Catwoman: It's Only a Movie
by Will Pfeifer, David Lopez (DC Comics, 2007)

It's Only a Movie entwines a series of plot threads into a single collection, all following hard on the heels of The Replacements, in which Selina Kyle has given birth, retired and set up a young, fairly unprepared pal, Holly Robinson, as Catwoman in her place.

Holly, who proves fairly inept in the role, is arrested on charges of murder. Police know Holly is innocent, but hope her arrest will draw the original Catwoman out of hiding. Meanwhile, a black-and-white-hued criminal known as Film Freak makes a documentary of murder -- with Catwoman as his unwilling leading lady -- while employing a variety of classic film tropes to inspire his crimes.

In a dramatic twist for fans, Selina also reveals the identity of her baby Helena's father. No, it's not Batman.

Then, Selina agrees to don the Catwoman duds once more to pull of a spectacular theft in Metropolis, for which she hopes she can clear Holly's name from all police records. Also, a pair of Russian psychopaths arrive in town seeking revenge on the cat-suited woman who foiled their plans in the past.

All in all, It's Only a Movie is a fairly dense collection in which numerous threads begin, end or continue unwinding. Writer Will Pfeifer has a good handle on the Selina Kyle character and -- whether this was his plan all along or he was responding to readers' dismay -- decided quickly that Holly was not a suitable replacement and got Selina back in the costume. Artist David Lopez draws her smart, sexy and capable, and keeps the action flowing with laudable finesse.

The Catwoman series has since been cancelled, a sad fact I blame partly on the decisions to impregnate and retire Selina from the title role. It's a shame, because this creative team definitely had more stories to tell. Let's hope this character bounds hurriedly off the shelf and back into action.

review by
Tom Knapp

31 May 2008

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