Batman – The Cat and the Claw

by Alan Rapp on July 6, 2014

in Television Reviews 

  • Title: Batman: The Animated Series – The Cat and the Claw
  • wiki: link

Batman - The Cat and the Claw

In honor of Batman‘s 75th Anniversary we turn out attention back to the Dark Knight’s more memorable moments on the big and small screen with another episode from Batman: The Animated Series. The first episode of the series to air (banking on the success of Batman Returns), “The Cat and the Claw Part 1” introduced both fans and Batman (Kevin Conroy) to the first appearance of Catwoman (Adrienne Barbeau) while playing on the cat burglar’s attraction for the Caped Crusader and Bruce Wayne’s romantic interest in her alter-ego Selina Kyle.

After Miss Kyle buys him at a charity auction, Bruce Wayne becomes smitten with the animal rights activist concerned with procuring land outside Gotham for a wildlife preserve which is threatened by the competing bid of the CEO of Multigon International (Herb Edelman) who wants the land for something far more nefarious than the development plan he offers to the city for a new resort outside the city limits. Much like Batman Returns, the episode offers us romantic fencing between both Bruce and Selina together and also Batman and Catwoman. Eventually Batman discovers Selina’s true identity thanks to the distinctive hair of her pet Isis and, realizing that both Selina and her assistant Maven (Mary McDonald Lewis) have been marked for death by terrorists, tries his best to get them to safety.

Batman - The Cat and the Claw

The two-part episode is the first, and only, appearance of terrorist Red Claw (Kate Mulgrew) who arrives in Gotham to make Multigon’s newly acquired acquisition her organization’s new home (inside a former military installation hidden on the property) and steal a biological weapon passing through Gotham on a government train. Unable to stop the terrorists from getting their hands on the weapon, Batman infiltrates the base along with Catwoman. Although captured, both manage to make it out alive and contain the released biological weapon, although Batman’s arrest of her marks the end of the sexual tension between them (at least for now).

I’m a big fan of this version of Catwoman, particularly the gray and black design of her costume (my favorite of all the various iterations worn by the villain over the years in any medium). The chase sequence on the rooftops following the pair’s first meeting (which would later be adopted as part of the Super Nintendo video game) is terrific as are the various interactions between the pair, both in and out of costume. Although the character keeps Michelle Pfeiffer‘s blonde hair, the constant teasing and attraction between Batman and Catwoman is classic comic material that would continue throughout the series which would, multiple times, tease the possible turn for Catwoman as a hero eliminating one of the major stumbling blocks in the pair’s relationship.

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