Friday, July 13, 2007

Catfight (Marvel comics)
Spider-man Family #1 When: April 2007
Why: Fred Van Lente How: Federica Manfredi

The story so far...
Watch out, Rama-Tut! There are a couple of new cats in Chi-town, and they're about to come head-to-head in an afterhours catfight at the museum!

Black Cat is looking to drum up some business for her new security service, by personally testing the vulnerabilities of the museum's protection. Little does she know, Chicago is home to the heroic Hellcat!

It looks like Hellcat is going to have to defend her territory, but is this rookie hero's kung-fu a match for the cagey guile or the crafty Black Cat? Or will passing this Black Cat's path prove to be a turn of luck for the worst? Stay tuned!

Previous Form:
Black Cat (#25): Aided in the defeat of the Sinister Twelve, Carnage, & Venom.
Hellcat: Has not yet been featured on the site.

Tale of the tape...
Strength: Hellcat 3 (Athlete)
Intelligence: Black Cat 3 (Straight A)
Speed: Draw 3 (Athlete)
Stamina: Hellcat 4 (Athlete)
Agility: Draw 4 (Gymnast)
Fighting Ability: Hellcat 3 (Street Wise)
Energy Powers: Draw 2 (Projectiles)

Black Cat: Apparently quite pleased to be sprung...Okay, set your watches people. I have until the end of this entry to come up with something thought provoking enough to fulfill my blogdream of getting a link of When Fangirls Attack. Why? Because it's an all-girl slugfest, of course!!!

As you'll have already gathered from the intro, this particular story takes place sometime early in the careers of the respective femme fatales. As always, the tape reads to represent a fairly broad representation of the characters, rather than reflecting the time placement, or status of the characters in this given story.

Two key abilities aren't particularly reflected in the tape:
- Hellcat's telekinetic abilities, attained during her time trapped in hell. As it were, I'm not quite sure Secret Earths is ready to recognise these powers obtained in the late 90's mini.

- Black Cat's bad luck powers. A standard I'm more inclined to accept, being a reader cultivated mostly through things like eighties Spider-man comics. Although, unless I'm mistaken, she hasn't had the ability to effect luck since Dr. Strange magically lifted her hex from Spider-man.

If we were to remove both powers from the equation, the fight is essentially boiled down to two skilled combatants with independently cultivated fighting skills. Each represents the height of human physical conditioning, although her ties to the super-natural tend to point the tape in favour of Hellcat.

Likewise, while Black Cat is no schlub in the field of ass-kickery, she generally exhibits less refined and martial fighting skills than the combative Hellcat.
To compensate, Black Cat needs to call upon her instictive cunning and guile, taking full advantage of her moral amiguity to play a little dirty.

I'm not sure if it would be enough to compensate for Hellcat's skill, but I at least like to think Black Cat is the more confident of the two. Hellcat has seen a lot of action, but Black Cat is the more naturally evolved character, and more confident from inception. That said...

The Math: Hellcat (Champion Class)
The Pick: Hellcat

What went down...
It looks like they're playing Twister... I'm not saying anything more than that...Having done away with the solitary guard, and worked her way into the laser secured Egyptian exibit; Black Cat closes in on a rare artifact, blissfully unaware that another, yellow suited cat has been watching her every move.

From a perch behind an Egyptian bust, the Hellcat leaps down at her unsuspecting prey!

The Black Cat manages to get a defensive leg up, contorting her and her attacker as they tumble to the ground.

They part, Black Cat extending a leg in a crouching mule kick, but Hellcat is quick to parry.

Snatching the Black Cat's ankle, she uses the wreckless move to turn Black Cat's momentum around, tossing her into one of the exibit walls.

Yeah! Now we're fighting!Knocked silly by the impact, the Black Cat doesn't even find her way back into the fray. Hellcat utilizes hidden cables in her suit's gloves. Shooting her tethered claws, Hellcat wraps the would-be burglar up with ease, dropping her to the ground in an uncoscious heap.

Inspecting the Cat's bag, the Hellcat discovers not stolen goods, but rather tape and mirrors -- equipment for entry into the museum. Turning back to the artifact in the center of the laser-filled room, she notices at the foot of the statue a card that reads -- "Your security stinks. Want to improve it? Call me @ 555-BCAT"

As the recovered security guard comes to and sounds the alarm, the Black Cat's uniquely noble intentions dawn on Hellcat.

With a team of armed guards on their way, Hellcat uses the talons in her gloves to cut-free the Black Cat, and helps her escape without a second spare!

On the roof of the museum, Hellcat warns Black Cat off peddling her scam in Chicago as long as it's her turff. Black Cat playfully considers giving New York a shot, before comparing her own status as a novice to Patsy Walker's.
Black Cat tosses Hellcat's wallet to her, and takes off into the city skyline.

The hammer...
Though a peaceful resoluton was met, this one undoubtedly goes to Hellcat! X-52, why don't you tell her what she's won?... X-52?...

So, anyway... Through the wonders of international timezones I'm going to call this a Friday 13th entry, even though it's now the fourteenth here in the future. It was for this reason I took the opportunity to grab at this fight (Black Cat, get it?) that was something I've wanted to do since the last feature taken from the superb first issue of the multi-story collecting, Spider-man Family.

Not only is it a chance to take a look at a couple of interesting, more street levelled characters, but it's also one of those rare opportunities to do an all-girl fight! I'm sure they're out there, but without any kind of agenda requiring it, I tend not to seek them out. The last one was Skrull-Elektra/Ronin, I think.

Speaking of which, it was there we discussed the strength of female characters, and the often all-too derivative nature of their characters. [New Avengers #27]
So, we're not going to get the girls to talk about us by revisiting that. Likewise, the discussion of realistic violence in female-centric comics [Superman/Batman #15] is already covered, so what's left? Obviously, boobs.

Bossom buddies! Yuk-yuk!Most commentary-based blogsites have a predisposed fixation with the female breast. You honestly have to wonder if some blogs would survive without the bouyancy of characters like Powergirl, who provides regular new material in cover shots, and a wealthy backlog of ironic panels, and kitschy humorous situations.

Without sounding smug, here at Secret Earths the female breast has lots it's fascination. Long ago we resigned to the fact that, like human male superheroes, the physiques in question may challenge the rules imposed by reality.
Nay, they may even laugh in the face of the Greek and Roman models of the ultimate man or woman, but they do so whilst also pushing most other facets of reality beyond the believable fold.

Not to say there aren't actually men and women out there who do resemble some comic characters. It may well mortify readers to know in my lifetime I have often found myself in physical activities where the most Liefeldian of positions were required. Yes, while my chest may not be inclined to open like a refridgerator door to gaze upon the reader at-right; twisted backs and taut calves are a staple of many-a sporting activity!

So, what am I really saying?
Well, I guess my point is, you can have your one-panel witicisms and distanced observations of the human form. Those things have their place, but maybe somewhere in the back of your mind it might pay to wonder -- is it really that shocking? Are these things not facilitated in many-a clothing store?

And besides, what are a few tentacles between heroes for hire?
Heyooooohhhhh! Went there!

The Fight: 3 The Issue: 7


Darci said...

Hellcat's telekinetic talents were the result of Moondragon's training. See Avengers #151 (Sep 1976) and Defenders #44 (Feb 1977).
Hope this helps!

Mike Haseloff said...

Sorry I missed you, Darci. Good to know! Much appreciated!