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Kitty’s got claws! – The Cat #2

October 20, 2010

The Cat eventually became the mutated, super-powered Tigra, but here she is in her original incarnation. This series lasted a whopping four issues, and I can understand why. It’s not the most arresting material, but I can understand the motivations (marketing and, well, just plain fairness) behind developing more female superheroines. And I should point out that her blue and yellow costume, complete with retractable claws, is a forerunner to the costume that Wolverine sported in his debut a couple of years later. Coincidence?

This story has the distinction of having two of the three creative positions filled by ladies, Linda Fite on the script and Marie Severin on the pencils (with the rooster in the henhouse being Jim Mooney and his inks). I don’t want to make too much of a deal about that, but it’s cool to see a little more estrogen behind the scenes in a superhero book. It’s sort of refreshing. Sadly, “The Owl and the Pussycat” isn’t all that great, but there are some brief highlights.

Here’s Greer Grant Nelson in her Cat costume kicking some ass:

I’m tempted to make a “nice buns” comment, but I’ll refrain. Let’s just say that seeing a hot girl in tights beating on some thugs never gets old. Ever.

At several points in the story we see the intersection of feminism and comics. Here’s a flashback to Greer’s pre-Cat days, after her husband was killed and she was on her own in the world of men:

And here she is talking to an attorney about her ailing mentor, Dr. Tumolo:

The villain for this issue, if you couldn’t tell from John Romita’s cover, is the Owl. It’s hard not to like a villain that keeps a real live owl perched on his shoulder:

It takes the pirate with a parrot on his shoulder and the James Bond villain with a cat on his lap to a whole new level of awesomeness, doesn’t it?

The owl and the cat do, of course, tussle:

We have a title, ladies and gentlemen!

The story sort of peters out after their confrontation. The title lasted only two more issues, and the Cat character received a drastic revamp in later years. Not an auspicious start for this young lady, but it’s always nice to see a woman trying to break out amid the sausage-fest that is comicdom. It brings a bit of clean air into the locker room.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Edo Bosnar permalink
    October 21, 2010 8:58 am

    I always thought it was unfortunate that this series didn’t work out, since it was one of those rare (for the time) instances of a title with a female lead written and (mostly) drawn by women. I never read any of issues 2-4, and have read only generally negative reviews of them, but the first, origin issue was actually pretty good ( I read it thanks to that “Super-hero Women” book from the late ’70s). It’s too bad that level of quality wasn’t maintained.

    • October 24, 2010 1:43 pm

      I agree about the female character with the female creative staff angle, as I said — it’s something that’s rare, welcome, and interesting.

  2. Darci permalink
    July 27, 2012 9:49 pm

    Re: “It takes the pirate with a parrot on his shoulder and the James Bond villain with a cat on his lap to a whole new level of awesomeness, doesn’t it?”

    I assume you made this comment in the knowledge that issue #3 featured guest villain Commander Kraken (as well as what might be the last work from Sub-Mariner artist Bill Everett on inks)?

    I’ll second Edo Bosnar’s recommendation for issue #1. I hope to see your review of it some day.

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