Beard: Catwoman to die — will anyone care?Written by Jim Beard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Rumor has it that the infamous Princess of Plunder has her ears on the chopping block and is set to die in an upcoming DC Comics story — but at the end of the day will any real tears be shed over one of the most schizophrenic characters in comics history?
Ask any random person on the street who Catwoman is and you’ll probably hear names dropped like Julie Newmar, Michelle Pfeiffer and Anne Hathaway — maybe even Eartha Kitt — but few will be able to tell you anything about the original crafty kitten those ladies portrayed on the big and little screens. Catwoman has prowled the alleys and rooftops of Gotham City since her first appearance in 1940’s Batman No. 1 and enjoys some notoriety as an on-again-off-again villain-hero. Whether or not that and her signature long, spandex-clad legs will be enough to carry her into immortality beyond death is the real question, one that DC is most likely banking on.
Comic book deaths are a dollar-a-dozen and, for the most part, toothless events. If Selina Kyle is destined for that big catbox in the sky, her skintight leathers can always be filled by another femme fatale, which of course robs Selina’s sacrifice of any real significance. And we can probably get by without her; the world at large demands that Batman be Bruce Wayne and Superman be Clark Kent, but that same world might still spin without a Selina Kyle Catwoman.
Precious few comic book heroes and villains have crossed back and forth over the line of morals and truths that divide them. The majority of comic fans like their black-and-white clearly defined, but Catwoman’s pawed her way through shades of gray for the past few decades, endowing her with a nebulous standing that perhaps hasn’t exactly helped endear her to a multitude of readers. She makes for a great visual statement — always has — but will she have the strength of character to make us all want to wear mourning black for her? That jury’s still out until Batman’s favorite villainess makes her last meow.