Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Buy my comics, rake me over the coals: CATWOMAN #59

And to think I thought everyone had pretty much guessed at this point who the baby's daddy was. I honestly didn't think it would be such a controversial reveal. Shows you what I know -- at least last week's post got a decent response. (It was even bigger than the response to my post about Jerry Lewis' public meltdown last fall.)

In case anyone's wondering why I didn't respond after the first couple messages, it's because my own actual flesh-and-blood daughter wasn't feeling well and needed some extra attention. (She had this, in case you're wondering.) Real baby trumps fictional baby every time. Sorry.

I guess I'm still surprised so many people thought it was going to be Batman. I mean, from this scene way back in the first post Year One issue, I thought I was making it obvious it wasn't Bruce Wayne. Speaking as a father -- and as a guy who knows a lot of fathers -- this is not how a father would act, buying off the mom with a teddy bear and a college scholarship. If Bruce had been the dad and tried to appease Selina with this stunt, she would've clawed his eyes out, protective lenses in the Bat mask or not. This is Batman giving a friend support, not Batman trying to weasel out of child support.

Plus, Batman is the most overly prepared guy in the DCU. Do you really think someone who went to all the trouble of formulating insanely complex plans to take down his JLA buddies on the million-to-one chance he'd need them wouldn't take much simpler precautions in other (i.e. romantic) situations? Are we talking about the same guy?

If the Sam Revelation (as historians will now call it) made you drop the book, sorry to see you go. But if you're willing to stick around, I promise plenty of thrills and chills in the upcoming months (c'mon -- aren't there any movie fans out there with an opinion on Film Freak?) and a few twists and turns in just how Sam and Selina made that baby. Well, of course, we all know how they made the baby, but the scene of them getting romantic in CATWOMAN 59 didn't necessary lead to lil' Helena. There's more in store for those two, and the stakes get much, much higher. And, as some of the posters said in the comments thread, life -- especially when it involves S-E-X -- can get very complicated. Things don't always go as planned.

As always, feel free to share you comments here. I'm not asking you to agree, but I am requesting you keep any references to cups of urine to an absolute minimum.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Actually, while I'd figured it was Sam, I'd been hoping it was Bruce because of the Earth-2 Helena "Huntress" Wayne, the Huntress I prefer over the current one. But I do like Sam, so I'm fine with him being the daddy.

What was a bit irksome was how Selena and Sam got together to conceive Helena. It didn't seem as well thought out and presented as you usually write. But I'm not dropping one of the best comics out there, no, not me.

Chris Yeoman said...

That batman teddy bear scene is priceless! :)

100LittleDolls said...

I tried to comment on the last post, but blogger ate it. :(

I knew by issue #58 that Sam was going to be the dad. I think a lot of people feel upset because there wasn't a lot of lead up to the love seen. (And the scene itself felt so unusually awkward compared to the rest of the book.) I'm so glad to hear that there's going to be more that led up to baby Helena. I knew there had to be more--especially since we haven't seen any of Sam, which seems odd. I'm really wondering where he is, or if something happened to him.

And I'm loving the Film Freak stuff. In fact, so much so that I'm finding myself drawn to watching some old movies. It's all so classic.

I'm going to be all fan-gushy right now: thanks for how well you've been handling Selina as a mom. It so great to see a realistic representation of motherhood in a comic: the breastfeeding, Selina struggling into her costume with her extra maternity. Priceless and awesome.

Hairy-ChestedLoveGod said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Hairy-ChestedLoveGod said...

I was pretty excited during the build up to IC but dropped most of my DC titles when I realised where this book was heading. I'm a fanboy and I'm precious about the characters.

They've made both Batman and Catwoman parents OYL but not given the fans Helena Wayne. Feels like a slap in the face to be honest.

Sam being the father was pretty obvious to me even before the OYL jump started on the title. I was disgusted for the same reason as everyone else. He's the son of another dead beat that she's already slept with. I hated her and Slam aswell. Naming the baby Helena was just cruel to the fans that like the Bat/Cat relationship and wanted to see that continue to develop as it has over the years.

Selina appeared in the JLA title and knew of Batman's mindwipe. In her own book shortly afterwards it appears as tho she's forgotten this when confronted by Batman. The mindwipe of the two characters could have been a good way for these characters to bond more but it was all thrown to the side in favour of this Jerry Springer "I'm having my ex-lovers babies baby" story.

Over the last few years we've had Jeph Loeb's and Ed Brubakers take on the relationship which I really enjoyed. There ware even some other writers that gave them a couple of nice moments together in the Batman titles. The relationship seemed to be evolving and Geoff Johns even hinted at them getting married in his "Titans Tomorrow" story.

Sales will likely plummet further for Catwoman because of this. I actually hope that it get's cancelled. That's a shame because I was with this title right up until the OYL jump and it was one of my favourites. I raved about it.

