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Puss in Boots

“I am Catwoman.  Here me roar.”  Michelle Pfeiffer not only carried her own in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns against Michael Keaton and Christopher Walken, she was the scene-stealer!  While not too many liked the 1992 version, due to its overly dark nature, it certainly had an exciting villain/love interest for Batman.  Pfeiffer goes from being an under-appreciated secretary named Selina Kyle to one street-smart cat!  She first appeared in Batman #1 in 1940 (pictured, left) as The Cat.  Selina was originally a burglar and jewel thief who carried a whip, but her past has varied in different versions of Batman.  In the 1950s, it is also learned that she’s a former flight attendant with amnesia from a plane crash she doesn’t remember.  In 1986 her history was rewritten by Frank Miller to be a prostitute who learns to defend herself against her pimp to get away from him.  She begins to steal in a catsuit that she had from her former pimp, and one day when she sees Batman in action, she decides to pursue the same kind of life.  Selina was raised by an alcoholic father who drank himself to death, and an unstable mother who killed herself.  Her and her sister, Maggie, end up in an orphanage and Selina goes to juvenile hall.  Can’t imagine why she turned out so confused…  Maggie is adopted right away, but Selina continuously gets in and out of trouble, eventually escaping the orphanage after blackmailing one of the administrators.  (Which is why she ends up on the streets and enters a life of crime and prostitution.)  While she and Batman annoy one another in costume, as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle they have an on-again, off-again romance… She even saves him from getting killed by another bad-girl, Poison Ivy!  Their feelings must be strong, because they eventually conceive a daughter in secret!  Selina and Bruce have a child named Helena, which is the impetus for Kyle to stop her costumed antics for a bit.  In Batman Returns, Catwoman doesn’t have a child, but she’s certainly got one feisty personality!  After being killed my her evil boss, local cats bring Selina Kyle back to life by licking her wounds (don’t ask).  A mousy secretary (pictured, above right) in brown suits and glasses is transformed into a sexy, wild-haired blonde.  Tim Burton movies always have a particular wacky, yet fashionable style to them, and this version of Batman is no different.  Selina’s catsuit is skin-tight black leather and with her bright red lips, she looks like the last woman to mess with!  While her alter-ego’s costume is amazing, her everyday pieces make a big leap from her boring brown suits and round spectacles to dark and sexy!  She’s got two great long coats (pictured, above left), lots of sleek skirts and one gorgeous sparkly, black gown (pictured, above left).  The film’s costume designers were the Oscar-nominated Bob Ringwood and Mary E. Vogt.  Even though the film was made in 1992, most of Selina’s pieces could still be worn today, even if some of them have an “end of the 80s” flair.  While Michelle was certainly our favorite character of the early Batman series, we cannot wait to see what Anne Hathaway will do in the final film of Christopher Nolan’s trilogy, The Dark Knight Rises…  We have a feeling a new feline will be giving Michelle some competition next year!

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