Cover of Cat-Tales: Plan 9 from the Demon's HeadPlan 9 from the Demon's Head

One of the achievements of the early Cat-Tales was unraveling the rat's nest of fallacies arising from Denny O'neil's stint as editor and his campaign to undermine the Batman/Catwoman relationship. He declared Talia al Ghul to be Bruce's "true love" instead of Selina, because he said so. He declared Ra's al Ghul to be Batman's great foe, because he said so.

Cat-Tales was not the first attempt within the fandom to point out what he was doing and say no, but it may have been the cleverest in fictionalizing O'neil's insistence in the real world as Ra's and Talia's. Similar to the satire of Stephen Colbert, nothing illustrates the pettiness of a self-serving agenda like O'neil's like adopting it yourself and taking it to ludicrous lengths.

In Cat-Tales, Bruce begins as gulled by the official view of Ra's al Ghul as much of the real world fandom was at the time: he was believed to be a serious threat, and possibly the Dark Knight's greatest foe. But Selina calls him a hairdo, and through her eyes, Bruce comes to see that Ra's has no achievements to live up to his PR. He is no great threat, he belongs on no list with Joker or Lex Luthor. He is an overhyped goatherd calling himself "the great and powerful" just like Denny did.

Plan 9 from the Demon's Head introduces Ra's al Ghul to the series and it does so in the tradition of ancient comedy: knocking the proud and pompous down to size by making them ridiculous. But it does this fairly, taking one of DC's own storylines as a jumping off point: his infatuation with Black Canary and offering a fairly credible rational (which is more than DC did). In Cat-Tales, a dip pin the Lazarus Pit supercharged Ra's al Ghul's metabolism, giving him the raging hormones of an adolescent, and about as much sense.


Like all Cat-Tales, Plan 9 from the Demon's Head can be read online on the Cat-Tales website or mobile mirror, and can be downloaded as an ebook or pdf, which is sized for printing at Cafe Press. It is collected in Cat-Tales Book 1.

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