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Everything else--fanart, merchandise, multimedia, etc.--is open to the public but to minimize abuse of scans, those review posts are friends only.


Blog posts featuring scans of comic books are limited to eight pages per comic (one third of each issue) and are only done to supplement the actual reviews of the issues. They are used for EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY, not for profit.
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This post contains misogynistic/sexist language, discussion of triggers, violence, murder and brief mentions of rape and suicide. Discretion is advised.

I don't generally talk about things like this here. I reserve discussions of a more...controversial nature for my 'real' comics blog. Keeping [livejournal.com profile] dr_von_fangirl a safe space that's free of drama is incredibly important to me, and I do my utmost to enforce the rules with a kind but firm hand so that can happen. If you've been especially horrible, or pushing my buttons for awhile, I lose my patience, but in general, I'm pretty easy going about keeping this place running smoothly, and am lucky enough to have only ever had to issue a couple of very, very mild warnings.

But every once in awhile, something happens that cannot pass without comment, and this is one of those times. Jeopardizing my readership for the sake of my ethics may seem like a difficult decision, but it's not. Integrity is entirely too important to me for there to be any question about what my response should be.

It all started innocently enough. A female character who is disliked by a large contingent of comics fans who are familiar with her walked out on her love interest, Spider-Man. Commentary ensued on scans_daily, comparing her being written out to Poochie's leaving The Simpsons and Henry Blake leaving M*A*S*H, both of which were sudden, awkward departures...which happened to result in death.

I can't find the clip from The Simpsons, but Poochie, a cartoon character who has outstayed his welcome on The Itchy and Scratchy Show, is written out. He decides, at random, to return to his home planet for no apparent reason, and then a card is flashed onscreen:

The other example in the thread, from M*A*S*H* follows:

One death was played for laughs, one was played seriously, but both were sudden, and neither made much sense from a narrative standpoint. To reference either scene in connection with another awkward departure seems like a no-brainer, as metafictional commentary on what is a popular trope that is often indicative of poor writing. A character is in the way, so they're written out in the most expedient manner possible, regardless of whether or not it works or doesn't within the context of the story at hand. Sometimes this trope is used to great effect, with emotional impact--as it was in M*A*S*H--but other times, let's be honest, most of the time, it's handled sloppily. In any case, both examples are valid when comparing a narrative technique to another piece of fiction that uses that narrative technique.

We, as geeks, speak in pop-culture shorthand; references are our bread and butter. We speak a language of metaphor, where you can say to a fellow geek who speaks the same language, "You are being such a Big Blue Boy Scout." or "Shaka, when the walls fell." and they'll understand immediately what you're implying. The implication of either of the references above should be clear to anyone familiar with them: a character is being written out of a storyline awkwardly.

However, a moderator took issue with these references, pretty clearly having no idea that's what they were, or what their context was, and then proceeded to call out the members who had made them for breaking the rules--and please make special note of that fact. The thread can be read here, but the comment in particular that I would like to address is here.

The accusation is that "Carlie died on the way back to her home planet" is advocating violence against women. This is bullshit from so many angles I can scarcely begin to count them.

First of all, death isn't inherently violent, and to suggest it is adds to the stigma that already surrounds the topic. Death is something many people are already afraid of; implying that death by unspecified means is automatically an act of violence isn't just harmful, it's also statistically incorrect. Did you know that, in the United States alone, fifteen times more people die of heart disease every year than those who die from suicides and murders combined? Even if I throw automobile accidents on the pile, it's still more than seven times more likely that you'll die of heart disease than from suicide, murder, or a car accident.

My next point, dear moderator? By all means: please tell me where in the list of rules for scans_daily that it says merely discussing violence against female characters isn't allowed. You can't, of course, because it isn't there.

Just to be clear, you can have a gander at scans_daily's rules yourself, here. The first two are the ones we'll be discussing.

As detailed in the rules, personal attacks, including threats of bodily harm, aren't allowed towards other members or creators, but there's nothing about characters. Since she isn't a real person, it doesn't fall under Rule #2.

Furthermore, since the discussion about the proposed death of Carlie Cooper--and not even violent death of, no matter how many times the moderator in question insists it is--has nothing to do with her intrinsic traits, her status as a woman or anything similar, this doesn't fall under Rule #1. Not even "overtly objectionable commentary based on people's intrinsic characteristics" because the commentary in question has nothing to do with her intrinsic characteristics.

