dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Hiiii.

So...yeah, I've been fighting a horrible fever for the past week, in between updates, so I apologize for not answering any comments. I've mainly been concerned with actually getting content up on the blog as it catches my attention. I promise I'll answer everybody, just...not for a couple of days. I'm still really, really sick. I'm at that point of exhausted-from-being-sick where typing anything more than the bare minimum is kind of a huge chore.

The Batman: Year One review is coming along, but for such a short movie, it sure was a lot to chew on--especially considering I'm doing a dual review with [livejournal.com profile] about_faces, my counterpart for all things Two-Face. I really wanted to get the review done before the DVD actually hits shelves, since that's what I should do, because I got an advance copy and should therefore totally scoop everybody else, but eh, the flu, what can you do?

So, Catwoman news:

Arkham City, like many video games of its kind, has numerous alternate skins for the playable characters. Batman has several, Robin has several, and Catwoman has three--that we know of thus far. There's the standard zip-up suit with the goggles, and then...



On the left, we have the purple suit as drawn by Tim Sale in The Long Halloween, Dark Victory and Catwoman: When in Rome, and on the right, we have the gray suit from Batman: The Animated Series.

(I've seen the purple costume mistakenly referred to as the 'Year One' costume and it just makes my eyes cross, I tell you. It was gray, people, gray!)

I really, really look forward to playing with TAS Catwoman, and finding out whether or not there are any other skins available to unlock. Additionally, I really looking forward to seeing whether or not these pictures do each version of the character justice.

Also, is it just me, or do each of their physiques look fairly different? I mean, considering how--let's say--'well endowed' the zip-up suit Catwoman is in every piece of game footage we see, these two skins look tame and tiny in comparison. I'd be impressed if the Tim Sale version followed his style of musculature (as I think it does, given the way her collar bone looks), and if the TAS version was in keeping with the sleek curves of the animated series. That's way cooler than, say, an unlockable schoolgirl outfit, BloodRayne2Iamlookingatyouverysternly.

While, as far as I know, none of the villains will be playable, it'll be interesting to see if any of them get different costume options at any point in the game. If not, I'll still keep my eyes peeled for rejected concept art, because that's one of my favorite things omg.

Quick question, guys: given the opportunity to play as any Batman universe character, which of their costumes would you prefer to have access to? Would you play as question mark jacket Riddler? Unscarred Harvey Dent? Killing Joke Joker?
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Well drop me from a building and call me Lois Lane, I've got a super hot scoop to share.

News about the Catwoman short is certainly going at a fevered pace today. If the old fiance [livejournal.com profile] about_faces weren't glued to the internet a few minutes ago, I might easily have missed the following.

Comics Alliance posted a clip, via MTV's official website, of the pole dancing scene, less than a day ago.

If you click Comics Alliance's link to watch the video, you'll discover that it's already gone from the face of the internet.

Copyright holders pulling sneak-peeks of things that are due out soon is fairly common practice...if the video in question is uploaded by an unofficial entity, like just some random person on YouTube, but it's certainly interesting that a video posted by a major cable network like MTV got pulled, no?

Will the video come back? Is this just a fluke? A problem with the servers? Is DC trying to protect its copyright, or circling the wagons out of fear that the response will be as overwhelmingly negative to this video as it was to Catwoman #1?

For now, there's no way to tell. When there are further developments, one way or another, I'll keep you posted.

ETA: And within twenty minutes of the video being seemingly gone, it's back. Will the embed code work for me, where it didn't work for Comics Alliance?

Get More: MTV Shows



Not working for you? Watch it here on MTV's official site.

I'm not sure how I feel about this. I'm very, very glad that DC decided to release a clip that puts the emphasis on Selina's whip skills rather than on her exposed chest, but if I'd had my way about it, she wouldn't have needed to retrieve the whip from within her costume, as she usually wears it on the outside. As I recall, in an interview with Wizard Magazine during his time working on Hush, Jim Lee actually went on record as saying that the found the use of the whip as a belt to be an incredibly practical choice for the character--although depending entirely on how you feel about Jim Lee's costume design skills, make of that what you will.

What it all comes down to for me are the following factors:

1.) Why is it necessary to have Catwoman's costume unzipped that far when the whip-as-belt and a small flash of skin--perhaps as far as the bottom half of the sternum--would have been far less problematic?

