INTRODUCING THE CAT Batman #1 (Spring 1940) saw the first appearance of a young woman known only as The Cat. Even though she wore no special costume as yet, Batman was so taken by her that after her stolen loot was recovered, he let her get away! This issue also marked the first appearance of the Joker, and if you happen to have a mint condition copy, it's now worth $50,000! Created by Bob Kane and Bill Finger, The Cat and The Joker would join the menagerie of colorful Bat-villains that would plague the Caped Crusader to this very day. she wasnt even catwoman here!!! EVOLUTION OF A VILLAIN While the other villains in Batman's universe are recognizable even in their first appearance, it took several years for The Cat to become Catwoman. Kane's girlfriend would pose in various costumes while he tried out new names (Cat Woman, Cat-woman, etc.) until finally he and Finger settled on the now classic version. She also acquired a cat-o-nine-tails and a secret identity of Selina Kyle. Thus equipped, Catwoman would spend the next thirty years commiting a series of cat-related crimes and the occasional good deed to the delight of male comic book readers everywhere. UNDER THE INFLUENCE The dreaded Comics Code meant a de-emphasis on sex and violence during the fifties and early sixties. But the popularity of the Batman TV series brought with it a renewed interest in the classic villains, including Catwoman. For a while in the late sixties, she was drawn to resemble Julie Newmar's TV version. THE MOD SQUAD DC tried to "update" their female characters in the early seventies. For several years Catwoman wore a "mod" outfit, complete with buccaneer boots! This didn't last long and she soon returned to the classic costume of the fifties. DEATH AND RESURRECTION The classic Catwoman "died" in DC Superstars #17 in 1977. This was an Earth-2 story set in an alternate universe where at least she got to marry Bruce Wayne. In our universe, the classic Catwoman made her last appearance in the early '80's. However, we all know a cat has nine lives. In 1987 Frank Miller brought her back as part of the Batman: Year One series, but at a harsh price. Selina was now a former prostitute out for revenge after her pimp got way too rough. He made her a prostitute!!!! What happened to the thief?? I guess since its in the comic you have no beef even though they revamped the entire character except for the name!!! THE JIM BALENT ERA With the success of Batman Returns, DC Comics apparently felt Catwoman could sustain a comic of her own. In August of 1993, after testing the waters with a four-part mini-series, Catwoman #1 hit the stands. Written by Jo Duffy and pencilled by the incomparable Jim Balent, Catwoman was born again, this time in an even more form-fitting purple costume and a physique that would make Pamela Anderson envious. Needless to say, it was an immediate hit and has appeared every month since. THE NEW MILLENNIUM Y2K brings a new creative team to the Catwoman comic and a new look for Catty (the costume change actually occurred in Catwoman #68). Bronwyn Carlson, Staz Johnson and Wayne Faucher promise to deliver a grittier, more realistic Catwoman. They do this by promptly throwing her in jail! As a result of her imprisonment, the Feline Fatale will emerge much changed, and not necessarily for the better! This last is what they should have aimed for.