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7/25/12

BATTLE OF THE CATWOMEN

Catwoman is a character we've seen being interpreted in very different ways over the years. Whether she's an anti-hero, a misunderstood crime-fighter or a straight-up villain, there's no denying she's one of the best Batman characters out there so through this little homage, lets take a look at some of the main Catwomen out there and see who truly nailed the part.

JULIE NEWMAR
Batman: The TV Series (1966)


Easily my favourite Catwoman from the TV series, Julie Newmar had it all: sexy, beautiful, manipulative, ever-so-slightly crazy, adorable... perfect. Poor old Adam West, having to resist such devilish cat-charm every single time. Mostly, this Catwoman just wanted to toy with The Bat, Newmar was having fun with it and it shows. She made the character quirky and a lot of fun to watch, giving the show one of its best, less stupid, most entertaining villains. The coolest 60's cat out there.


Meow Rating: 4/5

EARTHA KITT
Batman: The TV Series (1968)


When Julie Newmar left the series before the third and last season, Eartha Kitt stepped in as Catwoman and took the character more seriously than most, going for a verbose, far more villainous approach and leaving the quirky Newmar deceitful cuteness behind. Although it was kinda cool to see a more obviously evil Catwoman and Kitt made that slightly sillier costume work, she was never my favourite. I always missed Newmar whom, I felt, had really nailed the character (for the 60's anyway). Kitt's approach was fresh and new but lacked the multi-layered subtlety of her predecessor's. Awesome voice though.



Meow Rating: 3/5

LEE MERIWETHER 
Batman: The Movie (1966)


It's not hard to see why they picked Lee Meriwether for the first Batman movie based on the TV series, she was an all-rounder whose intepretation incompassed Julie Newmar's theatricality while making her Catwoman more of a Kitt-style villain. Meriwether fits in really well with the other bunch of Bat-villains in the movie and manages to be both intimidating and entertainingly hammy. Sexy, nutty, funny, one of the best Catwomen out there.


Meow Rating: 3.5/5

ADRIENNE BARBEAU
Batman: The Animated Series (1992)


Yes I know, she's animated but I grew up glued to my television watching those Animated Series so back then she was the Catwoman I was most familiar with. And yet I was never a fan of this one. Whenever a Catwoman-heavy episode would come up I was always a bit disappointed. I don't know why, I guess this interpretation of the character lacked bite. I was no fan of the grey costume which made it look like she was wearing pyjamas the whole time and although she was a cat burglar, I never found her intimidating or particularly interesting. As for that episode where she actually turns into a cat... that was just silly.


Meow Rating: 3/5

MICHELLE PFEIFFER
Batman Returns (1992)


Anyone who knows me knows that Pfeiffer is THE Catwoman for me. I was a big fan of Batman Returns growing up and she was certainly one of the main reasons for that. As Selina Kyle, Pfeiffer was adorable: awkward, stressed-out, underappreciated by everyone in her life, reduced to  exclusively speaking to cats. Post-transformation, she was one hell of a Catwoman: sexy, punky, completely nuts, ridiculously cool. Her costume was amazing, it was like a Frankensteined S&M leather cat-suit complete with heels and a whip. One can't help but think that Tim Burton just thought about the hottest thing he could possibly imagine then drew the character. Still my favourite to this day.


Meow Rating: 5/5

HALLE BERRY
Catwoman (2004)


Ugh... don't even go there. Yes, I know the film is called "Catwoman" but Halle Berry isn't playing Selina Kyle, the film isn't set in Gotham City let alone the DC universe altogether! So basically she's just a cat woman. It's a terrible movie and she's terrible in it. The costume? Stupid-looking-mask-aside, not too bad. Now there's no denying that Berry looks fab throughout... when she's not entirely CGI. But it's her forced performance, the godawful lines she's vomiting and literally everything around her which confirms her stance as the worst Catwoman to date. In a proper Batman spin-off, with a proper script, she might have been able to pull off an Eartha Kitt-style take on the character but even then it's doubtful she would have outdone Kitt who was actually pretty intimidating. Stray cat.


Meow Rating: 1/5

ANNE HATHAWAY
The Dark Knight Rises (2012)


When it was announced that Anne Hathaway was going to portray Catwoman, my first thought was: was Milla Jovovich busy? Or even Famke Janssen? I don't know. Out of all the femme fatales out there Hathaway was the last person I expected to pull off that role. She's a decent actress but I just couldn't see her as Catwoman. So I was curious to see how her version of the anti-hero would fit into Christopher Nolan's Bat-universe. Turns out: awkwardly. Playing Catwoman more like a super spy, Hathaway is at her best when fighting off thugs or driving that Batpod, she makes a decent double-agent. Unfortunately she just had no chemistry with Bale and her tone of voice was all over the place going from dangerous temptress to concerned pal in a heartbeat in moments where consistency would have really helped delve deeper into that character. On the whole, Hathaway made a fine "action" Catwoman but personality-wise, she didn't really make sense to me.


Meow Rating: 3.5/5

Well, that's it for the Catwomen, I'm aware that I'm leaving out many different versions of the character including The Brave And The Bold, Arkham City etc. but I just thought I'd mention the ones I'm most familiar with so feel free to suggest your own favourites in the comments below. Tune in next time when I compare Jokers ;)

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