The Naked Catwoman Panels That Ended Up On DC's Cutting Room Floor

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The Naked Catwoman Panels That Ended Up On DC's Cutting Room Floor

Catwoman #3 Page 18

Artist Guillem March reveals racy pages cut from The New 52's Catwoman #3, Call Gotham PD.

We don't always get to see just how the comic book sausage is made. But over on his blog, artist Guillem March is giving us a rather compelling glimpse of the process via pages he drew for Catwoman #3 and #4 back in 2011.

The original scripts for these issues had Catwoman figuring out that Bruce Wayne and Batman were the same person from the way they kissed. She then rides her bike to Wayne Manor and strips buck naked to tease him via his security feed. While it is a bit porntastic, the pages were apparently intended to advance Catwoman's character development. As March puts it, "The action in this scene was a depiction of who Selina was: a woman taking advantage of her sexuality to get something from a man. That made sense according on how the character had been approached in the earlier New52."

Her ploy doesn't quite work, because Batman isn't going to hump a known criminal committing indecent exposure on his lawn. It isn't Gotham City, Florida, amirite? But it establishes that she has something big to hold over Batman's head, and it might have taken the series to some interesting places. Alas, soon after turning these pages in, March was asked to redraw them thanks to significant last minute changes to the script - this issue ended up being about Selina coping with the death of her friend Lola instead.

That's a rather huge change, though March was happy to do the extra work since he was paid extra. But he lightly speculates that DC might have been turned off, ahem, by the racy content more than the need for a new story. "I got an explanation about why DC wanted to change the story," he says, "but I guess it all have[sic] to do with the sexy depiction of Selina in these original pages."

To be honest, context-free these pages just seem like titillation for the sake of titillating, especially considering that March is the artist behind the infamously terrible cover of Catwoman #0. Perhaps in the wake of that controversy, DC wanted to keep a closer eye on what was being done. Sure, these issues were written by Judd Winick, and given his track record, I'm inclined to assume the final story, had DC used it, would have been far less blatantly pandering. But I have to admit that, for once, I think DC's last-minute meddling with the creative team might have done better service to the character.

For what it's worth, March isn't happy with his work on these pages either; he mainly revealed them this week because, as he says, he doesn't like working on something that isn't used. "I must confess I donŽt like them at all," he says. "I donŽt like how Selina looks like when sheŽs naked. Both the body and the face. IŽd like to think today IŽd do a much better job, and a bit more classy."

We've embedded a gallery of the pencil and ink versions of the pages from issue 3 below. You can view the full color versions of issue 3 here, and the continuing pages from issue 4, here.

Source: Guillem March via Bleeding Cool

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It's probably bust that they nipped that one in the bod...

Dear god, Alfred. You're looking a hell of a lot more like Lurch today. I think in that last panel, Wayne should be looking after Alfred more, the guy looks like a freaking corpse!

Looking over it, the style, that smile, I'm not really sure the art style complements this at all. I'm agreeing with the artist on this one that none of this really looks right. Even if these pages were to end up in production, it really should have been taken back to the storyboard. The 1st two pages are great, but the last three... Ugh. There's more detail in that atrocity that is Alfred's face than there is anywhere else.

Seems like a good idea they dropped these, the original panels were pretty meh these were just bad. From the story logic of Catwoman apparently being so horney she jumps bruices fence and presents herself naked to his secruity system. To the really bad last panel.

I mean look if Catwoman is going to present herself naked to bruce (for what ever reason) I think she would at least sneakily bypass his security and ensconce herself in his bed or something before being found. Honestly though that is the least weird least terrible thing about these panels.

Ya know, there's a difference between using your sexuality to your advantage (which still has to be done ca-re-ful-ly)and just getting butt naked!

TravelerSF:
Ya know, there's a difference between using your sexuality to your advantage (which still has to be done ca-re-ful-ly)and just getting butt naked!

