Cover of Cat-Tales: Women Lacking ComplexityWomen Lacking Complexity

The title alludes to one of the author's bÍtes noires that where fans and particularly fangirls who imagine they are feminists will praise degrading and abhorrent portrayals of characters like Selina simply because she's given unattractively short hair and a flat chest. That they will praise those portrayals as "complex" and a giant step forward for women in comics, while condemning excellent portrayals because the character has large breasts and a sexy costume. Before the phrase "slut shaming" came into vogue, Chris Dee mocked the concept with the code phrases "complex" (small-breasted) and "lacking complexity" (double-D).

The story involves several women of Gotham that don't normally get much screentime in the series: The Huntress, Helena Bertinelli, Renee Monoya, and even Nightwing's nemeses from Bludhaven, a set of twins who go by Double Dare.

And of course Selina, least complex of all. Her story is an important one for the relationship. Now that she has moved into the manor, she and Bruce find an entirely different dynamic when they fight. The conflict has to do with a piece of loot from her stealing days, and among other intriguing nuggets it unearthed is the realisation that they never resolved that original thief/crimefighter conflict when they got together. They "skipped over it" to get to where they wanted to be. In the end, a compromised is reached that will be referenced and remembered later.

No mere synopsis can do justice to the journey either character takes in this story. It is overshadowed the long-awaited Catwoman origin that follows, or it would be more widely recognized as a milestone in the Cat-Tales ouvre.


Like all Cat-Tales, Women Lacking Complexity 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 3.

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