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52 Catch Up: Catwoman

catwoman 152 Catch Up is a series devoted to looking at issues from DC's New 52 and seeing how they're faring now that they're underway, why they're worth reading (or not), and places we hope they will go in time.




A female cat burglar working in Gotham City, Selina Kyle is not the typical villain; she doesn’t go for maniacal plans bordering on psychotic breaks or convoluted schemes that backfire due to her own hubris.  While she would never be considered a black hat, neither is she a shining night; money and a life of adrenaline run her life.  Romantic possibility for the Batman and irritant for the police department, she is Catwoman.





Previously on Catwoman: Covering Issues #1 - 7

Right away Catwoman finds herself running away from trouble—the kind of trouble that ends up with her apartment being firebombed by a bunch of thugs she robbed.  Trying to find a way to lay low, Selina ends up working undercover at a Russian mob party and overhears some juicy information, as well as seeing a man whom she thought had been locked away for hurting a childhood friend of hers.  She decides to act on the information and steals a painting admired by two rival mob families and ransoms it back…to both of them for a tidy sum; however, before she has a chance to do so, she encounters Gotham’s caped crusader, and the duo end up having a fight-turned-seductive roll in the proverbial hay.

Sneaking away from Batman, our thief brokers the deal with the two mob families for two different money drops, but for the same mutual location of the painting.  Both families show up and start shooting at each other, and the man that Catwoman thought was in jail soon ends up six feet under.  Confident in her success, Catwoman goes to visit her friend Lola, but finds the woman dead and a gangster named Bone responsible, because the cat burglar stole from him.  Slightly shocked from her friend’s death, Selina allows herself to be tied up, giving the impression that she’s unable to put up a fight—a mistake that costs the legs of two of Bone’s gang.  Catwoman tracks him down and starts to beat him but is stopped by Batman; however, her anger towards Bone overrides her feelings for the Bat, and she tricks him into saving the gangster while she slips away to get rid of any evidence connecting her to Lola…but not before she ends up being caught by the cops over Lola’s dead body.

Catwoman flees the scene and tries to pick up her life again by stealing from some drug dealers, but ends up caught by the police when it turns out that it's really dirty money being laundered by dirty cops.  Nearly beaten to death by a psychotic, gravity-powered metahuman named Reach, a clean cop lets her out…only to try and capture her later when she attempts to steal a car.  If not for the intervention of another metahuman named Shock, the Cat would have been bagged by the pigs.

High Points

Complicated Upbringing: I enjoy the fact that Catwoman isn’t some socialite or debutant in this version, and that she has a very complex background that helps to lead into her reasons for being a cat burglar.  The brief flashback concerning her witnessing her friend’s horrific abuse certainly shows that she wasn’t always in the best of places, but there seems to be much more there to tell—perhaps, an abusive family life, or the need to escape foster care.  The way she pummels Bone while relating her own “sob story” of dealing with things on the street shows that she’s not had the best of life.

Interpersonal Relationships: While there aren’t that many overall, the few actual friendships that Selina seems to have are true and honest—she doesn’t hide who she is with them, including her occupation as Catwoman.  In many ways I’m disappointed that Lola was killed off so early in the series, if at all, but it certainly brings a need for secrecy to Selina’s life, something she then ends up failing to achieve in her renewed friendship with Gwen.  I’m also eager to see just how her relationship with Batman progresses, and if there will be the sort of full disclosure and romance that has dominated previous versions of these two characters.

Low Points

Sexual Relationship: It doesn’t happen often—and for that I’m thankful—but the one real drawback to the title is Catwoman’s sexual relationship with Batman.  In this version, she doesn’t know who Batman really is, and the two of them haven’t had the personal connection that past storylines have shown, and yet she’s willing to randomly have sex with him—more than once—while the two of them are still in their respective costumes.  I don’t have anything against sex personally, but the portrayal of random sexual encounters with a man one hardly knows just sticks in my side a bit.  Granted, the situation does provide an additional level to the complexity of the relationship between Batman and Catwoman, but their situation is complex enough that they don’t need this.

Looking Ahead

Shock: Introduced near the very end of the last issue, very little is known about him other than he saved Catwoman’s rear when she was about to be arrested (again).  The tagline for the teaser of Issue #7 mentioned something about a partner, and I can only assume this is who DC meant. So, what exactly is going to happen?  Is he going to end up as her partner—and can she actually allow herself to have a partner, given her delicate situation—or is he going to end up as a plant, someone that is trying to set her up for something further on down the line?  Only time will tell.

GCPD/Detective Alvarez: There’s a lot of tension between Alvarez and his fellow police officers, mainly because he doesn’t consider himself to be dirty, but how exactly is he planning on dealing with the situation?  Is he just going to let the fact that several of his colleagues are dirty slide, or is he going to turn rat on them and bring them to justice?  He’s already compromised himself once before in regards to Catwoman, so is he going to do it again, or is he really going to do his best to capture her like he tried to do with the sting operation he set up?  And, what about the dirty cops: they have to have known that someone let Catwoman out of jail, but do they know it’s Alvarez?  Inquiring minds (namely me) want to know.




Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 17:38

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