Welcome to Worst of the Best! This new feature will examine comics that are missteps, screw-ups, or just wtf’s of an otherwise perfectly good run. Since this is probably the catty-est thing I’ve posted on here, we commence with Catwoman (vol.2) number 5.
Check out that thugbutt.
Hey, remember the 90’s? Back when variants were called “gimmick” covers and you couldn’t get enough “X’s” into a comic book’s title. There was another fad back then, T&A or “Bad Girl” books. These were comics that featured female leads that were over-sexualized to a degree that would outrage Frank Cho. Who knew that teenage boys would buy books so they could ogle (usually covered up) cartoon boobs?
Tailblazers Lady Death and Vampirella led the way into this brave new world. Eventually, DC Comics got in on the action with Catwoman. The character’s first solo ongoing title. Originally written by Jo Duffy, with art by Jim Balent, who had a lengthy run of about 80 issues. The series starts off on the right paw with a story arc that takes Catwoman to Santa Prisca, home of super-hot at the time Batman villain, Bane.
In issue 5 the series continues back in Gotham City in a story called “Nun Better”. See what they did there? Not to be too harsh on them, but the Batman books of the early to mid-nineties, loved their pun-based titles. Denny O’ Neil must have had a thing for them or something for so many of them to make it through. This only led to me having an affinity for them as I grew up.
The story features a nun that Catwoman is trying to protect from a street gang. Well, you’re pretty sure it’s Catwoman. The protagonist of the tale is an old lady in a sun hat and frumpy dress, with a cane. !!!SPOILER ALERT!!! (for a 23-year-old story), the old bag is Catwoman in disguise!
Selina Kyle doesn’t appear in costume until page 17 of a 22 page story. Somebody check with Webster, but that might be the definition of burying the lead. So that means for the majority of this issue, the only hot chicks the readers are checking out are a nun and Granny Catwoman. Why wasn’t that an action figure? Oh right, because it sucked.
Now maybe I’m wrong. Maybe DC predicted an oncoming tsunami of GILF books just over the horizon and wanted to ride that wave to the top of the sales charts. What better way then to get the jump on everyone else? They must have figured they cornered the market on Bad Girl books with the first four issues, so it was time to move onto the next big thing.
Again, the whole reason this book stands out is because it’s a blot on an otherwise enjoyable run of Catwoman. Jo Duffy would write the title for a while and other writers would come in after. Jim Balent stayed monthly on the book until the conclusion of the No Man’s Land storyline. The series managed to have decent solo Catwoman tales while interweaving with the various Batman crossover storylines. Towards the end the book started to falter and ended with number 94. An impressive run for a comic book title starring a villain. Like other similar books of the 90’s, the stories progressed by turning the central character from villain to anti-hero.
Nun better? Yeah, there’s a whole lot better.