Chicago Spanking Review

Joker Spanks Catwoman

"Spanking makes great television!" observes the Joker, as he proceeds to demonstrate with the Catwoman. "You've gotta learn thou shalt not steal!" It also makes for great comics, we would add.

We're not sure that the Catwoman has ever taken the Eighth Commandment to heart, but we'd have to agree that spanking is a perfectly valid way to teach it to her. Good OTK positioning (with back arch), catsuit stretched tight to reveal an inviting target, and the "pain stars" in two successive panels showing how much she felt it are this scene's good points.

joker spanks catwoman

© Dark Horse Comics / DC Comics Inc. Posted by the Web-Ed on 09/10/2010.

Unfortunately, political correctness soon rears its ugly head and cuts the lesson short, with Catwoman retaliating by strangling the Joker-spanker with her cat o'nine tails. Either Dark Horse/DC or the writer were apparently worried that someone might get the (stupid) idea that they were advocating the subjugation of women, or even the (entirely reasonable) notion that male villains might be more formidable than female ones.

We remember seeing this kind of poppycock before, during Batman The Animated Series where the writer, Paul Dini, made the painfully-obvious point of having Batman beaten by Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy even though it made him look like a wimp since he really should have been able to take them (he's Batman, for crying out loud). In case manly strength hadn't taken enough of a beating, the point is hammered home further by having Harley and Ivy finally laid low only by a female police officer. (For more on Harley, Ivy, Joker, spanking, and Batman TAS see our discussion here).

Not to denigrate Dini - we still think he was the best writer Batman TAS had - but we have a low tolerance for political correctness. The Joker we remember from the 70's and 80's was someone Catwoman would have been wise to steer clear of. The Penguin did once, his thought balloon informing us, "The Penguin fears no sane man, but the Joker is hardly that." And in this case, the Joker is far more dangerous because he's wearing The Mask's mask. Really, the Catwoman was lucky to have gotten off with a sore bottom - well-deserved, we might add.

10/01/2010 Update: When we first posted this a few weeks ago, we were unable to identify the source, but then Monk was good enough to write and point out where we could find a version published in the U.K. Using this information, we were then able to track down the original source - the four-part Joker/Mask mini-series published by Dark Horse Comics. Finally, we obtained a copy of the reprinted version (April 2001) that collected all four parts, from which we scanned the spanking panel below. If anyone wants to search out the original, the spanking was probably in Part 2.

Having now read the work, little needs to be said about it. The concept (Joker finds The Mask's mask) is less than inspiring; the execution (by writer Henry Gilroy and artists Ramon Bachs and Howard Shum) leaves a bit to be desired. It seems to be mainly warmed-over ideas and characterizations from Batman TAS with some additions from later DC comics, and probably some of the old Dark Horse Mask stuff that we never read. The narration is choppy, without so much as a transition panel between the scenes at a television studio and on the street: one minute we're in the studio (don't ask us why), the next we're in the street watching Catwoman getting spanked (her only appearance in the book). The Killing Joke it's not.

Interestingly, spanking is mentioned twice more, once when the Joker threatens Harley and Poison Ivy (who's brought in as an unlikely guest star) with one, and the second time when he actually forms his hand into a mean-looking paddle with spikes. But just as with the book as a whole, it amounts to nothing, and we're left wondering why it was brought up in the first place.

joker spanks catwoman spanking panel only

New scan from the author's collection. © Dark Horse Comics / DC Comics Inc. Posted 10/01/2010.

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