It seems that Catman (which really should be spelled ‘Cat-Man’), the field commander of the DC Comics supergroup called the Secret Six, may soon get an action figure of his very own. There’s currently a vote going on between Catman and five other contestants at the action figure magazine Toyfare. The winner is made into an action figure.
It wasn’t until recently that Catman became a “player” in the DC Universe. For the longest time, he was an obscure Batman enemy who was obsessed with a magic cloth that he believed gave him extraordinary powers. He believed it protected him and gave him amazing reflexes.
But again and again, he was beat down by Batman and other DC heroes. He was, in fact, a joke villain. He was the guy you mopped up before you got to the Big Bad Evil Guy. Sure he was a fearless daredevil, but he was one you could wrap up in a page or two.
But what I liked about him is that he believed in something. His faith that his magical cloth, which he made into his cape, would let him get through any scrape was enough to pick himself back up again. His power, in essence, was his faith.
His faith could be attacked and beaten down, but it always returned.
And that’s what I liked about Catman.
On top of that, when I was introduced to Catman, he had another thing going for him: A kick-ass costume.
The one shown above is the costume I’m talking about. It had a great modern logo, and with the color combination was amazingly striking. Why, it was even drawn up for possible inclusion in the “Batman: The Animated Series” TV show.
But most of all, it had lots of orange. Bold, maybe a little garish, but certainly eye-catching. Certainly the color of someone who wants to be seen. Yet, it didn’t catch on. It didn’t “stick” long enough to become iconic.
You see, when Catman resurfaced after his seeming death in the pages of Green Arrow, he reverted to an altered version of his original costume, which was an almost exact duplicate of Batman’s uniform except in orange and peach. The only difference: Instead of the strange looking “CM” logo, it was now replaced by three claw marks.
Not bad, but not all that exciting either. That probably explains why his figure is among down near the bottom of the Toyfare vote — because he’s just a weird color combo of Batman.
Along with the new-old costume, the new, improved Catman also has a new attitude. Nary a word has been mentioned about his magic cloth. He’s full of vigor and confidence. He fights with a big Bowie Knife.
But most of all, no one’s laughing at him any more. He’s found his faith (even if he doesn’t talk about it).
Someday, I hope the DCU writers that handle him will address that. I wanna hear about his magic cape again.
And once they cover that, maybe he’ll step back into his perfect costume. It’s the only one that fits.