Selina Kyle, better known as Catwoman, is a character who has been reinvented many times over the years and dates back to 1940’s Batman #1. With the New 52, she has not so much been reinterpreted as reinvigorated. After reading Judd Winick’s excellent Batwing #1, I was highly anticipating his other book, Catwoman #1. I’ve enjoyed Catwoman comics before, but this new Catwoman title has emerged as one of my very favorite DC New 52 books, in that it’s one of a few titles I have bought all three issues for. It started out with #1 which is a great start to what has become an excellent, albeit controversial, series.
Stealing has always been a big part of Catwoman’s life, and as #1 opens, it seems it is catching up with her as she barely has time to get her costume on to escape before masked assailants storm her apartment and then blow it up. Selina, and a carrier full of cats, survive the attack and must regroup. This begins a series of events that see Selina seeking shelter, seeking new stealing jobs, and unknowingly stumbling into an opportunity for revenge. She’ll have to stay under the radar if she wants to succeed, or does she?
The book is narrated by Selina as she analyzes her troubles, introduces allies and enemies, and gets to work on finding a heist. It’s all perfect because it is so in character. Winick does a fantastic job writing Selina’s dialog and creating the situations for her to work her way through, creating a few notable characters along the way that play largely into the developing plot of the book. Even the end of the book where Batman makes a pretty interesting cameo (and I won’t go further than that), while shocking to some, is perfectly in character with Catwoman.
The book has Catwoman being sexy and therein lies the controversy. I don’t plan to editorialize on this much other than to say, what’s wrong with having Catwoman be sexy? She is the leather wearing lady in a cat costume, complete with a whip. The book is rated T+ (Teen Plus) and isn’t meant for kids. Sexiness is in Catwoman’s character DNA, and Winick and artist Guillem March play up Selina’s sexiness to the hilt. It’s awesome to see.
Awesome also is March’s art itself. Formerly on the book Gotham City Sirens, March is no stranger to drawing the lovely ladies of Gotham City and the art, at times, is borderline cheesecake. Selina looks beautiful, tough, and intelligent. But it’s not all sexy stuff: there are also the distinct depictions of violence, such as the assailants seen at the beginning of the book and upon the individual Catwoman takes her revenge upon. Not to mention the rich backgrounds from posh hotels to underground clubs of the Russian mafia. It is all very stylized, detailed, and fantastic. It’s also worth mentioning the coloring job done by Tomeu Morey; the colors are almost surreal and add to the art’s style.
Catwoman #1 gives Selina Kyle the book she’s always deserved. She’s sexy, she’s tough,she’s crafty, she’s stealing and she’s making trouble for herself and others. The heady blending of excellent story with vibrant visuals makes for a great comic starring comics’ ultimate bad girl. And while you might think I enjoy Catwoman simply because I’m a guy going for eye candy or cheap thrills, I gotta say that my wife and Super-Flyer Jared Whittaker’s wife both enjoy this new Catwoman book immensely. The plot thickens in issues #2 and #3, and I’m happy to report that the quality seen in the first issue is maintained in those following issues. So give Catwoman #1 a try and you may become a fan too!