Saturday, January 10, 2015

Catwoman Annual #2

Fuck. It's fucking Annual Season. I might as well be flushing my money straight down the toilet.

As far as annuals go, I suspect this one will be more entertaining than most of the Annuals DC has put out since The New 52 began. I've enjoyed the first few issues of Catwoman written by Genevieve Valentine even if I could barely understand them. They're filled with high minded ideas and historical quotes and characters having believable dialogue and meaningful interactions. And with Batman on the cover (kind of), maybe there will finally be some fucking in this thing!

I bet this issue begins with a poem by Gertrude Stein!

Pheasant and chicken, chicken is a peculiar third.
Alas a dirty word, alas a dirty third alas a dirty third, alas a dirty bird.
Alas a doubt in case of more go to say what it is cress. What is it. Mean. Why. Potato. Loaves.
Stick stick call then, stick stick sticking, sticking with a chicken. Sticking in a extra succession, sticking in."

And that will totally set up the issue! What could the chicken represent? Or the sticking sticks? I think I know what the dirty bird will be!

I don't know why I scanned this picture. Nobody is fucking.

Let me skim through this annual really quickly to find the parts where Batman lectures Catwoman and treats her like a little girl. Unless he's horny and decides to treat her like a grown ass woman. Has anybody else gotten the feeling that Batman doesn't know how to have a mature relationship with an adult woman?

Valentine's first quote, which is usually way over my head because they're never by Edward Packard or R.A. Montgomery, is from Sun Tzu's The Art of War. I bet that's the level of quote I can understand! I may not have ever fought in a war and never been in a real fist fight (although I have completely spazzed out on people, bashed people in the head with my skateboard, and brought a knife to stab a bully at the bowling alley once) but how hard can a war quote be to understand?

I don't get it.

Couldn't the quote have been something easy to understand like "To kill your enemy is to defeat the day; to kill yourself is to defeat eternity." No wait, I don't understand that one either. And I made that one up!

Actually, I think I understand the quote! It's like tennis! To not lose, you must avoid unforced errors. And to win, you must take advantage of your opponent's unforced errors! Is that close enough?

Have I mentioned yet that this story is about the new Catwoman, Eiko Hasigawa? It's about how she once hunted Catwoman because Catwoman ruined one of her big scores one night. Cats are such assholes. They ruin everything. Especially when they make you love them for fifteen years and then die like a selfish bastard. Jerks!

One night while hunting Catwoman, Eiko gets a glimpse of her face. But she never sees Catwoman again after that. Until Selina Kyle suddenly appears leading the Calabrese family.

Look! Look! John McCrea is doing more New 52 artwork! Eee!

Eiko's father sends her out to gather more territory for the Hasigawa family while the Calabrese family are busy building relationships and being careful not to rock too many boats. So Eiko decides to take over the role of Catwoman and visit a gang called The Sons of Forster Lane. They sound like a book club.

There's another quote that's probably from Sun Tzu as well! "Energy may be likened to the bending of a crossbow; decision, to the releasing of a trigger." That's war advice? That's just statements of fact! They aren't even metaphors! Energy is built up in the bending of a crossbow! And releasing a trigger is a decision! Is this the kind of advice that fools give to appear wise? Or vice versa, maybe?

Eiko manages to screw up getting the Sons of Forster Lane territory on purpose. She's really good at pretending to not know how to play games! It's her strategy! She probably learned it from The Pillow Book because Sun Tzu is always going on about defeating your enemies by not defeating yourself and crap like that. I don't think he ever said, "To lose against your enemies every time is to win against them in the end."

As Selina Kyle tries to legitimize the Calabrese family and end the chaos and the feuding of the various crime families of Gotham, Eiko tries to play her father to minimize bloodshed and violence in the Hasigawa family. She knows she is being trained to lead but does not have the ruthlessness necessary to make hard decisions concerning people she cares about. So she stalls and manipulates and tarries and runs around as Catwoman. I think she learned about stalemates from watching Wargames! That's the only war strategy I know! Is that Sun Tzu as well? "The only way to win is not to play the game."

And then one night, Eiko, as Catwoman, runs into Batman. Fuckfight? Please?

Fighting? Yes please. But only the fuck variety!

Catwoman heads home only to find that her father has had her cousin Ken killed for being useless. She'd been trying to protect him all issue and her father finally got tired of it and used his death to punish her. But now that her father has taken the only thing he knows about that matters to her, he now has nothing to use against her. The only thing he's done is pushed her further away and she wasn't even that close to him to begin with. It's time for Eiko to figure out how to become friends with Selina Kyle!

Catwoman Annual #2 Rating: All of this takes place before Eiko and Selina first meet so I really should dig up the other Valentine Catwoman's and read them again with this story in mind. But that would mean shoving Pelafina off of my lap and moving everything off of my comic book boxes and digging through the boxes to find the past issues and spending time rereading things I've already read. That sounds like a lot of work and/or things I just don't want to do! So I'll just appreciate this story for what it was and go rewrite the scene where Eiko and Batman meet on the rooftop. Does Batman keep whip cream in his utility belt? What about Ben Wa balls? Anal beads?

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