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Copycats is a series of posts, much like my Think Like Selina posts, I've been planning since starting this blog. They're intended to spotlight characters who, in one way or another, are similar to Catwoman. Whether cat themed or cat burglars, comic book characters with a resemblance to Selina are given a brief, shining fifteen minutes of fame in these posts. Because hey, a girl can't be all-Catwoman all the time, now can she?

So, a little over twenty-four hours ago, I inadvertantly kicked off 'Magpie Appreciation Day' via my Tumblr. Er...whoops.

Magpie is one of my favorite lesser known DC characters, and I've been meaning to talk about her here for awhile. She's a thief, much like Selina, who just never seemed to catch on, poor thing. In fact, she's had like, three speaking appearances since her creation in 1986, and then she was killed in Batman: Face the Face in 2006.

As I've said before, I have a soft spot for unloved, neglected characters and, given her history, you can't deny Magpie is that. It's just a bonus that she's a super cool character nobody knows about or uses. She's also a theme villain and a thief, which makes her perfect for the first installment of Copycats. Originally, I intended to just cover cat-themed characters introduced after Catwoman was, but Magpie deserves, nay, commands a post of her very, very own.

First Appearance? Man of Steel #3

What's Her Deal? Margaret Pye, A.K.A. Magpie, is a museum curator by day and a thief by night. Spending all day, every day, among beautiful things she can't own, drives her to supervillainy. She employs henchmen, is not above murder, keeps an aviary (Batman: Face the Face) and is apparently clinically insane (Arkham Asylum: Living Hell).

What's Her M.O.? Magpie favors gems and other loot related to birds. Rather than just stealing them outright, she replaces them with specially made replicas...OF DOOM.

How is she similar to Catwoman? An animal themed jewel thief who keeps birds, steals themed items and is a skilled cat burglar.

How is she different? She's insane, she works with henchmen and she kills people. A lot.

Why Should I Care About Her? I personally got interested in Magpie because of her horrendous fashion sense, but what made me really, really love her was reading the writer's notes in the back of Batman #401:

I adore the writer's enthusiasm, and I love the character all the more for it, especially considering just how Magpie's career in comics turned out. Magpie deserves someone to love her, just because nobody ever has.

Several scans behind the cut... )

Thoughts? Verdict? Recommendations for the next Copycats post? Leave them in comments!
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So, the theme of The Batman Adventures Annual #1 was villains reforming. We get to take a look at the Ventriloquist trying to go straight (which ends rather sadly), the Scarecrow attempting to go straight (which ends rather awesomely) and Roxy Rocket...actually doing so, in the framing sequence for the other two stories:

But of course, it can't last...

Or can it?

Not if Selina has anything to say about it... )

And speaking of Roxy, poor Roxy! Outside of her Animated Series appearance and a couple of cameos, she hasn't shown up anywhere in the twenty years since her debut. This is highly unusual, especially for a character created by Paul Dini. Dini, I've noticed, really, really loves his original female characters (and Zatanna), and will often beat them into the ground, even one-off characters like The Carpenter.

(It's actually gotten to the point where I can't really read anything by Dini without face palming because I can guarantee myself that either Harley or Zatanna will show up somewhere in the storyline, regardless of whether or not it serves the plot.)

Personally, I've never really cared for Roxy, but I do have a soft spot carved out in my heart for neglected, unloved characters, which sits right next to the poorly handled characters ventricle. After all, there are no bad characters, only bad writers. I'd really love it if someone could write a compelling story for her and make her interesting to me.

Are there any characters you consider poorly handled, or who you think have gotten the short end of the stick in their comics appearances? For my part, I'd love to see both Calendar Girl and Magpie actually reach their full potential in the DCU.


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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