Friday, August 5, 2011

Lady Biznazz

First up, this image of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman popped up yesterday and basically no one gives a shit. I certainly don't. I just hate these Nolan Batmovies. I hate how boringly realistic they are. What I love about Captain America and Thor is how they embrace their source material and don't apologize for it. They're realistic to a degree, but are colorful and fun at the same time. But anyhoo, as for Catwoman, I mean, she's just wearing black clothes. That's it. It's not as stylized as Michelle Pfeifer's cut-up raincoat from Batman Returns. It's not as stylish as Julie Newmar's ( from the 60s. It's not a purple dress or catsuit. It's not as functional looking as Darwyn Cooke's design from the most recent comics. It's just, like, a black motorcycle suit with high tech goggles and apparently a flared domino mask that does, in fact, look like the 60s version. I.e., it's perfect for the Nolan Batmovies. Moving on!
Artist Kelly Turnbull took this alternate cover for Justice League #1 (left) and Wonder Woman's ridiculous pose and depicted her co-stars in both costumes that mimicked hers and in the exact same pose. I didn't quite get how sexual it was that her lasso was hanging between her legs, until I saw the guys in the same pose. DC really seems to be stepping backward in time, with its recent handling of its female characters. I hope it's just a coincidence and not truly indicative of how they plan to move forward. Also, I don't know what's going on with Wonder Woman and her trunks. First every image of her in the upcoming comics featured her in long tights, now all of a sudden, every image has her in shorts, including artwork that had already been shown! It's been re-done to depict her in shorts. But why those stupid navy boots?! I HATE them!

Finally, from DC Women Kicking Ass, and interview with Jack C. Harris, DC's go-to writer for female heroes in the 70s (Wonder Woman, Supergirl, Batgirl, Isis) wherein he reveals that around 1980, he and artist Trevor Von Eeden pitched a team book that would have starred Supergirl, Batgirl, Vixen and The Enchantress!
This would have been my favorite comic book EVER had it happened! I already loved Supergirl and Batgirl. I was never aware of The Enchantress until she popped up in the mid-80s in Suicide Squad, but she was a minor magical character that Harris had used as a villain in Supergirl. Vixen, at this point, I don't believe had ever actually appeared in a comic, since hers was aborted before it saw release. I think this period was before she finally popped up in Superman. But we all know how I love the sistahs, so you know I'd have been all over her, if this book had happened!
You've got a nice mix of powers there. Batgirl and Supergirl would have filled essentially the same roles as their male counterparts do in the Justice League, basically Batgirl = Smarts, Supergirl = Power. The Enchantress brings a magical angle and Vixen mystical, animal-based powers. I think they'd have blended well together. (Also, it would have been the most racially balanced super team around, since Enchantress is Asian and Vixen is black.)
The name Power Squad is generic as all hell, though. Could have been why DC didn't pick up the proposal? I will say at least, that it isn't some silly female centric name like Girl Gang or Sheroes or Femme Fighters. But it just isn't "Pow!" enough. If I couldn't see the cover and that it was an all-girl team, if I just had to base my interest on the title alone, I probably would have passed.
Maybe DC passed simply because they thought women couldn't sell comics. I think, at the time, that was kind of true. Supergirl had her own book off and on, but it was inconsistent and Batgirl had her own strip that ran in other Batbooks, but never her own series. Wonder Woman was the only one who had her own series that ran nonstop and I've read that it wasn't that big a seller, it's just that DC HAD to produce a monthly WW comic to retain rights to the character. But combine two household names like Supergirl and Batgirl and add two more female characters to the mix, I think that might have gained more attention than the characters could on their own!
I dunno. This whole concept captivates me. For one thing, and not to sound arrogant, it's unusual that there is an idea like this that I don't already know about! I love it when I can get schooled on comics from my era. And the whole "what if?" aspect... what if this book had been successful? Would things have turned out differently for Supergirl and Batgirl in the 80s? Would Supergirl have survived Crisis and would Batgirl never have become paralyzed... and therefore never become Oracle and therefore never founded the first REAL all-female super team Birds of Prey?! (Okay, so in that case, maybe it's best that this never really happened...) It's just neat, that's all. I know I'd have loved this comic as a kid, but it never happened, so...

Fun discovery!

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