Selina Kyle : CATWOMAN - The Feline Fatale featurette
"A black cat crossing your path signifies that the animal is going somewhere." --Groucho Marx
With Anne Hathaway's nice figure fitting purrfectly in the catsuit in the Dark Knight Rises, It's time to refresh our knowledge about her CBM Character - CATWOMAN. This feature answers the questions - Who she is? What are her abilities? What are the changes she underwent? Who has portrayed her in Comic Book Movies?
Who is Catwoman?
Catwoman is Selina Kyle, a morally ambiguous character who has thread the line of being a super-villain and an anti-hero. Years of training have made her stealthy and agile as a world-class criminal, and her mastery of the martial arts makes her a formidable physical opponent. She began her career as a cat-burglar, but has reformed and begun protecting Gotham City, in her own style.
Selina Kyle, first appeared in Batman #1 (Spring 1940) in which she is known as The Cat. In her first appearance, she was a whip-carrying burglar with a taste for high-stake thefts. She was created by Bill Finger and Bob Kane.
What are her powers and abilities?
Note: Due to the nature of comicbooks being an on-going tale, the character's powers along with his appearance, is in a constant state of flux.
Cat-like Speed: While not considered superhuman, she is easily the fastest non-meta human around. She literally moves like a cat!
Peak Athlete Conditioning: Selina is a gifted and accomplished athlete, with heightened acrobatic prowess.
Feline Empathy: Catwoman has a good affinity for cats. Feline species tend to flock to her, accepting her almost immediately, recognizing somehow that she is not an enemy but a friend. This allows her to calm injured cats, train them, befriends them, and form strong bonds with them. These animals will even sometimes come to her defense when she is attacked.
Expert Combatant: She was trained by masters in martial arts, boxing and street-fighting. She is a dangerous, clever and resourceful fighter, known for precise, agile attacks and speedy getaways. Her formidable hand-to-hand combat skills are augmented by her cat-like speed, reflexes, balance, and flexibility. Has also mastered Dragon Style Kung Fu and Karate.
Stealth: Fittingly, Catwoman is a master thief possessed of unsurpassed stealth and cunning. An expert at both low- and high-tech heists, she is Gotham City's finest cat-burglar.
Seduction Expert: Selina has a body that heterosexual men usually only find in their dreams. She exudes a sensuality and sophistication that makes her very adept at seduction. She has grown adept at gauging men's moods and learning how to offer them what they want or need to appease them.
Claws: Catwoman's gloves and boots contain special retractable claws which are formed of a strong steel which extend from and retract into her gloved fingertips and boots when she triggers pressure switches. They can shred a bullet-proof vest, punch through an aluminum frame car door, or dig into porous surfaces to climb.
Whip: Catwoman is highly proficient in the use of the bullwhip. She employs a 12 foot long, black leather braided bullwhip which is normally carried on her person either in her boot or in a small backpack.
What are the changes she underwent?
1. The Cat
Selina Kyle first appeared as "The Cat" in Batman #1 (1940). She was a mysterious burglar, jewel thief, and a mistress of disguise . She does not wear any cat costume yet, but the story established her core personality as a femme fatale.
2. First Mask
After her first appearance, Selina decided wear an animal-themed mask and a cape. But she still wore an evening dress only now it has a high collar and a cloak that complements it.
In 1947 Catwoman was officially using her well-known moniker and wore a purple dress with a green cape as her official costume. It had a cat mask which left her hair loose while she accessorized with a pair of slouchy boots and a belt. She'd also add the choker much later to this costume. On occasions Selina would wear a version of the outfit that was more of a bodysuit.
4. Back in Green
In Batman #197 (1967), Selina showed up in a new costume, which is still a bodysuit with a mask but she has forego the cape. But the color she choses doesn't really strike out like something "catty".
Catwoman underwent a radical change in appearance in early 1969. She shed her green outfit for a go-go outfit, boots and radically-bobbed hair. This look got its debut in the story in Batman #210, March 1969. Catwoman would continue to use this look all the way into May 1974 .
6. Sexy Classic
1983 Batman #355, Selina went back into wearing purple dress gown which has a lower neckline and showed more of her legs. The boots were exchanged for longer, tighter ones. And the gloves have been changed to allow the fingers to be free.
7. Year One
1986 this was during Batman Year One story we see retconned Catwoman who has a short hairstyle and donned gray cowled bodysuit complete with a tail and whiskers, which also features chic ankle boots. This was her look up until 1993.
8. Own Series
When Catwoman eventually got her own series in 1993. She is shown wearing a purple spandex catsuit with thigh-high boots and long opera-length clawed gloves. She also returned to her old mask which allowed her hair to hang down around her face.
Showing the versatility of her new catsuit, it provided her with some additional features for example night vision goggles. This suit also allowed her to adapt it to other occasions, samples are the one she used for the desert climate and the other for a snowy adventure.
Catwoman was not spared during the 90s crazed, she has to undergo like all heroes during that time some "cool" upgrade. In a battle with a techno-based villain, she find herself injured and with torn out costume, so she had a special armor made, complete with a multitude of weapons.
