BEWARE! The CLAWS of The CAT #1-4 - Social Justice with Good Art!

1 1
Chuck Gower

1,742 views

BEWARE! The CLAWS of The CAT #1-4 - Social Justice with Good Art!

Beware the Claws of... The Cat! was a 1972 Comic Series that lasted 4 issues. It was a part of Stan Lee’s idea to expand readership to a female audience. Of course, today this would be seen as radical and liberal and social justice warrior activity and denounced as some declaration of war vs the male species. 

 

In reality, then like now, Marvel was just looking for more suckers to buy their comics. It didn’t work, unfortunately, and it’s a shame because this is a series I always liked. I didn’t find it in a dollar box (that’d be sweet), but I DID just reread it in the Tigra Softcover collection put out by Marvel, so I wanted to review it here.

 

TheCat000.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #1 cover-dated November 1972, on newsstands August 22nd, 1972, with cover art by Marie Severin with Inks by Wally Wood)

 

Issue #1 does the flashback origin while in the current story and the Marie Severin/Wally Wood art is a good combination. Legend has it that Wood turned in the art with the Cat completely naked and Marie had to add her costume and white out the naughty bits. 

TheCat101.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #1 cover-dated November 1972, on newsstands August 22nd, 1972, with art by Marie Severin with Inks by Wally Wood)

 

 

Writer Linda Fite, part of Marvel’s efforts to get female creators to take part in the project, does a good job of giving us a Marvel style story and setup... and even giving the female character a great deal more to her than we're used to for female characters...

 TheCat103.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #1 cover-dated November 1972, on newsstands August 22nd, 1972, with art by Marie Severin with Inks by Wally Wood)

 

The art though... tends to be a little more geared to the male reader...!

TheCat102.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #1 cover-dated November 1972, on newsstands August 22nd, 1972, with art by Marie Severin with Inks by Wally Wood)

 

The bad guy is set up well as a male chauvinist, making the Cat's victory even sweeter, but the whole point of it isn't to be too preachy... though I'm curious to know if Marie changed the look of the villain to resemble Wally Wood...?

TheCat104.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #1 cover-dated November 1972, on newsstands August 22nd, 1972, with art by Marie Severin with Inks by Wally Wood)

 

Ultimately they try and play the 'Peter Parker/Spider-man' angle, as they'd again try to do later on with Spider-Woman. Marvel had success with Spidey, so I guess they figured it wouldn't hurt to try it again on other characters...

TheCat105.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #1 cover-dated November 1972, on newsstands August 22nd, 1972, with art by Marie Severin with Inks by Wally Wood)

 

 

With #2 we get a Romita cover and Daredevil villain. Marvel liked to do this to quickly incorporate the new hero into the world of Marvel Comics. Personally, I think they’d have been better off creating a new cool villain, especially since I always thought the Owl was lame. 

 

TheCat200.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #2 cover-dated January 1973, on newsstands October 24th, 1972, with cover art by John Romita)

 

Marie Severin more prominently does the art on this issue with Jim Mooney inking. And it’s pretty darn good. I actually think this issue probably looks most like what you'd expect of a well done Marvel Comic. 

TheCat201.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #2 cover-dated January 1973, on newsstands October 24th, 1972, with art by Marie Severin and inks by Jim Mooney)

 

In #3 we again get a lame rehashed villain (Commander Kraken from Sub-Mariner... right? I had to go check.) and a new artist in Paty Greer (layouts) with Bill Everett finishes. Rich Buckler does the cover, though apparently, Romita had to do alterations with Frank Giacoia inking.

TheCat300.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #3 cover-dated April 1973, on newsstands January 2nd, 1973, with cover art by Rich Buckler, alterations by John Romita and inks by Frank Giacoia)

 

Paty Greer's art in this is a little different, but... in a good way. And Bill Everett's inks, give it a nice touch. Geez, I'd have taken this over a Sal Buscema with Vince Coletta inking any day. 

It feels very... 'independent comic' in its layout and style and... that probably was NOT what Marvel was looking for. I know a lot is made about their 'House Style' and their need to make everything fit within the structure of what they were doing, but... personally, I like it better when the artists get overly creative and interesting. It's one of the reasons I always liked this series...

TheCat302.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #3 cover-dated April 1973, on newsstands January 2nd, 1973, with art by Paty Greer, and inks by Bill Everett)

 

The final issue has a Romita cover, making it look perhaps cooler than what follows (though he probably agonized about having to draw those bulls) - yet another lame rehashed villain (Man Bull from Daredevil) and another artist change. 

TheCat400.jpg

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #4 cover-dated June 1973, on newsstands March 6th, 1973, with cover art by John Romita)

 

The hard-luck lady thing continues as the Cat laments her powers and responsibility. Ya know... if they REALLY wanted her to have a reason to feel guilty about her powers, they should've let Dr. Tumolo die, and... ah, whatever.

TheCat401.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #4 cover-dated June 1973, on newsstands March 6th, 1973, with art by Jim Starlin and Alan Weiss with inks by Frank McLaughlin)

 

If you’d told me going in that Jim Starlin and Allen Weiss we’re going to do the art with Frank McLaughlin on inks I’d have been pretty excited to see the results. Unfortunately it none of their best work. It’s not BAD, it just... nowhere in the realm of Captain Marvel #26 and #27, which it came out in between. 

Most likely Starlin did some breakdowns, Weiss did some finishes and maybe both did some touch-ups and then McLaughlin came in to ink it in a rush (he's much better than this).

TheCat402.png

(BEWARE! The CLAWS of the CAT #4 cover-dated June 1973, on newsstands March 6th, 1973, with art by Jim Starlin and Alan Weiss with inks by Frank McLaughlin)

 

Overall though, as I said, I enjoyed this series and still read it from time to time. In fact, I'm going to finish this 'Tigra' trade paperback where these stories came from and review the rest of it very soon!

1 1


1 Comment


Recommended Comments

"Paty Greer's art in this is a little different, but... in a good way. And Bill Everett's inks, give it a nice touch. Geez, I'd have taken this over a Sal Buscema with Vince Coletta inking any day."

A nice touch is the right direction but not far enough for me...see this example of why folks should pickup a Cat 3

 

 

Greer Everett Cat 3 p3 001.jpg

Edited by mtlevy1

Share this comment


Link to comment

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now