Here’s a quick summary of Issue #1:
The issue opens with Selina Kyle’s apartment being blown up (always a good start)! She doesn’t know which specific baddies are responsible, given her wealthy of enemies, but she manages to throw on some clothes and save her kitties, and only leaves her multitude of bras as victims of the explosion.
Checking in with a friend named Lola, Selina is able to acquire a new location at which to squat temporarily and a job to pay the bills for replacing all her bras (ok, she had other stuff, too). Soon, Selina is undercover as a bartender at a private party for the members of the Russian mob in Gotham and planning to steal a treasured painting from the criminals before selling it back to them.
All is going according to plan when Selina recognizes one of the mobsters from her childhood. Selina’s memories show her watching as the man kills another girl in front of her. Apparently, he’s supposed to be in prison. Selina follows the Russian as he enters the men’s room and uses her sexuality to drop his defenses... right before she takes him apart in a brutal fashion.
Her cover blown, Selina throws on her costume, and Catwoman cuts her way out of the party before returning to the empty penthouse at which she’s crashing. Batman shows up, concerned that her apartment was firebombed. In a flash, Catwoman is on top of him, locking lips. Batman resists at first, but soon gives into what they both desire. And, most of the costumes stay on...
Catwoman is everything she should be! Winick did a superb job of completely introducing Catwoman and Selina Kyle in this issue without it feeling forced. Every element of the character is there: her strength, her sexiness, her devil-may-care nature, her independence, her resourcefulness, her loneliness, her damaged background - Winick fits a little bit of everything into this introduction. While Catwoman is one of the few characters in the New 52 who hasn’t changed much, it’s still great to see her this strong right out of the gate!
Judd Winick is no tease! Winick definitely puts out, gang! And, by that, I mean that he doesn’t hold anything back in this issue! Character introduction? Check! Bad-ass fight sequences? Check! Selina undercover? Check! References to Selina’s shady past? Check! Steamy, lust-bunny session between the Cat and the Bat? Double check! This is another great example of what the New 52 should strive for. Even though there are no real shockers, cliffhangers, or big reveals in this issue, it’s so strong and delivers so well on every level of the character that it seems like concentrated comic book goodness! This issue has it all!
Guillem March’s pencils makes Catwoman look mmm-mmm-good! While I wasn’t crazy about the cover, March’s interiors for this book are fantastic! Catwoman/Selina reek both sexiness and deadliness at the appropriate times, and it’s exciting to see an artist that can deliver both without cheapening either. While March whips up some pin-up level sultry imagery of the woman in the leather cat ears, he also creates some truly frightening images when Selina loses her cool and decimates the Russian she knows from her childhood. Smartly, March doesn’t attempt to make Selina ooze her usual sexuality in these panels, instead, portraying her as a deadly, loose-cannon intent on the complete destruction of another human being.
Was it good for her, too? And, by her I mean all the fangirls out there. While this issue was awesome for me, I’m a red-blooded male who likes my women confident, dominating, sexually-forward, and clad in leather cat ears. I guess I can’t shake the feeling that this first issue could seem slightly male-centric, even though Winick does an admirable job of rounding out the character. What do you say, ladies? How did Catwoman #1 sit with you?
March’s cover. With all of the wonderful art in the interior, the cover left a little to be desired for me. It just seems a bit cheap. With its obvious cleavage and awkward pose, it just didn’t sit right with me. But, honestly, if the cover is my biggest complaint, we’re in a good place.
The Ugly (Fan Buzz, that is...)
Fan buzz seems to be split on Catwoman #1. While there were a good amount of positive reviews, both IGN and Comic Book Resources gave the book dismal reviews due to what they saw as an excessive and shallow over-sexing of the character.
While I can agree with reviewer Erik Norris at IGN that, “if I was still an 11-year-old kid I would probably cherish Catwoman #1 and keep it safely nestled between my mattress and bed frame at all times,” I also more strongly agree with the reviewer at Read/Rant who stated that, “Sex and danger are two of the defining characteristics of the character. Winick and March’s take is just more honest about it.”
In closing, I will definitely be scoring a second date with Ms. Selina Kyle. With a first encounter with this much heat, there’s just no point in fighting the attraction.
-Bryant the Comic Book Slayer