And, down thread, someone posed the question of whether or not it was okay to cheer when a female villain takes a beating. The mod's response?

There's a pretty large difference between joking about a love interest getting killed and expressing approval when a mass murderer villain gets a beat down. We are able to take context into consideration, so don't worry about this.

I see. So wishing violence on a woman is okay under certain circumstances, then, and cheering that violence isn't against the 'rule' about approving of/condoning/advocating violence against women at all, which makes it seem less like a rule and more like an arbitrary guideline. I guess women who are criminals just don't deserve to have the same sympathy applied to them as "good girls" do, and that attitude doesn't migrate to the real world where female criminals are regularly abused in prisons without repercussions and are afforded no protection because of their status as criminals. Right. This is not a harmful attitude reflected in the real world at all.

So, salinea.

Are you having fun making it up as you go and expecting people to follow a rule that's printed on the profile page in invisible ink? Because in this case, you are completely in the wrong from every angle. The community's own rules don't support your stance, despite your assertions that they do, and presenting something as a rule when it isn't just to justify your numerous mod notes is so entirely dishonest that I'm completely disgusted with you for actively abusing your power as moderator.

And that's what this is: misrepresentation, or if I'm not feeling charitable, outright lying, and abuse of power.

You should be ashamed of yourself, if not thrown off the mod team for this behavior. And if the other moderators support your stance? That doesn't change the fact that you are all expecting the community, as a whole, to follow a rule that's only in your heads, not out where anybody can see it.

How can you treat the members of your own community in such a way, expecting them to adhere to rules that aren't in the rules and then rebuking them for not following them? Especially in light of this, from down thread:

Because no one in the Mod team is a mind reader[...]

But the community members are?

Whether I think any of the posters who made the pop-culture references are right or wrong or offensive or not is immaterial. I can see it as sarcastic metafictional commentary pointing out a trope, I can also see it as not caring if a character lives or dies, which certainly comes off as callous and uncaring, but not quite the equivalent of actively wishing violence on a human being, real or fictional. Both these viewpoints are valid.

However: you are conducting yourself in a way that is unbecoming of a moderator, is entirely unfair to the community and that makes it damn near impossible to ever hope to interact on scans_daily safely without fear of retribution for things that aren't actually against the rules. Making up rules that aren't actually in the rules and then enforcing them is wholly unethical, unreasonable and unfair. Let's be frank, here: it's wrong.

And don't even get me started on the fact that you're jumping all over this shit while letting several comments about douches and douche bags go unpunished, when those insults are so deeply tied to the sexist belief that vaginas are filthy and that women are dirty that they might as well be spewing, for example, "cunt rag", all over the thread.

This is especially problematic and distasteful considering the fact that the mod team called someone out for using 'hysterical' because it has negative connections to the uterus that are several thousand years old and is a reference to sexual dysfunction in the eighteen hundreds, both definitions of which are no longer in use, and incredibly obscure, as opposed to 'douchebag' which is negatively connected to the vagina in a modern context within the past fifty years and douching, which is still performed to clean out icky, icky vaginae.

More than that, you won't even consider that 'fridging', which conjures images of a woman brutally murdered, possibly even cut into pieces and then stuffed in a refrigerator is a more violently evocative reference than 'died on the way to her home planet'...because a brutal murder is far less violent than just dying through unspecified means, right?

It's just too hard to change your terminology even though casual discussion of brutal murder can be triggering, isn't it? Honestly, do you guys even think about what you do? About what it's like to be someone with triggers trying to maneuver in a world full of them? No. You think about how a Simpsons reference that doesn't even imply violence, merely death, is more offensive to you than a reference to a woman being brutally murdered and stuffed in a fridge.

You do know how triggers work, right? I'm assuming you do. I had PTSD from a severe car accident and couldn't see one in a movie without literally fainting. My mother was a rape survivor and couldn't hear the word without having a panic attack. A friend of mine with a relative who'd been murdered in robbery still can't stand to even think about any aspect of the gruesome method of his murder as a concept without it ruining her day.

A vague reference to dying without specifying method? Mod notes for sexism.

Hysterical? A word with negative connections to the uterus that are several thousand years old? Mod notes for sexism.

But Fridging? Totally fine. Totally not harmful. Totally not up for discussion or debate, even when someone points out how problematic it is.

Douche/douchebag? A word with modern negative connections to the vagina? Totally fine. Totally not sexist.