2.) Why did the script play to an entirely predictable cliche, which [livejournal.com profile] surrealname called the second he saw it?

3.) Why is this clip being billed as a sneak preview of Batman: Year One when it's a preview from an original Catwoman short? Being as big a name as she is, why is her own short merely an afterthought to Batman's film, when the script could have easily read "A clip from DC Showcase: Catwoman on the Batman: Year One DVD?"

As you can see, there are some interesting choices here...and while they're not nearly as bothersome as those made in Catwoman #1, they're definitely questionable.

Thoughts?
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
If you're at work, don't even scroll down. The preview image isn't even work safe!

So, on the Batman: Year One DVD that hits stores next Tuesday, a Catwoman short in the tradition of the other DC Showcase shorts that accompanied some of the new DC animated films (like Green Arrow/Black Canary, Jonah Hex and The Spectre), written by Paul Dini will be included.

According to Dini's own LJ: No, I didn't work on the ultra-cool animated adaptation of the classic Batman story, though I DID script a fifteen minute bonus CATWOMAN short included in the package. I just saw the finished piece for the first time last night. It's quite amazing.

News has been spreading across the internet of that short's contents. Thus far, all we know is that Catwoman poses as a dancer at a gentlemen's club during a diamond heist, and does a strip tease during the course of the adventure.

There's certainly nothing wrong with being an exotic dancer (hi, I learned how to breathe fire from one--AND BY THE WAY, never teach a thirteen year old girl to breathe fire) and certainly nothing wrong with Catwoman being one, but in light of Catwoman's highly sexualized and objectified turn in Winick and March's Catwoman #1, it's a little troubling that in the very next high profile thing she's in after that hit shelves, she's losing her clothes again. If the scene serves a purpose and it's not meant solely for the titillation of the heterosexual male audience, thus turning Selina into an object for the second time this month, great! I'll love it! If not...

Photobucket


....oh dear.

Follow the bewbs for the strip tease... )

Well...I have my suspicions that she's using this as a means of escape/distraction, and the use of the whip during her act would leave everyone off guard for when she actually unleashes hell. The animation also looks like it's going to be really pretty when it's not in choppy gif form.

However, I may be in the minority when I say this, but as a longstanding fan of both characters, at no time should Catwoman have gotten her wardrobe tips from Vampirella. Because I love you and all, Vampi, but...no.



We'll see how this turns out.

In the meantime, I'm going to watch the official advance digital copy of Batman: Year One I've got, and be back later tonight with a review of how that turns out.

Please don't screw up one of the best Batman stories ever, please don't screw up one of the best Batman stories ever, please, please, pleeeeease.





A NOTE TO COMMENTERS: Please do not use slut shaming, whorephobic or misogynistic language when discussing these images. Examples would be words such as "whore", "slut", "tramp", "bitch" or anything similar. Do it and see how fast your ass gets two strikes. This is a safe space for everyone, treat it like one. If you wouldn't say it to a sweet little old lady's face after she gives you cookies and milk, don't even bring it here.
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
So remember when I was going to do a daily scans-a-palooza throughout October? I liked that plan. That was a good plan. *sigh* Oh, life, always getting in the way of what's truly important: fandom. Ah well, I'll get back to that mission tomorrow.

So anyway! Though I've already talked about Catwoman #1 (2011) twice now, and I do have further in-depth thoughts on the book that I haven't yet addressed, part of me really doesn't want to keep beating that dead horse. The majority of my brain is pretty much over it, but if I'm being honest with myself, there are still parts of me that aren't yet satisfied with the critique.

(Because if you make it your mission to evaluate things critically for better or worse and haven't taken something genuinely awful out to the woodshed, beaten it, flayed it and then ground its bones to dust, you're just not doing your job, damn it.)

The rest of the internet seems to be in about the same place I currently am. The majority has put it aside and moved on to new anger-inducing things (like the problematic imagery and objectification of Voodoo #1), but the kerfuffle is far from over.

You all remember the cover to the first printing of Catwoman #1, yes?





I think the best possible criticism of the cover, aside from the Batman mock-up above, is the following from Bleeding Cool:

"We've known for a while that the cover to the Catwoman reboot has the character lying on her back barefoot with her legs in the air, baring her cleavage and pouring sparkling white droplets over her boobs. It’s very tasteful. It sets the tone. She’s a thief, you see, and that’s what thieves do; at the end of a long day of thieving they lie on a rooftop and throw diamonds away. Erotically."

