Catwoman has been a mess from day one, and the cause of that mess has a name: Judd Winick.
As much as I joke about it, I genuinely do not like whaling on comic book writers. They’ve got a difficult job to do, balancing creativity, continuity, and editorial mandate. Furthermore, Winick is capable of good work as a writer. Also, he was taking over from Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke in the eyes of many fans, and that’s a tough act to follow no matter who you are.
And it’s true that Catwoman hardly has a prestigious history at DC, especially in terms of her ongoing. Frank Miller turning her into a dominatrix/hooker was unfortunately a fairly substantial step up for the character.
But even by that standard, Winick’s run has been a disaster. And Winick frankly has not helped his case:
And do I think there’s sexism in comics? Yes. I’ll go even further and say there’s sexism in most media. Well, in all media, really. And that’s mind-boggling, since women are the majority of the population, and they consume more media than men.
Just a note here: currently, Catwoman is paired off with a sexy male sidekick called Spark and is investigating a series of prostitute killings. Great job with fighting the sexism there, chief.
I don’t envy Nocenti her job, here. It’s fairly obvious that DC editorial is yanking Winick because of Catwoman’s mediocre sales. Generally the book has been averaging about 37,000 copies sold a month, which isn’t bad but isn’t the gangbusters sales DC was obviously expecting from a “name” character.
But on the other hand, it may have taken them twelve issues, but at least now DC realizes that yeah, maybe Catwoman needs to be a strong character, not just “liberated”.
image courtesy DC