Posted August 30, 2011 at 1:13 am
Very rarely do my DC Comics toy wants eclipse my Transformers toy wants. I mean, I like me some Batman, but Batmen are Batmen. I have a dozen, and they all do basically the same thing. They articulate. But Transformers at the top of my list are usually both characters that I adore and constructs which convert into other things. I am spoiled by them. Other toys seem dull.
But screw a Transformer when Catman is concerned. Catman is just that awesome. I hit every Kmart in the area once I heard he was showing up at them, and that's no small investment of time. (Of course, I found this one unexpectedly at Walmart this morning.)
It's bizarre to think that Catman is that important to me. I mean, dude. He's Catman. For the longest time he was most famous for being the guy who looks just like Batman but is evil and does cat-related crimes. ...you know. Catwoman with pecs. And then he got fat and became a Green Arrow punchline and eaten by a gorilla. When Green Arrow mocks you, you know you're at the bottomest of your rope.
That's when Gail Simone put her boundless talent to work on him. Catman somehow escaped being eaten and instead left America to go find himself in Africa. He got back in shape and hung around naked with some lions he'd adopted. Through a convoluted series of events (at least for this write-up) he joined the Secret Six and became more than a Silver Age-style cat-themed villain. Catman sees himself as a good guy. Mostly. His problem is the heroes. For some reason, he sees Batman as a privileged rich white dude who beats up poor people. (I know, I know, that's crazytalk!) Catman doesn't want to blow up the city, but he kind of resents it when Batman saves it. He sees superheroes as incredibly self-righteous douchebags who think they're hot shit just 'cuz they can beat people up and get praised for it.
Oh, and he has some daddy issues, but that kind of goes with the territory.
His hard-to-define place in the hero/villain hierarchy is what makes him an important part of the Secret Six. They're all would-be villains or anti-heroes who are pretty fine with doing good deeds even if (or especially if) there's a high body count and money involved. And their roster includes Deadshot, who's Catman's hetero lifemate. It's not quite guy love between two guys, but imagine two Dr. Coxes instead of Turk and J.D.
The toy itself is beyond anything I could have hoped for. I'd been cheering for the possibility of a Catman for years, and mostly figgered it would happen only on the strength of being an easy Batman redeco. That would have been super efficient, close enough, and it'd be hard to complain about. I mean, it's just Catman. But Mattel really surprised me. A lot of Catman is new! His head is new, of course. It has sculpted stubble! Ha ha ha. Sweet. But he also has a new cape with those straps that wrap around his shoulders, new gloves, and a new belt. I am not sure if his boots are new. He also comes with his claw-knuckles or whatever you call them. That's also unexpected and totally welcome.
Mattel is totally rocking this Catman.
He also comes with a little poster. Mine was ripped when I unrolled it. That was kind of lame. It's of Catman fighting Batman, probably the cover to an issue of Secret Six. Oh well. And finally, he comes with a stand. Meh!
When "he comes with a stand I don't care for" and "his poster I was probably going to toss anyway was ripped" are absolutely the only complaints, I consider that a solid win.