The whole illuminating article can be found right over here. I highly, highly recommend it.

Tomorrow, we return to our regularly scheduled scans-a-palooza, with the purple suit era Catwoman #6 & #7! Stay tuned.
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Cheesecake (noun): Also called Leg Art. Photographs featuring scantily clad attractive women.

T&A (abbreviation): Tits and Ass.


I know some people are having a hard time wrapping their heads around why we in the comics blogosphere are blowing our stacks over Catwoman #1, especially people in the comments of places like Comics Alliance and Newsarama. I mean, after all, comics are a medium in which women are portrayed as hyper-sexualized all the time, and thus, we should expect it to come with the territory.

Never mind that nobody can actually give me a good reason for why that is the way it is, other than “That’s how it’s always been.” which, frankly, isn’t a reason to do anything.

“I keep stubbing my toe on that coffee table!”

“Well, why don’t you move it?”

“But it‘s always been there!”

Highly illogical.

One of the biggest defenses rising from that mentality is that Catwoman qualifies as a Cheesecake Art Book and not an Objectfying Claptrap Book.

I am here to shut those people up. So sit your ass down, you’re about to get schooled.

Webcomic courtesy of Ty Templeton, six pages from Catwoman #1 (2002) and some mildly NSFW cheesecake art behind the cut. )

How people are still defending this issue is completely beyond me. It’s not just offensive, it’s objectively bad because it’s poorly written. LE SIGH.

And the worst of it is, in all fairness to Winick, I actually really like some of his work (some of his Batman run, specifically, and a bit of his Green Arrow) and by all accounts, his Batwing does right everything Catwoman does wrong. What is it about this title that made him totally jump the rails?
















*A note to commeters: Though I'm posting this webcomic, I don't condone use of words like 'hooker' or even 'prostitute'; sex worker is the only term really welcome here in regards to the profession in question, so I ask you to please respect this when commenting. Sex workers read comics blogs, too, you know. :)
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
There’s been quite a bit of Catwoman related news hitting the internet in the past couple of weeks, but I’ve been a little too preoccupied with baby-related things to give fandom-y stuff a glance, lately. (My regular blog full of geekery and the odd personal update is still seeing posts, but not nearly as often as it should be.) Plus, my inbox is currently stuffed to the brim with Dr-Von-Fangirl related correspondence, so things have been a little...hectic.

So, two pieces of Catwoman related stuff for you today!

First bit of news:

In case you haven’t yet heard, DC Comics is doing a relaunch/reboot thing. Nobody’s quite clear on the implications and there are a bunch of alarmists running around flailing their arms and screaming about it DEFINITELY being a new Crisis on Infinite Earths AND NOW EVERYTHING IS CANON ALWAYS despite the lack of evidence to that effect.

A bunch of other people are screaming that the events taking place in the current Flashpoint event are totally going to be the new continuity now, because apparently nobody’s ever read a story that involves time travel paradoxes and alternate universes as written by Geoff Johns before. Or a time travel story, period.

Personally, I’m thinking the supposed ‘reboot’ is mainly just a renumbering and series relaunch for publicity purposes and that nothing will change too substantially--and if it does, it certainly won't last very long.

But, as with most things in comics, a wait and see attitude is best.

So, why am I talking about this? Well, Catwoman is one of the titles being relaunched. Selina’s getting her own series again!



Meet Catwoman. She’s addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can’t help herself, and the truth is – she doesn’t want to. She’s good at being bad, and very bad at being good. Find out more about what makes Catwoman tick in CATWOMAN #1, written by Judd Winick and illustrated by Guillem March.

[source]

I’m not going to lie: I’ve never much cared for Guillem March’s artwork on Gotham City Sirens, but I think that may have more to do with the book’s washed out coloring--much like the muted coloring above--than the pencils themselves.

As for Judd Winick, he’s a perfectly competent writer (for example, he was responsible for the Scarecrow story As the Crow Flies in Batman which garners affection from a sizable contingent of Jonathan Crane fans who still recognize that the Scare Beast plot is very, very silly), though I don't think he’s written Selina at length before.

(However, as an old school Justice League International fan I do take issue with his Justice League Generation Lost run, but that's a discussion for another time and another place.)

Really, what fills me with the most apprehension here is the description paragraph itself, rather than the writer or the artist.

