Saturday, September 6, 2014

The Batman Strikes: Catwoman Gets Busted by Batman by Bill Matheny

Title: The Batman Strikes: Catwoman Gets Busted
Author: Bill Matheny
Publisher: Capstone
Rating: WORTHY!

Penciller: Christopher Jones
Inker: Terry Beatty
Colorist: Heroic Age
Letterer: Pat Brosseau

This is one in a series over-titled "The Batman Strikes - for higher pay" (I might have made up that last bit). This particular edition focuses on the Catwoman. I have a hard time taking some of these titles seriously - even in the movies. Batman Begins was a bit questionable - it begs the question "What?" - but I let that go by; then we got the ambiguous The Dark Knight on which I did a double-take, but again let it go. I could not do this with the third in the Christopher Nolan trilogy: The Dark Knight Rises to which I had to add "showers, shaves, and breakfasts; then heads off to the office....

This particular graphic novel has to be the most tongue-in-cheek comic ever written despite its being an evidently middle-grade effort. That cover image with that title? Seriously? It won my Inappropriate and Politically Incorrect Book Covers Department Award for September 2014 r4t (that last triplet was typed by my wife's pet rats who were running over my keyboard at the time! Funny how it actually spells rat, isn't it? I for one welcome the advent of our rat overlords. They are very distant cousins after all).

OK, about the first frame above: is Catwoman taking out the guy with a seriously epic looking yokogeri, or is she acrobatically mating with him? Either is possible. You will note the clean lines of the illustrations, which are admirably well done. They lean far more towards caricature than usual, but this is aimed at (I assume) a lower age range than the usual readership - in an attempt get the kids drawn in and addicted for when they reach the point where they want more mature writing.

Again, first frame - Catwoman sparkles better than any vampire - and in a really feminine place, too! But we knew that. The story here is that in Gotham (and yes, I am going to check out the new TV series of that name), there's a series of jewel thefts (when isn't there?). Both Batman and Catwoman are interested in them - but for different reasons. The Blue Novick diamond is curiously and variously shown as yellow, and clear, as well as blue. Diamonds can come in any color. Pink is the most rare.

Interesting juxtaposition in that third frame. Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enema action. Catwoman plans on interrupting the thieves and making off herself with the Novick (why "Blue"? There is, presumably, only one Novick!), but Batman, er, busts her.

I found this comic hilarious. My son and I found ourselves making up our own speech balloons which made it yet more hilarious. I'll be riffing off that on my Satire, Parody & Humo(u)r page, hopefully later today - after I fix the gosh-darned waste disposal. Of course, I may have no hands left after that so typing might be an issue.

In addition to the unintentional (or maybe not!) humor, it wasn't a bad story as far as it goes for the grade at which it's aimed, so I'm going to recommend this one. Hopefully the rest of the series is up to the same, er, standard!

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