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Sunday, September 25, 2011

MINDLESS KIRBY ON THE NEW 52 IN GENERAL AND CATWOMAN #1 IN PARTICULAR

Catwoman slides down the batpole. (Oh, come on. You knew that one was inevitable...)

As previously mentioned, the New 52's relaunch of CATWOMAN has attracted considerable controversy for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the now-infamous fetish-wear rooftop fuck scene featuring Catwoman and Batman. I covered all of that in my previous post, but now I'd like to allow the vox populi its moment on the soap box, so here's my pal "Mindless Kirby," a comics fan and aspiring writer who is none to pleased with CATWOMAN #1 or the direction being taken by the New 52. Take it away, Mindless!

Let's play a game:

Pretend you're somebody who has never read a comic book before in your life. You have two young children, a boy and a girl, and they are both somewhere between the age of 5 and 10. You're watching TV when you see the DC reboot commercial. You're thinking, "Hey, I enjoyed I couple of those superhero movies that come out every summer. So do my kids. Let's go down to the comic book shop and pick up some comics to keep the kids busy and maybe we can resell them in a couple of years for a little side money." You pack up the kids in the car and decide to go on down to the comic shop.

Now if you live in America, the odds are that your "local" comic book shop is more likely to be a few miles away rather than a couple stops on the subway. As previously stated, you don't know the first thing about comic books and this is probably the first time your children have ever even laid eyes on a comic book before in their lives. Primed by his prior moviegoing experiences, your son grabs titles tying in to whatever was recently in theaters, but what about your daughter? Your little girl finds nothing that immediately appeals to her and if you leave the store with nothing for her you'd feel like a bad parent. (You see where I'm going with this?) So you grab her a copy of CATWOMAN #1 since, hey, that's a female superhero, right? It's probably on prominent display right in the shop's front since it's a new release for the DC reboot. You're probably thinking back to the 1966 JulieNewmar Catwoman and remember how much you liked her as a kid. Imagine having your 5-10 year old girl reading CATWOMAN #1 at home, her first time ever reading a comic book. Imagine your daughter, possibly in first grade, reading it. Imagine how you would feel if she were bring it to you and ask you what was happening during the sex parts. Imagine if she would have brought it to school to show her friends without you even looking at it first.

The movies attract children, they make toys based on the movies for children, they sell candy with the heroes emblazoned on the packaging, for children. This comic book reboot, was also advertised to children. The majority of Americans think comic books are solely for children. The majority of Americans are whom the reboot was targeting, to get them involved. So why the hell would they not make these comics friendly for children?

Yes, comics are a medium and an art form. I completely understand, but let's be honest: selling Catwoman comics to an older adult market just couldn't work. If it could, DC would have rebooted the damned series into such ages ago! Children are the future of comic books. Get them hooked now, like how you were hooked back then. Now some people will defend it by saying something like "Catwoman is a sexual character." That's bullshit. Catwoman was in every incarnation of the Batman cartoons, even BATMAN: THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD. How come those incarnations can be child friendly but this one can't? It is unacceptable that DC released this shoddily-written filth of a comic as a big #1 reboot issue. Terrible writing aside, you obviously need prior knowledge to read this comic. Nobody is properly introduced. This comic was apparently simply just a renumbering of an issue of Catwoman that was written a while ago, only with a few minor changes made prior to the relaunch. DC completely screwed the pooch in regard to any responsible parent buying this comic.

Let me be clear I have nothing against sex in comics. I understand there is a lot of sexual tension between Catwoman and Batman, in fact it's one of the defining elements of the dynamic between the two characters. I enjoy that. I love that building of the "will they/won't they" thing going on between them. That is a tool a good writer could have used to keep a reader entertained and interest them in following the series, but to have the payoff already? In the first damned issue?!!? After that, there is no need to even bother continue reading the series. So congrats DC, you are officially back to how you were before the reboot. Now the ongoing CATWOMAN series will only have its rapidly declining fan base to rely on until 10 years from now, when they decide to do a child-friendly reboot (which they will) or whenever Warner Bros kicks Geoff and Jim out of the castle (which they should.)

Remember back when Alan Moore was talking about how comic books written today are not worth his time to read? This is exactly the sort of crap he was talking about. This comic sucks, plain and simple.

As of this point, it is a verifiable fact that DC Comics fucked up their shot at this reboot. I look forward to reading about their abysmal sales figures for the #3 and #4 issues of these reboot comics.

The cover art for CATWOMAN #1.

4 comments:

Hellbilly said...

I've mostly looked upon DC and Marvel's "canon" titles with contempt and amusement since around 1990 (appropriately, as Rob Liefeld became the premier "talent" in the comic world). Nothing in the DC reboot surpises me - though re-introducing Batman and Catwoman via art and story more befitting an slash fiction fan site does seem like a low point in the medium.

Marvel will inevitably follow suit with a reboot, and stories like this really feel like the dying throes of the industry. Doubling down on content that appeals to the lowest-common denominator will likely only hasten printed comics' demise.

Jessica said...

I got stuck on the mechanics. How is one hip boot off? Why-how not her pants?

Anonymous said...

"Remember back when Alan Moore was talking about how comic books written today are not worth his time to read? This is exactly the sort of crap he was talking about."

Uhh...did you just quote Alan Moore after complaining that a comic was too sexual?

Also, you didn't mention any of the violence featured in Catwoman (much less the other new 52 titles.) Is sex really that much worse than someone's face being slammed into a sink?

Ninjaseal said...

Uh, yes. sex is a little worse for a child at that age. studies have shown that children who have been exposed to sexually graphic content too early, tend to suffer from a number of social as well as sexual issues later on in life. They are not as ready for that type of imagery as they would be for smashing someone's face.

Physical violence is something that children have some instinctual understanding of almost right out of the gate. Don't believe me? put two toddlers, no 9 month old children in a room with one toy. you will soon see that they have violence down.