Catwoman #1: Anodyne

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Pencils: Darwyn Cooke
Page Count: 24
Publish Date: 11/28/01

We last saw Selina in Cooke’s Selina’s Big Score, when she leaves Gotham for a long-term but ultimately botched mission. Catwoman’s been gone so long she’s presumed dead, but Selina–and a few others, including Batman–know otherwise. Now Selina is back in Gotham, with not only a new suit but also a different outlook on life, and newfound  determination to discover just who she is.

I really enjoyed this first issue, leaving me with a better impression than most first issues do. Selina is witty but real, the art is fantastic, and all of the gears are set in motion for a promising series.

In many incarnations, Catwoman is so often portrayed as a coy, flirtatious, manipulative thief; sometimes it seems like Selina’s only presence is to provide romantic tension for Batman. But here, Selina’s trying to rediscover herself and get back on her feet, and we see her as a real person. Brubaker’s writing is a breath of fresh air  (like Cooke’s in Big Score) and that’s the biggest reason why I enjoyed this so much.

Similarly, the scene between Catwoman and Batman neared perfect. While the banter was still there, it still felt like a conversation between two people who care about each other–even if one of them is cut off from virtually all emotion.


You’ve probably noticed that I don’t usually comment on art, but I have to give kudos to Darwyn Cooke, one of my favorite artists. Cooke is a master at the film noir style, and it fits Selina’s character and the world of Gotham. Sometimes his characters looked awkward with the 50’s look, especially Superman from DC: New Frontier, but it really works with Catwoman. It looks chic and gritty at the same time, and only Cooke can pull that off.

Meanwhile, a mysterious villain is killing off escorts; we’ll see how Selina becomes involved with that in the next issue.

My first perfect score!

Very soon now, if not already, Catwoman will be synonymous with Anne Hathaway…I just hope that Nolan takes a page (or several) out of Brubaker and Cooke’s book.

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