The lady's NOT for turning

Halle Berry Catwoman...
Apparently even THIS wasn't a big enough insult to the Catwoman franchise
Reader I. Fox emailed me some rather depressing news earlier today concerning everyone's favourite cat burglar. To my surprise, I was informed that one of the best and most beloved female characters in comic books had been turned into a bisexual on a whim.

Suffice to say that I was not amused.

Depressingly, it turned out that Mr. (or Ms.) Fox was in fact correct, and one of the best anti-heroines in comics is now a confirmed, canonical muff-diver:
In DC Comics' most recent run of "Catwoman," Selina Kyle has developed from a spandex-clad thief to a mob boss, but that's not the only way in which she's grown; in issue #39, writer Genevieve Valentine and artist Garry Brown confirmed her bisexuality with a liplock between Kyle and Eiko, the latest woman to take up the Catwoman mantle. 
Following the issue's release this week, Valentine took to her blog and wrote about what brought Catwoman to this moment and what she hoped to establish with this issue. 
Valentine was very clear about what this moment meant for the character, explaining that it was intended to "establish… Selina as canon bisexual." 
"She's flirted around it -- often quite literally -- for years now; for me, this wasn’t a revelation so much as a confirmation," Valentine wrote. 
Eiko, the thief who may have stolen Selina's heart, "seemed like the right person" to Valentine, in that the character is "intelligent, driven, in that uncanny valley of Almost Catwoman, and knows enough about Selina that their honesty has become something of a shelter in a situation that’s getting increasingly dishonest for everybody involved." 
Valentine assured her readers that Selina's connection to Batman would not be forgotten, as "that is not how bisexuality (or humanity) works."
As I stated in my email response to I. Fox, a small part of me does not entirely object. Catwoman was always designed to be a sexy bad girl. And for certain interpretations of the Dark Knight's character, such as Frank Miller's take on him as "a Dionysian figure, a force for anarchy that imposes an individual order", playing up Catwoman's bad-girl side kind of makes sense.

After all, if you're a slightly mentally unhinged billionaire who spends his nights scrambling over rooftops in a quixotic quest to eradicate crime in one of the most blighted cities in the world, and you get off on the violence and pain that you cause in the process, then having an epic threesome with Catwoman and, say, Zatanna or Huntress is not only justified, it's a virtual certainty.

That interpretation of Batman, and by extension Catwoman's relationship with him, was basically the one that Frank Miller used in his All Star Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder, Volume 1- though admittedly the "Catwoman" aspect was merely hinted at, not made overt.

It's worth bearing in mind that this specific graphic novel turned into one of the biggest critical disasters that DC Comics has ever experienced.


The Goddamn Batman
Perhaps that reaction was not entirely without merit...
The rest of me, however, sees this for what it is: cultural Vandalism of the worst kind.

First things first: there is exactly one woman who can rightfully take on the mantle of Catwoman. Her name is Selina Kyle. She is a thief with her own strange code of honour and conduct buried deep down beneath her criminal persona, and a strong mutual attraction to the greatest hero, detective, martial artist, and stoic badass in the entire DCU.

Full. Bloody. Stop.

The early-90s animated series- which was and remains the best non-comics take on the Batman canon ever produced- portrayed their relationship precisely in this fashion. The best Batman graphic novels, up to and including Batman: Heart of Hush, did the same. Even when Selina Kyle ended up having a baby with a character named Sam Bradley Jr., there was never any question about their attachment to each other.

Moreover, I've been a fan of Batman graphic novels (and to a much lesser extent the comics) and the various Batman franchise spin-offs for decades. In something like 20 years of being a fan of Batman and the supporting cast of characters, not once have I ever found myself thinking that Catwoman might be bisexual. It simply does not come up- not even in Batman: Arkham City, where Catwoman interacted with, and ultimately ended up fighting, Poison Ivy.

The bottom line is that there is no good story-based or character-centric reason to turn Catwoman bisexual. There really isn't a good case to be made for turning her into a mob boss, either, given her innate and very strong anti-authoritarian streak, and her tangled origins as possibly being one of Carmine Falcone's illegitimate offspring.

The only reason this was done was to make a female hack of a writer feel better about herself. And if pleasing militant Leftists is the goal of such writing, then DC and Marvel deserve exactly what is coming to them.

Indeed, I strongly suspect that, based on current evidence, we're going to see a massive backlash against this SJW-driven stupidity in the same way that we've seen #Gamergate and its associated 4GW offshoots successfully engage these idiots. The reaction from Marvel and DCU's staff writers will undoubtedly be every bit as hysterical and demented as the SJW meltdown over the successes of Sad Puppies and Rabid Puppies in science fiction, and it will also be just as futile.

If DC Comics has the slightest shred of sense, they'll retcon this stupidity straight out of the New 52 canon. Their nonsensical attempts to pander to a non-existent "silent majority" that approves of SJW-centric porn will not work in the long run.

The only way to beat this nonsense back is to establish, clearly and unequivocally, the distinction between us and them. We want comic books with great writing and great characters, of the kind that DC Comics used to produce. They want every comic to contain some sort of Big Important Message, and to hell with writing, plot, or character.

Decide which one you prefer. Choose your side, and make your stand.

super-nerd: Batman’s many girlfriends
THAT is how Catwoman should be depicted

Comments

  1. I. Fox here. Here's a comment I posted, and it has yet to be approved:

    "Wow. Fanfiction in comics. I completely didn't see that.

    Of course, it has to be done by a woman. Eiko also sounds like a Japanese name, and the woman is white. Are you culturally appropriating Japanese culture?

    Unsurprisingly, you re-blog from tumblr, from other Social Justice Warriors that don't care about comics. You made Catwoman bisexual because...it would 'fit'? I'm sorry, but that's ridiculous. You're reasons are based around FANFICTION, and hell, this entire blog reads like a fanfiction. Women only care about bad romances and ridiculous pairings, and it - again - doesn't surprise me that a woman did this. Eiko isn't at all a three-dimensional character. She sounds like a self-insert. She's awed and moved by her feelings for Selina, cliched as that is, and honestly, what does she have other than this? Nothing.

    Absolutely nothing.

    'Will they dramatically implode'? Who cares? Only people that get surprised at fanfiction twists.

    From a Nebula author! Though Vox Day said it best: it's only for those that toe the line.

    Only women make such a big deal about sexualities: 'Is this person gay? I hope so, the kiss sounds hot!'

    We'll see if this remains canon, and how much money it makes. Way to take Selina Kyle and turn her into an archetype.

    BTW - What IS Eiko?"

    Ms. Valentine won a Nebula award for some book, and I'm sure Vox would love to tear her apart. She's also a feminist and based on her post here:

    http://www.genevievevalentine.com/2014/09/live-nude-girls/

    Believes Anita Sarkessian, the thief and liar.

    ReplyDelete

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