dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Hi! *cough, choke, strangle, die*

...okay, maybe I'm not that sick, but I am sadly still recovering, and will be for the next five-ish weeks or so, if my doctor is to be believed. Stupid viruses trying to make my spleen explode and ruin my liver. Bleh. Bleh, I say!

Anyway, it's been awhile, but among about a million other things I still have lying around waiting to work on posts for, like the Year One review, the Catwoman #2 review, a new Copycats post and another Think Like Selina, there's a new two page Catwoman 'origin' comic created exclusively for Journeys to help celebrate their DC Comics themed Converse line that I am obligated to post.

The origin glosses over the vast majority of Selina's history, of course, but then you can't really expect a two page comic to do as thorough a job as the complete definitive origin of Catwoman that took nine months and more caffeine than I care to think about to bring into being. Still, it's cute.

Even if much of it does fly directly in the face of the current DC canon that we're supposed to all be taking totally seriously despite the complete lack of editorial continuity rassafrassafricken-make-up-your-bloody-minds-already *grumble, mutter, grumble, grumble, fistshake*

Without further ado:



You can read the rest of the comic behind the cut... )

If you want, you can download the PDF for yourself, which includes numerous other DC character origins at this link, and I'll save my ranting about how so much pre-Crisis is apparently canon now even though it doesn't really work at all aaaargh for a more opportune time.

In the meantime, I'm going to go take a nap, and then maybe try and get up later to put the finishing touches on my next post: Whip Cracking: The Fine Art of Not Hitting Yourself in the Face. Or maybe I'll sleep some more. Being sick sucks.

Until then, I remain your humble, sickly servant, Dr. Von Fangirl. You know the drill: same cat time, same cat zzzzZzzzzzZzzzz....
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)
Following on the heels of Catwoman #1-4 is Catwoman #5, the first issue that brings Azrael into Catwoman's book, albeit briefly. We'll be getting more into him with the next post, but for now all you really need to know is that he's temporarily filling Batman's shoes.

So, Catwoman #5 opens with Azrael watching over Gotham, which doesn't really have anything to do with anything, and then, after a few pages, kicks over to Catwoman in disguise at the newly opened Skid Row Buds and Flowers. (Cute, Jim Balent, very cute.)

Roller skaters, Ninja Nuns and fighting florists behind the cut... )

Next time, Catwoman meets Azrael for the first time and is seriously not impressed. Same Cat Time, Same Cat Station!
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
Today, I finally, finally start tackling Catwoman's first solo series, from 1993.

(If you haven't yet read The COMPLETE Definitive Catwoman Origin, now would be the time...)

This kicks off 31 Day Scans-a-Palooza, in which I rather suicidally try to post something scans-y once a day, every day, until Halloween. CAN YOU DO IT, DODGERS?


In 1993, with Batman Returns bringing Catwoman back into the limelight in a very big way and making her more popular than ever before, the nineties 'Bad Girl Comic' trend in full swing and the speculator comics bubble still intact, it was inevitable that Selina would wind up with her own solo series. Commonly known as the "Jim Balent Era" or, more often, the "Purple Suit Era," Catwoman's first ongoing series lasted from 1993 to 2001, and stretched some ninety-four issues, plus annuals.

Before the Purple Suit Era began, Catwoman's appearances through Batman's history were fairly sparse. Despite her iconic status, there were entire decades where she made just a handful of appearances. After Crisis on Infinite Earths occurred, giving her a revamped history and look (the gray suit), she popped up a grand total of thirty-six times before the series launched in 1993--an average of five times a year--and many of those appearances were cameos.

With the success of Batman Returns--and, to a lesser extent, Batman: The Animated Series--people were clamoring for a Catwoman solo book, and with the huge Batman event Knightfall going on, spanning several Bat-Family titles, it was incredibly smart of DC to start yet another that could serve as a tie-in to the main Batman books.

(Which is why the first few dozen issues are rife with crossover activity: Catwoman's book was treated less as an actual title in its own right and more as a suppliment to whatever was going on in the DC Universe at large at any given time. This is probably one of the reasons why it's never been collected, and should give you some idea of just how much DC actually valued her before Brubaker's run came along: which is to say not a whole hell of a lot...)

