Cat-Tales 72: Pearl

Official Message Board for the popular Cat-Tales series by Chris Dee, spinoffs, fan art gallery, extras and support
Joined: April 6th, 2007, 4:00 am

June 8th, 2017, 7:32 pm #21

Thank you for the many kind words, Bipedi.  I'm biased after that, but I like your reviewing style quite a lot.  Don't ever change.  And I will make sure your wise words on relationships find their way to the intended targets.  Best to your family as well. 
-Chris Dee


Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Superpowers corrupt... superbly. -Cat-Tales: Identity Element
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Joined: January 19th, 2007, 8:04 pm

June 9th, 2017, 1:00 am #22

In many ways, this Cat-Tales has been more about the journey than the destination.  On the surface, this is about a wedding gift in the form of a new identity (or alias or legend, depending on which term you use) for Bruce to use.  But Chris has devoted so much time to show how Bruce has developed Tommy.  Right from the beginning of this chapter, we see his frustration with the more blinkered and hidebound members of law enforcement, whose inability to think outside the box let countless criminals get away.  That frustration fueled his need to seek justice, even if it meant going outside the bounds of the law.  Then, it led him to become Batman; now it provides additional impetus to become Tommy.  
The journey is also taking to heart the lessons offered by Selina, if and when he chose to listen.  Time and time again, she has pointed out the fallacies of The Bat.  Time and time again, she has pointed out that the Truth is not what Bruce says it is just because 'He's Batman.'  Yet it isn't until he tries to become an upper-class criminal on par with Catwoman and is called out on, yet again, on his preconceptions, that he starts to really understand what she's been trying to say.  The last couple chapters has been about demonstrating that he has learned those lessons--and it shows.

But the destination hasn't been forgotten entirely.  We're finally getting some sense of who Hobbs is, some history and background besides his political leanings.  Some reason as to why Bruce wants to target him.  And just like the proverbial cat, my curiosity is piqued...
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Joined: October 6th, 2002, 4:49 pm

June 9th, 2017, 6:02 am #23

Kudos to Chris for dancing back and forth between the perspectives in this chapter. We have Bruce-Bat-Tommy for the first part, then Alfred for narration, then Selina-Being-Bruce for the next section; followed by a semi-Denouement.

I like the Selina-esque riff on the law enforcement at the top of the chapter.

I wonder if it's occurred to Bruce that Selina is trying to teach him, and Catwoman is mocking him; even unconsciously.

Police and FBI get the low-hanging fruit? Well, he's Batman. He gets the higher fruit. But the whole point of this exercise is that Batman doesn't understand the point of the Lesson yet, for the same reason the Police don't. The best thief in the world is the one you never catch. And Catwoman is the one thief in Gotham who never got caught. Batman knew she was just that good, but it never dawned on him that there could be others out there who are that good without wearing a Gotham-Style mask.

Selina's inner-Cat has had half a dozen breakdowns at the prospect of being domesticated since CT-01. I like that now, in the leadup to the wedding, she finally gets to put the Bat under her tutelage and explain why he never caught her. (And wedding rings don't count.) And then, after rie days, discover that if he had been playing by her rules, he would have. Got to be galling to know that he could be Cat-Worthy so fast.

The end result of which is that once this partnership mission is over, Batman will be able to take down Cat-Level criminals without Catwoman having to do it herself, and clearly the honeymoon will have to be completely redesigned.

Alfred was right, neither of them regard this as actually *being anything* but it is. The tea choice confirmed it. Whether they're Batman and Catwoman sending Robin to find some evidence, Matches and Gina, secure in an apartment, or Thomas and Sensei drinking tea, there's a moment when everyone else is not there; and it's just them being them. The reason Selina didn't get it was because she was too deep in 'Playing The Wayne'. The way Batman was watching for Catwoman all those years, Selina was expecting a chess match and got Date Night.

With all the retroactive 'Great Detective', Bruce manages a wedding gift that will appeal to the 'wow, it's been a while' that Selina is currently experiencing, by putting the Goggles back in their place. (Personally, i think that's a little too crime-fightery, but I don't think Selina minds that so much. She said herself she thought about being Robin Hood, just once, to shut them up. If it should happen to involve making Luthor look like an ape, and a stuck-up little snot suddenly have to flee Gotham for his life, that can only make it more appealing; even if crimefighting is involved.

Plus, and I know I've said this before, but she gets to live out her own long buried fantasy. The Guy Inside Batman is pulling off a master-thief heist with her.
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Joined: February 8th, 2003, 6:55 pm

June 10th, 2017, 8:21 am #24

... What RE and Stephmat said.
Hear that thunder rolling till it seems to split the sky?


