Thursday, January 20, 2011
Penguin, Joker, Riddler... and Catwoman, too! The sum of the angles of that rectangle is too monstrous to contemplate!
So the internet is abuzz with the news that Anne Hathaway has been confirmed to play that slinkiest of supervillains, Selina Kyle aka Catwoman, in Christopher Nolan's next Batman film. I would have thought that Hathaway is too lovely and sweet to pull off a mean, sexy character as deadly as Catwoman, but I'm completely willing to be proven wrong. Moreover I'm really looking forward to seeing what the new approach to the Catwoman costume will be. As such, I've had a look at the feline femme fatale's costume style over the years.
Her first appearance was in 1940, in Batman #1, where she was introduced to us as a thief called "The Cat" in a fetching green dress with a stylish blue-black forties hairdo and no costume to speak of. Poor show, Selina. Must try harder.
However, she wasn't long stepping up her game somewhat, appearing in furry cat masks between 1940 and 1942, which was an improvement on the lack of costume front, but didn't exactly bring the sexy. It wasn't until the mid-forties that she really kicked things off with a more revealing mask and an altogether more attractive look in a purple dress and green cape, which she rocked well into the 1950s.
The purple theme made a comeback in the 1990s versions of Catwoman, albeit in a much more skintight way to match her amplified rack.
Catwoman in the 1960s had sashayed her way onto television in the gloriously camp Adam West Batman series. Julie Newmar, Eartha Kitt and Miss America 1955, Lee Meriwether (in the crazy-ass 1966 Batman film) all poured themselves into the shiny black catsuit and kitty ears. In my opinion it's Newmar who steals the sixties Catwoman crown by a long shot, with her cartoon-like tiny waist, low slung belt, spikey eyebrows and general jaw-dropping rideyness.
While Julie and Eartha were purring up a storm onscreen, comic book Catwoman seemed to have borrowed from the TV show, style-wise, as she was now appearing with a long necklace like Julie's and a mask a lot like Eartha's. Although the hugest difference was the choice of green for her skintight catsuit, as apparently green was the colour of choice for sixties comic book villains. I'm not convinced by this weird green getup though, as it makes her look like some kind of slithery lizard girl as opposed to crafty cat burglar.
1969 thankfully saw the end of the green scales shenanigans, with our girl re-emerging in red and black boots with matching eyemask and some manner of leotard with a collar. Ka-pow!
Catwoman has also given grey ensembles a shot here and there in her time, in comic books and as an animated character. While the nineties saw the resurrection of purple in her outfit, Michelle Pfeiffer was kicking Gotham ass in Batman Returns as a hyper-sexy red lipped, leather clad and slightly deranged Selina Kyle.
Of course in 2004, Halle Berry made an absolute balls of Catwoman in an impractical leather bikini mess of an outfit, although to be fair, the ripped trousers were a nice touch. And I'm pretty sure the movie is hilarious when you're drunk.
Currently, comic book Catwoman is tearing up Gotham with a shiny black crop of hair and an even shinier black catsuit. This most recent look seems rather influenced by the movie versions, although she's now working a pair of cat-eye goggles rather than a mask. I'm guessing Christopher Nolan's take on her costume will most likely be black in colour, but I can't wait to see what happens next with Anne Hathaway stepping into the bad ass pussycat's sexy boots.