At long last, the prophecy of the Tom King‘s epic Batman/Catwoman story has come to pass – or at least the first issue. Tom King’s run with Batman covered many extraordinary events and told many epic stories. It was sad to see his tenure end, but as soon as we found out it would be ending, we found out he would be creating this 12 issue mini-series. Batman Catwoman 1 promises not only epicness, but WTF! moments galore!
I sit here after reading the first issue and my mind is racing 100 miles per hour in circles and knots. The story jumps back and forth between times and never gives you a fragment of what happens in each. The phrase ‘big ball of wibbly wobbly, timey wimey….stuff’ pops to mind. Except then you need to then throw that big ball into a tree shredder followed by a rock crusher. I mean this in a totally epic way of course!
Batman Catwoman 1 – Cover2Cover
The latest Black Label from DC Comics sports several amazing covers! All three of these covers need to be made into posters. They truly capture Batman and Catwoman in all their glory. I would not be surprised if there were a few more variants we did not get previews for.
The artwork inside the covers is likewise impressive. With DC’s Black Label comics, they seem to put more work into them. They add a bit more detail, a bit more shading to enrich every single panel. The people jump off the page as a bit more real than normal. It seems wrong to say the colors of a Batman title are vibrant since it’s dominated with blues, grays and blacks, but the color work is astounding. About the tenth page, we see an epic full page rendering of Batman and Catwoman posing on top a gargoyle head. Not only do the characters take on striking poses, but the rich reds of the background look gorgeous.
We also get some slightly new suit designs for both Batman and Catwoman. While the overall looks remain close to known designs, small additions of extra pouches or color panels really make the new suits look fabulous. Again the attention to detail is really good all around.
Also note in the mansion picture above, the title of this first issue illuminates the first window. I think as we go from issue to issue the titles will rotate from window to window, giving it a very nice touch.
Batman Catwoman 1 – Grab the Delorean!
We knew from early press releases that this story would indeed unfold over several eras, both past, current and future as comic time goes. My first recommendation after buying this comic is run to your local video store or dust off that copy of Batman: Mask of the Phantasm. At least half of this story line will revolve around an old flame from the movie – Andrea Beaumont. If you haven’t seen Phantasm yet you are missing out as it’s one of the great Batman animated movies. It introduces us to Bruce’s first love, Andrea (not the whiny Vickie Vale). She later turns out to be a revenge seeking, masked vigilante called Phantasm. It seems Andrea’s kid ran away and may have come to Gotham to search for something. (Insert WTF! moment here). This seems to cover both past and present story lines simultaneously.
We get some nice tandem fight scenes with Batman and Catwoman as well as a quick rooftop make out session. Then comes a brief scene between Joker and Catwoman. The clown prince of crime and murderer extraordinaire talks with Gotham’s greatest thief like they are old friends. Even though we know they would turn on each other in a heartbeat. The conversation comes across both comical and informative. Joker knows Catwoman is ‘schtupping the bat’, but talks to her like a coworker not an adversary. The weird lines criminals won’t cross.
The future follows Selina in her old age as she journeys to a man’s house. Apparently Bruce Wayne is dead. She talks in a very familiar manner with this old man. Not only do they know each other, but they both know the REAL Bruce Wayne. I scoured each panel looking for clues as to who this elderly gentleman could be. Dick? Tim? No clues jumped out until the final couple pages (insert another WTF! moment here).
Batman Catwoman 1 – Follow the Threads
There are so many threads laid out in this issue. Of course issue 1 starts a bunch but will not answer them yet. The next 11 issues promise to be one exciting, emotional ride for everyone involved.
The one thing that escaped me was the use of the Christmas carol ‘Silent Night’ on three different pages. The very first page covers older Selina as she travels to the elderly gentleman’s home in her car. The song can be heard playing on the radio. The second time Selina sings it as she walks up to the afore mentioned home. Seems normal right? Selina singing it off the radio around Christmas time, but the final time confused me. The final time we hear the song, again over the radio, Andrea Beaumont sits on the edge of a bed in her red trench coat. On the bed next to her lays the outfit of the Phantasm, her alter ego, as it snows outside. It feels like this might be a thread that we need more information to sort out. It makes the final scene creepy as hell. I do have one theory, but I will not spoil it here.
This series is a MUST! The first issue might be a bit confusing, but only in so far as it’s setting up an epic tale to come in the issues ahead. This should be one of the great Batman tales of all time, but with Tom King at the helm, can we really be surprised?
Black Label – As far as this first issue readers need not worry about any adult material. This first issue does not warrant the DC adult label, but that does not mean there won’t be future event that do. No cussing. No blood and only a couple very mild suggestive make out scenes.