Catwoman has been receiving some unfair flack as of late. Since her creation Catwoman was intended to be a sexual being; she’s a minx, a feline hottie who uses her allure to her advantage, especially in dealings with the Batman. Though the first issue featured her red underwear in more panels than I would have cared to have seen, I think this second issue finally takes Catwoman into some kick-ass territory.
The second issue starts right where the first left off, with Batman and Catwoman embroiled in some of the oh-so-welcome rough sex. Catwoman describes it as “play[ing] out a lot like a bar fight.” Would sex with Batman be any other way? Although it can be viewed as gratuitous, I find it hot and fun, and it gives us a view into Batman that we don’t see that often, his passion and sexuality. As much of a pedestal as many nerds put Batman on, we often forget the “man” part of his name. He has needs too, and who better to fulfil them than another creature of the night? The truth is both Batman and Catwoman have so much in common, that they understand and need each other far more than either is willing to let on. Catwoman does, however, express that she “likes” Batman, and that she suspects he returns the feelings.
Beyond the borderline porn, we finally get to see Catwoman do what cats – and indeed many a woman – can be said to do best: be vengeful and vindictive. Catwoman steals a valuable painting in hope of getting two rival Russian mobs to take each other out. Her plan takes her to a charity fundraiser hosted by Bruce Wayne. Wayne targets Selina (Catwoman’s alter ego for those unfamiliar) and tries to get her to leave the party, as he suspects she’s up to no good, and has been intercepting her text messages. One thing that’s cool is Selina’s simultaneous attraction to and repulsion by Bruce. Even their secret identities are playing games of “Bat and mouse.” Catwoman’s plan plays out and she gets the Russians into an altercation. Involving guns. And Death. And sweet revenge.
Here we see her vindictive streak – one of the men killed is someone who murdered a friend of hers. She may have set this all up just to collect the cash, but more importantly to see someone who wronged her die. Catwoman gives off some seriously dark vibes, but comes across as more of an anti-hero than an outright villain – a classic role she’s played for decades.
The comic ends on the flip side of how it began; instead of smutty sex scenes, Catwoman comes home to find an ass-whooping, and her friend tortured and killed at the hands of Bone – a new villain who finds Catwoman “irritating.” I don’t like the idea of Catwoman being sneaked up upon, it makes her seem less cat-like, but seeing her get the crap kicked out of her and witnessing her friend’s murder will undoubtedly lead to some future vengeful scheming. I just hope that this friend-being-murdered-sex-with-Batman-avenging-friend’s-death doesn’t become an endless cycle with her. It’d be nice to see her do some good ole fashioned cat-thieving just for the fun of it.
Writer Judd Winick creates a convincing Catwoman, but though her dealings with the mob and various gangsters of Gotham City are fun to witness, it would be nice to see some of her exploits into thievery. Guillem March’s artwork is awesome; my favourite panel is the red-tinged close-up of Catwoman, smiling at Renald, the mobster who killed her friend, as he’s shot to death. The beating Catwoman receives at the end of the comic is brutal, graphic, and brilliantly drawn. Tomeu Morey’s ability to capture the sheen of Catwoman’s suit is really cool, and the Wayne fundraiser sees Selina in a vibrant red dress against a back drop of attendees dressed in muted colours. It’s a nice touch.
Overall this comic is better than the first volume, and some of the issues should be addressed in the future, especially with the introduction of Bone. It doesn’t quite strike my fancy like Supergirl or Wonder Woman, but it’s nice to see a different, darker, type of “girl power.”