Catwoman the Cat Burglar is all well and good. She’s great in fact! The last decent heist story we got for Selina was Darwyn Cooke’s Selina’s Big Score, and a tiny smattering of stories in the nineties while she wore the purple suit.

(Believe it or not, the majority of Selina’s nineties series wasn’t robbing museums of their priceless artifacts. Oh, those stories existed, but they were vastly outnumbered by Selina-plays-Hero tales.)

The thing is, though, that while I love bad girl Selina, and I love competent cat burglar Selina, and while I love a flirty, sexually charged Selina:

The description above reads less like a fully developed, well rounded character and more like a straight adolescent male’s idea of what the definition of ‘sexy’ should be. A comic news site (I’ve already forgotten which one!) made a comparison between the description and an interview with a Playboy centerfold and I think that’s pretty apt--provided, of course, that the centerfold’s answers were written by an all male marketing team. I think Catwoman could do better than that

What’s the worst pick-up line you’ve ever heard? You’re under arrest.

What’s the best or most creative pick-up line you’ve ever heard? See above.

What signals do you give to a man when you want him to make the first move? The Bat signal, generally…

What are your biggest turn-ons? Moonlight, expensive baubles, sexual tension, hand-to-hand combat…


Ahem. Yes. So, we'll see how this goes.

Second bit of news:

The new trailer for Arkham City has hit, and it’s VERY Catwoman heavy.



...

I’m sorry, I watch this and the commentary in my head is as follows:

“Ass. Ass. ASS, ASS, BOOBS, ASS.”

Apparently, Catwoman has a posterior and we must all make note of this fact at length.

The costume is a bastardization of the Darwyn Cooke version which I have a lot of affection for, but it falls short of expectations. Mostly due to the outrageous amount of texturing and the fact that zippers and boobs do not work that way. Then again, zippers and boobs in comics rarely work the way zippers and boobs work in reality, so maybe I'm being too harsh considering the source material ;)

As for the voice actress and the characterization? I feel a little…iffy. Cat-related dialogue has always seemed a little cheap and obvious to me, but some fans like that, so to each their own. :D

Going a LONG way to making me want to play the game? Catwoman’s amazing moves. I’m actually hoping the smooch-your-attacker-then-kick-his-head-in move is a special combo, much like Bloodrayne’s ability to jump Nazis and sink her fangs into their necks for sustenance.



Back on point! Catwoman’s fighting style here is fluid and graceful while still having a fair amount of power behind it, and that’s always nice to see. It’s especially nice to see that she isn’t just relying on her bullwhip or claws, instead utilizing other tools: bolas, her natural flexibility, her feet, her fists, her sexuality...

This is pretty rare, as Catwoman’s most recent console game appearances have had her relying an awful lot on the cat gimmicks to the point that it borders on the absurd (the game based on the Catwoman film actually had her licking herself clean, for example), so I’m really happy with this direction. Much like the new solo series, we'll see how this pans out.

Thoughts?
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Eeek, we're up to thirteen? Wow. Well, have your Cat-Swag of the day:



There's...something here. Drawing my eye. I...can't seem to figure out what it is that's mesmerizing me so. I just can't put my finger on it...

And on the topic of boobage...

There's been a lot of controversy in comic circles over the past couple of decades concerning the size of Selina's...ahem...shall we call them 'assets'--even going back so far as the letters columns from the Balent-era when people were all like, "Dude, seriously, how does she stand up in those?" and "Um, bewbs are made from fatty tissue, ain't no way she's a hundred and twenty fi' pounds with them head-sized things hangin' off her ribcage."--stretching all the way to the Darwyn Cooke version from the Brubaker run when she's supposedly less well endowed.

Well, for anyone who thinks the Brubaker/Cooke Catwoman isn't a D cup, I present the above and say y'all need to have yer heads examined, 'cause seriously. Look at the size of those things. Dayum.

And may I say there are a lot of things that bug me about comics in general but one of my biggest pet peeves over something really small and insignificant in the long run is the fact that some people get Selina's eye color wrong. I mean, I'm a big fan of the removable goggles on this figure, 'cause that's just a cool feature on ANY toy, but dang it, her eyes are green! *grumble, grumble, grumble*

STUFF AND NONSENSE

This is the back-up account for what I hope will be the Ultimate Catwoman Fan Blog--Dr. Von Fangirl on LiveJournal. You should go check it out over there. I much prefer the original article.

November 2011

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