Monday, June 22, 2015

You know, I think I actually kind of like this new Catman costume okay.

Dale Eaglesham
I don't know if I would go so far as to say that it is better than any of the old Catman costumes (of which Norm Breyfogle's early 90s redesign was my favorite), but if the character has been so radically reinvented in the post-Flashpoint, New 52 continuity that the magical cloth his cape is made from is no longer an aspect of his origin, nor was Batman an inspiration for his own costumed identity, then there's really no reason to have him wearing a cape or so closely resembling Batman.

This new cat-mask that Secret Six artist Dale Eaglesham has drawn is pretty damn creepy, and the tight brown leather costume and the vaguely Michael Jackson-esque jacket may look like the sort of things that a costume designer on a TV show or a film might cook up for the character (One of my biggest complaints about modern superhero costume design, particularly in the post-Flashpoint DCU, is that the costumes seem like they are those that would be worn in superhero films and TV shows, rather than superhero comics), but I think it works well in the context of this series.

Especially as I don't think this series is long for this world, and this Catman may very well end up being a temporary, out-of-continuity Catman, like that in the 1993 Legends of The Dark Knight story arc. Between the unfortunate delays–this month's issue is only the third since the series launched way back in December of last year–the unlikeable (mostly) new(-ish) characters and writer Gail Simone's dimming star as a direct market sales draw, I won't be surprised if this new iteration of Secret Six dies a quiet death in six months or so.

That said, the last panel of this issue is pretty explosive, including a surprise reveal of the true identity of the current Mockingbird (Hint: It's a character tied to DC's best-selling franchise!) and an unexpected secret identity for one of the Six.

I don't know that will be enough to save the book, and hell, if they can stay on schedule form here on out it might be, but whatever happens, I'd like to take a moment to appreciate that very creepy, very different take on Catman.


collectededitions said...

I'm most assuredly part of the problem here -- avowed fan of the pre-Flashpoint Secret Six, read all the trades forward and backward, and haven't lifted a finger for this new series because I'm waiting for it in trade. If the new series doesn't make it, I recognize that approach is in part to blame.

Just curious, though, what evidence do you draw on for this: "... writer Gail Simone's dimming star as a direct market sales draw." I'm not doubting you necessarily, just curious to know more about it,

David page said...

I think i said it elsewhere but i gasped at that last page

Caleb said...

Evidence? Oh man, I don't need evidence do I? It's the Internet! I'm just going to go with "anecdotal": I don't think Simone's name alone is enough to sell a book (obviously), but when I wrote that I was thinking of her track record at DC since The New 52-boot. Nothing she's written has lasted too terribly long, aside from BATGIRL, which she is no longer writing, and which saw an incredible surge in interest and positive reviews and sales after the new team came on (granted, a lot of that had to do with the visuals, but the change in writers was certainly a factor too).

I read the first and third issues of Secret Six, and skipped the second. The first was not very good, and while this one wasn't great either, it started to feel a bit like the old Secret Six and, as David points out, there's that last page, which is pretty unexpected.