The Treasury of British Comics from Rebellion continue to release a wide variety of books, which are always a treat to receive. This latest addition is a book of stories from the Cat Girl series that first appeared in the Sally comic. We are given a lot here, with four adventures from that comic, a story from the Sally 1971 Annual and the newest Cat Girl story that appeared in the Tammy & Jinty 2020 special, as well as an article on artist Giorgio Giorgetti.
While Cat Girl first appeared in 1969 in Sally until its end in 1971 and then only appeared for a short time in Tammy when Sally comic merged with it, the character obviously made a lasting impression. More recent revivals saw a version of the character in The Vigilant: Legacy comic and as mentioned, the Tammy & Jinty special where her daughter takes up the mantle. John Freeman over two years ago made a case for a collection on his website here: downthetubes.net and it seems Rebellion publishers have taken note and released a collection.
Characters dressing as cats to fight crime were common in these comics, Diana had The Laughing Cats – twins who dressed as cats and used their agile ballet skills to help them investigate crime and Bunty had Catch the Cat! – where a girl, Marie, dons a cat costume in order to secretly fight against the Nazis with the French Resistance. Certainly there is an appeal to these costumed crime fighters and an agile cat seems a perfect choice to represent them. Unlike the aforementioned series, in Cat Girl – Cathy Carter doesn’t have a natural agility or gymnastic abilities, all her powers come directly from the suit, and we see instances when she has it off and she can’t even manage a handstand! The mysterious suit doesn’t get much of an explanation, she finds it in the attic a present sent from Africa by an associate of her private detective father and we never delve further into it in this collection. After she tries it on she finds she acts more cat-like, with enhanced senses, agility and quickness. She uses it to help her absent-minded father on his cases in secret. While Cathy is trying to help catch criminals (often been led by the nefarious Eagle) and there are tricky situations she find herself in, it is also light-hearted in tone, with humourous expressions done by Giorgetti. The stories are fast paced and fun, episodes generally ending on cliffhanger to keep you turning the pages!
The stories covered in this collection showcase Cathy’s first appearance where she discovers the suit and helps her father foil a robbery orchestrated by the Eagle. The next story the Eagle is back and this time he has his sights on a train. After that Cathy infiltrates a theatre to try and recover stolen jewels, next sees her completely change locations as she helps take down a blackmailing gang in South America. Lastly an adventure at the circus as she tries to find out who has a vendetta against one of the trapeze artists. While these are all the classic adventures of Cathy the book’s opening story is actually Cat Girl Returns from the Tammy & Jinty special, where we see a grown up Cathy now a police officer and her daughter Claire discovering the cat suits powers when she uses it for a costume part and helps foil a kidnapping. It’s a fun continuation for the story.
Other than the story an appeal of this collection will be the art of Georgio Giorgetti, which is gorgeous to look at. It is very expressive and he captures all Cathy’s acrobatics and cat-like tendencies perfectly. Included in the back of this collection is article about the artist, this first appeared in the Tammy & Jinty special but it is fitting to add it here too. While I did get the paperback version (which has a cover done by Elkys Nova, who also drew the new story following Cathy’s daughter Claire), the Treasury of British Comics shop does have a lovely hardback addition with Giorgetti’s design. With a growing catalogue of books it will be difficult to afford all the wonderful collections that are available, but this one was a definite must for me and I have not been disappointed.