At CalmDownTom we have already expressed how disappointed we are at the choice of the pixie faced, cheeseburger mouthed, wide eyed Princess Anne Hathaway being chosen to play Catwoman (or more accurately Selina Kyle) in the new Christopher Nolan Batman movie. While we are sure the movie itself will be good, and we grudgingly admit that the Nolan’s casting has always been spot on in the past, the recent pictures of Hathaway in costume provide little reassurance.
Now stills from movies mean nothing really, and internet commentators who experience nerd rage because Captain America’s wings aren’t right on his helmet or the Green Lantern’s Mask isn’t Lantern-y enough need to get out more. Still, Catwoman is a key character in the Batman universe, and with Nolan getting the Batman and Joker costumes so right, its natural that we worry when both Bane and Catwoman look a little disappointing in comparison. While we’re sure it will all click into place when we finally get to see it in the cinema, we thought we would list some of the better Catwoman costumes we have seen over the years.
Oh, and there will be none of this!
The campy Batman series of the Adam West generation was actually much better than many give it credit for. Self aware and self referential, it has become the figure of fun today as Batman becomes increasingly dark, brooding and humourless. Few would argue that Batman should go back to the “Zap!”, “Pow!”, Bork!” days, but nonetheless the energy and inventiveness involved in the ridiculous villains, traps and costumes remains entertaining to this day.
Julie Newmar’s Catowman was a far less combative and aggressive version than later revisions of the character. Her costume reflected this, being of the iconic catsuit variety but with less overt sexuality and conferring no real combat benefits. Resembling sequinned lycra more than anything else, the costume wouldn’t look out of place in a 70’s disco and the boots lacked fearsome spiked heels while the claws were an affectation rather than a weapon. This was a Catwoman costume for a Lady; one who would command her minions to fight rather than get her own paws dirty.
Following on from the bizarre 60’s Catwoman that wore green, the purple catsuit became the new costume for the feline anti-heroine. This is the costume that I remember best from comics when growing up and it was representative of a more acrobatic, combative Catwoman. This costume included the distinctive ears and in this incarnation Catwoman was rarely pictured without her iconic whip.
Although the first ever appearances of Catwoman showed her with no costume at all, she soon started to wear a dress with a hood that included cat ears. From here, it was not long till she migrated to a catsuit, often with attached goggles.
The iconic Catwoman of Tim Burton’s Batman Returns; this costume was heavilly influenced by the comics of the early 90’s when Catwoman moved away from her distinctive purple costume. Made of latex and stitched together with white seams, it reflected the most overtly sexual Catwoman and Pfeifer’s performance emphasized the sensuality and fragility of the character which will be hard for any actress to beat, let alone Hathaway.
The sleek, shiny, terrifically sexy Catwoman suit was made to fit for Michelle Pfeiffer in every way and was designed by Bob Ringwood and Mary Vogt who also designed the Batman costume. There’s a reason that this is the most imitated costume of all.
“Catwoman’s suit almost looks like liquid on the body,” said Vogt. “It’s like she’s wearing black glass, the suit looks like a beautiful sort of dark sculpture. We wanted it to be elegant, sexy and modern, very high-tech while still being kind of homey-looking and organic.”
1. Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman
As the writer behind the 2001 reboot of the character, Ed Brubaker looked back at past Catwoman costumes to take the best of each. Combining the goggles of the early Catwoman with a retro-yet-modern catsuit inspired by Emma Peel of The Avengers saw him create the most timeless of the Catwoman outfits. This look seems to be the one most similar to that chosen for the upcoming Akrham City game. Taking all the best aspects of the character including her sensuality, feline nature, combat ability and agility, it is the best Catwoman costume devised to date.