Anne Hathaway’s Catwoman: How’s She Stack Up To Past ‘Batman’ Felines?

By Brian Phares

The cat is out of the bag! We have finally glimpsed Anne Hathaway as Selena Kyle (a.k.a. Catwoman). Whether or not this costume is Catwoman’s final form remains to be seen; in fact, whether or not she even becomes Catwoman in the film is still a topic of debate (though we’re willing to bet a week’s salary she will).

Staying true to “Batman” traditions, for every new installment in the franchise we can be sure there will be new costumes, new gadgets, and new Batmobiles. Below we trace the lineage of the Catwoman’s costume through the annals of history, and give you our thoughts on which Cat takes the proverbial fish cake.

Thanks For Everything, Julie Newmar (and Eartha and Lee too)
The old cat is definitely not old hat. When I look back on the Catwoman costumes of yesteryear, I am shocked and delighted by their sexy simplicity. Despite Julie Newmar’s crazy eyebrows, her classic getup of all black satin and a cute kitty cat headband turns heads. Later cats Eartha Kitt and Lee Meriwether eschewed eyebrows for face masks fit for a masquerade. But don’t let Meriwether’s demure looks fool you. See those kitty claws? They will slash your effin’ face off!

Dangerous Meows
Oh man, does Michelle Pfeiffer ooze crazy cat lady with this costume or what? This is my personal favorite incarnation of the feline fatale. She’s sleek, she’s sexy and she’s terrifying: every quality that a female adversary of the Bat should possess. I mean really, who can resist her homemade psychopathic-seamstress vibe? I sure can’t.

This Cat is Better Off Catchin’ “Swordfish”
You have to try really hard to make Halle Berry not look good. Halle Berry’s Catwoman looks less like a thief of the night and more like a stripper who waded her way through bramblethorns after waking from a drug-induced blackout in the middle of the Mojave desert. Judging from the number of box-office receipts that “Catwoman” managed to swindle from fans, I’d say the viewers agree: Worst. Catwoman. Ever.

Finally we have Christopher Nolan’s vision of Catwoman. Now I’m not too sure if this is her final form, but Hathaway is at least becoming Catwoman at this point in the film. She’s also jacking Batman’s wheels, and those glasses she’s rocking? Most definitely property of Wayne Enterprises. I’ll give Nolan the benefit of the doubt, as Bane’s costume looks totally awesome. Unfortunately this outfit falls incredibly flat. It’s unflattering, unsexy and most definitely underwhelming. I’m starting to wonder if this isn’t just a snapshot from the next “Spy Kids” movie. Looks aside, the costume does raise a number of questions. Just who is Catwoman this time around? Is she still the vigilante jewel thief from the comics? Is she a spy infiltrating Wayne Enterprises for Ra’s al Ghul ? Or is she Batman’s newest sidekick? You decide.