In 1993 Mattinho and I were just settling down to watch Batman Returns on VCR when he nervously asked me ‘will Catwoman be scary?’
I told him that it depended on how old you were. Potentially, yes, she was scary…
But of course, Tim Burton’s vision of all things Gotham was fundamentally different from that which my generation had been used to. The Batman TV series (and movie spinoff) in the 1960’s was essentially pantomime knockabout stuff.
Catwoman has had many guises. She made her first appearance in Batman # 1 in 1940- when she was known as The Cat, and showed no sign of the trademark catsuit of later years.
Creator Bob Kane wanted to provide sex appeal,a love interest for Batman and a character with whom female readers could identify.
He based the Cat on Jean Harlow.
In Batman #62 she was said to be an amnesiac flight attendant.
In the live-action TV series of 1966-67 Catwoman was played by Julie Newmar (b 1933) in season 1 and 2 and by Eartha Kitt (1927-2008) in season 3.
For the 1966 movie the role of the “purrfect” villainess went to former Miss America Lee Meriwether (b 1935).
The 1992 incarnation of Catwoman that Mattinho was so anxious aboutwas of course Michelle Pfeiffer (b 1958).