Monday, March 15, 2010
CAT SCRATCH FEVER
I've already done one WONDER WOMAN entry, but just as deserving of coverage is one of the few other costumed heroines (not counting jungle girls) to have enjoyed a long success in a starring feature: THE BLACK CAT.
I didn't grow up reading these, and the source of their long-running appeal has always been a bit of a mystery to me. There's some cheesecake appeal, but a lot of other books offered more. The stories are enjoyably light and breezy; the art is pleasant but workmanlike, not even as good as 40s Infantino, much less Simon and Kirby.
It's possible that judo-training sessions like the one seen here had something to do with the Cat's long-lived popularity. Not that many superhero books, no matter what gender their protagonist was, featured these little "how-to" tips (which incidentally earned the book some of the Wrath of Wertham). Possibly Harvey Comics lucked onto a sales-making gimmick here that other publishers just didn't want to bother with, as most of them preferred to use heroines as back-up features in multi-character anthologies.)