To a casual reader, Catwoman 25 may not be the best of issues, but if one steps back and looks at the job the writers did in crafting and telling the story, this issue truly is beautiful.  Issue 25 ties directly into the Joker War story line taking place over in the Batman title.  In fact, a panel from Batman 99 sets up a beautiful dove tail into this issue.  You might want to check out Batman 99 before you read this issue.  The thing, though, comes from the fact while this issue feeds into Batman 99, the story stays pure and together with the Catwoman title story.  If someone does not pick up the Joker War story, they will still be able to follow Catwoman’s story coherently in her own titles.  DC Comics used to be bad about making stories disjointed to fit larger story arcs.

As we know from Catwoman 24, Selina recruited two of the biggest super villains in Gotham to help her steal back some money – Penguin and Riddler.  Not only does she plan to steal some money, but she plans on stealing the Wayne fortune back from Joker.  She steals it, and of course villains are villains and we have double crosses withing triple crosses within backstabbing crosses.  Of course, Selina comes out on top, but not before a couple things happen.  Penguin shoots her in the side as a warning.  He wants the money he rightfully stole, and she is trying to steal from him, but then the ghosts of Villa Hermosa returns.  Catwoman, wounded and out of options, gets saved by Detective Hadley!  Guess the past doesn’t die sometimes.

Catwoman 25: Remembering the Dance

Catwoman's dance
The Dance of the Cat

So where is the beauty?  Through this entire storyline the writers insert a substory colored 100% in Amber.  Selina talks herself through the heist, but in this subplot Selina dances with a tiger, a mean one at that.  One wrong move, one wrong step and the tiger pounces, but of course Selina knows the dance too well.  The tiger circles her as she plays her little game in the real world. 

The metaphor set up is quite brilliant.  The true soul of the Cat is returning.  Selina forgot how much high-end theft belonged to her soul.  She has gone through so much recently.  She nearly married Bruce Wayne/Batman.  Her ordeal in Villa Hermosa still gnaws at her, and she has been unable to find herself.  Where does she belong?  The heist awakens the old Selina, and she knows now where she needs to be.  Catwoman is back!

Catwoman 25 – Now For the Rest of the Story

So why the ‘thrice’ up above?  This story actually breaks down into three stories.  The first one follows the heist and Selina’s re-awakening.  The second story brings Selina home, back to her roots where she knows she belongs now – Alleytown.  The place in Gotham where Selina grew up and learned her thieving skills now becomes home once more.  Only this time Catwoman will run the show instead of being a lackey.  Once she shows some upstart kids the true nature of pickpocketing, she tells them to spread the word.  The Cat’s lair returns. 

As for the final story we get to follow a real game of cat and mouse where Selina becomes the mouse.  Who is the cat? The cat is…well…a cat.  We follow the stalking of an actual feline as it cases Selina and prepares to outwit her.  The only problem is the more cunning?  The cat or the cat lady?  This is a fun story that does an excellent job showing the deviousness of both the cat and Selina, and how well Selina can manipulate circumstances, situations, people…and cats.

In the end this was a great read if you look at all the things being said and shown in the drawings as much as the story telling.  The actions are well enough, but the meaning put into the overall story really does a great job rebuilding not only who Selina Kyle is, but who is Catwoman!