This week we get an amazing drop from DC Comics that has nothing to do with Future State. With the latest in the Black Label line, we step out of the future reality back into the triple time frame of Tom King‘s imagination. Batman and Catwoman in both past present and future. Also in Batman Catwoman 2, we finally get – HER.

Batman Catwoman 2 – Cover2Cover

I love the covers for this series. They are simple in design, but convey not only the time frames involved within, but also covey the allure and elegance of the characters. The third cover, representing the future, also includes Joker now that we know plays a role throughout this series. These covers really need to be posters.

On the title page, issue 2 confirms a few things about not only that page but themes going forward. This 12 issue series will light a new window with the titles of every issue. Note the windows even have numbers over them, so that gives it a nice ongoing design. The thing that does not make sense yet, but might as we move forward is the issue titles. It appears every issue will be named for a Christmas song. First we had ‘Silent Night’ and now we get ‘Up on the Housetop’. I am not sure how much sense each song has to the issue itself, but hopefully a pattern will emerge as we go.

Batman Catwoman 2 – Story of the Past

At last! An old fan favorite from a Batman animated movie finally appears. If you have not watched Batman: Mask of the Phantasm (now streaming on HBOMax) you really need too. Not only does it sit as one of the best Batman stories animated or not, but Andrea Beaumont, aka- the Phantasm, looks to feature prominently in this story going forward.

Joker wiped out her rich family and she seeks revenge on him. In this series she kills those closest to Joker or those who served him. She coins the phrase “(first and last name), your angel of death awaits you” before she kills her target.

Her tactics to flush out Joker apparently work. Joker gets so scared of her, he turns on the bat-signal above the GCPD and begs Batman to arrest him. You know you cast a big shadow if Mr. J fears you. With this turn of events Joker now plays a major role in all three timelines.

Batman Catwoman 2 – The Present

During her prime, Selina worked both sides of the law. She helped Batman, but she still stole when it suited her. How does one date a crime fighter when one is a criminal themselves? These scenes from the ‘present’ do a wonderful job showing us two things. They show the duplicity of Catwoman at the time. She works with Joker but helps Batman. In the case of Jimmy the Lion’s murder, her two lives cross paths. She knows if Batman finds out there will be hell to pay.

The other thing this scene builds upon is her dance with Joker. All three scenes use their relationship to forward the emotions of the story. In the past Joker grovels in fear of Phantasm. The present shows Catwoman and Joker on equal footing. Not every criminal can barge into and walk out of Joker’s lair with their lives in one piece. Their dance in the future in many ways foreshadows events of the past two timelines. Speaking of the future….

Batman Catwoman 2 – The Future

In the past, Batman needs to deal with a past love in Andrea and current love in Selina. Current girlfriends and exes never mix well, but do not forget the added compilation of Joker as well. You know things will not go well. In the present, Joker interferes with the Selina/Bruce relationship once more through the events of the Jimmy the Lion murder. With ten issues to go, I find it hard to believe Joker will not screw something up there.

Now in the future timeline Selina talks with an old friend. At the end of issue 1 we find out this mysterious gentleman is none other than Mr. J, a poorly aged Mr. J. Once again they play a cat and mouse game as they talk in a congenial manner like old friends. Mr. J gets them some water for them as Selina plays with her cat. What could go wrong?

Joker thinks he can get the drop on Selina, but she is five steps ahead of him. As she pummels him into the ground she blames him for some happening in the past with Andrea and how it haunted her all these years. Apparently something big will unfold in the past timeline, and whatever it is (knowing King’s style it’ll be huge) the rage moves Selina to kill Joker once and for all! She actually slashes him through the throat just like she said she would.

Batman Catwoman 2 – Weaving a Masterpiece

Tom King weaves a masterpiece of a tale with this series and we are only on issue 2! This issue does a lot to show the complexities of the Batman/Catwoman relationship, but it foreshadows major events that will play out in issues to come. The interconnections between these three are amongst the best in all of comics. It’s nice to finally see a story focusing on the three of them. In many ways each wears a mask. Not only the obvious one of their alter egos, but in how they deal with each other.

I am also loving the artwork in the series. To be honest some of the panels do not work efficiently as far as story telling, but they look amazing and give an epic feel to the scene.

In some ways that causes my only complaint for this issue. It ended too quickly. Telling three interlinked stories over the length of a regular comic does not give much room for length and depth. When all is said and done I do not doubt the story will flow beautifully and possess tons of depth, but issue by issue the wait for the rest of the story can be unbearable.

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