Filed under: Comic Reviews, DC Comics | Tags: Batman, Catwoman, GuillemMarch, JuddWinick, SelinaKyle
The DC 52 sees a new-start for many characters including Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman, and our first look at the cover shows us the fairly mature approach we’d expect from a sexy & feisty cat-burglar comic… an obvious emphasis on the “Woman” part of the title.
WARNING: contains spoilers.
Like several other of DC new titles, this brings with it an air controversy with some views pointing the finger at this issue as being ‘over-sexed’ or too ‘risque’ but lets face it, it’s rated T+ for a reason. Nevertheless, the first image we are greeted with in this issue is of a semi-naked Selina, gathering her belongings (including numerous bras) and her pet cats into a bag while attempting to squeeze into her PVC catsuit and make her escape from her under-siege apartment.
Escaping with a leap from the roof onto her feet (obviously) her thoughts to return when things have cooled down are pretty much blown-up, like her apartment. As entrances go, that’s a doozy and while some other titles have a formulaic feel with this kind of BANG-intro leading into some sort of explanation and then a series of set-pieces, this one is different.
A quick visit to her friend, Lara, gets her an empty Gotham Penthouse to make use of while the Brazilian-Millionaire-owner is out of town. If only these places were so readily available today eh?… the CA Blogging team would be all set for some recon in pretty much the same way as Selina is.
The issue keeps up the momentum with Selina infiltrating a Russian mob who are letting off steam. Booze and broads is the order of the day here and Selina’s cover as barmaid both pays-off and fails, in equal measure. Her next “target” for stealing is picked through some clever listening and she’s just about to leave with this intel when she spies a face she knows from her past… an unpleasant part of her past where she witnessed a brutal murder at the hands of one of the mob bosses. As a new reader to Catwoman, I’d guess that this has maybe been touched on before in previous storylines, but that doesn’t seem to stall me being able to continue on this title and hope that Catwoman kicks some ass.
With secret identity still intact, Selina follows this Russian mob guy to the gents and using her womanly ways (flashing bra/cleavage) seduces the mob boss and then kicks the crap out of the guy in a brutal, animalistic way.
Revenge complete, it’s a quick costume change and she takes the noisy way out, fighting her way through the mob as she kicks, punches and claws her way back to the sanctity of her Gotham Penthouse. All in a day’s work for your everyday cat-burglar.
The book closes out with the real controversy raising scene as Batman appears in the shadows of the penthouse to check up on her, only to be confronted with an embrace and full-on kiss. Selina obviously NEEDS an outlet for some pent-up “energy” and Batman’s reluctance seems to make this a challenge. A fight between the two kicks off and seems to merge into an erotic, costumed-fueled act where ultimately Catwoman, more than Selina, gets her way. It almost seems to fade-out on this scene and brings the issue to it’s climax (no pun intended).
It could be construed that a guy writing this review was NEVER going to have a problem with this issue as more skin is on show than you’d expect for a costumed look at the shadowy Gotham City. Although that is true, I don’t have any problems with this issue. I’m left wondering – ‘Why the controversy?’ It’s actually kind of refreshing to see a female character who is ACTUALLY a woman and not a sterotypical “damsel in waiting” or “air-head” stumbling her way in and out of trouble.
The art is dark and seedy where it needs to be, Russian mob scenes in particular, and the scenes where she’s acting out her revenge have a sinister side thrust upon it with Selina’s unmasked face pulling faces you’d never really get to see anywhere else in a DC title… and maybe that’s part of the strength in a character like Catwoman, ‘Flawed like us’, and like us, can give in to whatever urges a human being can have. BIG high five to Guillem March on the art-front for being able to catch such a wide range of scenes and feelings into one issue – taking the flashy neon world of Gotham, the dark underside and even a sensual scene to close out… Not sure I’ve seen anything similar in any Catwoman or other female-fronted title before. A lot of praise has to go to Judd Winick for being bold enough to write this title in the way he did and I’m sure he probably didn’t even realize there would be any controversy on this titles release.
I’m hoping that both writer and artist keep taking the risks they are and are given the chance to develop Selina /Catwoman in the new DC run even further.
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