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Catwoman #20

Posted: Thursday, June 26, 2003
By: Ray Tate



"Wild Ride" Part I: "Other Cats"

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Cameron Stewart, Matt Hollingsworth(c)
Publisher: DC

Something's amiss when Catwoman begins to remind me of Hawkman. Let's look at what shared continuity Catwoman had in the past. Ed Brubaker suggested Catwoman and Batman had a past history. That's a given. No writer has been stupid enough to suggest otherwise. Mr. Brubaker defied what passes as DC's history by resurrecting the very dead Holly. Catwoman knew Leslie Thompkins even though DC retconned the character. Slam Bradley, while historically one of DC's first, was for all intent a new character Mr. Brubaker introduced into the world of Selina Kyle.

Basically, Mr. Brubaker was making this up as he went along, picking and choosing what he liked to make Catwoman succeed. He relied on nobody else's words and even flagrantly denied them. It's an attitude I can support because DC screwed up whatever chance it had at coherence a long time ago. Sadly, in this one issue, which should have breathed fresh air onto the nauseating events in the past two or three issues, DC's post-Crisis semi-continuity crashes down like a tidal wave on the reader.

Wildcat guest stars. I like Wildcat. I have always liked Wildcat. Maybe it was the costume, or maybe because he possessed no super powers or even advanced equipment. He was smarter than average and just had a good right cross that seemed to get the job done.

I don't like Wildcat prowling around in Catwoman. Why asks you? Because Wildcat is a member of the JSA. JSA is a shambles of semi-continuity, and because I see Wildcat in Catwoman I have a more difficult time convincing myself that this is not the same version of the character that's in the mucked-up JSA. Even more so when Wildcat mentions Speed Saunders: the idiot Hawkgirl Kendra's grandfather.

My problems with reconciliation become even further impeded when Holly mentions the Green Arrow. Okay. So now, I have to think if there's a Green Arrow, is there a Black Canary? If there's a Black Canary, then is there a Birds of Prey? If there's a Birds of Prey, is there an Oracle? How can there be an Oracle if this is the same version of Wildcat who was the colleague of two Dr. Fates, one of which should have been in Batman's Rolodex. If Batman did not call Dr. Fate to prevent Babs Gordon from a life confined to a wheelchair, what kind of bastard is he? And how can this miserable subhuman be the same Batman who is willing to give Catwoman a second chance and continues to be her conscience?

Sadly, these connections did not come from hindsight. They did not come from careful thought. They struck like a bolt of lightning. Catwoman like almost every other DC title by relying on distracting scraps of continuity remains simply falls apart. I could not enjoy it because I was reminded of everything I hate in DC's so-called original universe.



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