I don't know, some people can't take a hint!

synobal:
Seems like a good idea they dropped these, the original panels were pretty meh these were just bad. From the story logic of Catwoman apparently being so horney she jumps bruices fence and presents herself naked to his secruity system. To the really bad last panel.

I mean look if Catwoman is going to present herself naked to bruce (for what ever reason) I think she would at least sneakily bypass his security and ensconce herself in his bed or something before being found. Honestly though that is the least weird least terrible thing about these panels.

I don't know the original context, as I didn't read the comic, but to me it looks like she undresses to show that she is unarmed, maybe? At least that is the only remotely sane explanation I can think up to make sense of this...

RossaLincoln:
While it is a bit porntastic, the pages were apparently intended to advance Catwoman's character development. As March puts it, "The action in this scene was a depiction of who Selina was: a woman taking advantage of her sexuality to get something from a man. That made sense according on how the character had been approached in the earlier New52."

That's status quo, not development.

I never really understood the whole "Everything but" mentality when it comes to comic book nudity. In these books, I've seen women in every possible contortion to show off both their ass and their breasts, all while wearing outfits both bizarre and pretty ineffective at performing the duties of clothes. At this point, why not just go the distance? It's certainly not about being tasteful, and if our nation's youth haven't already been warped by stories like House of M or Ultimatum, then I think they'll be okay if the story calls for them seeing a nipple or even -gasp!- a penis!

Hmm, I'm not exactly following the comics but in some of those panels her face looks more like the Joker's than any of the previous Catwoman renditions I've seen. Anyone else seeing it that way?

Mcoffey:
I never really understood the whole "Everything but" mentality when it comes to comic book nudity. In these books, I've seen women in every possible contortion to show off both their ass and their breasts, all while wearing outfits both bizarre and pretty ineffective at performing the duties of clothes. At this point, why not just go the distance? It's certainly not about being tasteful, and if our nation's youth haven't already been warped by stories like House of M or Ultimatum, then I think they'll be okay if the story calls for them seeing a nipple or even -gasp!- a penis!

HERE HERE CHAP!!! I RAISE MY GLASS TO YOU!!

Honestly I find that situation to be funny in a good way (taking advtange of Bruce hormones) but I can understand why they removed it and it ain't of the censorshop, I'm betting some people will now find the original script to be sexist in some way.

Eh...

Personally, I always appreciate sticking random objects in front of a naked person to cover their bits. But, best if the nudity is done for a reason other than trying to be sexy.

*imagines a whole issue of Batman running around naked, terribly seriously, yelling "I am the night", with lots of random things covering hit groin*

Scars Unseen:
It's probably bust that they nipped that one in the bod...

Tsk tsk.

RossaLincoln:
Her ploy doesn't quite work, because Batman isn't going to hump a known criminal committing indecent exposure on it lawn. It isn't Gotham City, Florida, amirite?

You are my favorite Escapist news person now, hands down.

Given that this lost art was meant for the 3rd issue of New 52's Catwoman, I'm pretty sure it got ditched mostly due to the backlash from the Batman/Catwoman rooftop sex scene in the first issue along with many other New 52 first issue controversies like Starfire being turned into a bimbo with the memory of a goldfish. Ever since the relaunch, there has been a lot of back-peddling from DC Comics due to their constant bad choices. Then again, their whole "planned soft reboot" has always felt more like something that was written down a cocktail napkin after a night of hard drinking. And, given its lack of overall quality, mishandling of characters, and their abusive editorial actions towards creators, I would not be surprised if my "cocktail napkin" theory was proven right.

I can't help thinking that the reactions of Bruce and Alfred to a naked chick presenting herself on the mansion lawn is kinda off. This entire scene would have been so much better when at least one of them had a broad, juvenile grin on his face. It would have been a crowning moment of awesome...

batuea:

Mcoffey:
I never really understood the whole "Everything but" mentality when it comes to comic book nudity. In these books, I've seen women in every possible contortion to show off both their ass and their breasts, all while wearing outfits both bizarre and pretty ineffective at performing the duties of clothes. At this point, why not just go the distance? It's certainly not about being tasteful, and if our nation's youth haven't already been warped by stories like House of M or Ultimatum, then I think they'll be okay if the story calls for them seeing a nipple or even -gasp!- a penis!

