Catwoman is a title that has really come into it’s own. It was a rocky road at first. Many fans wrote the book off because of the seemingly over-sexualized take on the feline jewel thief. But now six issues in, this book features one of the strongest female characters in the New 52 and a storytelling team that is wholeheartedly invested in telling great new stories.
Selina Kyle has experienced a lot of bad luck at the tip of Judd Winick’s pen . But all of her struggles have made her a pretty easy character to root for. In a very short time, we’ve seen Selina;s life descend into despair and now the bottom is about to drop out. She’s caught by the police after accidentally stealing some of their dirty money and they’ve employed a real bruiser to beat the location of the money out of her. Winick has a lot of fun with Selina and even in the face of certain doom he has her cracking wise to the Amazonian meta-human who will spell her end. Of course, Selina has a plan but she doesn’t escape without a little help from a detective on the inside. It seems that Winick could be setting up a little love triangle.
Speaking of a love triangle, there’s another vertex making an appearance this issue, Batman. Bruce’s involvement with Selina has been laid out (heh, seriously though, no pun intended) in previous issues but here we see the first few cracks in his steely veneer. It seems that the Bat might actually have real feelings for the Cat and how that dynamic plays moving forward will be crucial to examining Selina Kyle’s character. While the initial stories had Selina playing more of an Alias-esque role, we’ve seen the tone of the stories shift and she’s starting to remind me a lot more of Kill Bill’s The Bride and the story is better for it.
Guillem March continues to do some of the most dynamic figure work in comics. His character renderings are full of life and that makes big moments in both of Catwoman’s fight scenes hit that much harder. While Selina’s fight in the police station might get more praise due mostly to the huge Mike Tyson, I think her fight with the Knight of Vengeance is a bit better. Selina’s fight with the Amazonian is purely for survival and March lets that idea flow through his work. Meanwhile, the fight with Batman is something different entirely. It’s a physical fight in appearance only. Really, it’s a battle of wills. It’s all the things that Selina needs to do versus everything she wants to. This is rock bottom, folks. March plays the scene perfectly and detail of a single tear rolling down Selina’s face and resting in a pool at the bottom of her goggles leaves a wholly lasting impression.
If you’re not reading Catwoman, you’re missing out on one of the best books in the New 52. It doesn’t have the suspense and mystery of Batman or the off-the-wall weirdness of Swamp Thing or Animal Man but it does have a couple of talented creators telling excellent, human stories with characters that just happen to be superheroes or villains or somewhere in between. This book is so much about Selina’s own self-discovery and that’s what makes it so good.