Catwoman: Relentless
by Ed Brubaker, Cameron Stewart
(DC Comics, 2004)

Selina Kyle's life has gone all topsy-turvy.

Sylvia, a childhood friend (and partner in crime) has returned from a long stint in prison. Selina's estranged sister, Maggie, has moved back to Gotham with her new husband, Simon. Her partnership with P.I. Slam Bradley is blossoming. And Selina, flush with money stolen from a Gotham crime lord, has put the funds to good use to create a community center in her precious East End.

But, as Catwoman should know, the good times seldom last.

Her community center is burned to the ground on its first day of operation. Sylvia has a grudge and ulterior motives. And the crime lord, known colloquially as the Black Mask, wants his pound of flesh for the money Catwoman stole and, while Selina is hard to pin down, Maggie and her husband are easy to find. So, too, is Holly, Selina's young, adoring friend.

Relentless lives up to its name. Bad things happen in rapid succession; of particular horror are the brutal mental and physical tortures used by Black Mask to break Maggie before Selina takes the bait and comes to the rescue -- as he knows she certainly will.

This arc is full of unexpected turns and surprises, and some of the twists are downright shocking. This dark story will you leave you a little breathless by the time you reach its abrupt conclusion.

You can sense by the end that things will never be the same for Catwoman. I can't wait to see what exciting direction she takes next.

by Tom Knapp
25 March 2006

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