Catwoman: The Movie and Other Cat Tales

Authors: Various
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP: £7.99
1 84023 991 3
Available 23 August 2004

Meet Patience Philips, shy, sensitive artist working for cosmetics giant Hedare Beauty. When she stumbles onto a dark secret at the company, she finds herself in the middle of a dangerous corporate conspiracy. What happens next changes Patience forever. In a mystical twist of fate, she is transformed into Catwoman. And the leather-clad heroine bares her claws to exact revenge...

I have to admit to not having seen the Catwoman movie when I read this collection. And to be honest, I doubt I'll bother on the strength of what's on offer here.

Firstly the plot of this graphic novel is extremely shallow - there's hardly anything to it at all. And just as the action starts to get going it's over in a flash. Unlike the original comic origins of Selina Kyle (Oh, yeah. That's another thing - Catwoman's name in the movie is Patience Philips), Catwoman starts life as a normal woman until she is almost killed after falling in a vat of a poisonous beauty product. She is rescued by a cat (not really sure how that works, exactly) and becomes the Catwoman. In the original comics Selina is always depicted as a gifted gymnast who never quite manages to apply herself to the right things in life, which explains where her rooftop leaping prowess comes from. In this story she is a weedy woman, who gets an overdose of toxic chemicals. While that may make her strong, would it really allow her the balance and co-ordination to leap from roof to roof?

Now, it is hinted that Patience Philips is the latest in a line of Catwomen - so that could explain away the new origins and name etc. - but I though that was an odd decision by the movie producers. Surely it would have made more sense to go with one of the many spins on the original origins - or an amalgamation of them.

Also, I couldn't work out why on earth a company would produce a product that surely in a matter of days of being on the market would lead officials to close them down. If their beauty product was addictive and turned users into monsters, it wouldn't take Einstein to work out the source of the illness would it.

As if to kick the movie in the teeth, this release also features a number of original Catwoman stories. Which, as you can imagine, show the movie plot up to be the embarrassment that it is. Here we see Kyle's origins and then progress onto her first meeting with the Batman.

This collection scores plus points for it's fantastic cover and back cover - both of which feature promotional shots from the movie. It also has some sketches from the set of the movie by artist Jim Lee.

But even these are not enough to stop this from being a bit of a turkey. You could say that it is a near catastrophe. You many think I'm being catty, but I really didn't rate this.

Amber Leigh

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