The Catwoman we know from the Purple Suit era first appears in Batman #498, when she's approached by the criminal Bane who, after sending every available villan after Batman and finally breaking Gotham's protector with his own two hands, pretty much runs Gotham through a vast criminal network in Batman's absense. Bane 'offers' Catwoman the job of stealing for him, and with no recourse, she 'accepts', thus becoming a thief-for-hire under duress. And that's where the first story arc of Catwoman picks up, with a museum heist gone awry:

The Abridged Catwoman #1-4: SO MANY SCANS BEHIND THE CUT OMIGOSH. )

Thooooughts?
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
So, you want to read Catwoman's solo adventures from the nineties, huh? Think it'll be easy? Think all you have to do is buy every issue in numeric order and that'll be that?

AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA, wait, wait, I need a minute here. Eh heh, ah ha, ahem. *cough, cough*

I thought that too, once. I was really, really wrong.

With both my very own Catwoman: Year One Timeline and its follow-up Catwoman Year Two out of the way, I can finally start scanning and reviewing all of Catwoman Vol. 2--better known as the Jim Balent Purple Suit Era--which follows the events of those stories perfectly.

There's just one problem: in case you were unaware, comic books from the nineties are a bit of a total custerfluck. I said as much in my review of Catwoman: Year Two, but you really have no idea HOW bad it is. You need a friggin' roadmap to read comics in the nineties, and Catwoman's first ongoing solo title is certainly no exception. It's an intimidating prospect, especially if you're a bit of a newbie or just a casual collector/fan and not...you know...me of the encyclopedic knowledge oh god why didn't I use some of those dendrites for getting better at math.

With this in mind, I've put together a handy guide/checklist, separating each storyarc within the series, and pointing out all the crossover tie-ins that you'd need to pick up to get the whole story. As I scan and review these storyarcs, I'll use this post as a master links list, so that if you're looking for something in particular, you'll be able to refer back to it. I've even included covers, because picture just make everything nicer and will probably whet your appetites better. I personally own all of these issues, so don't worry: there won't be any gaps in my reviews. You'll be getting the entire solo series from start to finish.

Please note: Several annuals have been left out of this listing, since none of them actually fit within the book's own continuity. They WILL be posted, but since two of them are Elseworlds and the other two are pretty nebulous continuity, it seems kind of silly to try and make them fit within the larger context of the series.

Ready? Hooray! Let's get started.


Catwoman #1-4

Tag Lines
#1: When she's bad, she's very very bad...
#2: She'll make them with they were never born...
#3: Some people are dumb enough to get in her way...
#4: They'll never take her alive...


CHAPTER TITLES
#1: Life Lines: Rough Diamonds
#2: Line Lines: Blast from the Past
#3: Life Lines: Shadow of the Cat
#4: Life Lines: Full Circle



A look ahead at what's on the way in the next few weeks, arc by arc! )

And there you have it. If there are any issues you guys are especially looking forward to, or are really curious about, please don't hesitate to tell me in the comments! I plan on reviewing everything in order, but who knows? If you're looking forward to something specific, it might motivate me to review faster than I would otherwise! :D

Of course, I still have to finish the listings for all the mini-series and guest appearances and cameos and Elseworlds and Animated appearances and her other solo title and...why did I start this blog again? NEVER SLEEP AGAIN. Thank God I started my own database to keep everything neat or they might just find my rotting corpse under an avalanche of comic books. Sheesh.
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)
It's not a terribly well known fact, but I'm a devotee of Vogue magazine and haute couture in general. I don't usually indulge in talking about it because it seems a love of comics and a love of fashion don't really go hand in hand. I mean, both IRL and online, I hang around comic people and talking fashion at length in front of a geeky circle of friends often feels like talking into the ether. And you know, that's perfectly fine. Comics are definitely my thing, more than anything else, and I'm completely content with parking myself in a chair with a stack of fashion magazines for a few hours to sate myself.

But, every once in a while, my main obsession crosses with one of my minor ones and I get the opportunity to excitedly hop around, flapping my hands and squealing like a little girl, because OMG THERE ARE COMIC BOOK BARBIES NOW.

(Did I mention one of my other minor passions is fashion dolls? No? Well now you know. And I gotta admit, I am way more ashamed of that one than the haute couture...)

I've been doing that very thing for the past week or so, ever since some shots from the set of The Dark Knight Rises hit the interwebs.



Source


My first reaction was Oh greeeeat, it's 'When in Rome' Catwoman.

(Well, actually, my first reaction was Oh! It's Silkstone Barbie Selina!:



...like I said: Fashion dolls.)

