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Catwoman #1 Review

October 28, 2011

Okay.  To kick off my new found love of writing and keeping a promise to myself, I am starting off the “relaunch” kinda cheating.   Here is my review for Catwoman #1. I wrote it for Expert Comics but it can go here as well. 😉

Catwoman #1

Written by Judd Winick

Art and Cover by Guillem March

“Meet Catwoman. She’s addicted to the night. Addicted to shiny objects. Addicted to Batman. Most of all, Catwoman is addicted to danger. She can’t help herself, and the truth is – she doesn’t want to. She’s good at being bad, and very bad at being good. Find out more about what makes Catwoman tick in this new series from writer Judd Winick (BATMAN: UNDER THE HOOD) and artist Guillem March (GOTHAM CITY SIRENS)!”

Here is the moment I have been waiting for since the news of DCnU: the all-new Catwoman!  She is back in her own series, causing serious controversy. People were up in arms with Barbara Gordon walking again, and now we have people up in arms for Catwoman being sexual. Was this the best book ever? No. Was it super terrible? Not by a long shot. Why am I so certain? I have read almost every Catwoman book out there and I think I should know the character pretty well by now. Yet, we have people crying “too much” and “she is so out of character”. I really beg to differ.

Not that I really appreciate the fact that most of the issue has our beloved Catty in her under garments, but I canappreciate the fact that this book is accessible to new readers. I feel that it she was totally in her realm of character and people calling foul play need to take a step back and think about this for a minute.  Did they not read Catwoman back in the day? What about her first, second, and third series? People are complaining of too much T&A, and I can see that. Back in the 90’s, with the Jim Balent era, that is pretty much all we got. I am fine with that. Catwoman is supposed to be a sexy character. Selina is sexual, sensual, and feisty.  That is what fans love about her, and that is what I always loved about her.

The book starts off very fast-paced with Catwoman’s penthouse being blown up by thugs. From there, most critics feel the book declines in quality and in the end becomes terrible. I happen to disagree with that. We’re introduced to one of Selina’s closest friends, Lola. Lola is aware of Selina’s night time activities and actually cares for her well-being. All in one issue, we’re introduced to Selina’s supporting cast, watch her get a job, kick some ass, and make a little love.

I should address that there have been some changes to the new Catwoman which, honestly, should have been expected. One thing that I loved about the “old days” is Catwoman and Batman knew each other’s alter egos.  Here, that is erased and we are to assume they are still in the dark about each other. What we do have is a Batman that does seem to actually care for Selina since he shows up at her new home to check up on her. That, I love. Yes, I am one of those girls that love the Bat/Cat relationship and I always will be.

We see Catwoman disguising herself as a barkeep to get new information for a job or heist. I loved this aspect, because we haven’t seen much of this side of her skill set in sleuthing in a while. Now, since this is a reboot, I have been curious to know what background they would go with for Ms. Kyle, and here we seem to get a peek. We learn they decided to go with the prostitute angle again since she beats the living crap out of a Russian pimp gangster and sees flashbacks to her life. Yes, this book is very violent and explicit.

Now to the horrible controversy of this book that has people up in arms: there is a good fifth of this book dedicated to the relationship of Batman and Catwoman (and by “relationship” I mean they totally have sex).  This isn’t something that we get to wonder about or imagine in our heads anymore.  It is full-on passion, lust, and some grinding drawn into the book.  Now, was it necessary to show us that? No. Does it ruin the issue as a whole? No. It has never been a mystery to me if they have gotten it on before, it’s just this book simply shows us, and it is what has outraged a lot of fans. People are calling it derogatory to women, women are being objectified, and/or that she raped Batman.  Can I explain something for a second?  We are talking about a woman that dresses in skin-tight leather, steals what she wants, and uses her sexuality to get what she wants. I do not see anything about this being derogatory to women, or that she raped Batman. If you pay attention, it’s actually quite consensual, it’s just that she made the first move. With that, I would like to say I do not find a point in having that thrown right in our faces.  I mean, it has always been fun to assume what they did off panel, but to see it in a relaunch book may have been a bit much.

When Judd Winick stated that Catwoman was going to be sexy about seventy times in an interview, I was worried.  Yes, having her half-naked most of the time in a first issue is a bit much, but I still feel that everything she did was in her character.  Although Catwoman getting it on with Batman was a bit much, and in full costume no less, I still feel that the issue was clever and true to her. Guillem March’s art is decent.  He makes her seem fluid and aerobatic, though Batman’s abs look terribly unrealistic.

It makes me wonder if some readers out there really know Catwoman at all, or if they actually liked the book, but for “popularity’s sake” say they hate it.  It can be a toss up, but I have chit-chatted with some true Catwoman fans and they feel the same as I do.  I wish I could post extra pictures as prime examples.  I may even write a longer review later with tons of visual guides, but for now, I will state that I did enjoy this book.

Also, think about this, dear reader: we have seen two writers leave books so far, who is to say that if DC doesn’t like the backlash they will replace Winick with someone else?  Time will tell, but I will be there for the ride. It is my Catwoman after all.

The solicitation for the next issue does have me worried again. “She’s a thief who lives to steal just for the thrill of breaking the law. He’s The Dark Knight, obsessively driven to battle evil with every ounce of his strength. They should keep each other at arm’s length, but…they just can’t seem to help themselves! Don’t miss this issue – things are gonna get messy!”  The whole messy part has me worried.  What will they show next?

Pros: Sexy, sexy, sexy!

Cons: Sex, sex, sex!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Dimitri permalink
    March 30, 2012 1:42 am

    It’s now been running for a little while and I was wondering if your thoughts have changed. I for one was thrilled with the new Catwoman, especially as the character stopped being fun toward the end of the last series. She was lost and without a purpose.
    This new Catwoman feels very much like a “Catwoman: Year One” and she might not be as sophisticated as in the past but she loves doing what she does best and has a whole lot of fun doing it. To me, that’s the real Catwoman – dangerous, feisty and unafraid to take some risks.
    I have to say, I hope this series goes on for a while and doesn’t go downhill like the last one did (which started out so well). I just hope that Christopher Nolan and Anne Hathaway do the character justice in the upcoming movie.

    Speaking of which, have you played Arkham City? Any thoughts on Catwoman there? Sorry to be asking all these questions – I just stumbled on your blog while searching for something else (but glad I found it).

    • April 2, 2012 12:57 pm

      Thank you for the questions! If you can be a tad patient, I will write up my thoughts for new posts! I have a lot to say! haha 😉

  2. May 27, 2012 6:22 pm

    Hi! I found your blog through your reader spotlight on I really like your blog and agree with your assessment of the new Catwoman book. I like it, too. And honestly, the sex doesn’t bother me. But then again, I do read trashy novels, so I guess I like that kind of thing. Don’t judge! 😉

    I just feel that sex would be natural part of her story, especially with Batman, because she’s very sexual and a little self-destructive. And Batman is often times presented as incorruptible, and I can see Catwoman being drawn to the challenge and taboo of it all.

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