Marvellous and DCent: Catwoman

There is one character left in the MCU I want to discuss this year, and that’s Black Widow. But I think I’ll wait until I have seen “Age of Ultron” and in the meantime, I take a look at DC.

Thing is, the list of female DC characters which make sense to discuss at this point is pretty short. Wonder Woman is a topic for when the movie hit the theatres, and while there might be one or two in the current TV shows worth discussing, I first want to see how they develop. The Supergirl TV-Show is still in development and I would wait for three seasons for a final judgement either way. Batgirl is certainly worth an article at least, but I need to rewatch some of the adaptations first to decide which ones are worth talking about. But there is one female who has become a character so prominent that she even got her own movie, and that is Catwoman.

Said movie was the result of the success of “Batman Returns” in which Michelle Pfeiffer played Catwoman. More or less. It went into the development as a planned spin-off, but by the time the movie was finally made Joel Schumacher had already ruined the franchise with his two Batman movies, there was no longer any connection to the Burton movies (they even changed the name of the character) and Halle Berry took over the role – a career move I am sure she rued. While she won the Golden Raspberry for her performance (which she accepted with a lot of style and humour), I honestly don’t blame her for this movie. I don’t think that any actress would have managed to rescue that script. Howard the Duck is often named the worst comic book movie of all time, but honestly, I think that Catwoman is even worse. It is offensive, has barely any connection with the source material and doesn’t even work in a “so bad that it is kind of fun to watch” kind of way.

But thankfully, there are better and more iconic versions of Catwoman out there. The next two weeks I will discuss my two favourite ones, and no, the Michelle Pfeiffer version isn’t one of them. I think the best thing about her version is her weird costume, which fits well into the macabre style Burton likes so much. Otherwise she is not a character, she is a moving sex-object. The concept of the supressed, awkward woman who gets pushed around by everyone but becomes unrestrained and aggressive at one point is in my eyes more a male fetish fantasy than something which expresses the desire of woman. Never mind that I don’t believe in sudden character development through cat spit.

Well, feel free to guess which versions of Catwoman are my favourites, or give me your own favourites. Perhaps there are even some I don’t know yet. But I don’t think that my first pick will be a surprise.

9 thoughts on “Marvellous and DCent: Catwoman

  1. So I guess you aren’t going to talk about the Xmen women? I really don’t get your disdain for them. I think they are pretty great, intriguing women. I especially like Mystique and Kitty Pryde and I think Jennifer Lawrence and Ellen Paige bring a lot to those parts. Days of Future Past is practically centered around Mystique and the power she has to change the fate for the mutants. That’s not just arm candy. Anyway we’ve hashed it out before but it does surprise me because it was always my favorite part of the Xmen but to each their own I guess.

    As far as Catwoman I would go with Eartha Kitt as my favorite. She is exotic, confident, smart and the perfect voice for the character. Julie Newmar is a lot of fun in the camp factor but Eartha is my favorite

    Might be fun to talk about the women of Big Hero 6 or Sue Storm in Fantastic Four when it comes out.

    • I don’t have a distain for the X-Men woman, I am just not happý with the watered down movie version of them. When I write about them, I’ll most likely write about the animated version of them at this point. But the main reason I didn’t discuss them this time around is because I spend already a lot of time on Marvel and next to no on DC, so Catwoman got first dips.
      The woman of Big Hero 6 are, like more or less all characters who aren’t Hiro and Tadashi, a little bit too sketchy for my taste. I hope that Disney will create a TV show or anything which explores those characters more. Sue…well, We’ll see. Really depends on the movie.

      • Yeah it will be interesting to see where they go with Big Hero 6 now that the origin story is out of the way.

        Will look forward to reading your Catwoman post.

    • Mystique is a little bit problematic because she is a straight up villain. Catwoman I could address this time around because she has been more or less everything, from an antagonist to an ally of Batman. That’s not the case with Mystique, once she crossed the line she stayed a villain.

  2. Well, thats true for the x-men trilogy, but not so for First Class. And she´s been both sides, as a villian and as a hero, on paper prints.

    • First Class is an origin story, so she ends up being a villain, and that’s what counted in my decision. I am aware that she is more complex on paper, but Fox never really managed to bring that on screen, with the way they side-lined all characters, especially the female ones, in favour of Wolverine. I might cover her one day, but that’s way, way down the line.

  3. I see your point. I don´t like the way charcters are depicted and scripted. Fox has made (done?) a shameful work with the mutants so far (except First Class and Days of Future, Past!). I can forgive a lot of things in these movies, but there are some I cannot. Wolverine is so diferent from the source material there´s no way to recognize him. Physically or psychologically (thank you is just a bad joke. I mean, is he tall, handsome and kind of easy going? No. Wolverine is short, surly, bitter, bulky, hairy, rocky-faced and extremely aggressive. But what springs a visceral reaction in me is what they´ve done to Ororo. Storm is not even a dim shadow of the comic character. She is my favourite character, strong willed, wise, mighty, caring, empathic, regal, and with a strong spiritual insight. In the films she is just a beautiful dynamo (not figurative). To me, she is not even in the films.

    • Exactly. The reduced Storm to “the pilot”, Jeanne to “the love interest” and Rogue to a whiny teenager. And to add insult to injury they gave a story-line which belonged to yet another female character to Wolverine in “Days of Future Past” (which I don’t consider a good movie…the whole thing has exactly one memorable scene) while she was forced to kneel over him for days. Which is yet another reason I don’t want to discuss the X-men at this point. When I eventually do animated adaptations they certainly will get recognized, though.

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