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Preview: Batman/Catwoman #6

Batman/Catwoman #6

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann

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

Preview: Batman/Catwoman #5

Batman/Catwoman #5

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann

Batman’s two loves collide, and the smash-up could be dangerous not just for the Caped Crusader, but for The Joker as well. In order to prove her mission is righteous, Phantasm takes Catwoman out on a hit against one of the men responsible for the disappearance of her son. Unfortunately for Selina Kyle, this isn’t the first time she’s gone behind Batman’s back to try to do the right thing, so she’s far too aware of how bad a turn this whole affair could take. Also, in the future, it’s Harley Quinn, ready to avenge Mistah J!

Batman/Catwoman #5

Review: Batman/Catwoman #4

Batman/Catwoman #4

There’s a lot to like about Batman/Catwoman. The concept of exploring Batman and Catwoman through three eras has a lot of promise. Bringing Phantasm into DC continuity also has promise. But, the execution of the series has been frustrating at times and during others outright confusing. Batman/Catwoman #4 bounces around its storylines to the point I’ve forgotten what’s going on when. It also features one of the strangest moments of Catwoman just walking into Phantasm’s lair.

Tom King continues to try to explore Batman and Catwoman’s complicated relationship but delivers so little in the issue. There are some rough emotional moments like Batman realizing Catwoman has been holding information back. There’s also a solid moment where Catwoman lashes out for what is her mistake. But a plot involving their daughter and Catwoman and Phantasm just goes nowhere and delivers nothing. Any of these stories could have been solid on their own and fleshed out. But, as presented, Batman/Catwoman #4 continues a series that’s too choppy for its own good. It’s attempting to play with the various time periods and delivers little beyond frustrations as it’s presented.

Clay Mann‘s art is the draw. Along with Tomeu Morey‘s colors and lettering by Clayton Cowles, it’s the visuals that are the highlight. There’s a tension that’s delivered in the art that’s fantastic as Batman and Catwoman, Bruce and Selina, must balance their dual lives. There’s also a sexiness to it all that is used often but not overused per issue. The team also delivers a fantastic emphasis on key moments such as an older Selina confronting an older Penguin. A particular scene is delivered in a page when it could have been done off panel with characters looking on. The choice is an interesting one visually that changes the scene.

Batman/Catwoman #4 isn’t a bad comic. It’s just a frustrating one. It feels like two of the three plotlines don’t really go anywhere and at least one will have you asking what the point is. Any of the three stories would be solid on their own as a trilogy of comics. But, as presented, they’re chopped up too much never delivering enough to really satisfy.

Story: Tom King Art: Clay Mann
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 8.5 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Batman/Catwoman #4

Batman/Catwoman #4

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann

The Joker has hidden a bomb in Gotham-but there might be a bigger explosion if Batman proves his suspicions true, and Catwoman actually knows where it is! It’s a dangerous secret that threatens to destroy the couple’s relationship in its early days, and it’s going to reverberate throughout their time together. In the present day, it will affect how Selina handles Andrea Beaumont, a.k.a. Phantasm, who has a vendetta to carry out against the Clown Prince of Crime, fueled by the righteous fury of a mother who lost her son. And this whole chain of events is what ultimately leads to Catwoman killing The Joker in the future-a secret she can’t keep from her daughter, Batwoman, much longer. Particularly now that old man Penguin is involved.

Batman/Catwoman #4

Preview: Batman/Catwoman #3

Batman/Catwoman #3

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann

It’s been the Joker all along, you see.

Selina Kyle knows this. Early in her career as Catwoman, he was there to mess things up for her. Same with later, when she and Batman were finally getting together…for the third time, but still. That time stuck. No thanks to the Joker. Or to Phantasm, who now has her sights set on Catwoman because she thinks that will be her in to get after the Joker herself. And she has to do it before Batman gets to him first.

Batman/Catwoman #3

Review: Batman/Catwoman #2

Batman/Catwoman #2

Batman/Catwoman #2 is an interesting comic in that there’s a good story in there, just not the way it’s presented. The comic takes place in three eras and while that presents an opportunity, its execution in this issue is a muddled, confusing mess.

