Batman and Catwoman 22
Peter J. Tomasi, Patrick Gleason
Spoiler alert! You have been warned!
The newest issue of the former Batman and Robin, titled Batman and Catwoman, was yet another installment of the tale of Batman grieving in his own dark and violent way. This month, the despair stage of the cycles of grief was explored with a character who, at first, seemed a little out of nowhere. But after reading Batman’s story featuring on-again off-again love interest (and adversary), Catwoman, I completely understand why Peter J. Tomasi and Patrick Gleason chose her for such a complex stage. It was, quite honestly, an amazing decision. And it made for a great read.
The issue’s storyline was pretty straight-forward, which is sort of this creative team’s forte. When it comes to complexity, they believe that “less is more” and really count on their readers being intelligent enough to draw their own conclusions. Some would call this lazy. I call it brilliant. The issue starts with Bruce discovering that Alfred has hired Carrie Kelley to be Titus’ (Damian’s dog’s) dogsitter. It also puts him in an awkward position where she starts to investigate just where the recently deceased Boy Wonder actually is. But more on that later. We’re then shown Catwoman being recruited by Steve Trevor of the Justice League of America to apprehend (meaning ideally save the life of) a young Chinese girl who has been kidnapped by terrorists. Catwoman, knowing that she’s in over her head (and Batman’s in need of some skull-cracking) gets Bruce’s attention and they team up, beat up some bad guys, and save the little girl. There’s a beautiful scene at the end where Batman tells the little girl not to close her eyes when he’s “flying” from the rooftop. He tells her to imagine she’s living a dream and that in his arms, she is completely safe. Looking at the little girl and Selina, Bruce even manages to smile. We’re then shown Carrie answering her voicemail, with a message from Bruce-as-Damian (Batcave technology plot devices never get old) explaining that he will be contacting her via email from now on. Then there’s that last page. With Two-Face. Which is awesome.
So we’ve got another grand slam issue proving that this creative team, even with one of the two title characters gone, still has the chops to make this not only one of the most consistent Batman family books on a monthly basis, but one of the greatest reads on the stands. Period. The complexity and the acknowledgment of old stories (for those of us veteran Bat fans still hanging around after the New 52 changed things forever) and building new mythology (for those new readers who are still hooked after almost two years) make this a must-read book for anyone and everyone’s list. And I can’t wait to see all of these hints and shadowy scenes and seemingly throwaway comments lead us into the next big storyline by Tomasi and Gleason. As usual, this is a perfect read and my vote for pick of the week.
My Rating: 5/5