Story Synopsis: Catwoman (2002-2008) Vol. 1: Trail of the Catwoman
Selina Kyle aka Catwoman has turned over a new leaf and decided to leave her criminal ways behind. However, Kyle learns pretty quick that being a “good guy” is so much harder than her old life in this week’s Comic Rewind, Catwoman (2002-2008) Vol. 1: Trail of the Catwoman.
Slam Bradley was the private investigator who was investigating the death of Catwoman for the mayor of Gotham. Catwoman disappeared shortly after she was paid to killed a woman running for mayor of New York City, Selina Kyle.
Catwoman’s Life Just Can’t Be Simple
However, as Bradley got closer and closer to getting answers about Catwoman’s death he discovered three things. First was that Catwoman and Kyle probably cut a deal to split the murder-for-hire money. Next was that neither of them was actually dead. However, the third was the most shocking. Catwoman was Kyle’s criminal alter ego.
The third story was perhaps the most interesting. Batman gave Kyle the info of a woman who ran a clinic, Dr. Thompkins. Thompkins was a do it all kind of doctor from therapist to ER surgeon and everything in between.
Kyle had trouble sleeping and couldn’t figure out why. She was missing something in her life and it was causing her to be restless. Thompkins suggested that maybe it was Kyle missing going out and being Catwoman. However, Kyle didn’t want to return to that life of crime.
Kyle put on a new costume and when she found out sex workers some of whom were her friend were being killed the new Catwoman was born. This new Catwoman would help the people Batman was too busy for.
The fourth story sees Kyle’s friend, Holly, framed for murder and Catwoman started to investigate the case. The case quickly became too big for Catwoman to handle solo. However, luckily for her she has a badass P.I. friend named Slam “motherf’n” Bradley. That isn’t actually his nickname, but it should be. The two team up to take down some corrupt cops.
Catwoman (2002-2008) Vol. 1: Trail of the Catwoman was written by Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke with art by Cooke and Mike Allred among others. DC Comics published the volume in 2013.
I Like This New Catwoman
After my Batman review a few weeks ago I decided to look more into comics like Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score. Well it just so happens that my favorite noir comic writer, Brubaker, did some Catwoman comics.
I expected a Catwoman only comic without any Batman, but early on we do see him a few times. However, he doesn’t get too involved and mostly just talks to Catwoman.
It was interesting to read a comic with the ultimate femme fatale from the point of view of the femme fatale. They always mess up the happy ending for our protagonist and the reader hates them for it. However, in this the femme fatale is our hero and we hope she destroys everyone’s lives.
I liked seeing Catwoman being good. It is a hard line to walk because you don’t want her to suddenly be a little goody two-shoes like she’s never done something wrong in her entire life. However, you also don’t want her to lose her bad girl edge. Brubaker did a fantastic job of walking that line and keeping Kyle likable and vulnerable.
Slam Bradley Is Just So Cool
My new favorite character is Slam Bradley. I’ve never heard of this guy before, but he is so cool. Bradley is your typical noir protagonist like Humphrey Bogart. He kicks ass and Kyle respects him. Kyle probably respects only two men. The first is Batman and the second is definitely Bradley.
I liked this volume a lot, but it was just missing something. The noir elements were just a bit off. It could be that the story is from the femme fatale POV aside from the Bradley story. I just can’t put my finger on what, but something was off.
If you like noir and/or you like Catwoman this is a must read. Brubaker is the best noir comic writer out there and Cooke’s art feels so right for Batman universe comics.