CATWOMAN: LONELY CITY #1/ Story, Art, Colors, Covers and Letters by CLIFF CHIANG/ Variant Cover by JOCK/ Published by DC BLACK LABEL
Ten years ago, all Hell broke loose in Gotham City on what became known as Fool’s Night. A battle with The Joker ended with Batman, Nightwing and Commissioner Gordon dead, Harvey Dent finding redemption and Selina Kyle imprisoned. Now, Selina Kyle is 55, out of prison and returned to a Gotham City where Harvey Dent is mayor, masks are outlawed and the city is decidedly cleaner, safer and a lot less free thanks to the special squad of Bat-Cops patrolling the city.
It’s no place for a thief, and Selina isn’t quite as agile as she used to be. Still, the former Catwoman has a big score in mind. But it isn’t for diamonds or money. Now she’s after information. The information that Batman tried to give her before his death. Information on something called Orpheus that could save Gotham City or seal its doom.
Catwoman: Lonely City is Cliff Chiang’s first foray into writing comics after years of being an artist in high demand, but you’d never know it. Put plainly, this book would be a fantastic offering from a veteran writer, much less a novice. Hopefully this will not be the last time Chiang writes and draws his own work for DC Comics. I suspect it won’t be.
The aesthetic of the book is close to the Darwyn Cooke and Ed Brubaker Catwoman series, which was reportedly a source of inspiration to Chiang. The influence is clear, with Chiang’s art boasting bold coloration and smooth, streamlined designs that are reminiscent of Cooke’s work. The final product, however, is all uniquely Chiang’s.
I’ve heard some say that DC Black Label might as well be called DC Bat Label for all the dark Batman stories it produces. While that’s a fair complaint, Catwoman: Lonely City is a noir masterpiece that exemplifies everything DC’s adult imprint should be capable of. Well done, Mr. Chiang!