Here is one angry cat wielding one bloody bat. Her costume’s ripped and spattered red; her best – only? – friend and fence Lola is dead. Watch out, bad guys.
MEOW? Not right now. But HISSSSSS. Definitely HISSSSS.
INSIDE STORY: Sharp-dressed skull-headed Bone tells Catwoman, aka Selina, he brutally murdered her friend/fence Lola because of his troubled past: his f-ed up parents and the tortures he endured living in a group home. After offering up his defense, he orders his goons to kill her and heads to a nightclub for a pricey lap-dance.
Catwoman busts many a move, saving herself, shooting several villainous kneecaps, and finally crashing through the glass ceiling (nice!) of the lap-dancers’ nightclub. She drags Bone out on a ledge (because this is Gotham, and city regulations demand all superhero brawling be conducted on gargoyle-dotted rooftops) and commences a beat-down.
Her grief-fueled rage/rage-fueled grief renders Catwoman feral. She brutally bashes Bone and starts to push him over the ledge when Batman appears, ready to serve as her conscience and Bone’s savior. She offers up a quick kiss, but rejects the chance to play nice and pushes Bone over, whereupon Batman swoops in and does his heroic bit.
Catwoman falls apart, curled fetal in a dirty corner, reflecting on her bad, sad self, then returns to Lola’s to burn all evidence of her thieving, Lola’s fencing, and their friendship. As she hovers over Lola’s body, saying a silent goodbye, she hears footsteps. She hopes, assumes, it’s Batman come to … console? Excuse? Roll in the hay? But it's not. It's the cops.
Ramble: Favorite so far. The Catwoman-Batman relationship reveals itself as complex, as we discover Catwoman relies on Batman to serve as a proactive conscience, keeping her from crossing lines she doesn’t really want to cross anyway. She’s removed responsibility from her own shoulders and placed it on his. Consciously or not.
Best scene this issue is Catwoman smashing the glass ceiling and stirring up trouble in the nightclub. I know I’m reading too much into it, but to me, she was committing a violent act of feminism. She crashed into this circle of lap dancers, grabbed the bad guy, and started to smash his face in.
This is such a far cry from the overtly sexual, man-pleasing Catwoman on cover #1, I’m astounded. She’s overtly sexual, but that sexuality now comes across as an integral part of her defiance and power.
Having said that, she still spends a hunk of this issue 1) having Batman save her (from becoming a murderer); and 2) waiting for Batman to save her (as she huddles over Lola’s dead body). Especially without knowing Batman’s motivations/feelings, the relationship seems skewed, with Batman holding the upper black-gloved hand.
Would still like to see more psychological distance between Cat and Bat, but if the issues keep grabbing me like this one did, I’ll consider pledging allegiance in the form of $2.99 a month.
Who the Hell are These People?
Catwoman: Selina, a hooker-esque thief with a heart of pawn-shop gold and a weakness for the Batman
The Batman: The Batman, alter ego Bruce Wayne
Lola: Catwoman’s fence, Selina’s friend, dead as of issue #2
Bone: Real name Louis Ferryman, skull-headed thug with a taste for both the finer things and extreme violence
What the Hell is Going On?
Catwoman stole a painting and started a mob-battle over it. She also stole some preciousness from a skull-headed thug named Bone, who killed her friend/fence Lola as payback, and to find his things.