Sunday, August 8, 2010

Golden Age Heroes - Cat-Man & Kitten

Cat-Man - or, as he was later known, Catman without the hyphen - was a character from Holyoke Publishing, a relatively small publishing firm birthed at the beginning of the Golden Age in 1940. He debuted in the fourth issue of Crash Comics as a backup story to the cover hero Strongman. By issue 5 he had taken over the cover, which was also the last issue of that book, then showed up in his own book shortly thereafter. He ran for about five years and was one of the better known characters of the Golden Age. In his back story Cat-Man starts life as David Merrywether, who is orphaned in the jungles of Burma when his parents are murdered in a bandit attack. Raised by a she-tiger, he develops the jungle skills of a great cat and - eventually - the nine lives of his caretaker. Returning to civilization he perceives it not to be as civilized as he may have wished and becomes first a private investigator and later a lieutenant in the army. However, that is rarely enough for those well-endowed superheroes so he also adopts the costumed identity of Cat-Man in order to fight crime and oppression. He eventually takes on an 11 year old orphaned girl - who seems to fill out rather quickly during the books five year run - named Katie Conn. She of course takes on the side-kick role as Kitten - one of the few female side-kicks during the period. The character was revived by AC Comics for their Vault of Heroes storyline and later by Dynamite Comics for their Project Superheroes. There was also an Australian version of the characters but I haven't really assembled enough material to do figures of them yet. For the action figures I used a Toy Biz Daredevil with a Captain America head for Cat-Man and a Fast Food Catwoman figure for Kitten. I used epoxy putty to shape the ears, painted them and put on cloth capes.
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