DC Comics Batman Catwoman Special although initially intended as a Christmas issue only hit the comic store shelves in late January 2022 and given the circumstances that’s a good thing. Why we hear you ask? Well for one thing this is not a cheery read! In fact, it is sufficiently grim in places that I personally found it tough going. Not that it is not masterfully written as one would expect from Tom King. It’s the gut-wrenching depiction of a young Selina Kyle’s early life that jars a bit.
Further, the majority of the artwork was completed by John Paul Leon just prior to his untimely death which also adds a layer of sadness to the book. The second half serves as a tribute to JPL and there are numerous pin-ups, backup stories and a touching Eulogy from Kurt Busiek.
As we say a great issue tinged with sadness.
The story and art are both top-notch and although the main story only covers 38 pages, it crams in a whole life story taking the characters from the cradle to the grave via a sequence of carefully crafted scenes. Internally the palette is much more muted as compared to the bright almost nostalgic cover and seems to convey the overall feeling of sadness. The dialogue adds to in spades, being almost heartbreaking at times.
As we said not your usual cheery Christmassy stuff.
Fortunately, there are a few lighter moments to dispel the gloom.
We have to give it 9/10. As stated it is not a light or pleasant read but one that demonstrates the power of the medium and serves as a fitting final tribute to John Paul Leon who will be sadly missed.
Batman Catwoman Special One-Shot By DC Comics From January 2022.
Writer: Tom King
John Paul Leon – Pages 1-13 & Breakdowns 14-20
Bernard Chang & Shawn Crystal – Finishes Pg 14-20
Mitch Gerads – Pages 21 -38
Cover Artist: John Paul Leon
There are four cover variants for the completest by Lee Weeks, Dell’Otto & a 1:25 edition by Bill Sienkiewicz (pictured below)
This is a comic to read and reflect upon more than anything and in years to come, this will likely become a sought-after issue both for its powerful story as well as its significance.
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