Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Life is full of debates.

"Republicans versus Democrats?"

"God or no God?"

"Star Trek" or "Star Wars," or "Lost In Space?"

"Goofy or Pluto?"

"The Addams Family" or "The Munsters?"

Debate away! Carry on...

Tonight, The Blog puts on his Geek hat, (or, more accurately, Geek T-shirt) and asks the question that transcends religion, politics and ideology.

"Who is the best Catwoman?"

It is a debate that has occurred within the comic nerd community for decades. But, unlike the  "Superman versus Batman" or "Batman versus Wolverine" debates, the Catwoman question has spilled over into non-comic book lovers arguments.

To begin, let's look at the comic book history of Selina Kyle, aka: Catwoman.

In the beginning, she was a full on villain. A "cat burglar" who could strike an Angelina Jolie, leg pose, with ease. She looked good. But all that long slit skirt and cape action must have made "breaking and entering" difficult.

The Catwoman of the 1960s and '70s was informed by the TV series version. The Lycra "cat suit" which TV's first Catwoman, Julie Newmar claims to have invented. (Quite probably true. Ms. Newmar did, indeed, invent "panty hose.") The TV Catwoman, played by Newmar and, later Eartha Kitt had no "real life" alter-ego. But in the 1966 movie Lee Meriwether's Catwoman was also known as "Kitka."

For decades, the "Who's the best" argument revolved around these three actresses.

For the record, the six-year-old Blogling preferred the least exotic of the three, Ms. Meriwether. During a discussion of this topic some years ago, The Blog mentioned this and said that while Julie Newmar was okay, even at the young age of six, Ms. Kitt struck me a bit too old for the purring, sex kitten routine. "It was creepy then," I said, "And the older she gets, the creepier it gets." A very gay friend who was participating in the debate, looked me straight in the eye and, hilariously, replied, "Well. You just don't know what sexy is!"

In fairness to Ms Kitt, while I was searching for images for this post, I stumbled upon this photo of her from the early 1950s. I have to share it!

                                                                        Because... Wow!

In the 1980's, in Frank Miller's "Batman":Year One" Selina Kyle was reinvented as a street hooker who accidentally kills an abusive "john" then goes on to rescue a 14-year-old runaway, Holly, by dispatching their mutual pimp without remorse. Funding her new found mission in life of disposing of Gotham City scumbags by robbing from the well insured rich, Selina becomes the flipside of Bruce Wayne's coin.

Like The Batman, she is driven to clean up Gotham's seedy underbelly, but with a much looser sense of ethics. Theft and murder are do not hinder Catwoman's mission. And while Batman goes after the flamboyant loonies at the top of Gotham's crime world, Catwoman targets the city's lower than low predators. And, Selina's Holly is never groomed to be a Robin-like sidekick. But remains, instead, a daughter figure and Selina's primary motivation for ridding the city of those who would exploit and endanger her. This story line gives this version of Catwoman the most complete and, dare I say it, realistic, backstory of any of Gotham's "Rouge's Gallery" members.

Which brings us to Tim Burton's "Batman Returns" and Michelle Pfeiffer.

Burton gave Ms. Pfeiffer's Catwoman much of the gritty S&M vibe of the "Year One" Selina. But, sadly he saddled her with a supernatural streak and a ridiculously over the top nemesis.

                                                           Two words. Christopher. Walken. Need I say more?

Then, to add insult to injury, Burton teams her up with one of the most ridiculous Batman villans ever.

                                                                                         Danny DeVito

To be clear... Of the four Burton/Schumacher Batman movies, "Batman Returns" is, by far, The Blog's favorite.

Next came Halle Berry. Halle is, IMHO, one of the most beautiful women on the planet. Let's just leave it at that.

                                                                                 The less said, the better.

And finally...

This weekend, the much anticipated third and final installment in Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy, "The Dark Knight Rises" (the best Batman movie series, no, the best comic book based movie series, ever) opens, and gives us always stunning (pardon me while I try to get the drool under control) Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle.

As with all of Nolan's movies, we don't know much about it and won't until it opens. (Nolan recently asked a reporter at a press junket, "So, what can I not tell you about the new movie?") But, here is what The Blog has surmised.

At no time will Selina Kyle ever be referred to as "Catwoman." Why do I think this? Have you ever noticed that that urban assault vehicle Batman drives is never once called "The Batmobile?" Same reason.

Based on the trailers, Selina comes off as a socialite who is leading the "Occupy Gotham" movement. But, for all her disdain for the billionaire Bruce Wayne, she will join forces with Batman to bring down Bane.

*Digression* Your Uncle PC has always hated the Bane character. In the comic books and in Joel Schumacher's gawdawful "Batman and Robin." I'd rather see another try at The Penguin. But, The Blog has faith that Nolan has reinvented Bane into something really interesting. Because, that's what Nolan does! *End Digression.*

So, while my judgement may be *ahem* premature...

The Blog is betting that Anne Hathaway will be.....


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