HERE HERE CHAP!!! I RAISE MY GLASS TO YOU!!

Why thank you, my good man!

thaluikhain:
Eh...

Personally, I always appreciate sticking random objects in front of a naked person to cover their bits. But, best if the nudity is done for a reason other than trying to be sexy.

*imagines a whole issue of Batman running around naked, terribly seriously, yelling "I am the night", with lots of random things covering hit groin*

See now that you've described it, it's the only direction I want Batman to go in. How do we make this happen?

Mcoffey:

thaluikhain:
Eh...

Personally, I always appreciate sticking random objects in front of a naked person to cover their bits. But, best if the nudity is done for a reason other than trying to be sexy.

*imagines a whole issue of Batman running around naked, terribly seriously, yelling "I am the night", with lots of random things covering hit groin*

See now that you've described it, it's the only direction I want Batman to go in. How do we make this happen?

First we need a time machine, then comes the hard part. Making the comic book industry grow up enough to laugh at itself with out trying to be ironic about it.

I forgot American comics only kind of exploit the female figure, but they're too tasteful to exploit it kind of a little more.

synobal:

Mcoffey:

thaluikhain:
Eh...

Personally, I always appreciate sticking random objects in front of a naked person to cover their bits. But, best if the nudity is done for a reason other than trying to be sexy.

*imagines a whole issue of Batman running around naked, terribly seriously, yelling "I am the night", with lots of random things covering hit groin*

See now that you've described it, it's the only direction I want Batman to go in. How do we make this happen?

First we need a time machine, then comes the hard part. Making the comic book industry grow up enough to laugh at itself with out trying to be ironic about it.

Well, we're doomed then. Men in spangly outfits and capes are serious business to be taken literally at all times.

I'm having trouble keeping track of who is kidding who here, but I'm damn certain that some kidding is going on.

At the very least, quite a few people are kidding themselves.

Oh who am I kidding, I clicked on the link for the same reason the rest of you did.

Mcoffey:
I never really understood the whole "Everything but" mentality when it comes to comic book nudity. In these books, I've seen women in every possible contortion to show off both their ass and their breasts, all while wearing outfits both bizarre and pretty ineffective at performing the duties of clothes. At this point, why not just go the distance? It's certainly not about being tasteful, and if our nation's youth haven't already been warped by stories like House of M or Ultimatum, then I think they'll be okay if the story calls for them seeing a nipple or even -gasp!- a penis!

The long and short of it (*rimshot*) is that the American comic book market for "superhero" comics is still pretty much linked to the same standards as broadcast television. Nudity is pretty much limited to properties that were already "mature" to begin with and even then limited to exposed breasts and flaccid penises (or in at least in all the graphic novels I've seen). I think it's largely a business decision, as large bookstore chains don't want the backlash from a parent discovering that "little Jimmy picked up a comic book and it looked like a Playboy on the inside." The artist is dominated by the publisher, the publisher is dominated by the retailer, and the retailer is dominated by it's customers.

Then there's the US's obscenity laws and policies that can make selling those books difficult.

It's still a huge improvement over the infamous Comics Code Authority, but the restrictions are largely because of the perception that comics are for kids, which ignores how undertones of sex and sexuality is almost a constant presence in the Batman comics and as well as others[1].

But when it comes down to it, it's all about making sure that customers are able to buy the product, and full nudity in a DC or Marvel mainstream property might result in demands by social conservative groups to remove the graphic novel sections all together, which some retailers may cave on. Hell, remember what happened when they revealed one Spider-Man in an alternative universe was black and right wing media freaked the fuck out?

