Hot on the heels of our Bane post last week, this time, it’s Catwoman! Although not part of our recent launch of new Dark Knight Rises x MIMOBOT line, Catwoman was mimo-fied as part of the original line of DC x MIMOBOT characters! Between DC’s New 52 and Chris Nolan’s third and final film, she’s more popular than ever!
In early 2011 it was impossible to go anywhere on the internet without reading something about Catwoman. In January it was announced that Anne Hathaway was going to be responsible for bringing Christopher Nolan’s vision of Selina Kyle to life and the occupants of everybody’s favorite series of tubes didn’t respond favorably. This of course was similar to the reaction to Heath Ledger playing the Joker in The Dark Knight. One thing that’s important to remember is Christopher Nolan’s ability to take actors who spent most of their career on the covers of Seventeen and Tiger Beat magazine and show us their full potential (Heath Ledger, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, even Christian Bale was just the kid from Newsies at one point)
The next announcement was that Catwoman would be available as a playable character in Rocksteady’s Arkham City. The response to this was a little more positive, nobody was upset about the idea of having an extra hour of game play in one of the most anticipated games of the year. What did cause a bit of a rumble though were the fans of the video game who weren’t necessarily familiar with the Batman universe outside of the movies and cartoon series filling YouTube comments sections and message boards with the same question: “Wait, isn’t Catwoman a bad guy?”
While there’s not really anything wrong with that question (besides improper use of gender pronoun) it simply isn’t as black and white as most people think. Catwoman was first introduced to the DC universe in Batman #1 (1940) as Batman’s perfect match, armed with her own set of weapons and equal, if not greater, acrobatic skills. As a child Selina Kyle was orphaned after her mother committed suicide and her father drinking himself to death shortly thereafter. She spent her formidable years in a juvenile detention center until deciding to take it to the streets and becoming the criminal that they were treating her as. Catwoman committed crimes strictly on a survival basis and was able to keep up a fairly decent level of morality. This is what caused her to eventually team up with Batman to defeat common enemies. This led to a sordid love affair between the world’s greatest cat burglar and the world’s greatest detective despite the fact that Selina Kyle was already in a romantic relationship with billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne.
While Bruce was fully aware that the refined young lady he was dancing with at the Mayor’s ball was the same as the leather clad woman that was fighting the Joker alongside him moments later. Catwoman on the other hand was completely in the dark about this and it led to an inner struggle that ended with her having to choose one or the other (until Batman finally revealed his secret identity to her which she didn’t really take well in anybody’s version of the story).
So how could this make her the greatest Batman villain? Anytime Catwoman breaks the law and Batman catches her she uses his feelings for her as a get out of jail free card. Out of the entire rogues gallery she’s probably spent the least amount of time behind bars. She’s even been the victim of kidnapping causing Batman to put his own life, as well as the lives of the citizens of Gotham, in danger trying to save her. No matter what side she’s fighting for at the time Batman will always be at risk as long as she’s around making her eligible for the title of Batman’s greatest villain. It also doesn’t hurt that she was based off of the most beautiful and badass woman in the history of Hollywood.