Friday, March 01, 2013
Yeah, Catwoman's pretty awesome. But, to be honest, she's not a particularly good reason to love Detective Comics.
Mostly because she's not in Detective Comics that much.
She first appeared in Batman #1 in 1940. And then she kept appearing in Batman but not in Detective. Her first appearance in Detective is #122 in 1947.
And then she was in Detecive Comics # 203 in 1954.
And she returned in Detective Comics #211 later that same year for one of the best stories in Batman in that period.
Great art by Dick Sprang! In this one, Catwoman has a cat-plane with clawed cat-arms that clamp down on other planes and force them down! She traps Batman and Robin on a jungle island and makes them wear animal skins so the Dynamic Duo are like Tarzan and Jane (or something) and there's animals and traps and a big gorilla and an old, ruined cat temple and Batman goes over a waterfall. Yeah, it really gets out of hand. At the end, Batman and Robin defeat the bad guys but Catwoman escapes into the jungle while riding a tiger.
Then she disappeared for a time. Not just from Detective Comics. She was gone from comics entirely for more than a decade. (It has been said that the coming of the Comics Code Authority created a situation where a character like Catwoman was not viable. She was a thief, yet the hero had a crush on her, and it was frequenty implied that Batman wasn't really trying all that hard to bring her to justice. (Grab her, yes. Bring her to justice, no.) It is a plausible theory.)
Eve when she came back in the 1960s, she wasn't in Detective Comics that much. In 1967, she was in #369 in a cameo leading into Batman #197. And then, Catwoman skipped a full decade before finally appearing in #484 in 1979.
Not long after that, she became more of a super-hero, though a somewhat roguish one, and appeared as Batman's ally and was in Detective Comics a lot more often in the 1980s, as a guest star. (Eventualy she became bad again, and then she started wearing a leather body stocking and goggles and got her own comic book and so on and on. But it's beyond the scope of this little post to track Catwoman through the ages.)
And that, bat-friends, is the quick and dirty summary of the history of Catwoman in Detective Comics up to The Crisis on Infinite Earths.