Graphic Novel Reviews: Catwoman 0

The Story

After being caught stealing, a young Selina Kyle is offered a job in the Mayor’s office as part of a program to help street children. While searching through her file in the data base she finds that Selina Kyle is an alias, along with a different name, written in Russian. The man who gave her the position finds out she searched her file, and tries to get her to forget about it. When she refuses he pushes her off the building. Somehow she comes back to life and tries to track down information on her would be killer, only to discover that she was never in the database.

The Review
You know what annoys me more than the fact that New 52 Catwoman’s backstory is a variation on both movie versions, it’s the fact that this issue introduces a mystery that we have no idea when it will be resolved. It’s the fact that suddenly she has super powers. Or at least that’s what we’re meant to assume? And the mysterious past is probably linked to those powers.

What’s wrong with just having her be a thief? A very skilled thief who uses her natural skills, not supernatural powers. That’s the version of the character I like. Someone who is skilled enough to give even the world’s greatest detective and martial artist a run for his money.

Why is the fact that she is a cat burglar not enough to carry the cat motif? Why is it that writers keep trying to go deeper where it isn’t needed. She isn’t Catwoman because she has nine lives. She’s Catwoman because she likes cats and is a cat burglar. It’s that simple. Batman isn’t Batman because he can fly, or use echolocation, or eat bugs. Batman is Batman because he adopted the bat as his totem. He’s Batman because he uses what the bat represents in his work. Catwoman adopted the cat in the same way. As a person she relates to the cat, her personality is similar to a cat, she moves like a cat, but she does not have the supernatural abilities ascribed to cats. Just let her be a cat burglar.

There really isn’t anything worthwhile in this book. The parts of her backstory that don’t involve the ridiculous mysterious past are nothing to write home about. She was part of a home that used kids to steal. Kind of seems like a dumb business model for a crook, considering that any advantage there is in using kids is negated by the fact that they haven’t had enough time to gain experience, and kids tend to be more prone to mistakes. I’m sure a professional thief with an equal amount of training could perform just as well.

The Grade
Overall this book adds nothing new or interesting. The other Zero Issues have all felt somewhat pointless, in that none of them added anything to the current ongoing stories. But at least those that I’ve read so far were interesting stories. This one…not so much. Give it a pass if you haven’t already.


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