Furthermore, consider what you're defending. You want to talk about something that's damaging to me, as a woman? Carlie Cooper's death isn't it.

Carlie Cooper, the selfish, irrational, spiteful female character whose only in-universe hobby expressly puts her on display for a primarily male audience, is merely a convenient extension of the male hero without her own personality, who means so little to the creative team that her appearance is completely inconsistent and in a constant state of flux--leaving me with the impression that women are all interchangeable to them--and who is somehow portrayed as the perfect girlfriend is just as harmful to me as Cosmo's insistence that I should be manipulative and passive aggressive in my interpersonal relationships because tee-hee that's just how women are supposed to be.

Do you think that kind of thing doesn't feed into the consciousness of the fanboys in comic shops and at cons who treat me like shit because I'm a woman? You think it doesn't directly validate their views of women as bubbling cauldrons of irrationality? Really?

Seriously. Think.

And yet, scans_daily claims to care so much about being female friendly?

Oh, and look, now you've banned a commenter because you don't like his tone. You're using the tone argument. You're seriously, honestly using the tone argument and see no irony in this.

This is why I pretty much left the community once it moved from LJ. The hypocrisy is just too much to bear.

After all, I'm posting this here, rather than in a comment on s_d, because all I can realistically expect from you and your fellow moderators is "This isn't up for discussion" or "This thread is frozen."

Rather than opening a dialogue with members, or listening to/validating/just acknowledging their complaints about your own language and irrationally accusatory behavior, all you've done is shut them down. As a moderator, you should be just as responsible and accountable for your actions as the rest of the community is, if not moreso. Thus far, you haven't been.

I don't expect you to be, either, because after all, scans_daily doesn't actually care about its members, or upholding its own anti-oppression policies.

The fact that you've let a bunch of sexist shit slide in the comments of the very post I'm talking about and are defending a character who is a walking negative female stereotype just on the basis that she's female, without considering what she represents and what kind of impact her existence has on the way a woman is treated amongst other fans, and what her portrayal says about how Marvel feels about women, is proof of that. But hey, there are plenty more examples I could cite of your hypocrisy as a community, if the numerous examples from this single post aren't enough for you.

What used to be a huge, thriving comm with dozens of posts a day, and where I felt a sense of fellowship and safety as a queer, disabled girl geek, is dying and it's because you are killing it. Your intentions may be good, but I'm sure you're well aware that intent isn't magical, especially not when you repeatedly fail to live up to your own ethos.

scans_daily is in its death throes, it has been for quite a while, and to be perfectly honest, I am not the least bit sorry to see it go.

Shame on you for abusing your power. Shame on you for making problematic statements while calling out the problematic statements of others. Shame on you for taking the legitimacy from anti-oppression theory by treating it as a means of doling out punishment rather than a means of improving your space and thus turning it into a joke. Shame on you for using the tone argument. And shame on you for expecting your members to follow rules that aren't there.

PLEASE NOTE: Comments on this post are closed. Why? Because this isn't a community. This isn't an open forum. This is my personal space. You are not members. You are not Moderators. By the grace of my goodwill alone do you have the ability to comment here. You do not have rights, you have privileges, and since I have neither the time, energy nor inclination to deal with any s_d members or moderators who've had their feelings hurt because I've called out a bunch of hypocritical tripe, comments are closed.

Does this make me a hypocrite myself? Well, no, because this isn't an open community where you should automatically reasonably expect to be allowed to share your opinions and, furthermore, in the interests of keeping [livejournal.com profile] dr_von_fangirl a safe space, it's really better not to risk that a bunch of scans_daily moderators will bring their latent oppressive bullshit here and spew it everywhere, when, considering all the damning evidence above, I have a reasonable expectation that they will do so.
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So I recently wrote about High Fashion's Crush on Catwoman, and the trend continues with a new line of high end designer shoes from French fashion designer Andre. He's also designed a line of shoes based around Wonder Woman's iconic costume, which are included in this post because some of these need to be seen to be believed. They're only available in Europe, and you can't actually buy them online (I smell secondary market price hikes on the way soon) but if you're in Europe, well, have fun buying up all the designer shoes!

Lots more goodies behind the cut. )

Okay, look, I'm going to go on record right now and say: Ew. Ballet flats. Other than the ridiculously impractical and pointless kitten heel, there isn't a shoe I loathe with deeper passion. I won't go into details, because that'd be exceedingly boring, but God, I hate ballet flats so, so much.

