Review: BATMAN/CATWOMAN #2
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Tom King
Artist: Clay Mann
Colours: Tomeu Morey
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Reviewed By: Derek McNeil
Batman/Catwoman #2: Phantasm has come to Gotham City! Andrea Beaumont, the one-time love of Bruce Wayne, is looking for her lost child, and she’s pretty sure The Joker is involved. So, who better to have as an ally than Batman? And what better way to get to Batman than through Catwoman? It’s a knotted history for this costumed quartet, spanning past, present, and future. What The Joker did to Selina Kyle at the beginning of her career will have deadly consequences at the end of their lives. Tom King’s ultimate tale of the Dark Knight kicks into high gear as the story roars down the avenues only hinted at in the pages of Batman.
In Batman/Catwoman #2, Tom King’s story continues in each of the past, present, and future timelines. I am really enjoying the cuts between the different eras. King could have easily written this as three connected standalone stories. However, by cutting between the three eras, this strengthens the connections, weaving them into a single epic tale.
Switching between the eras does a brilliant job of showing the evolution of Selina over the years, progressing from criminal, to Batman’s lover and helpmate, and finally to grieving widow. It demonstrates the limitations that her relationship with Batman put on her – limitations that she willingly accepted. We see this in her realization that she cannot allow Bruce to find the stolen necklace in her possession. As she tells us, “I liked that %@%ing cat!”.
And in the future timeline, we see that Bruce’s death has freed her from these limitations. She has wanted to kill the Joker, but her love for Batman has held her back. She tells the Joker, “I used to beg him for it. Just this one thing. Just once”. But she denied herself this because she knew that crossing that line was something Batman would never forgive.
And that necklace seems likely to cause trouble for that relationship in the present. Even though Selina gives it to the Joker, Bruce is intelligent enough to suspect Selina’s involvement in its theft. When he questions her about it, she lies and denies stealing it. It’s inevitable that Batman will figure out the whole story, which leaves us wonder how Batman will react to Selina having lied to him.
In the future, the Joker attempts to save himself by using a hidden gun against Selina. I loved seeing that Selina has not lost her skills at stealth. Clay Mann’s depiction of the Joker holding a smoking gun with a leering Selina standing behind him, ready to strike is a masterpiece. I would love to see this image as a poster.
I also noticed that the picture frame that she hits the Joker with is blank. It would seem this is not a mistake, as the picture frame is also blank in other panels. I wonder if there is some significance to this.
And it seems that the Joker has finally met his end. On the other hand, we haven’t been given direct confirmation of his death just yet. And we know that the Joker has survived having his throat cut before, as he reminds us in this very issue. So, it’s best to not celebrate his death quite yet. And if he is dead, it leads me to wonder where the future story goes from there. We’re only two issues in, so I suspect that King has a lot more story left to tell in that timeline.
The present story ends with the Joker surprisingly surrendering himself to Batman, looking for protection from the Phantasm. It seems unlikely for the Joker to be afraid of being hunted by the Phantasm. Although, it does put Batman in an interesting situation, having to defend his worst enemy. But I suspect the Joker is using this as cover for some devious scheme against Batman.
Not a single complaint comes to mind for Batman/Catwoman #2. The first two issues of this series have been fantastic. Hopefully, King and Mann can keep up this level of excellence for the remaining ten.
Batman/Catwoman #2 is another impressive issue of King and Mann’s stellar series. There is a lot of interesting things happening in the world of Batman right now. But in my estimation, Batman/Catwoman is the most exciting of the lot.