Catwoman Vol. 1 by Winick and March

DC’s New 52 reboots have been very hit and miss (look at the great Batman and mediocre Teen Titans and the absolutely terrible Batwoman for examples). But this title benefits from the reboot more than most giving new readers (like me) an easy starting point and (importantly) a character that meshes well with the movie version from the Dark Knight Rises.

Catwoman
Vol. 1: The Game
Written by Judd Winick
Art by Guillem March
DC Comics
May 2012

Selena is very much the same kind of character: a cat burglar who wears a tight black leather suit that is easily entranced by all that glitters and collects expensive prizes. We also get the mostly hinted at relationship with Batman. What changed though is how she is handled. This is a gritty, action packed, violent series now with intense, tearing-their-clothes-(but-not-masks)-off sex scenes. The writer takes Catwoman down a very cinematic road and it works.

This collection includes issues 1-6 and covers an introduction to the character, a very graphic introduction to her sexual relationship with Batman, and a story arch about how Catwoman stole from the wrong mobsters. (Or so they think.) How Catwoman gets out of the situation (no spoiler here, right? Or did you expect her to die in the first 6 issues?) holds your attention, but the real story is in how she interacts with those around her. I’d like to see more of how her personality impacts her and more on consequences of her addictions (instead of the last second salvation offered in so many storylines.)

The one problem I have with this book is the rating (an issue that I have with several DC rated books). It just shouldn’t be rated Teen+ and the ratings should be much clearer for parents. This is not to say that I think the sexual or violent elements should not be in the books. Not at all! I believe that the violence (blood, death, murders) and sex scenes between Batman and Catwoman (doesn’t show nudity, but near nudity plus bra) actually fit well with the story. These can be appropriate tools in storytelling, but the content in this book would be rated closer to R if it were in the theater and should be rated clearer for parents. DC does rate this T+ instead of simply T, which they say means, “Appropriate for readers age 16 and older. May contain moderate violence, mild profanity, graphic imagery and/or suggestive themes.” While I think it is closer to M for Mature, “Appropriate for readers age 18 and older. May contain intense violence, extensive profanity, nudity, sexual themes and other content suitable only for older readers” because there are clear sexual themes and scenes, the problem remains that it is difficult to know what to expect in a book with the hodge-podge ratings systems that each publisher makes up and determines on their own.

Overall, the story is gritty and interesting. The art is fabulous with expressive characters (and an especially well drawn Selena, who has a ton of facial expressions). This is one of my favorites from the DC relaunch.


Scott Asher is the Editor-in-Chief of BookGateway.com. His personal blog is AshertopiA – a land flowing with milk and honey… and a lot of sticky people where he turns real life into stupid cartoons, writes on Christianity, Zombies, and whatever else he wants and posts Bible studies from his classes at church.

This book was provided by the publisher as a review copy.