I mean no disrespect to Will as I'm pretty sure that you've stated that this was an editorial decision in a past interview. If that's the case then it only further strengthen's my opinion that Mr. DiDio deserves a swift kick right between his legs.

Long live the JLI Dan.

Shane Bailey said...

I think Film Freak is the best new DC villain in a long time. Thanks Will.

Anonymous said...

The 'revelation' of Sam as the father was not all that surprising. It was just very bland, predictable and without a believeable buld up or foundation. Having said this.... and in fairness to Will.... the actual development of their relationship will continue to be expanded upon in future issues..... and so IMHO, it is only fair that we give Mr. Pfeifer time to tell his story.

It HAS been well written so far. And I LOVE Film Freak, but for a reason that is different than what others have said. You see, I have always had a problem with the whole idea of a "mind-wipe". I have maintained from the beginning that if you had the power to tell 10 different criminals to "be good"..... you would get 10 different interpretations of what "good" actually is. In other words..... just because you implant a directive to be "good" in someone's mind, does not necessarily mean that they will actually do "good" as 'most' of us define that term.

In fact, Catwoman is a great example. In Selina's mind, I could accept that AFTER Zatanna mind-wiped her.... she continued to occasionally rob and defraud people. Why? Because in Selina's mind.... such behaviour is not "bad" in the sense of evil or wrong. For Selina.... the rightness or wrongness of actions always depended upon the result. For Selina, the ends would often justify the means..... hence her actions against Black Mask. I mean think about it..... Selina committed murder.... but in her mind she did something necessary and good.... or at least at one time she thought it was the right thing to do. She may know it was legally wrong..... but morally wrong? I don't think so.

In short, the concept of "good" is relative to the mind of the person mind-wiped. And Film Freak is by far the BEST example in the entire DCU of just how flawed the concept of mind-wiping is. Zatanna actually thought that when she mind-wipes someone.... that they somehow 'see' things her way.... that they somehow convert to her interpretation of "good".

But they don't. To twist and paraphrase an old cliche...... "Good.... is in the mind of the beholder".

Seeing film freak turn himself into the authority figure related to film as opposed to the police was an intelligent way to highlight the flaw of mind-wiping..... and also allow us readers to become more intrigued with such a great villain.

Thank you Will. Great Job.


As for the scene with Selina and Sam? Well, I will admit that it is by far the weakest part of the story. Artistically as well, Lopez was not on his "A" game in illustrating the seduction scene. Absolutely zero chemistry and there was never any sense of an actual attratcion other than Selina's very bland and matter-of-factly acknowledgment of it. It did not sound very sincere.

And also.... the fact that she slept with Slam's son hurt's her character IMHO. Catwoman has always been a character that comes across as promiscuous and 'easy'.... but we all knew that she wasn't. Quite the contrary. But with her sleeping with Sam... well.... it just really seems to reaffirm a stereotype against Selina that I would have thought TPTB would not want to reinforce.

It was a very poor decision of DC to get Catwoman pregnant.... especially to a relative newcomer who is the son of Selina's former sex-partner.

I guess I just expected more from Selina herself. Don't get me wrong.... it will no doubt make for great drama and future interesting stories..... (and that is certainly important), I just think that the whole scenario reaks of contrivement as opposed to a believeable evolution of a character.

Chris Laffoon said...

I'm new to the Catwoman series having just started with issue #59 so I'll have to go back and do some catching up but I just had to ask... Do the urine comments have to involve a cup?

Alec Whitford said...

I really don't like Film Freak. I see him as a way for will to use some Film Studies education and not let it go to waste. It just isn't believable. Though I agree with what "anomymous" said about mind wiping, it is an interesting take on it, I really just wanted to see him go to jail.

I think that the amount of movie references in each issue is getting out of hand. I am taking Film Studies right now at University, in fact I should be sudying for it at the momet, and I am realizing that movies and comic books are somewhat related with concepts of artistry and mise en scene. But It just isn't believable to me that the news caster or bystanders would be able to pick up on the most obscure of film references when Film Freak smashed the ladies face into a grape fruit. Or when Zattana and Selina had their conversation about movies and "Cat People." etc.

I will keep reading Catwoman, because I love the character, she is one of my favorites. Yeah, I know that it isn't the same book that Brubaker waswriting. but it is still interesting. the parts about Holly learning to become a vigilante are totally good and Selina as a mother is interesting. I just really hate the film freak. Selina needs a better and more believable villain. Black mask is gone and won't be coming back, it is too bad, for I loved to hate him. We need to move on in a more positive direction than Film Freak.

Johnny B said...

As a bit of a film freak myself, I love the character.

