Catwoman: The Game – Judd Winick

This Catwoman is probably one of the greatest female characters in comics. She is strong, independent, self-reliant, beautiful, funny, determined and sexy – very sexy. She is also vulnerable, opinionated, crazy, selfish, irresponsible, childlike and reckless. She is that wacky friend whose mad adventures you love to hear about and who you adore being around, yet wouldn’t trust to babysit or even use the can-opener unsupervised. Let’s not forget a cat-lady is slang for a crazy person.

She is totally bonkers. Anyone who uses brackets in their own internal monologue has got to be a bit unhinged. Yet she embodies the freedom and liberation that each of us wish we could unleash. She has the guts to always push things way past our own timid line. She is also a wonderfully passionate creature. There is a good deal of sensuality and sexuality in this book but with very little actual nudity thus showing the power of the tease.

For the male or female reader she is an enticing and captivating read. The first issue is the perfect story. Her spellbinding quality also works against her unfortunately. As the narrative progresses and the supporting cast and plot are introduced the Catwoman magic is diluted. When we must cut away to tell other parts of the story – and it is a great story – we find ourselves pining for the return of the crazy-lady. No matter how well realised the other characters are they cannot compare to her wonderment.

I am normally against cameos in any form but the appearance of Batman as HER love interest is vital. Theirs is a complex and tempestuous relationship that is like a passionate train-wreck. It burns so brightly that you know it can’t have a happy ending. He is the perfect and essential moral anchor to her libertarian abandon.

The art is fantastic. It has a beautiful cinematic touch to it. The poses, the lighting, the composition and the colouring are all highly sophisticated and used to supreme effect. The layout is bold and dramatic without being gratuitous or incomprehensible. Primarily the tale of cat burglar much of the action takes place at night yet nothing is ever murky or ill defined and there are some amazing shadows and silhouettes.

All the women depicted are wonderfully realistic. They aren’t on the page for you to gawp at with inane proportions and sexualised figures and are more beautiful because of that. Catwoman strikes a wonderful balance between curvaceous and athletic. Her features are angular and unconventional with short spiky hair and intense green eyes, yet embody an arresting beauty. Spending most of her time in a skin-tight cat suit she is still a sensual human being and only transforms into a sexual object when she is using it as a lure or a weapon. It is always on her terms.

It is about time strong, rounded and capable female characters like this stepped out of the shadows. Double Thumbs Up!

194/171.

Tomorrow: Shekhar Kapur’s Snake Woman: Volume One – Zeb Wells

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