What are two things that naturally go together? Peanut butter and chocolate, franks and beans, pop music and superhero comics... wait, what was that last one? Pop music and superhero comics don't go together at all. In fact they are polar opposites, repelling each other with a mighty energy, in spite of everything enterprising comic book publishers might try. Marvel Comics is one of those publishers, and back when disco was a thing they attempted, along with Casablanca Records, to create a disco superhero in "Dazzler." Disco died in a haze of polyester and poppers before the American public could be sold on "Dazzler", but if at first you don't succeed, then try try again. And try they did!
And thus was born NIGHTCAT! It's 1991 and America's hottest new singing sensation is three unshaven guys from Seattle playing ultraloud sludge rock. But don't tell Marvel Comics, they think what America wants is NIGHTCAT! Oh, you don't think Nightcat is real?
Nightcat is real. All too real. Especially the hair. That's a lot of hair.
As the legend of Nightcat goes, young Jacqueline Tavarez - that's her real name, by the way, she's now owned by Marvel Comics - young Jackie's mom wanted to be a singer real bad, and went to auditions, but failed, and then drank herself to death in the space of about fifteen minutes.
And Jackie's dad blames music. Not alcohol, or untreated mental illness, or a deadly combination thereof, but music itself. Don't let Mr. B Natural hear about this!
BUT, filled with the spirit of music, Jackie wants to sing and joins a garage band in high school hoping her father doesn't find out. When her father finds out she HASN'T been fooling around with boys in cars and instead has been SINGING in a BAND, why, YOU'RE GROUNDED MISSY. I question his parenting skills.
Forbidden from singing, Jacqueline decides she'll create a secret identity character who will allow herself to express herself musically! And thus the Residents were born. Man, I wish this comic book was about the Residents.
Well, sorry, this comic book is about Night Cat! Enthralling the crowds at her live shows - even though stage rigging is falling down behind her, apparently!
After one gig, the good people at LMR Records - a real record company, remember - sign her to an amazing contract. Here we see the exact moment where Jackie decides to call herself "Night Cat", which begs the question, what the hell was she billed as at the performance she just concluded?
And in no time at all Night Cat became a superstar, with her face on the cover of the Rolling Stone, just like the Dr. Hook song.
So here's Best Dad Ever, whose daughter's face is all over the TV and on the cover of every national magazine, who does not realize what his daughter has been up to for the past month or so. Forget his parenting skills, I'm starting to wonder about his eyesight. Remember, this guy is a cop! What's he like on court dates? "Your honor, I saw this guy, whatisname, doing a thing with somebody. Somewhere. Plain as day!"
The next day Night Cat is in the recording studio - in her full stage costume and makeup, because that's what singers do, every time they're in the studio they are decked out in all their stage finery, because THEY NEVER DO THAT. Anyway, she ditches out on super expensive recording time to follow a mysterious man and steal his mysterious briefcase. Rock stars! Who knows what they'll do?
OH MY GOD DRUGS IN THE RECORDING INDUSTRY SAY IT ISN'T SO. WHY I NEVER.
Uh oh, Night Cat was caught in the act of stealing somebody's briefcase, performing an illegal search, and basically nosing around in things that are none of her business. Pay attention to the large man with the robot hand. I'm not sure, but I think he might be a bad guy.
Here we're introduced to Miss Amanda Gideon, a super zillionaire real estate magnate who is also an evil drug-smuggling criminal. We're also introduced to the phrase "She'll be a perfect subject for Professor Ecstasy!" Say, what kind of comic book is this, anyway?
AND working undercover is Night Cat's father who is starting to have a suspicion that Night Cat and his daughter Jackie look somewhat alike! Night Cat's father is not one of our more perceptive officers! Or fathers!
So let's check our watches; it's 1991, and comic books are still giving us women in revealing outfits bound to tables while mad doctors gesture menacingly with hypodermic syringes filled from bottles labeled with giant skull-and-crossbones, just like they did in 1941. Don't ever change, comic books.
That's just like a crazed mad doctor, bringing a knife to a gun fight. Oh well, it gives Dad the chance to use that hilarious quip he's been saving for years. Do you know how long he's been waiting to shoot a mad doctor, just so he could use that line? Years!
I COULD SWEAR THAT GIRL'S MY DAUGHTER! HOW CRAZY IS THAT, THAT THIS SINGER LOOKS LIKE MY DAUGHTER, WHO IS EXACTLY THIS AGE AND HAS A LOVE OF SINGING AND MUSIC, AND WHO JUST CALLED ME "DAD"? IT'S CRAZY I TELLS YA!
I see Observant Dad has just been shot. I expect another ten or twenty pages of him wandering around saying "Gee, it feels like bullets have been shot right through my body! I wonder why that is?"
WHAT'S THIS? Merely by being injected with mysterious cat-power serum, Jackie has been given amazing cat-like powers! Now don't you wish this comic book was about Cat Power? I do.
Night Cat, using her amazing cat powers, beats the crap out of the gangsters, while Miss Amanda Gideon squints powerfully and escapes in her helicopter to plan evil deeds for another day.
I see the rest of the police force is just as myopic as Jackie's dad - completely ignoring eyewitness testimony. "There's no evidence to link anyone with Dr. Ecstasy! Except your testimony, which is a KIND of evidence, I suppose! Anyway case closed! Good night!"
What's going to happen? Will Night Cat uncover the criminal deeds of Miss Amanda Gideon? Will her recording career and her super hero career collide amusingly in a way that involves ninjas? Tune in for the next exciting installment of Stupid Comics!
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