Catwoman has been considered a superhero that women love for several decades now. In the past, women have championed her for her independence and bad-ass attitude. Lately, however, Catwoman has been under some fire in her comics for being only a love interest or a sidekick for Batman or other superheroes. Also, with the success of Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy (where Selina Kyle is treated more like sidekick than the awesome, independent woman she is) and the failed Halle Berry Catwoman film, women are starting to wonder what role Catwoman plays in comics anymore.
On goodcomics.com, blogger Kaitlin Trembley reviews the new Catwoman comic When in Rome and mentions some of the issues currently surrounding the character of Catwoman:
“Batman represents her fears and the tensions surrounding them: she wants to know who she is, to reveal herself, but she can’t, because she’s afraid. There’s room to carve out your own identity in liminal, ambiguous spaces. This tenuous, undefined space is exactly the space that Selina inhabits in the Batman universe: caught between good and evil, hero and foe…beyond this, Selina’s nightmares (as she calls them) of Batman symbolically work to highlight the feminist fear of female characters always being the damsel in distress. Selina is actively fighting against this form of characterization, since it is often the most visible trope available to women in comics.”
Selina Kyle has always walked a line between being a superhero and a villain, an independent character or reliant on others. However, we wonder whether young women need another character struggling with male relationships—and whether they just want one that can kick some butt.