But, yeah, it all comes down to business. No amount of artistic integrity is immune to a publisher who thinks it's in their better interest to not publish something.

[1] Bruce has a son for god's sake! You don't get those by fully clothed hugs no matter how formfitting your supersuit is!

How dare they attempt to represent a woman as in control of her own sexuality and anything but a object!!!

(that's sarcasm for those that don't see it)

I'm still amazed at how... backwards?... the New 52 was in regards to most of their women. First issue of Catwoman spent THREE WHOLE PAGES showing her getting dressed in provocative poses before we even see her FACE and the issue ends with her boning Batman on a rooftop. Barbara Gordon went from a leader and hero that refused to let her paralysis keep her from becoming comic's first "online age" heroine and mentor... and regressed her to her "ideal" Batgirl persona (at the expense of TWO other heroines). Wonder Woman was rebooted as Superman's girlfriend... They decided Amanda "The Wall" Waller was too big and fat (that was the POINT) and gave her a generic super-slim/busty body. They turned Harley Quinn from adorable jester girl into a flesh-baring stripper. And the lobotomy they gave Starfire, turning her from sweet and sensitive into emotionless, cold, sex-starved idiot, is already legendary.

I just... ugh. They DO know there are women readers out there, right? Ones that would prefer having better female heroines out there representing them? I get that it's still painfully male driven, and it's not like the 90's did us proud either (those poor spines...), but DC had a lot of GOOD things going for them in regards to their women and just... dropped the ball on pretty much ALL of them.

I honestly can't think of a single female heroine at DC that I don't think is less interesting than they were prior to the New 52. Not a single solitary one. Not Mera, not Wonder Woman, not Power Girl, not Batgirl, not Starfire, not Black Canary, not Catwoman... nobody.

I'm more concern about Catwoman finding out Batman's ID and having "something to hang over his head" ... that's going to be problematic in the long run.

To my knowledge, the reveal of Bats' ID to Catwoman has always be "voluntary" or at least after their relationship has developed significantly such that she isn't a "loose cannon" - there has always been a bit of drama to it.**

Catwomen stripping naked? Doesn't bug me really. Fanservice is fanservice. Personally I wish writers will make up their mind as to which demographic they are targetting. Naked women are great if you are targeting only the 18-35 male crowd. But if you are going for both genders, well, you got to "water it down" to avoid "offending" - basically the larger your target demographic the more restrictions you will have; the worst case can be seen in "watered down" Hollywood movies.

** My knowledge of Batman is pretty much from the DCAU. It's quite surprising what they managed despite the restrictions of being a Saturday morning cartoon.

Bors Mistral:
Hmm, I'm not exactly following the comics but in some of those panels her face looks more like the Joker's than any of the previous Catwoman renditions I've seen. Anyone else seeing it that way?

I don't know, what do you think Akbar?

"ITS A TRAP!"

It's probably the Joker using comic book science to disguise himself as Catwoman to troll Bruce.

RA92:

RossaLincoln:
While it is a bit porntastic, the pages were apparently intended to advance Catwoman's character development. As March puts it, "The action in this scene was a depiction of who Selina was: a woman taking advantage of her sexuality to get something from a man. That made sense according on how the character had been approached in the earlier New52."

That's status quo, not development.

Apologies, my sarcasm was a bit dry there. You are of course right but since I'd already made a Florida joke I decided to just be droll here. And to fail at being clear about it.

The faces.

The faces just make this.

synobal:

I mean look if Catwoman is going to present herself naked to bruce (for what ever reason) I think she would at least sneakily bypass his security and ensconce herself in his bed or something before being found. Honestly though that is the least weird least terrible thing about these panels.

This. Exactly this. And like, cover his room with rose petals for a romantic touch. Now that she knows who he really is(at least I'm reading the panels as her discovering Bruce is Batman), why not just make a move to date him publicly like any normal couple, just with the abnormal twist that they are secretly famous anti-heroes, night vigilante and master thief, and when they feel like boning they make a game out of breaking into each others homes.