Written by Tom King, Batman/Catwoman #2 continues his epic run on Batman focusing on the duo’s relationship in the past, present, and future. There’s a lot to take in with the series as it also folds in the popular Phantasm from the beloved Batman animated film, The Mask of the Phantasm. Yes, Andrea Beaumont and her alter-ego is now cannon. The one-time love of Bruce Wayne is looking for her lost child and she’s out for revenge against The Joker who she believes is involved. There’s also a bit about a something Catwoman did with The Joker as far as some theft and in the future, Selina wants her revenge against Joker.

Any of those stories would make for a hell of a comic. But, together, they all come off as pieces and slices of a story that never comes together. It’s like reading a dream post-waking up. You remember bits and pieces but it’s not quite a coherent narrative.

Batman/Catwoman #2 is full of quality moments and that’s part of the frustration. The way the issue is presented is too chopped up so nothing ever feels like it every gets the focus it deserves. There’s also the issue with the art.

Batman/Catwoman #2

Clay Mann‘s art is amazing but there’s little to differentiate the time periods. The future with an older Catwoman and Joker is easy to pick out but the present and past blend together a bit too much. This isn’t like Strange Adventures, also written by King, where there are two artists who clearly delineate the two time periods. Instead, it at times feels like there are multiple time periods on a page with little to differentiate them. I found myself focused more on trying to figure out “when” something was happening as opposed to “what” was happening.

What’s frustrating is that Mann’s art is fantastic. Mann is joined by Tomeu Morey on color and lettering by Clayton Cowles. The art is truly great with some stunning pages that’ll leave you lingering. But, for every amazing image, there’s also some that just feel ho-hum.

The ending of Batman/Catwoman #2, which should have massive emotional resonance comes off as expected and lacks shock. What should be a major moment comes off more as sad and muted. And that might have been the intention.

As is, the mixing of time periods on pages and even in page succession, with clear delineation is what trips up the issue. There’s potential for really interesting uses of the three times. Running all three on one page through multiple pages to create a juxtaposition in the times would stand out. But, this just doesn’t click.

Batman/Catwoman #2 isn’t a bad comic but on its own, it doesn’t stand out. What should be major moments fall flat. The art is muddled in some ways though individual panels are beautiful. The comic could be so much more with some minor tweaks and changes. As is, the hype and high profile of the comic works against it. It should be so much better. This is one you might want to wait until its collected to dive into.

Story: Tom King Art: Clay Mann
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 6.0 Art: 7.0 Overall: 6.0 Recommendation: Pass

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for reviews


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Preview: Batman/Catwoman #2

Batman/Catwoman #2

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann

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.

Batman/Catwoman #2

Review: Batman/Catwoman #1

Batman/Catwoman #1

After a lot of anticipation, Batman/Catwoman #1 kicks off off writer Tom King‘s next chapter in his Batman saga that began so many years ago. Spinning out of his Batman run, the series focuses on three eras in Batman and Catwoman’s lives. The past deals with Bruce Wayne and a previous love interest. The present has that love interest return as Bruce and Selina are now an item. And in the future, the two have found a sort of happiness in their lives. We’ve seen glimpses of the future King has envisioned before but this series expands upon that while reflecting on the past.

King is a solid writer, but Batman/Catwoman #1 falls into an issue that King’s work has run into in recent years. King has found a niche in maxi-series events where the whole is the piece of entertainment. But, the whole is made up of individual parts. That can work at times but it often leads to weaker individual issues compared to reading through the story in one go. That can result in a frustrating reading experience and that’s on display here.

Each era King takes us to is interesting and each could be a series by themselves. Batman/Catwoman #1 attempts to juggle its trio of stories resulting in at times confusing mess of a narrative. The shifts between eras aren’t clear such as in King’s Strange Adventures and too little time is spent with scenes. Things come off more as teases than an actual story. Yes, comics are serialized storytelling. They need to be judged by the individual chapter along with the whole. As a beginning chapter, the issue is a bit unsatisfying.

