As I said the other day, this was meant to part of a single post about a couple of comics from DC’s relaunched ‘New 52’ line, but I fumbled the well-intentioned ball of concise fun-focus and found myself writing about other stuff that popped into my head while reading. Result: two columns, not one.
So welcome to Part 2, wherein I take a look at a well-known but nevertheless B(C?)-list member of DC’s mighty character portfolio, Catwoman.
In a sense, this is all quite well timed, as some of the stuff I’m going to get into connects rather closely to recent discussions on the world-renowned SF Signal podcast. I’ll link to the relevant episode(s), down below. I’ll also just note, by way of getting my excuses in early, that I have more questions to offer than answers.
Some of the other stuff I’m going to talk about is not nearly so tricky, though, so that’s probably the place to start.
Last year DC Comics – one of the two corporate behemoths dominating the monthly comics market in the US – cancelled all their superhero titles, some of which had unbroken runs stretching back decades, and relaunched with 52 new #1s. It was a Hail Mary pass, prompted by long-running and cumulatively punishing declines in circulation. (Marvel, DC’s great competitor, is similarly afflicted and they’re also going to try something dramatic, if less ambitious, relaunching 20+ of their titles starting in October).
As a result of the DC relaunch a heap of collected editions is starting to emerge, all introducing new storylines, characters and/or status quos, all notionally good starting points for the new or lapsed reader. As a semi-lapsed superhero aficionado, I figured I’d test these fresh waters, in a quest for nothing more complicated than fun.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, I failed to adhere to my self-imposed quest parameters, getting thoroughly distracted by non fun-related things like the structure of certain famous movie endings, the power of nostalgia and the objectification of women in superhero comics. Indeed, despite only trying to talk about a couple of comics, I got distracted at such length that I’ve split what was going to be one column into two.
Today, then, you get the first installment, which is the one in which I get sidetracked by movie endings.