Also, I'm not sure why Wonder Woman's costume has been translated into what appear to be nineteen forties orthopedic bowling shoes. I mean, I can kinda follow the pattern of logic, given Diana Prince being an army nurse during WWII originally but still, in a modern fashion context...what? Is anyone actually going to buy those?

Anyway. In case you weren't aware already, this isn't the first time that DC has teamed up with a super high scale designer to help celebrate their characters. As I recall, they teamed with a bunch of French designers about a year ago and brought such gems as this pair of thigh high Catwoman inspired boots to the scene:

Additionally, there's the nOir DC Comics jewelry line, which I was working on a post about sometime last month but totally forgot to complete because I am lazy and awful but here, have a Catwoman Claw necklace to make up for it:

...and I also didn't talk about designer Jeremy Scott's Superhero inspired line from fashion week this past spring.

So pretty much what I'm saying is I have a Superhero themed fashion post in my future whether I want it to be there or not. OH WELL, I GUESS I HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO WINDOW SHOP FOR COMIC BOOK RELATED FASHION FOR THE GREATER GOOD the greater good, RIGHT GUYS? RIGHT. I WILL JUST GO AND DO THAT NOW.
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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....
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Can I just be done with being sick already, please? Ungh.

Anywhoodle doodle.

My brain is somewhat understandably fried from the now fourteen day long fever (BLEH!), so I hope you'll forgive any fever-induced nonsense that sneaks into this post purple monkey banana raffle.

Last week, the fourteen minute long Catwoman short hit the internet, but I didn't want to bring it here until I was sure that everyone could watch and discuss it. I also waited until there was a super high quality video available, because who wants to watch crappy, choppy quality footage, right?

So, I encourage you to watch the following, and then we can discuss.

To the woodshed! )

All in all, I don't consider this short much to write home about. It's four minutes of stripping and like, eight minutes of car chases, which leaves about a minute and a half for character development. What little we get at the end is heartwarming, but though it makes the whole short, it feels like this could have been half as long, more tightly paced and been twice as affecting. I do so hate to see potential wasted like this.

Please, discuss!

As always! Please remember that this is a safe space for everyone and thus, I firmly enforce my rules about hurtful language in the comments. If you ever want me to protect you if someone calls you names here, you've got to help me protect others! If you want to discuss sex workers, call them sex workers--not 'prostitutes', 'whores', 'hookers' or anything similar; and don't use words that are slurs towards women: 'bitch', 'slut', etc. (Modified versions such as "bitching" and "slutty" and so forth are obviously extensions of this rule. I know you're more creative with your vocabularies than that! ^_^)

The little old lady rule is in effect: If you wouldn't use it in front of your significant other's adorable little grandmother the first time you meet her, please don't use it here.
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Not too long ago, Comic Book Resources posted an exclusive five page preview of Catwoman #2. As you can see, it seems to pick up in the middle of a scene, which is kind of...odd for a comic book preview. I actually really liked the preview, especially Alfred's involvement, and was totally okay with Selina-in-Disguise (especially since her belt is obviously her whip. Super cute!)

But it was still really weird. Usually, websites that get exclusives post the first five pages of the comic book in question. Why, I wondered, did they start the preview in the middle of the story?

Well, the answer is easy.

The first three pages of Catwoman #2 are....can you guess? WAIT FOR IT...





I haven't even gotten any further in my reading. I glanced at the first couple of pages and I had to come straight here to report. The preview actually had me hopeful, and then...

Three 'sexy' pages behind the cut. Like most things involving Catwoman lately, TOTALLY NOT SAFE FOR WORK. )

I'll be back with a more in depth critique and exploration of the events of the issue later, but to say I'm disappointed is something of the understatement of the year.


More thoughts later. Have to go to the doctor right now. Bleh.
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Though I can't find out much about it, Dolman Magazine (Spain) seems to be a comics publication much like the recently-defunct Wizard Magazine, or the long-ago-defunct Hero Illustrated, and Guillem March has done a fair bit of work for them as a cover artist. About a week ago, the following gorgeous piece came to my attention:

Since first seeing this, it has rapidly climbed the ranks among my favorite pieces of Catwoman art and clawed its way up towards the top of the heap. Not only is the Batman Returns version of Catwoman one of my very favorite designs/interpretations of the character, the image is dripping with delightful symbolism and uses light and shadow on the wet-look vinyl suit in an unexpected way. I do so seriously dig it, don't you?
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Unngh. Still really, really sick. Getting better, but man oh man, it's going to be awhile before I recover enough to do much that's substantial. My Year One review is gathering cobwebs over here. :( I also still don't have the energy to respond to comments, so I hope you'll forgive the delay again; I will talk to you guys, it just has to wait until I'm done hacking my lungs up.

