Review: BATMAN/CATWOMAN #6
[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 #6: As mysteries deepen, so do resentments. Throughout her life, Catwoman’s actions have caused many close to her to doubt her motivations. Bruce Wayne, Phantasm, and now her daughter have all had their suspicions about her deals with The Joker. And when she killed the old clown, did it trigger this feline’s ninth life? Or maybe it was really over all those years ago, the first time Phantasm drew her blood and Batman had to face a harsh truth. There are big revelations waiting to be found here at the halfway point in Tom King and Clay Mann’s final word on the Bat/Cat romance!
Batman/Catwoman #6 marks the halfway point in Tom King’s series and also an important turning point in the story. Bruce and Selina’s daughter Helena confronts her mother, accusing her of killing the Joker. At first, Selina ignores this, but later tells Helena, “Say it again. But this time, you poor girl, don’t demand. Just ask me”. And when she does, Selina’s response is “Damn #%#$&%# right I did”.
So the question is what will Helena do about it? From what we’ve seen, Helena is very much her father’s daughter. But we don’t really know how much of her mother is in her. Selina had refrained from killing the Joker, because she believed that Bruce would never condone it. But will Helena?
Before giving Helena that answer, Selina dons her Catwoman costume and joins her daughter on patrol. It could be that she was getting in one last adventure before possibly surrendering her freedom. But it could be that this interaction with Helena has raised some doubts in her daughter’s mind about the best path to take. I am sure that Helena will at least press for Selina’s reasons before taking action.
I don’t know if it’s synchronicity or deliberate planning by the DC’s two foremost writers named Tom, but this week features two beautifully touching moments involving Dick Grayson. Tom Taylor’s Nightwing #83 shows Bruce expressing his gratitude and pride to Dick for honouring Alfred’s memory. And in this issue, Selina makes clear to Dick how Bruce felt about him. She tells him, “You were always the kindest. He’d say that, and he didn’t like to compare. You know, he considered you to be his greatest triumph. That he could give you what he didn’t have. I think in his dark moments, that was his guiding light. You’re a good kid. And he was so proud of you”.
Tom King’s run on Batman was rather divisive. Some loved it, and some absolutely hated it. But I feel that it’s scenes like this that show King absolutely is a master at writing Batman comics. I would put this issue up with King’s Batman Annuals as some of the best Batman stories of all time.
I love the nice little nod to DC history when Selina and Helena have a conversation while sitting on a neon sign that spells out “World’s Finest”. This of course refers to the series in which Batman and Superman regularly shared adventures. It’s even in the same font as the original World’s Finest logo. I wonder if this is a hint that Clark might make a guest appearance in the series at some point.
In the past storyline, Selina asks the Joker a question, “Am I good person?”. This appears to be the question at the core of King’s story. Selina is trying to determine whether she is a good person or not. Last issue, she stated the belief that she isn’t. But is she being honest in her self appraisal? The Joker answers, “You’re asking me? Well darling, not everything has to be funny. But that certainly is”. But that’s a rather ambiguous answer. Does the Joker find it funny that Selina asked that question of him of all people? Or does he find the idea that Selina is good to be laughable? Or is it that she is good but can’t except it that he finds humorous?
Clay Mann’s art continues to be superb in this series. His character depictions are spot on, and the fight scenes are impressive. I’m not quite sure how to feel about seeing a Selina as a senior citizen in a skimpy Catwoman outfit. While she still maintains the fit figure of a much younger woman, she looks like someone’s grandma from the neck up. It’s a very odd juxtaposition. But it’s not unbelievable that Selina would have kept herself in decent shape.
I absolutely loved this issue. No complaints at all.
Batman/Catwoman #6 stands out as an especially good issue of an already fantastic title. Scenes like the one between Selina and Dick are just pure gold. At this rate, this series will undoubtedly be remembered as an all-time classic.