July 20, 2024

Golden Age Comics

This is where it all started for Catwoman:

1940

Catwoman’s debut in 1940.

Catwoman made her debut in the premiere issue of Batman (#1, Spring 1940). As “The Cat,” she wore no mask or special outfit. Here, she resembles nothing less than Hedy Lamarr, the Austrian actress.

However, she is a thief whom Batman ends up having a soft spot for. At the end of this story, she even manages to get away with her loot!

Catwoman, in her next appearance, wears her first mask, a theatrically face-covering cat-mask that had the appearance of a real cat. She soon would use a more stylized face mask seen in her later incarnations.

1940 also saw the debut of The Joker. Nearly 80 years later, he remains Batman’s deadliest nemesis, while Catwoman has gone through many changes.

One thing is certain: Batman creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger created Catwoman with the intent of wooing female readers.


1947: Golden Age Comics heyday

By 1947, Catwoman’s image had pretty well been solidified. By this time, she was wearing her classic purple outfit, which included a cowl and a cape, just like Batman.


1954

Batman #84: No small business for the Caped Crusader

This comic book constitutes one of the Catwoman’s final appearances in the Golden Age. Released in June 1954, this comic concerns a group of women who have been put to sleep a la Sleeping Beauty.

While Catwoman is clearly cast as the evil femme fatale, this comic is a visual delight because of its classic art work. Today, this classic comic would require most of us to take out a small business loan to get a mint condition version of it. Below are the 10 pages that make up this story.

We dedicate this page to Sean Katkus (1966-2006).

Sean, a police officer, died in the line of duty in spring 2006. He provided the captures for this page. A true crime fighter, he will be missed not only by his friends, but also by his family.