Catwoman Dies
by Will Pfeifer, David Lopez (DC Comics, 2008)

I think we can all agree that making Catwoman a mom wasn't the best idea to come out of DC Comics' big "One Year Later" hoo-ha. Neither was making former prostitute Holly Robinson into the new Catwoman while Selina Kyle relaxes at home in her robe and fuzzy slippers. Actually, come to think of it, I can't think of many good things that came from that "One Year Later" stunt, but that's beside the point.

Catwoman Dies addresses that mistake. Yeah, we all know that, title notwithstanding, Catwoman doesn't really die. But she does realize that juggling part-time costumed adventuring with motherhood is a tough act, and tough decisions must be made.

This book suffers from poor storytelling. The villains -- Blitzkrieg, who has exploding gloves and wants to make her name by killing a kid for her webcam audience; Hammer and Sickle, a ridiculous pair of Russian superbaddies with a grudge; and a gang of homicidal Amazons who want to destroy America -- are unable to carry the book, and you get the feeling the creative team was mostly just trying to fill pages. The only decent bit of writing comes when Selina decides what must be done and calls in a few favors to resolve her problems. Interactions here between Selina and Batman/Bruce Wayne are especially well handled, and touching.

But it all boils down to an admission by DC that recent events in the Catwoman line were mistakes, so they're hitting the reset button and we'll see what happens next. At least in this case they were able to face up to their errors fairly quickly and put Catwoman back in a position where she can star in some really good stories.

Of course, since they also decided to cancel her monthly book, we might have to wait for a while to see them.

review by
Tom Knapp

26 July 2008

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