next week, issue #4 of Batman Black and White hits stores and It’s a pretty important issue to me. The title itself was a dream project when i was trying to break into comics, it’s also what lead to the prestigious statue line by DC of the same name. I was assigned 2 statues for that line ( Batman and Batman Beyond), but having never gotten to draw a story for it, it never felt complete. So..this is one goal fulfilled.
I feel a lot of people dream of breaking into DC or Marvel to get on a big team book, something top seller, change the industry, and be wildly famous- as did I. But in the end, i found out what made me happiest ( and stress-free), was just telling a few good Batman stories. It’s all i ever wanted to do at DC. Of course, you hear people say that all the time. So, here’s one more i guess.
I’ve drawn Batman before in multiple titles and books, thousands of panels, and sketched him more times than i’ve backed out of my own driveway. But this issue- 8 pages i got to write and draw myself, this is pretty much the milestone for me. After this short story, and this past year’s run of Lil Gotham, if they never let me draw another Batman story again- i think i’ll be okay with that (:
Here’s a page from the story.
(This needs Helena Wayne to complete the look of surprise on Selina’s face. I mean, if everything happening in the Worlds’ Finest and Batman/Superman books is taking place before Forever Evil, then technically Bruce and Helena would have already met by this point, yes? /Wishful thinking).
From the pre-Crisis Earth-1 continuity, I did love the story The Horoscopes of Crime which I did review here. In that story she actually did meet (and fought) Helena Wayne as the Huntress, though she never learnt her true identity. In this story we see a team-up between Catwoman and Poison Ivy as well as a team-up between Huntress, Batgirl, and Batwoman. It was tonnes of fun!
I also loved The Shadow of the Cat story arc which focused on Batman and Catwoman teaming up to take down Catman whose crimes were being blamed on Selina. The sub-story arc here is that she was also fatally ill, which helped bring Bruce closer to her, but she also got a hold of Tom Blake’s magical African cape to cure her from it. So a happy ending was had! (Except in Catman’s case).
The last story I enjoyed from the pre-Crisis Earth-1 continuity was A Night on the Town, which was the last Batman and Catwoman story that was told before Crisis on Infinite Earths completely rebooted continuity from scratch. It was also published in the same year that we got Frank Miller’s godawful Batman era.
From the post-Crisis continuity, I absolutely loved the first volume Catwoman’s solo series. The stories were a lot of fun, the character was well written, and she had team-ups with various DC Universe characters, including the Huntress (Bertinelli flavour), Harley Quinn, and even successfully stole Catman’s cowl and cape.
I loved the second volume of her solo series as well, the only thing is I wasn’t crazy about hooking up Selina with Slam Bradley and found the Black Mask story arc too dark and gory for my liking, but it was otherwise good. I also liked Gotham City Sirens, though admittedly the stories stopped being good when Paul Dini left the book. :/
I would have to say my favourite story arc that featured Selina was Hush. It was also the story where Bruce revealed his identity to Selina for the first time in this continuity, and marked the beginning of them having a more intimate relationship/friendship. A bloody shame that ALL of this is gone from the New 52. :(
This one from Brave and the Bold #197:
I became the Catwoman so I’d never have to be at anyone’s mercy again, and now look at me! I’m sorry Batman. I didn’t want to lie to you [about the plane crash and getting amnesia], but…I just didn’t see any other way out.
You first knew me as a jewel thief called ‘The Cat.’ Lord it seems a million years away, doesn’t it? What you didn’t know is that I had been the cat over two years since the end of my marriage.
I’d been very young—it was a mistake, a bad one. My husband was very wealthy. He also liked to beat me. When I divorced him, he responded by using his connections to try and ruin me financially, professionally, emotionally.
I hated him. I wanted to get back at him. But the only loss he understood was material loss. So one night, when he was out of town, I sneaked onto his estate, ransacked his office, his safe, the jewels he bought me and then kept.
It felt so good! Too good. It was so easy to continue to convince myself that I deserved the things I stole because of all of the pain I’ve been through.
[The charade and the amnesia was] because I was trapped. I wasn’t Selina Kyle anymore, I was the Catwoman! Because I was thirty years old and I didn’t want to die without love, without children. I wanted to start over again. Is there something wrong with that?
-Selina Kyle to Bruce Wayne
Needless to say, this came from the version of Catwoman who did marry Bruce Wayne and had her daughter, Helena Wayne, with him.
I like this version of Selina’s origin because everything about it had been a consequence of decisions she made throughout her life. She made a bad decision when she was young that resulted in her entering an abusive marriage, but her life’s circumstances never forced her into a position of being abused by others. Even when she did find herself in the hands of an abuser, she didn’t allow herself to become a victim and instead cleverly turned the tables on him.
When she decided to become the Catwoman, she did it as a way of feeling empowered, for the thrill that it brought her, and the freedoms that they granted. Mind you, they were criminal in practise, but the point was her activities as Catwoman were very liberating to her and brought a sense of adventure to her life.
When she finally decided that enough was enough, she similarly did whatever she had to to start over. Obviously she ‘reformed’ several times in the pre-Crisis continuity before falling back to her old habits as Catwoman, but when she did take it seriously, she went through with it. She resumed her life as a normal civilian and eventually accomplished the second thing she wanted most in her life: a family. She got to accomplish that dream alongside Bruce Wayne (who wanted the same things she did) and lived her life to the fullest up until her very death.
The Earth-2 Catwoman not only had a very rich history, but she was also a very layered character and you saw her evolve. While not much of her married life was explored pre-Crisis (sadly), when it actually was, the stories were often very powerful and moving. At least to me they were. Best of all, you saw how much she changed from her beginnings as Catwoman and her beginnings as happily married woman and a mother. She was also (originally) 37 years old when she gave birth to Helena, which sent a very powerful that it is never too late for a woman (in any stage of her life) to marry and have children.
It is precisely for all of the above reasons that the Earth-2 Catwoman will always be my favourite version of Catwoman. Everything about her is absolutely great and she lived a full life. That’s the most powerful message of all.
Like taking a candy from a baby. The baby being a secret government organization.
Catwoman by Pepe Larraz