Monday, December 28, 2009

"The End" Week: Catwoman #82


I have a fair run of Catwoman, which I got from the quarter bins: even though I liked it, I wasn't buying it month to month, and then it was cancelled with issue #82. Yes, I'm part of the problem. And I know DC has since solicited #83 since, for some reason, but we'll go with this one. "Final Jeopardy" Written by Will Pfeifer, pencils by David Lopez, inks by Alvaro Lopez.

Although Batman doesn't seem to be in a playful mood, Catwoman is, stealing his utility belt, playing with the Batmobile alarm, checking his phone log. Not wanting to talk, Selina uses Bats' smoke pellets and takes off, over the roofs of Gotham's East End. She smashes through some hapless gamers' apartment, noting as Batman comes smashing after her that Bruce will doubtless pay for the damages later. She does catch his face switching from Bruce to Batman, and it's running time.

Cornered, Bats does go back to Bruce mode, concerned for Selina; but she remembers "the Batman she met on Planet Crazy," presumably during the Salvation Run crossover. Between that, and feeling like she's being scolded by Bats, Selina's had enough.


Selina fights Batman, not really knowing why, and uses all of the utility belt capsules: "Smoke, tear gas, deoxygenating compounds...something called 'regurgitants.'" Batman walks through them all without as much a sniffle. Caught, Selina kisses Bats, but doesn't seem sure why she does that either. She asks if he ever feels closer to him than after the chase, after the fight; and Bats doesn't have a good answer. Selina says she wouldn't do this, if she still had her daughter Helena--from after One Year Later, Selina had recently given her for adoption to keep her safe.

Batman isn't sure about that.
Selina is forced to admit he's right: if she had really wanted to be with her daughter, she would be. She could've left Gotham and walked away, but she didn't: she's Catwoman.

Batman understands. She gives Bats back his belt, but then proceeds to steal the Batmobile, having stolen the batteries from Batman's remote.

It's a fun issue, and Pfiefer makes the most of a bad situation: I don't think readers really wanted the adventures of Cat-mommy, and likewise no one wants Selina to quit being Catwoman. Eventually, someone else would've got rid of Helena, and adoption was probably the least worst way. But...and this is irrational, and also not Pfiefer's fault, but it seems like a dick move for Selina to have to own up to being all right without her daughter, when it seems like a purely editorial decision. The tables had to be cleared so the next writer could make Selina a cat-worshipping nutso, or a pathological thief, or a prostitute, or a superhero. Selina is forced to admit she can't change, when she never had a chance or a choice.

2 comments:

SallyP said...

This was a pretty good book, and an interesting ending. I do prefer Selina as Catwoman, and I have to agree that having Helena adopted is the least icky way of dealing with the poor kid. Which doens't preclude some future writer from messing things up, I suppose.

Anonymous said...

This is why I hate comics... Why do they have to make series's go on and on? This is the plague of having a comic series that never ends. You have characters develop, and then they have to reverse that development, and then explain it. And no matter what you do, it never ever is good. Stories should let the characters develop, climax, and then conclude. I would have been fine with "mommy-Selina" is they rolled with it. Hell, Selina proved to be an alright mother in Earth 2. Sure, in this universe, it was never that good but reversing it and then making her look like a terrible person who can't change?

Why can't they just make a universe, make the characters, develop said characters, climax them, conclude their story, then conclude the plot of the universe? Then do it all over again. Make a new universe, go on from there, and make the stories different. Instead, they create this mess where the same universe has to go on ad-infintum and thus character develop has to constantly be reversed, making the said character look cheap, terrible, or bland.