Previewing ‘The Best Of Cat Girl’: Old Meets New In The Latest Treasury Collection
by Richard Bruton
One of Brit Comics wonderful characters from the incredible girls’ comics of the ’60s/’70s gets both a reprint and a reboot in The Best of Cat Girl.
The original Cat Girl came from the classic ’60s girls’ comic Sally but this volume contains not just a selection from those originals but the completely revamped Cat Girl from the pages of the Tammy & Jinty Special in 2020.
Having it here like this, the old and the new presented together, is perhaps the best example of just what the whole Treasury of British Comics is all about. Bringing back the classics of the past alongside new and rejuvenated versions of the characters for a modern audience. It’s that idea of appealing to those older readers nostalgic for the comics and characters of yesteryear but also opening up the characters to new, young readers.
The Best of Cat Girl opens with the reprint of the more recent Cat Girl revamp by RAMZEE and Elkys Nova – a fantastic update, full of colour, full of action, and full of all the fun it needed to have.
Here, we’ve a completely new cast of characters, as 14-year-old Claire finds an old cat costume in the wardrobe of her Police Detective mom, puts it on and heads on out to the Halloween party of the local social media star… cue fab moment of comedy in the dressing up…
Meanwhile, Claire’s mom is on the case of a criminal mastermind, The Eagle, who just happens to be targeting the self-same party that Claire just turned up at. Fortunately, Claire’s just about to discover that the costume is none other than the magical costume of the super-sleek crime fighter, Cat-Girl!
Frankly, I loved this when it came out in the Tammy & Jinty Special and it’s a pleasure to revisit it here. It’s unapologetically super fast, straight into things, action-packed throughout right until the very last couple of pages where RAMZEE very cleverly establishes just who this new Cat Girl is and just what connection she has with the original.
In just 15 pages, we get everything we need, testament to the talents of both RAMZEE and Elkys Nova, who’re working in that sweet spot that enables them to give us plenty of action, loads of character, even a healthy dose of laughs along the way in a very short space of time. Elkys has every bit the artistic chops to carry off the fast-pace as well – his Cat Girl jumps around the panels and pages and Nova’s art does just the same, with angles switching up on us all the time, making it a real artistic thrill ride.
After that we get the original Cat Girl strips by artist Giorgio Giorgetti (sadly, the original writer remains unidentified) – five strips in all from the classic Sally comic from 1969, 1970, and 1971.
The first, The Cat Girl, is the origin of Cat Girl (and also happens to be where we first hear about The Eagle – meaning that the new Cat Girl shares a heck of a lot more than just the costume and the family ties!), where Cathy Carter gets introduced to us and we see her discovering an old cat costume in her dad’s attic, a cat costume dad got from an African medicine man. And suddenly, she’s able to jump further, fight longer, and climb higher than anyone she knows – with the aid of a magic suit, she is Cat Girl!
Across all of the five short adventures, it’s full of the sort of great storytelling and artwork you’d expect, where the truly great writing and artistic talent seemed to come through the girls’ comics of the time. Each episode is super short but packs in plenty of story, with Giorgetti’s artwork an absolute delight to see.
The Best of Cat Girl – published by Rebellion and The Treasury Of British Comics on 2nd August 2022
Contains five tales of The Cat Girl with art by Giorgio Giorgetti, (originally serialised in Sally June 14th – August 2nd 1969, August 9th – September 13th 1969, January 24 – March 21 1970, March 28 – May 30 1970, Sally Annual 1971,) and Cat Girl Returns written by RAMZEE, art by Elkys Nova (originally published in the Tammy & JInty Special 2020).
Cover by Elkys Nova and Pippa Bowland.
Now, preview time… first of all right up to date with Cat Girl Returns…
And now the original, with all that lovely artwork from Giorgio Giorgetti…