Escher Cats! – Issue Two!

This is unfortunately rather a bit late, but back to and on with this rather lengthy game of Escher Girls bingo with Jim Balent era Catwoman covers! πŸ™‚

Issue two of Catwoman continues on with the four-issue opening story arc “Lifelines.” It’s one I personally really enjoy for the fun of issue one and its cover (and there is admittedly something extra funny about Catwoman being foiled by a mouse) and for what it gives us in terms of both Bane’s and Catwoman’s characters. I don’t want to spoil anything too much (plus, I am technically only on issue two here πŸ˜› ) but it’s really interesting to see the times when Catwoman violates her own personal code and just how much flex there is in how she operates and why. She is someone who, at least in this continuity, Does Not Kill (for very understandable reasons, given her backstory) and so it’s really interesting to see the times that she either fails to save someone or works around her own rules enough to have someone killed (she does kill someone herself much much later on but I’m covering Balent era here, so Black Mask’s death at Selina’s hands is outside my purview).

In this case,Β she works circumstances so that someone gets killed and – a) the way she works circumstances is kind of painful and poignant given that she’s playing with the same type of information that she finds personally poignant and that is used much later on against ‘her’ (in the When in Rome mini, which I’ve talked about here) b) it’s kind of unpalatable coming from her and seeing her do it, which highlights both how far even indirectly leading to someone’s death is from her normal character and morals and how very badly that other character crossed lines and lines that, for Catwoman, are uncrossable. Avoiding spoilers, I will say that the lines crossed include almost killing Selina’s current ward, Arizona, in an attempt to kill Selina (by blowing up her apartment and, really, apartment building).

This brings up another character aspect highlighted by the story arc – Catwoman as someone who takes in and watches over (and understands) street youth like she used to be. There is more of an age difference than with Selina and Holly but it’s clearly the same type of motivation and it also tests Selina when the apartment goes up in flames and she can get out like her instincts are screaming at her to ‘or’ she can head back into the thick of the flames and rubble to try and save Arizona. It’s also tested later on, when, because of the circumstances, the hospital Arizona was taken to finds her “real” family and there is not much Selina is able to do about it and when she knows Arizona ran away and ran away for a reason. And also that she herself is not in a position to try to argue (secret, ‘criminal’ identity, everything just got blown up, still trying to track down the would be killer, and just plain can’t make a claim over legal guardians).

And that got much longer than I had planned (and I didn’t really cover the Bane stuff but it’s already overlong and I also don’t want to give spoilers. ‘but’, if you want a solid Bane back story and some present day Bane character work, plus two Latinx characters interacting, this is your story arc), so, on to the actual point of this post. πŸ™‚

Seriously. I'm going to have to pretend that's someone else's leg there because the positioning is not right. At all.

I admittedly love this cover a lot. It has a lot of the good of Balent’s style. Or, at least, his early Catwoman style – very dynamic posing, very expressive and often dangerously fierce facial expressions, and what I, during my previous Catwoman feature, called horror claws. However, it also has a bit of convenient outfit tearing, breasts with slightly tweaked physics (interesting to note, though, that Balent addressed size concerns expressed in the letter columns and was praised for it in later letter columns – this obviously fell totally by the wayside in the latter half of his run), and the leg breaking that Balent would do in order to get a cooler pose. And they are cool poses (and something he does to everyone, not just Catwoman or her female cast mates), but, wow, ouch.

I really hope these don't just keep increasing one per issue. Although that would get me a bingo in 23 more issues.

It’s kind of frustratingly subjective to assign these and hard to remember what each one is and assign it but I think I’m going to call that certain Balent broke leg for the purposes of dynamic posing (as opposed to broke leg for attempted sexy posing purposes) “agony of the feet” because it’s trying to get the foot to connect to the hip that causes all the horror. I also granted “wtf clothing” because that is admittedly very convenient tearing on her outfit.

As always, all the Catwoman-related images belong to DC Comics and Escher Girls is the creation and one-woman work of Ami Angelwings. And the bingo card belongs to its respective creator. πŸ™‚

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