(Gimme a T! M! I!)

Anyway! I haven't really bothered to post solicits months and months in advance, as I much prefer to get discussion going about what's going to happen like, next week, but something interesting has happened with the solicit for Catwoman #3 (it's been significantly altered), and I want to talk about that later and how it reflects a disturbing pattern I'm noticing in comics covers lately, so I figure we'd better get all caught up.

Without further ado, here are the solicits for issues #2-5, including a comparison between the old and new covers of Catwoman #3.

Issue #2:

She’s a thief who lives to steal just for the thrill of breaking the law. He’s The Dark Knight, obsessively driven to battle evil with every ounce of his strength. They should keep each other at arm’s length, but…they just can’t seem to help themselves!

Don’t miss this issue – things are gonna get messy!

Sooo...Selina has no motivation to steal other than 'breaking the law is a thrill'? My, what depth of character. Also, messy? Did the condom break?

Issue #3 (First Cover):

Issue #3 (New Cover):

Cats hate baths. Cats hate dogs. And cats hate being caught. Catwoman stole from the wrong man, and now he’s got her. He wants his stuff back, he wants answers and he wants blood.

Cats had better have nine lives, because Selina Kyle is about to lose one!

Oh, this is fun! Just like an activity book! How many cat puns/cliches can YOU count?

Issue #4:

Catwoman pays a call on Wayne Manor, but those who live there prefer that you call first. Then Selina Kyle says goodbye to an old friend, says hello to an older one, and resolves more firmly than ever to strike out on her own. Only one of those things almost gets her killed.

But...but...you guys, isn't one of Catwoman's defining characteristics her independence? Isn't that kind of the whole supposed point of the new series? I mean...

Issue #5

Catwoman is flying solo and finding plenty of turbulence! She has her paws full when a simple smash and grab turns into a hit and pummeled, as she faces an adversary who is more than a match for Selina. She calls herself Reach, and she doesn’t pull any punches. Can our favorite Feline Fatale land on her feet?

Oh, I see. She needed to go solo so we could make plane puns! HA! And more cat puns! Puns, puns, puns! Because in your self appointed new grim and gritty universe, you should evoke the 60's Batman series in your solicitations!

(Please note: If the series actually DID that in a self aware camp way, I would be so thrilled...)

Also, how do shoulders work? Not quite like that, I assure you.


All snarking aside, I find that each of these covers is much better than that of the debut issue, even taking into account that anatomy doesn't really work the way #2 and #5 would have us believe. The fact that the cover for #3 was significantly altered, to turn Catwoman from snarling to significantly more passive, reflects a larger trend in comics covers that prominently feature female characters, but that's a topic for when I feel less like death in a crockpot.

Which issue are you most looking forward to based on its description, or which cover do you personally like the best?
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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?
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As I reported just a couple of weeks ago, GameStop is putting out a limited edition strategy guide for Batman: Arkham City, with two variant covers: one of Batman, one of Catwoman.

Those hit the internet yesterday, but I was so caught up in other Catwoman news, I didn't get to post about them.

Ah. I see Catwoman still has an ass. I'm so glad to be reminded, as I'd forgotten since the last twelve times Arkham City forcibly reminded me.

(Although, to be fair to Arkham City, it's not as bad as the comic book series I'm currently slogging through, Glory by Catwoman alum Jo Duffy and 90's superstar artist Mike Deodato--wherein, despite its excellent writing, I am reminded that the heroine has a costume with a thong every three panels. I GET IT. SHE HAS AN ASS. I HAVE NOT FORGOTTEN IN THE LAST TEN SECONDS. I PROMISE I BELIEVE YOU. CAN I GO BACK TO READING THE REALLY GOOD STORY NOW?)

Additionally, I have new screenshots of super clarity to share!

About a dozen more behind the cut, including images featuring Harley Quinn and Hugo Strange... )

And now for the bad news...

