In the spirit of having having a fun project to do every week and sharing my love of (and occasional horror at – more on that later) ’90s Catwoman, here is the very first Sunday fun day, featuring my/Jim Balent’s very own lady and feline centric version of Where’s Waldo visual puzzles.
Now, before I proceed any further, yes, Jim Balent really did hide a cat of some sort in every single Catwoman he did during his tenure on the series from 1993 to 2000. Sometimes they are small line drawings of varying degrees of tiny-ness and hidden-ness or they are shadows or statues or actual living felines or something else entirely, but there is always at least one cat somewhere on the cover of an issue of Catwoman during this time period.
This project is intended to give you a chance to look for them yourself while also providing an answer key and what will eventually be an overview of the cover art for the first 77 issues of Catwoman’s first solo series. And, yes, Jim Balent’s art can be baaaaaad. But it can also be quite good, if sometimes trying to push a pose for dramatic effect. Given my ownership of some of the 90s series in print, I can say that the compliments on Balent’s art (at least early in the series) were about how much personality and expressiveness he gave her face and how dynamic the panels and poses were and not about her breasts. So there. 🙂
For week one, I was originally going to give the very first story arc, which sees Catwoman trying to track down a would-be assassin, travelling to Santa Prisca, helping out locals, stopping an assassination attempt on someone else, learning Bane’s true origin story, and generally having a very adventurous bad day and not enjoying operating in a Bane-controlled Gotham. 🙂 However, some of the covers (including #2, pictured near the top of this post) turned out to quite troublesome, so I’ll have to wait on them (and hopefully find I have physical copies of all of that arc).
So, instead, I present the first and last covers Jim Balent did for Catwoman, with the added bonus of a fiendishly hard cover I finally managed to solve.
First (Catwoman #1, 1993, written by Jo Duffy):
Last (Catwoman #77, 2000, written by John Ostrander):
And the painfully difficult (Catwoman #26, 1995, written by Alan Grant):
And now for the answer key …
Make sure you’re ready …
Are you done looking and trying?
Okay, here you go!
And that’s it for this week’s Sunday fun day, Jim Balent Catwoman style. 🙂 All images of course belong to their proper copyright owners (who will hopefully put out trades of the 90s series some day) and are used for fun review purposes only.