Selina's Big Score

by Darwyn Cooke
(DC Comics, 2002)

Before series writer Darwyn Cooke reinvented Catwoman as a sleeker, sexier Robin Hood of Gotham City's East End, he had one more story to tell with the character in her old role as one of the world's premier catburglars.

Doffing her tights and presumed dead by many, Selina Kyle is short on funds and patience. It makes matters worse that a private investigator is on the verge of discovering her secret (as detailed in another collection, The Dark End of the Street), but Selina always has a plan -- in this case, a dangerous caper to lift $24 million from a local gangster's money train heading north to Canada for a big exchange.

It's more than she can handle alone, however, and that means drawing on the assistance of the best crooks that money can by -- including the grim killer/thief Stark, whose spotty history with Selina is detailed in a series of flashbacks.

Selina's Big Score is a fun, energetic, noirish story that shows Catwoman at her larcenous best. Selina's sheer joy in the job is mirrored by Cooke's obvious joy in writing the character, and it combines for a tense, can't-put-down stand-alone tale. That doesn't mean everything goes as planned, however, nor does Selina's merry band come unscathed from the experience.

Cooke also supplies the art for Big Score, and his bold, heavy lines and crisp characterization combine with Matt Hollingsworth's colors for a story that pops from the page. Selina's Big Score is a treat for Catwoman fans and crime noir stories alike.

by Tom Knapp
31 December 2005

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