11. Returning to Year One
After the technocraze, Catwoman is back wearing the spandex catsuit, this time around no longer exposing her hair (she sometimes has whiskers other times none - I guess it depends upon her mood). Another story set early on her career also had her wear this kind of costume, but with whiskers.
12. Catwoman No More?
At the end part of her first series, Selina briefly utilized this costume which is clearly not a Catwoman costume.
13. Leather Outfit
2001 we see a revitalized Catwoman, now sporting a black leather outfit, with large goggles. A modern look for a modern audience. She's been wearing this outfit ever since.
Catwoman in Live Media
There were four Catwoman in the live-action Batman television series of the 1960s, the first one was Julie Newmar in 12 episodes. Eartha Kitt replaced her in Catwoman's final three episodes, with Lee Meriwether substituting for her in the 1966 motion picture, after producers learned that Newmar was unavailable. Then there was an uncredited fourth actress played Catwoman as part of a cameo villain team-up in the penultimate episode of the series. The Catwoman here was never clearly stated to be Selina Kyle.
1. Julie Newmar
2. Eartha Kitt
3. Lee Merriwether
You'll see her brief appearance around at 5:10 of the video below.
5. Michelle Pfeiffer
Catwoman was portrayed by Michelle Pfeiffer in the 1992 film Batman Returns. As one of two main villains. The Catwoman origin story is something of a variation on the original Catwoman miniseries. Here, Selina Kyle is depicted as the lonely, frustrated, yet dutiful and efficient secretary of corrupt tycoon Max Shreck. After she accidentally discovers his plot to build a power plant that would steal Gotham's electricity, Shreck then attempts to murder her by pushing her out the window of his top-story office. Though her fall is partly broken by several canvas awnings, Selina lies motionless on the snow-covered ground, seemingly dead. She is then mysteriously revived by a group of alley cats that flock around her and begin gnawing at her fingers.
6. Maggie Baird
Selina Kyle, Catwoman, appeared through flashbacks depicting her death, in the pilot episode of the 2002 television series Birds of Prey. The show featured Batman and Catwoman's daughter, the Huntress, also known as Helena Kyle. Maggie Baird portrayed Catwoman unlike her comicbook counterpart this version is a Metahuman.
7. Julia Rose ?
I'm not sure if this should be included here as she plays Julie Newmar playing Catwoman in Return to the Batcave: The Misadventures of Adam and Burt is a 2002 television movie reuniting the cast of the 1960s Batman TV show.
8. Halle Berry
A Catwoman movie was released in 2004 who starred Halle Berry in the titular character. This film's Catwoman bore little resemblance to the comic book version, serving as the only protagonist in the Catwoman's alter ego here is Patience Phillips, a woman who eventually became Catwoman after a near-death experience (similar to what happened with Pfeiffer's character). Patience gained powers from the Egyptian cat goddess Bastet through a gathering of cats led by an Egyptian Mau. The movie alludes to other women in the past who have been granted such cat-like abilities, particularly in a scene in which Patience finds herself amongst a series of images of prior Catwomen, including Pfeiffer's Batman Returns version of Selina Kyle.
9. Anne Hathaway
Next we see Selina Kyle, Catwoman will be in The Dark Knights Rises, she will be played by Anne Hathaway.
sources: http://blog.newsarama.com/2011/01/21/agent-of-s-t-y-l-e-gotham-chic-with-catwoman/ : http://www.comicvine.com/catwoman/29-1698/ : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catwoman : http://dc.wikia.com/wiki/Catwoman : http://femmes-fatales.deviantart.com/art/Catwoman-s-Costume-Chronology-177160167?q=sort%3Atime+favby%3Acynicalkryptkeeper&qo=0 : http://www.catwomanfan.com/en/comics/silver_age/1969.php :
This is the 14th article in my Know Your CBM Character series. Any requests and suggestions for an article for this series write it down in the comment section BELOW.
Article requested by:
You should do a Catwoman one…
To the community: For those who have placed their requests, if I have not done your article please be patient, this featurettes do take some time to finish. Check [here] as well maybe I have done an article on it already. The other characters I have to be honest I am not really that familiar with (Especially Manga or Anime). And I am not comfortable posting something that atleast 75% of what is written I am sure is correct. I have to familiarize myself first on the character, which means I have to do a lot of reading. Another thing, I tend to do featurettes only on characters that have live adaptations, just to be respectful on this site which is of course called "ComicBookMovie" dot com (I know that I use the term movie loosely by including tv shows). Thanks again for reading, and those who see my grammar to be all over the place, forgive me I will try to improve it (though you have to consider this is not my first language).
Note: Any error in the article above, if any, just blame it on my age, humanity and ignorance. Just be sure to check the comment section for the corrections, any error I made will surely be pointed out and corrected by much bigger geeks (because there will always be a bigger geek out there). -This has been PollMaster inviting you to the geekside.
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