18 August 2007

The Friends and Foes of Batman - Catman

Na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na Cat-Man. Tom Blake AKA Catman was a hunter turned burglar inspired by the more famous Catwoman. Tom Blake appeared in Batman: The Animated Series as the leader of a cat worshiping cult. He is yet to make his big screen debut.

Because of his infringement on Catwoman's modus operandi, Catwoman initially helped Batman apprehend Catman. The two costumed criminals would have a competitive, love/hate relationship for many years afterward which included Catwoman being wrongly implicated for Catman's crimes at least once. As with many Batman villains in their first appearances, Catman was originally a gimmicked villain who stole items along a "cat" theme, such as cat statues, "cat's eyes" emeralds, etc. His weapon of choice was of course a cat-o-nine-tails.

During one story, Catman saved the life of Batwoman, licked her ear, and convinced her to become his partner, the new Catwoman. By the end of the story, she gave up the Catwoman role and returned to her Batwoman identity.

Catman later became member of a team called "the Misfits", led by Killer Moth. The Misfits were portrayed as third-rate villains trying to prove themselves. Catman eventually returned as pathetic, overweight foe of Green Arrow.

Catman later resurfaced in Africa, where, after a failed attempt at suicide, he attempted to resalvage his life and began living with a pride of lions. He used this time to lose weight and regain his sense of self-worth and fighting skills. This 'perfect existence' would be shattered by the arrival of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, however. Seeking to unite all of Earth's super-villains under his control, Lex Luthor sought to recruit Catman into the fold as a minion, only to be rejected. It was initially believed that an angry Lex Luthor had Deathstroke the Terminator kill the lions Catman was living with in retaliation for being rejected by a "nobody" but this was later revealed to have been misdirection.

Catman vowed revenge against Luthor, and was subsequently recruited into a criminal syndicate known as the Secret Six. Together, the Secret Six waged war against the Secret Society of Super-Villains under the direction of an individual known only as Mockingbird. During that time he found out that it was in fact fellow Secret Six member Deadshot who had killed his lions, so that he would join the organization. Deadshot would later apologize, and Catman forgave him. Although the two were reluctant allies at first, the two soon bonded and became what one could loosely call friends.

Recently, Catman has achieved a new level of fame. Portrayed as a cunning warrior with a sense of honor and a habit of walking around bare-chested, the character is now a potent anti-heroic character. His time in Africa seems to have helped him regain his physical abilities allowing him to fight the formidable super-ape Mallah to a standstill and blind Captain Nazi. He is different from most other villains in the sense that he has noble and heroic qualities, yet he sees heroes such as the Justice League as being arrogant and abusive of their power. It seems he would rather be associated with people such as Deadshot who at least recognize their moral failings than a group of 'holier-than-thou' heroes. It has been revealed that during his time with the society he impregnated Cheshire and that the two now have a son, Thomas jr.

Friend and Foe Profiles:

Ra's al Ghul
Talia al Ghul
Baby Doll
Bat-Hound (Ace)
Black Mask
David Cain
Calendar Man & Calendar Girl

The Dark Knight returns in 335 days!


finky the kid said...

Cheif these write-ups are pretty impressive in length and info. You must be a pretty big Batfan.

Chip Chief said...

well, i do get a bit of help from my friend wikipedia

Johnny Kool said...

One of my favorite fiends when I was growing up. Nice info and now I know what he's been up to.