If you're planning on waiting to buy a cheaper second-hand copy of the game online or at your local games retailer, Warner Bros. has news for you: all of Catwoman's missions in Batman: Arkham City--which apparently make up about ten percent of the gameplay, are locked unless you have the 'First Purchaser' code, which is only included with a new copy of the game. If you buy Arkham City second hand, you'll have to pay for a pass key of your very own, or else just not play those missions.

As far as I know, this under-lock-and-key ten percent is supposed to be standard, not the downloadable content that I recently reported was theorized to be available. This sucks, especially if you're someone who's got just enough disposable cash to afford a used copy, but not the pass key.

Warner Bros. received a lot of praise for making Catwoman a playable character in Arkham City, and rightfully so, since blockbuster games with plot like this are pretty rarely have a playable female character, but putting her under lock and key is a really disappointing move.

Will that stop me from playing it? Well, no, but only because I have gamer friends who are planning on buying it and letting me take notes while they play through it.

More Arkham City content to follow in the coming weeks, you betcha.
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Anyone who's familiar with the Batman: Year One graphic novel, or the Complete Definitive Origin of Catwoman will recognize these scenes. These images are exclusive to [livejournal.com profile] dr_von_fangirl; you won't find them anywhere else. I know watermarks are fucking annoying, and I personally can't stand them, but I'm getting pretty tired of my content being ripped off.

The animation is really pretty in the actual film, somewhat reminiscent of Red Garden or Witch Hunter Robin (two animes I quite enjoy), so it's got that goin' for it.
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So the whole family sat down to watch Batman: Year One last night.


My in-depth review is upcoming; it's taking much longer than I anticipated. But if you're fond of Year One on the whole as a comic book, or you're fond of Year One as a Catwoman fan...it might not be worth your while.

So far, my biggest beef is that the vast majority of Selina's lines, including the most iconic, were cut. Those that weren't cut were heavily altered.

(Her line, "Christ, not even light out. Christ, five in the morning." was completely cut, which would be understandable from a censorship perspective if they hadn't added a cop saying "God damn it" in another scene--a line that wasn't even in the comics. I guess men can blaspheme, but women can't? What?)

Catwoman's appearance in the original comics wasn't exactly meaty, but it was more than the cameo it turned into in the animated feature, and it showed her personality, strength, spunk and protectiveness of Holly. Between all the altered dialogue and Eliza Dushku's performance (she sounded so very, very bored with her lines) it didn't make for the most satisfying watching experience from a Catwoman fan's perspective.

I am disappoint.

Still, it's the second best DC Animated feature that's been put out, right behind the outstanding Justice League: The New Frontier and if you love Jim Gordon as much as I do, you're definitely going to want to see it, but if you were hoping that Catwoman was going to get her fifteen minutes in the spotlight, or that her scenes in the original Year One were going to be done justice, you are sadly mistaken :/

More thoughts on this to follow, once I get them all into a coherent order.
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.

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...


....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)
Despite the fact that I'm pretty much knocking on death's door with a pretty high fever and the nastiest flu I've had in years, once again, I find myself with something too good not to post. SO I WILL FIGHT THROUGH THE SICKNESS, YES.

So, today I received an invitation to a fiction reading in New York City that will be broadcast on live radio, WFMU's Thunk Tank Trick-or-Treat Meet-Up.

Why should we all care? Well, Bronwyn Carlton, the writer of issues 78-91 of the 90's Catwoman series is the one sent the invite. She and several other writers will be reading original spoooky stories for the broadcast.

(I knew being facebook friends would pay off sometime!)

In case you didn't know, Carlton's Catwoman run is really controversial in fandom, to the point that there are honestly people who accuse her of being nothing but a pen name for Ed Brubaker, rather than a real, live woman. (Which is...kind of not cool, actually.)

I've been dying to get the opportunity to speak with her about her work on Catwoman ever since I started this blog, but I haven't had the opportunity to really approach her about it, due to a combination of laziness and...laziness, really.

Though that opportunity might not present itself at the reading and with a three month old baby, taking a little jaunt to NYC for the weeked might be hard to manage, it's still something I'm seriously considering.

Not only will it give me the chance to go back to one of my favorite cities, visit actor friends from the Fringe Festival Circuit and eat amazing New York noms, but I can finally help put those rumors of Carlton-is-Brubaker to rest, and maybe gain some insight into her run on Catwoman.

We'll see how this turns out.

In the meantime, I'm going to go back to bed and try not to croak.
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)
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. )

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...

#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.


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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