But wait...you mean Selina only had sex once, and/or with one guy, in a whole YEAR? I kinda thought you might be throwing us a Sam curveball.

I still wish it had been Prez.

DubipR said...

Will,
First off I'm happy you didn't bow down the obvious give the comic fans the whole "Batman is Helena's father" route. I agree that Sam being the father is fine with me.
I've been enjoying your run on Catwoman since you took over from Brubaker. I know some people don't like the direction, but its the only DC OYL book I read. Its been a great ride of twists, great dialogue and incredible artwork; I'm thrilled that David Lopez is doing the artchores.

Issue 59 was another great read.
Until next issue...

alec whitford said...

I think I could put this a bit more positive.

I love everything in the comic except Film Freak. Everything else, is good.

Wayne Alan Harold said...

I'm diggin' The Film Freak. It 's a good thing if he makes people check out some decent flicks! C'mon--they're not THAT obscure!

Jay Geldhof said...

Uh, yeah. That grapefruit scene from "Public Enemy" is one of the most famous scenes EVER.

archerhope said...

It's not Sam being the father of Selina's child that bothers me - it's the whole bait and switch of naming the child Helena. I'm an old-timer who returned to reading comics after a twenty-year hiatus based solely on the news that Selina was going to have a baby named Helena. In light of Earth 2's Helena Wayne and how excited I was by her debut back in the 70's, your marketing ploy worked and you hooked me. I've spent the past ten months or so expanding the DC titles and characters I've been following. But now, I feel cheated, robbed, and violated. So instead of continuing to expand my renewed interest in comics, I'm going to be dropping out again. There are so many better ways you could've/should've handled this one. You blew it and I am very disappointed.

Lemmy Caution said...

You sure are a delicate little flower! How do you handle life in the REAL world?

You sound like a f*cking mental patient!

Fred said...

Dear Wil Fiffer:

Your Film The Freak marketing ploy makes me feel cheeted, robed, violated and rapped. Film The Freak has ruined any joy that i had in the movies and up until now I've been enjoying them for 20 years. Because of you, I'm never going to watch another movie again. You blew it and i am sad because you are big meanie!

Anonymous said...

"Violated?" Someone is a Drama Queen today.

Anonymous said...

Archerhope, you either like a medium or you don't. I've seen plenty of movies that have upset me but that doesn't mean that I'll never watch another movie again. That is just silly.

Anonymous said...

Will:
As a traditionalist (and older Bat/Cat fan), I really hoped that it was Bruce and Selina who got together to make Helena but... sigh... they didn't.
I know that love makes people do strange things... but the son of a former lover? I thought Selina would have more... well... class then that. As it stands, I went from caring about Helena's development to not giving a darn about her and hoping that some day, Superboy Prime's "retconning" fists of steel wipe her out of existence.

Anonymous said...

Film Freak is great. But the book is not about him, it's about Selina.

Anonymous said...

Helena Wayne is the child of Sam and Selina?

Worst. Decision. Ever.

This comic book is absolutely terrible and making anyone other than Bruce/Batman the father is just plain stupid. I don't care whose decision it was.

Btw the writing is hollow and contrived.

I used to care about Selina but if she's the type of person who sleeps with her ex-lover's son then she is the type of person who does not care about anything or anyone else except herself. That is such a selfish, self-centered thing to do. I thought that she was better than that.

And now, unless there is a serious retconning, an event that so many fans have looked forward to for years has been swept away, permanently altered in the worst way possible.

And I couldn't agree more with archerhope and hairychestedlovegod. The whole bait and switch thing was as appalling as it was disgusting. What a cheap trick. Was that supposed to be funny? Tease us with something that looks like a culmination of years of attraction and then dump us off in a completely different neighborhood? I guess it's part of the whole 'give the fans the exact opposite of what they want and it will shake things up a bit!' school of thought.

Tacky. Crude. And exactly what I have come to expect of DC, whose understanding of relationships and women in general is so adolescent it's breathtaking.

Do any of you check out the DC comics message boards? Because there's whole lot of love for the baby daddy goin' on there.

(Actually, there's not. I just thought I'd use a bait and switch, since it's working so well these days. I think maybe three people like what's happened. Maybe four. Could be as high as five. Lost count. Don't care. Check it out: http://dcboards.warnerbros.com/web/thread.jspa?threadID=2000092758&tstart=0)

For those of you who think that this is too much, try contacting the powers that be at DC comics and tell them that the character assasination has to end:

DC Comics
ATTN: Matt Idelson
Catwoman Editor
1700 Broadway
New York, New York 10019

Or try:

askeditors@dccomics.com

Don't expect a reply but something might get through.

Coogan said...

Do you really think that DC would give the okay for Batman to have a kid, then to have it in someone else's comic-book? If so, you're all even more retarded than you seem.

