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Catwoman #79 Review

Catwoman #79 review by Hugo Bravo

Written by Wil Pfeifer
Art by David Lopez

Being one of the few females of the DC Universe with her own monthly series, Selina Kyle has gone from recurring Batman foe to one of DC’s most beloved anti-hero. Her current series debuted in 2001 with Ed Brubaker as writer. With a new back story and supporting characters, Brubaker’s acclaimed run lasted until issue 37. Taking the reigns over from such a run could be difficult for any writer, but Will Pfeifer bravely continued Catwoman’s solo book, and carried Selina on a road that put her in the spotlight today as one of DC’s first ladies.

Thanks to Pfeifer, Selina Kyle has had one of the most interesting changes since 2005’s Infinite Crisis. During 52, she teamed up and conceived a child with police officer Sam Bradley Jr., son of detective (and one of DC Comics’ oldest characters) Slam Bradley. Tragically, Sam met his demise before he could ever meet his daughter Helena Kyle. With her sidekick Holly Robinson taking on the new role as Catwoman, Mommy Selina gave up the leather outfit (at least temporarily) to be a proper parent and give her daughter a chance at a normal life. But after putting Helena’s life in danger with every new adventure, Selina realized that the world of Gotham’s most famous cat burglar is no place to raise a child.

With a little help from Bruce Wayne, Selina faked her own death and gave Helena up for adoption. Heartbroken, she tried to put Helena behind her and briefly returned to her criminal ways, before being captured and taken aboard the Salvation Run planet. After run-ins with her fellow villains, Selena found a way back to Earth. Meanwhile, grandpa Slam Bradley has been on the trail of Catwoman’s mysterious disappearance, and it seems that he’s gotten a little too close to a burglar with the ability to multiply himself. He’s been working with one of Selina’s most recent foes, the Thief, a collector who stole all her criminal gadgets and utilities and tried to blow her up in her own apartment. Looking forward to being back in Gotham, she sets out to reclaim what’s hers.

Though it’s always fun to see Selina bouncing around and kicking butt, her best scenes are when she uses her brains and her skills as a master manipulator. Her interrogation techniques, inspired by the Batman, also give hint to an upcoming appearance in future Bat books. Overall, this is a light, enjoyable issue that begins Catwoman’s last hurrah before her series ends.

David Lopez has been doing the work on Catwoman for a long time now. His expressive faces and eyes seem to highlight Selina’s cat features, and the issue maintains a common tone in color. It seems to always be either nighttime or dusk in Selina’s Gotham. The cover by Adam Hughes is gorgeous, with Selina standing with neon lights of debauchery, symbolizing her triumphant return to crime.

We’re just a few issues away from the end of Catwoman’s book. With no confirmation yet about a new series, this may be one of the last times we have the privilege of reading Selina Kyle’s solo adventures. Will Pfeifer took the character to new depths that would have seemed forced or overly sappy with a lesser writer, and this consistently enjoyable book will be missed. Just once though, I’d like to see a superhero actually keep their kid.

Rating: 7

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