That's every ship in Grayson's Navy taking up the cry-



NO QUARTER!!!


-- "No Quarter", by Echo's Children
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Joined: April 6th, 2007, 4:00 am

August 15th, 2017, 8:12 pm #25

"As soon as I feel that click of understanding, the box inside my mind unlocks and I begin integrating whatever I’ve learned into everything else I know. As soon as I feel the click, I start adapting the technique to make it my own… "

Pearl Chapter 5: Click!  On the main Cat-Tales website and mobile-friendly Cat-Tales.mobi--even though it doesn't want to link properly.  The mobile link is right here:
http://cat-tales.mobi/book7/CT_72-5.html
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Joined: August 16th, 2012, 2:30 am

August 15th, 2017, 10:52 pm #26

Maybe I'm just suspicious of Luthor, but I see a fair bit of cat-baiting with this gambit (naming it East End and having Cat-worthy targets at the bottoms of the pyramids) than to just be all business. The X-27 was all business too and he still tried to squirm out of paying.
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Joined: October 6th, 2002, 4:49 pm

August 18th, 2017, 10:31 am #27

When CW got to 'Here's where we settle final business', I was expecting her to say 'Or where Batman steps out of the shadows'. But then it stuck me: Batman never stopped her at that part. He waited until she made it to the rooftop. Can't have their little 'moments' interrupted by rent-a-cops.

I also like that Bruce's version of a 'terrifying Bat-Attack' is the idea of Dick having a laugh with the rest of the JL and assorted capes.

It took me a minute to figure out what Bruce's deal was with Dick, but when I realized that 'Tommy' had bought the pan for the Japanese Breakfast, it hit me: Dick met Thomas Pearl. The reason it brought the Post-Cat-Tales meeting to mind is because there's so much Selina in Tommy. What Dick encountered was not just 'if Bruce had gone that way'. It an honest-to-hades, distillation of what Batman is after several years of Selina. Part Bat-never-taking-a-break-eight-things-in-play, and part Bruce-having-a-good-morning after a night with the Cat-Lady.

Selina's in the same state. After mentally reliving the way a Bat-Encounter post-heist celebration would be, she's now living the life Catwoman would have after several years with Batman. Come home after a successful heist, "should we have the '03, or the 04; why not both?" Have a fun romp, wake up to gourmet breakfast.

Now, back onto the Luthor Storyline...

Luthor with Selina is an interesting dynamic. Luthor doesn't lust after a beautiful woman half as much as he does over the power-plays. Profit is the same. Profit is power. If Luthor is 'betting against' legit institutions, and then sending expert Cat-Level crooks to make sure the businesses he's 'shorted' will fall; how does one fight that? He's not breaking a law; so you have to fight the money. If a Cat-Worthy crook can bring a museum or a bank to insurance ruin, then you can bleed Luthor by stopping the theft. But if Selina is the one setting him up, there are other possibilities...

(Either that, or I read the entire last third of this chapter completely wrong)
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Joined: February 8th, 2003, 6:55 pm

August 21st, 2017, 9:36 pm #28

What sticks in my mind most is Bruce's dream revision about the X-27 incident...

Premonition, or something else?
Hear that thunder rolling till it seems to split the sky?


That's every ship in Grayson's Navy taking up the cry-



NO QUARTER!!!


-- "No Quarter", by Echo's Children
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Joined: October 6th, 2002, 4:49 pm

August 22nd, 2017, 4:38 am #29

I'm not sure if this is the same thing as the x-27, but wasn't there a Cat-Tale where they went up against Luthor, and he had some kind if super-facial recognition camera installed in his base? It came to nothing at the time, but I'm trying to remember if that was related...
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Joined: April 6th, 2007, 4:00 am

August 22nd, 2017, 10:09 pm #30

Hi all.  Can't comment on the speculation, but I will tell Stephen he's remembering correctly.  The episode was in NMK Inc. and Luthor did reference the time Catwoman stole the X-27 (from World's Finest Year 8, btw).  Batman was in his office on that occasion, and what Luthor did in NMK was take a still from the ordinary security camera and mark it up as if he had been analyzing it with facial rec software for years, implying it had finally cracked Batman's ID.
What made the gambit somewhat unsettling, of course, is that Bruce Wayne had been in Luthor's office earlier that same day. 

But as you say, it all came to nothing.
-Chris Dee


Power corrupts. Absolute power corrupts absolutely. Superpowers corrupt... superbly. -Cat-Tales: Identity Element
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