Nobody gives a shit about what two or three geeks think on the DC Message Boards since that place is a stinking cesspool of fanboy faggotry. You're all a bunch of fucking nerds and you really need to get a fucking life.

Robert Neeson said...

Total assassination of Selina Kyle's character! For all you guys that applaud the idea of a woman sleeping with a guy and later his son ...let me ask you this what would you think if you found out your ex-girlfriend ( who you still had feelings for ) slept with your son? i dare you to not think of her as a tramp and a wh*re ... so dont give me sh*t about in the real world sex is complicated! It aint that complicated!!!!

Lemmy Caution said...

Dear Woman-Hater:

You are an insane freak.

No tip for you!

Anonymous said...

This problem will be solved by a retcon, sooner-or-later. I pray for one every night before I go to sleep.

Anonymous said...

I don't give a damn about who the "baby daddy" is as long as the kid had any name besides Helena if the sperm donor was anyone other than Bruce Wayne -THAT's where the editors played deliberate marketing mindgames knowing they were screwing over loyal readers.

Anonymous said...

well, i'm just a fan of catwoman and i'm really sad that it wasn't bruce wayne... sorry but for me he's the soulmate of selina...

and there are so many names for the baby why it had to be helena again...

Confucious said...

Man who prays nightly about comic-book continuity issues = Sad and lonely geek.

Anonymous said...

From my point of view, the decision, that batman is not the father is simply bad.
Why should catwoman accept pittance?
she si rich, really rich, and has no need someone apying for her child.
If she needs money, she would steal it from people who don't need it.
that the helena clue was misleading is atrocious.
Who the hell would give a misleading clue?
That's not what a clue stands for.
Did you wanted to be clever and claim that it was a red hering?

You think, that batman wouldn't take precatuions?
Well how about a sorrowstrocken batman over that fact that nightwing is seriously wounded, and a catwoman who comforts him.
He had lost brother eye!
If that wasn't sloppy, then i don't know what sloppy means.
He is most often well prepared, but not sterile, and not perfect.

Confucious said...

Reading that post made Confucious' head hurt!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad you found it to be funny Pfeifer and you probably are nothing but one idiot college kid that got lucky gettin a job at DC Comics. You're a terrible liar. A lame writter. And worse of all..not even funny nor clever. Keep the last 2.99 I spend last issue on Catwoman. It will the last dime you get from me DC Comics on this title.

Comic Books cost too much money these days. And for someone like Wil Fiffer to write this crap which resembles an episode of a Jerry Springer show. It's not worth it. Next to Pitof you're a saint for doing this to Catwoman.

Oh, and another thing. If you think people love the Film freak and they give you major props? Haha! Sonny, The Film Freak is just another cheap rip-off from Marvel. He is just like Quentin Beck (aka Mysterio) you can't even come out with your ideas. How Friggin PATHETIC!

No hate. Peace out.

Will Pfeifer said...

Peace out!

Anonymous said...

" A lame writter."

HOOKED ON PHONICS WURKED FUR ME!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey Will;

I'm glad that you didn't bow down and make it Batman. Though I am sure that TPTB at DC would have stopped you if you planned to. At least you didn't weasel out and make it Wildcat or Slam or one of her other 'stallions'. I didn't like the way that you revealed it was Slam though. It was too rushed. I hope that subsequent issues show that there's more to the relationship. Not necessarily the greatest love stoy of all time. But more than a simple 'quickie'.

Anonymous said...

The problem with Film Freak is that he doesn't act like the film connosieur that he claims to be. All of his film references, film discussion, and general actions seem to come from someone who has an average understanding of film history. Oooh, the house falling on Buster Keaton - How cliche! The snowglobe death scene from Citizen Kane - Overdone! Wait, Wait, let's work a giant gorilla into the plot, and see if anyone catches the reference....

If "The Simpsons" has commented on it before, you know that it has entered mainstream popular culture. I would have expected the Film Freak to abhor such references and films that the general public gravitates towards, and would instead highlight the more obscure (dare we even say, better) films.

So either, Film Freak is just a poser, pretending to be knowledable in a field that he is not, his writer is.

- a film historian and Catwoman fan

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sorry Will, I have to agree w/ the last commenter. Film Freak's not obscure enough to be a true Film Freak.

OR

Film Freak should reenact those scenes with a certain distaste towards them. Take a few notches higher, have him commenting on the now comparitive banality of those scenes. Plus there'd be more of a detective story if the scenes were more obscure.

Also, sorry, I'm not crazy about Helena's father either. It's a good book - you've taken a character I never much liked, and made me care about her. It's still one of my favourite books at DC. But color me dissappointed with the whole Slam angle. I was hoping for someone interesting and different: And yes, as a Dad it didn't take much to realize Bruce wasn't the father.