinary Batman trilogy, Catwoman once again will be seen on the big screen. This time she will be played by Anne Hathaway and will share the screen with Christian Bale's intense Batman character. There has been no little debate as to whether Anne Hathaway really fit the role of Catwoman, but I personally think she will do fine. Nolan's style is to make everything as grounded in reality as possible for a superhero film, and no doubt he will do the same with Catwoman. While details of the plot remain sketchy, one thing is for sure: Catwoman once again will get to tantalize audiences, and she will once again get to provoke the Caped Crusader! The question is will she be friend of foe?
July 20 we find out!
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