I’m a sucker for women with guns. For too long women have been made to be the damsel in distress. While sometimes it can be used to good effect, it really pigeon holes women as always needing to be saved which I can tell you after twelve years of marriage is not the case. Women can be just as strong as men if not more so.
Female characters in action movies are slowly becoming more dominant. In the past you had someone like Sigorney Weaver who in the Alien movies was probably one of the first mainstream actresses to tackle a role that men would normally have. My complain about those films though is that I could just as easily see a man doing everything she does. Sigorney Weaver is an amazing actress do not get me wrong and her contribution to that series is immeasurable. Her gender had nothing to bring to the role she played as Ripley.
On the flip side you have some filmmakers and comic book creators go the opposite direction. They will have a female lead who kicks ass but is also either overly sexualized in how they make her appear or they make her flightly and talk in stereotypical female talk that has no basis in reality like Marvel does with The Wasp. So when you come across a character who is able to kick ass, is very much what you expect from a living, breathing female, as well as not being forced to be a stereotype of some sort, you have to appreciate the results.
Bad Kitty is about a cop who has a split personality. She’s been able to keep her issue a secret until a bad guy she is tailing throws a grenade at a car she is sitting in and she ends up in the hospital.
I really likes how the writer went out of his way to present Katherine, the main characters real name, as a normal woman. She wasn’t oversexualized. She didn’t wear skimpy outfits she bought from an S&M shop that caters to size 0 women. She’s just a woman. I love that. Too often, even with Black Widow, women are drawn in unrealistic poses just to show off their curves and boobs. I think of this funny image I saw where someone redrew The Avengers movie poster and made the guys pose the way they had Black Widow pose.
To see a woman as presented as just that, a woman, someone you could potentially meet during your daily life (hopefully without a grenade) is refreshing to see. Even when her split personality issue comes back and she’s Kitty the characters is not over done. She wears a little skimpier outfit than she initially wore but it is still something you would see a woman wear.
I also liked how the writer was able to differentiate between the two characters. Katherine was smart, intelligent, and could outwit someone like a chess master knowing they will put you in checkmate in twelve moves. Kitty on the other hand is as subtle as a brick to the head. She knows what she wants and if you get in her way, she’ll put your ass in the hospital. A nice twist on the Jekyll and Hyde story.
The art was a little sloppy but I liked how the artist went to the effort to show the split in Katherine’s mind. Near the end of her story her partner has her at gun point while she is Kitty. Kitty is aiming her gun at him. They are standing in front of a mirror and you can see the image of Katherine aiming a gun at Kitty as well. Visually we could see the split in her mind and that her dominant side, Katherine, was trying to fight its way back out. The art beautifully shows that the old adage show, don’t tell will make your story so much better.
This is a good start. Apparently this character was obtained via a bankruptcy hearing from Dynamite Comics from another company. This one shot is a chance for the company to make people aware of her while whetting their appetite for more potential stories.
I am conflicted though. While I loved this issue, I don’t know how far they can really draw out the story without Kitty and Katherine finally running afoul of the law. Katherine would eventually lose her job when it is discovered she is Kitty. Does she become a vigilante? Does she just say fuck it and become a criminal? Does she learn to tone down the violence? All interesting questions that could be explored but for the life of me I don’t see how this could be a regular on going series and continue to keep the split personality dynamic. Something would have to come to a head causing her to choose one or the other then the main thrust of the story so far would be gone. It would be a Katherine or Kitty story from that point on. Maybe they could keep any potential new series as just a limited run. Then you could explore the split more without having to find ways to keep it going. I give the story a 7 with the caveat that I don’t think it could make a successful continuing series.
The art again is pretty sloppy but don’t let that fool you. The artist does a great job of visually exploring the split in the character’s mind. It does more to bring out the craziness of what is going on than a two page long monologue would. I give the art an 8 as well. It’s a good story that could be dragged out for a few more issues but if they tried to make it a regular series, what makes this story special would quickly fade away.