Putu the Cat

Fear me, if you dare. Meow.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

Say you want chicklit...

Step aside Helen Fielding, Candace Bushnell, and all you other pretenders. The real queen of chicklit is the eminently capable Gail Simone, who is currently the brains behind DC's delightful 'Birds of Prey' series. Bringing a woman's touch to a very male industry, Simone has managed to pull off a successful superhero comic with an all-female cast. What stands out is not the action (which is good), or the cheesecake art (Drool!), but the elements of girl-bonding that the characters regularly indulge in, in between wiping the floor with a long list of (mostly male) supervillains. Putu thinks it should be renamed Sex (plenty of that), Violence and the (Gotham) City.

Here's a heads-up to the cast of this fantastic book.

Oracle: Barbara Gordon. Redhead. Glasses. Brainy as hell, but confined to a wheelchair. Used to be Batgirl, but was shot by a homicidal maniac which ended her career. Always the strong one, she conducts all operations and is the ultimate information source. The only man in her life was her adoptive father, James Gordon, until she recently started a relationship with the younger Nightwing, who she's known for over a decade. But Nightwing's recent guilt issues have made her push him away.

Black Canary: Dinah Lance. Bleached Blonde. Black leather and fishnets. The most mature of the lot, and by far the best fighter. Is a trained ninja but too ethical to kill. Dresses trashily just for the effect. Was down on her luck until Oracle asked her to join the team. Daughter of the original Black Canary, and is very much like her mother, except for the fact that her mother had a long and happy marriage - something that Dinah tries hard to live down. Dinah was married young and divorced within a year. She then had a long relationship with the much older millionaire playboy, Green Arrow, but it never lasts, mainly because he insists on protecting her, and she rightly thinks that she can take care of herself. Every time they break up, she has yet another disastrous relationship with some random guy, including one with Green Arrow's son.

Huntress: Helena Bertilleni. Brunette. Badass. Slut. Dresses in the skimpiest possible outfits, even though it leaves her vulnerable to attack. Daughter of a crime boss, who was gunned down in front of her eyes. This turned her into a vengeful woman with serious attitude, leading to many showdowns with the biggest gun of all - Batman. Is also a trained fighter, but far more ruthless. Will sleep with just about anybody. Her conquests include Nightwing and Arsenal, who is like a younger brother to Canary, thus making it difficult for them to accept her at first. However, her dependability and belief in justice have made the three of them best of friends.

Lady Blackhawk: Newest member of the team. Pilot. Feminist. War Hero. Was the only woman in a special team of agents assembled to fight the Nazis in a more unequal age. Surpisingly has managed to fit in well with a bunch of much younger girls, and can hold her own against any of them, but prefers to sit back and let them do the fighting.

And the Supporting Cast

Batgirl: Cassandra Cain. Daughter of a trained assassin. Knew only the language of violence until Barbara helped her out. Speaks very little or not at all. Is usually with Batman, but is always on call.

Nightwing: Dick Grayson. Mr. Right. Batman's protege. Moved out of Gotham to make it on his own in Bludhaven. Had a relationship with old friend Oracle, but has recently been under stress thanks to his guilt after a one-night stand with Huntress, and attraction to Tarantula.

Power Girl: The first of Oracle's team. Relations with Oracle now strained after a disastrous mission.

Catwoman: THE most dangerous woman in Gotham. Does her own thing always. Occasionally helps out, but has been known to indulge in not-entirely-legal activities. Her special relationship with Batman makes her off-limits.

Wildcat: Everybody's favourite uncle. Taught canary a thing or two. Always on call.

Blue Beetle: Ted Kord. Millionaire. Nice guy. Has a huge crush on Oracle, but has never told her, though everyone knows. Oracle isn't averse to flirting with him, though.

Batman: The big daddy. Runs the show. Superhero, but complete jerk. Thinks Canary isn't good enough, and Huntress is a cheap slut. Tells them that often. They tolerate him because he is THE BATMAN.

Pick this one up NOW, if you haven't - especially you ladies. Putu realises how the T&A could fool you into thinking its for fanboys, but Putu, being gender-neutral, finds that the stories have a solid feminine touch. But then, Putu has always had a thing for birds.

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Hurry to The Book Shop

and pick up a copy of Terry Pratchett's The Last Hero. 'Lavishly illustrated' is an understated, and its ridiculously cheap. Putu read the book three years ago, in London, and was saddened to think that this was a book Putu'd probably never be able to afford. But how things change. In the recent past, Putu not only bought this book, but also

League of Extraordinary Gentlemen Vol II - great, but not as good as I - and two of the Sandman series add-ons, Death, The High Cost of Living and Endless Nights, which is a collection of stories, one about each of the Endless. Fabulous stuff.
Also Putu would like to formally welcome two new parts of the brain, who've just awakened, leading to the need for renaming and renegotiation of duties. Via this site, Putu found this interesting brain-segmentation pattern,

but since this sort of duty roster would mean less blogging for everyone, we'll have to go with the more conventional cat-brain picture.

I'm the cerebellum, and the forebrain shall now be known as the cerebral hemisphere. Our new friend the infundibulum has so far provided us with a newborns perspective on Enid Blyton, and the pons loves comics even more than I do.