Back Issue #40 May 2010 (magazine review).

August 9, 2020 | By | Reply More

This fortieth early edition of ‘Back Issue’ is edited by Mike Eury’s cat, Miss Edgewood, as the topic is feline super-heroes. Each with varying success, depending on their character as much as motif. DC Comics first African-American Vixen survived their implosion but was ultimately a team player. I’m not sure if I liked her big ear costume myself.

Although I know of the original Wildcat, I wasn’t up on Ted Grant’s complete history. Oddly, apart from his costume, the only thing he had going for him was his boxing skills. As writer John Wells points out, there is still some confusion as to whether he was on Earth-1 or Earth-2 or just parallels on both.

I have to confess I’m less keen on ‘Thundercats’, long after my youth, and even ‘Josie And The Pussycats’, let alone ‘Tiger-Man’ or ‘Cougar’ from Atlas Comics. However, the real nugget of the issue is Selina Kyle aka Catwoman and how she balances between crime and heroics over the years. This issue also has a colour insert this time.

Of course, there are a couple cat orientated characters at Marvel. The first covered is Felicity Hardy, the Black Cat. Jason Shayer looks at her life and dilemmas. In some respects, her adoration of Spider-Man also makes her the first super-groupie.

I always felt Hector Ayala had a poor deal. He might have got the amulets by accident and the Sons Of Tigers just throwing them away not realising their true power, but to end up in a white costume as the White Tiger makes him an instant target as he works at night. At least his female replacement looks like she has some stripes.

Just for a change of pace, ‘Rough Stuff’ shows some art with the cat theme and I pick out Gene Colan’s pencils of leopard as worth a look. You can see it crawling off the page.

Jonathan Miller’s look at Pasty Walker and her career as the happy-go-lucky Hellcat makes a telling point that she wanted to be a super-heroine with the right opportunity and you can’t get better, without a radioactive jumpstart, than having Greer Grant Nelson’s Cat costume, who didn’t need it after she became Tigra. Oddly, Tigra is omitted from this issue but I have a feeling she was or will be covered in a latter issue from this point.

Instead, we have a look at the Italian 1980 super-hero film ‘L’Uomo Puma’ aka ‘Pumaman’ where the cast, including Donald Pleasance, treated it as camp while the crew took it seriously.

This is followed by a look at ‘The Badger’, first starting at Capitol Comics and then elsewhere. Reading his multiple-personalities through Scott F. Williams’ article, I think I’m kind of glad I never pursued him/them.

The variety of cat-based heroes and villains out there shouldn’t be that surprising and the selection here should give you plenty of choice to investigate.

GF Willmetts

August 2020

(pub: TwoMorrows Publishing. 82 page illustrated magazine. Price: $ 7.95 (US). ISSN: 1932-6904. Direct from them, you can get it for $ 4.77 (US))

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Category: Magazines, Superheroes

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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