I think these days if they took a slightly more romantic approach, than just in your face sex, it would have made for a better reboot. The sexual tension they've always had was great, but old. I get why they wanted to change it up a bit, they just took the completely wrong approach. But I get the feeling the guys running/writing the comics don't know how to do a proper romance let alone the fact the guys reading the comics may very well declare it all cooties and chick stuff and still very much ruined.

I over heard a guy the other day saying how comic book men absolutely hate change with a passion. Even the slightest, smallest change can set them off. The problem is change needs to be done just right, sensibly, build on what already exists. Captain Marvel for example, has so far has been a big hit, and that was a pretty big change. When a writer makes changes idiotically, filled with random garbage they think will get attention and make a sale(herp derp sex sells and shock value), instead of thinking of a proper story, then yeah. People get upset.

I was expecting blood to shoot out of Alfred's nose.

... I like the panels.

It's like, Selina knows that Batman hides behind a costume/clothes, so in an attempt to provoke a reaction, she uses her nudity, showing simultaneously that she has nothing to hide. I think it's kind of empowering.

I like to believe that batman wouldn't go all ":OOOO" just because he sees boobs because the concept of boobs is not something revolutionary and new to freaking batman and he's not 16 anymore.

That sounds like an interesting story I'd have liked to see. Except that I haven't read comic books in years.

RossaLincoln:
"The action in this scene was a depiction of who Selina was: a woman taking advantage of her sexuality to get something from a man."

So .... she's a harlot now? I mean, wasn't the whole point to Catwoman the fact that she was a beautiful, intelligent, physically strong woman who was able to get what she wanted WITHOUT using her feminine wilds? You know, the exact opposite of Poison Ivy, who did use her sexuality to get her ways? A female criminal who wasn't a villain, like Harley Quinn, but someone Batman could trust on occasion because she was as resourceful and clever as he was but still someone he felt obligated to arrest and turn into the police?

Being COMFORTABLE with your sexuality and USING your sexuality to get something are two different things. Women's Rights Groups have been fighting for YEARS to distinguish the difference between the two and I don't think I am comfortable with DC using one of their strongest female characters to re-blur that line.

And I agree with a previous poster. If Selina / Catwoman wanted to get Bruce / Batman's attention, she would NOT strip in his front yard in broad daylight. Catwoman is a woman of class. She would sneak into his bedroom while he is out on patron, light a few candles, then wait for him in his bed possibly wearing his spare Batcape, making some snide remark about his home security system or obsession with the color black when he found her later that morning.

deadish:

Catwomen stripping naked? Doesn't bug me really. Fanservice is fanservice. Personally I wish writers will make up their mind as to which demographic they are targetting. Naked women are great if you are targeting only the 18-35 male crowd. But if you are going for both genders, well, you got to "water it down" to avoid "offending" - basically the larger your target demographic the more restrictions you will have; the worst case can be seen in "watered down" Hollywood movies.

I'm not exactly sure what's being suggested here, should more video games and comic books make an effort to push away their female demographics so they can have all of the nudity and titilation they desire to fill them with?

I have no problem with nudity. I have no problem with excessive titilation, WHEN it's in something only intended for the sake of titilation. If you're proposing to have an interesting story, interesting characters, fun gameplay or various other attributes that everyone can enjoy then maybe you should be trying to get your work to appeal to everyone, regardless of who they want to bone. Nudity and sex are absolutely fine, but you can easily tell when either is being used for cheap titilation. Which is pretty much what these cut panels seem to be, despite the attempted rationalization.

You know what would be just great? Compress all this titilation into spin off porn so the guys who want it can get their fill of T&A, and the actual story and character elements can be in the main books without all of the ridiculous pandering. You could do this with video-games too, sell all of the pandering in some cheap DLC. Also that way you can go as much all out with it as you desire, so you don't need to "water it down" to avoid "offending", you can just make it full out porn and stop beating around the bush.

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