There are some great moments within Batman/Catwoman #1 but the issue as a whole is a tease of what’s to come. There doesn’t feel like an arc within the issue, instead it’s short segments setting up what’s to come. With the comic balancing it’s three story arcs, those setups are shortened and in the end choppy. That’s partially due to the art.

Clay Mann handles the art with colors by Tomeu Morey. The art is great, that’s not the issue. The problem comes with an unclear transition between the eras at times. Only in the future is it really clear when things shift. The present and past blend a bit too well. If that was part of the narrative, it’d be great but that doesn’t seem to be the case here. The breaks aren’t clear enough resulting in at times a confusing reading where it’s not clear “when” the segment takes place. The character designs, colors, and inks look fantastic though. There are some great pages and panels and there’s strength there. It’s just a transition issue. The lettering by Clayton Cowles is solid as well. The lettering and speech bubbles let the art shine, even when a page is dialogue-heavy. The bubbles add to the flow of the visuals.

Batman/Catwoman #1 is a bad start, it’s just not as engaging as it thinks it is. There’s some great ideas and each era could be a hell of a story by itself. The issue is that there’s too much attempted in the first issue with not enough time spent on each. It makes for a beginning that sets things up but doesn’t feel satisfying by itself. It’s the teaser before a film’s credit. It can catch your attention but rarely is it good by itself.

Story: Tom King Art: Clay Mann
Color: Tomeu Morey Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Story: 7.0 Art: 7.85 Overall: 7.0 Recommendation: Read

DC Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review


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Preview: Batman/Catwoman #1

Batman/Catwoman #1

Written by: Tom King
Art by: Clay Mann

At last, Tom King returns to the rocky, romantic saga of Batman and Catwoman with his Heroes in Crisis collaborator, superstar artist Clay Mann! Echoing plot points from King’s epic Batman run, this sweeping tale is told across three timelines: the past, when the Bat and the Cat first fell in love; the present, where their union is threatened by one of Batman’s lost loves; and the future, where the couple have a happy life and legacy-including their daughter Helena, the Batwoman. And as the story begins, after a long marriage, Bruce Wayne passes away-which frees Selina Kyle to settle an old score. At every stage of their relationship, Bruce and Selina have an unwelcome chaperone: The Joker! Oh, and that lost love of Bruce’s? It’s Andrea Beaumont-a.k.a. Phantasm. Just thought you’d want to know.

Batman/Catwoman #1

It’s the Bat and the Cat in Batman/Catwoman #1 in December

After lots of anticipation, DC has announced that Batman/Catwoman #1 arrives December 1 from Tom King, Clay Mann, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles.

The series is told across three separate timelines and continues King’s story from his run on Batman.

Gotham City. Today. Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle have rekindled their long-running, on-again, off-again relationship. Believing all obstacles are removed from their path, they once again begin operating as a duo in their secret lives: Batman and Catwoman working together to fight crime.

There’s the past, when The Bat and The Cat first fell in love. Did they meet on the street? Or was it on a boat? Rooftops, ramparts and gargoyles, and over 80 years of fans that have read their comics, are their only witnesses.

There’s the distant future, where after a long and happy marriage Bruce Wayne has passed away. Selina Kyle decides to settle an old score without having to worry about the Batman objecting. Catwoman is serving a very cold dish: Revenge.

The series is also the hotly wanted debut of Andrea Beaumont, a.k.a. Phantasm to the DC Universe. Beaumont’s return questions how each character operates in their costume and personal lives and threatens Bruce and Selina’s future.

But what about the Joker? He robber Batman and Catwoman of their wedding. Any change in the Dark Night’s life will be result in more chaos from the Clown Prince of Crime.

Batman/Catwoman, by Tom King, Clay Mann, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles, edited by Jamie S. Rich and Brittany Holzherr, will launch a 12-issue run on December 1, 2020, with a cover by Mann and Morey and a variant cover by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair with a main cover by Travis Charest. New issues will ship monthly with a skip month planned for a Batman/Catwoman Special in June 2021, and the series will carry DC’s Black Label content descriptor, indicating content appropriate for readers ages 17+.

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