20 YEARS AGO TODAY |6/19/92| Batman Returns, opens in theaters.
Why is this going on my blog?
Because Batman Returns was ridiculously important to me when I was little. I was very, very young when this movie came out, but I remember its release clearly. The trailers were, to a kid, dark and scary. But more notable than that was Catwoman.
Other girls were wrapped up in fantasies of being Disney princesses. After Batman Returns, I wanted to be Catwoman. She was cool. She wore black. She had a kickass costume. And she sure as shit didn’t wait for a prince to rescue her. Nope. In fact, Catwoman even scolded another woman for doing just that. She was dangerous and beautiful and altogether different from so many of the female characters I’d seen that I thought she was just the most amazing thing.
My parents, supportive of my comics love (my dad got me into them, after all), bought me a T-shirt with a huge image of Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman on it. I wore it until it got holes in it. On the playground, I wanted to play characters like Catwoman, if not Catwoman herself. Nothing could convince me that she wasn’t the best “princess” of them all.
I wasn’t exactly the cool kid. But neither was Selina. And she literally ripped up what society expected her to be, put some white thread through it, grabbed a whip and dared anyone to challenge her. Not a bad role model for a little girl at all.
Talia is now my favorite DC character and has been for some time, but, lacking the 70s comics when I was a small thing, I couldn’t have become so fascinated by her if I hadn’t first become a fan of Selina.
So I’m taking a brief moment here to salute this film on its 20th anniversary.
This summer, Catwoman will be returning to the big screen for the first time in 20 years. Here’s hoping that other young girls are as inspired by her as I was.
(Also - armed penguins. What’s not to love about battle penguins?)