Thursday, March 25, 2010


Of considerably greater durability than Harvey Comics' Black Cat is DC Comics' Catwoman. I don't judge a character's mythic presence solely by the character's prominence in culture (pop or otherwise) but if I did Catwoman would be a prime contender, as television and films made her one of the few comics-characters that a majority of Americans know.

The cover of DETECTIVE COMICS #122 is an odd one given that it hails from 1947, a time when fan-histories consider that DC had pretty much distanced itself from its wild-and-wooly pulp past and was beginning to skew toward corporate predictability. And yet here's Catwoman on the cover, clawing the hell out of Robin's shoulder as the Big Bat rushes to the rescue. I'm sure that the contents of the book were strictly G-rated by the standards of anyone save Doctor Wertham, and yet it is fairly violent for a DC cover of that time. Perhaps DC's editors were tempted to push the envelope by some of the more lurid crime comics of the period?

Still, this does seem like the sort of cover Wertham would have included in SEDUCTION had he seen it, particularly since as I recall Catwoman was the only villainess he took the trouble to cite by name, though he drew attention not to her claws but to her Sadean whip.

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