Sunday, September 25, 2011

Catwoman #1

Judd Winick has done a lot of his best work on the Batbooks. As I mentioned in the Batwing review, he's done a lot of "topical" comics, but for some reason, his Batman (and family) work tends to be a little more straightforward action/adventure and is generally pretty successful. So it's not super-shocking that he got handed the Catwoman solo series. Winick turns in a decent issue, but he and artist Gulliem March fail to give a thesis statement for the series, a reason for a Batman supporting character/occasional supervillain to get her own series.

Winick's issue starts with the title character having to flee her home, as it's been blown up some thugs she pissed off via her thievery. In need of her next score, she gets a gig bartending at a bar populated by the Russian mob, so she can listen up for quality stuff to steal. Winick skillfully illustrates the difference between Catwoman and a proper superhero, when she sees a Russian pimp who wronged her in the past. Rather than keeping her cover, she follows him into the bathroom and beats the shit out of him. Seriously, there was enough blood to make even Dan Didio happy. She flees the nightclub and heads to a penthouse she's "borrowing" only to get an unexpected Bat-booty-call. In a moderately graphic scene, Catwoman gives him the Batsignal to go for it, and Batman ends up driving his fleshy Batmobile into her womanly Batcave. I'd post it here but it's vaguely NSFW. But if watching latex'd up vigilantes is your thing, click here.

A lot of people had giant problems with the sex scene. I have midget problems with the sex scene. I got no problem with Batman and Catwoman hooking up, I don't think it does anything detrimental to their characters. I do have a problem with spending four pages (out of a 20 page comic) on it, it's not like they actually get naked, so it can't really serve to titillate anyone, so why not just use a panel or two to hint at what's going on and then use those other pages for story? And while I'm not one of those "think about the children!" types, I do question if a four page sex scene belongs in a publication that DC seems pretty desperate to get into the hands of new readers, presumably some of which are children.

The actual big issue with the comic is that we have no sense of where this comic is going. Selina has no mission, one supporting character, and no real purpose as a protagonist. Why not just let her pop up in a Batbook as either an ally or antagonist until a writer has a strong enough story to merit a Catwoman solo series?

Buy again: Nah.

New reader friendly: Assuming you aren't an impressionable youth, yes.

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