But all the buzz got me thinking about something I've been wanting to talk about for awhile.

Namely, high, high fashion. )
dr_von_fangirl: (Default)
The following is a dual review of Catwoman: Year Two, written by myself, [livejournal.com profile] dr_von_fangirl, and my counterpart for all things Two-Face, [livejournal.com profile] about_faces. For ease of reading, my commentary is in colored font, while his is in black. Mine also centers on Catwoman, while his centers, unsurprisingly, on Two-Face. Funny how the work just magically divvies itself up like that when you're each experts on those respective characters.

You might not know it from previous posts, but I'm an incredibly harsh critic, even when it comes to things I like. Picking a story apart, whether it's a film or a comic book or an eighty chapter epic is one of the most enjoyable things about digesting entertainment for me. It forces me to examine things I dislike, come to understand why I dislike them, and helps me to appreciate what I enjoy about them all the more. Such is the case here. While there's a lot to like about Selina's '90s series, there's a lot to dislike, too, and this story is, sadly, one of the best examples of those things. Please be advised it's going to get torn to shreds before your very eyes.



[livejournal.com profile] about_faces: So, I've been reviewing Doug Moench's various Two-Face appearances for some time, going in chronological order. They've been a mixed bag, but a far more interesting mixed bag than I thought from back when I read the stories originally. Even the infamous Face Schism story had more going for it than I originally thought! So maybe the *next* Harvey story of his might not be so bad either! Hmm... wait, what *is* is the next Moench story?

... oh. Oh no. Not that one. Not... it... I... I can't...

... Ummm... Henchgirl? *singsong* Oh my beloved Henchgiiiirl? Hellooooooo, [livejournal.com profile] bitemetechie?

Mmmyeeeeeees?

Hi! Thank god! Say, uh, how masochistic are you?

...is this the sort of question I should be openly answering on your fanblog? You know my tendency to overshare.

Erm... *cough*... it's just, I only ask because... well, I am about to review a story which is very relevant to your interests! I mean, considering that you moonlight as [livejournal.com profile] dr_von_fangirl, expert in all things Catwoman, queen of Selina... *cough*even the Jim Balent years...*cough*

You don't mean...



OH GOD, WHY?!


Because... because it has Harvey in it! And also, I thought that maybe you and I could maybe kinda sorta do a dual review together maybe? You know how much I love your geek brain. Not to mention your geek everything-else...

Oh, hush. Look, don't get me wrong, there is a lot to enjoy about Selina's nineties series, but you have no idea what kind of clusterfuck you're getting into here. BECAUSE CATWOMAN'S ENTIRE NINETIES SERIES IS A CLUSTERFUCK. I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH THE CLUTERFUCKNESS OF THE CLUSTERFUCK. I MEAN LOOK AT ALL THAT EMPHASIS. EVEN THAT FALLS SHORT.

Yes, but Catwoman: Year Two, which ran through Catwoman #38-40, is at least a *standalone* clusterfuck! And besides, the events of this story follow pretty directly after the events that you so excellently covered in your comprehensive, complete, and definitive origin of Selina, which tied all her Post-Crisis stuff into a neat little package.

Oh, you mean that post that everyone everywhere should read because it totally took nearly a year to complete, you shameless flatterer? That one?

Exactly! So you might be interested to know that C:Y2 is the only story thus far to bridge the gap between Frank Miller's gray-suit Catwoman into the purple-suited Jim Balent character from the 90's solo series!

But even still, this story is kind of...not-great.

Oh, it's awful. Lousy. Dialogue is horrible, characters are all over the place, and the art is the visual equivalent of being unreadable. You'd probably know better than I, but it might just represent the absolute nadir of Selina's 90's series. BUT it features both of our favorite characters "facing off"!

I see what you did there, HURR.

Basically, what I'm saying is that I want... no, I need to drag you into this mess with me, so that perhaps we can at least get some entertainment value out of this crap.

Hooray! I'm helping!

Besides, I think it'd be fantastic to see what happens when our two favorite characters meet up for the first time. Just imagine: Selina Kyle and Harvey Dent, hanging out together! Do you think they'll get along as swimmingly, as perfectly, as absolutely lovey-dove-ily wonderfully as we do?



I'm guessing not.

On with the trainwreck! Choo-chooooooo!

When Selina met Harvey (...and the Joker... AND the Penguin): WARNING: SCANS HEAVY! )

So, readers, any thoughts?

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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