Batman Catwoman #1 Review

by Wes Greer on December 01, 2020

Writer – Tom King
Art – Clay Mann
Colors -Tomeu Morey
Letters – Clayton Cowles
Publisher – DC Comics Black Label

Well, the moment many Batman and Catwoman fans have been waiting for is finally here, Following Tom King’s Batman run comes his own Black Label series about the two characters King focused in on most during his Batman run from Rebirth, to the wedding that never happened, all the way to the end with City of Bane and the relationship King developed between the two was one that fans either hated or just couldn’t get enough of and really wanted more. So for those of you who enjoyed it, it’s back and in its own series where King can really open up a bit more now since it’s separate of the main run and exists as a Black Label book where King has a little more freedom to establish a more mature story. King also brings Heroes in Crisis artist/,  Clay Mann and Tomeu Morey on board for the ride and the team have truly hit a home run in my opinion on this opening issue.

Writing – 

For the story of issue #1, Tom King extends the same style he used to write Batman Annual #2 in 2017. The story does some jumping around in time to give readers a full 360 view of the relationship and dynamic between Bruce and Selina taking readers to the future, the present, and the past. If you have read King’s Batman run or the Annual issue, you will immediately catch on to what is going on early in the issue as it sets up almost as a continuation of that specific issue. If you are coming in as a new reader, you may be a bit puzzled at first at the way King bounces this story around but after a little ways in, it becomes clear what is going on and why the story is set up this way when you come to the end as everything comes back around full circle and the issue ends on a climactic note, setting up excitement for the future of the series, especially for fans of Batman the Animated series as we see the return of a very familiar suit based out of the movie Batman Mask of the Phantasm. Throughout the issue, King does a great job establishing the dynamics of the relationship between the two main characters and giving readers various looks at the relationship from different periods in time which allows us to see the evolution which in my opinion is genius and feels more realistic and relatable to anyone who has ever been in a long term relationship themselves. While the main focus of the issue is establishing the relationship between the two, King delivers rod bits of excitement along the way which helps keep it interesting to readers who are looking for more than just another story of romance and paves the way for what we can only assume will escalate and become more involved as the series goes on.  Overall the writing keeps a steady pace and King is able to keep the balance between the relationship and the excitement of it all and it makes for one of my favorite Batman stories from the writer since the Annual issue. The only complain I have is that there is maybe too much going on for a first issue and it really feels like there could have been a little more explanation between the events to ease in new readers but with a 12 issue arc, there may be more giving o we the next several issues to fill in the gaps. 

Art – 

For the art of this issue, King brings in the artist he worked with on Heroes in Crises which may be one of the most talked about series kings ever worked on as half of the fans I’ve talked to just hate it altogether with the other half just adoring it and admiring the risks King took stepping outside the normal bounds of DC stories. Mann’s art in that series on the other hand, seems to have a mostly positive response with the incredible character designs and overall aesthetic of the series. For this new series, Mann gives readers some of the most beautiful visuals we have seen to date in a Batman story. The character designs for this series also echo the designs Lee Weeks had established in King’s Batman run but ups the ante giving them a fresh look and adding his signature style which really elevates the design and just looks beautiful. Mann delivers every sheer detail possible on both character and atmosphere and his art really draws readers into every panel and brings all the emotions of the script to life. You can feel the passion and fore between the characters from the details in their facial expressions and overall body language and you don’t need to read a single word to understand what’s going on which is a true compliment to the art. For the colors of the issue, Tomeu Morey, who also colored Heroes in Crisis, adds his talents to bring the art of Mann to life and overall executes a beautiful yet dark tone that is the final piece of perfection to the overall visual of this book. Morey does an excellent job distinguishing the tones between the different time jumps with some parts of the story occurs g during the day outside in the sunlight where he uses vivid tones and bright highlights to make it feel authentic of what I would call a sunny Florida day and then flipping the tones to the nighttime rooftop scenes in Gotham where he uses mostly darks but accents them with a beautiful blend of highlights and shadows that give an authentic feel of a dreadful city at night. Overall just a brilliant blend of day and night that feels cohesive and of the same world while distinguishing the different atmospheres and time periods. Just a beautiful execution overall by this art team that creates a very stunning visual for readers enjoyment that sets this series apart from other books out right now.

Overall, Batman Catwoman #1 takes readers on a journey through the relationship of Batman and Catwoman that echoes the real life dynamics of a long term relationship but adds in the excitement and thrill of it revolving around a cat burglar and a masked vigilante sworn to justice  and the roller coaster of events they face throughout dealing with the many aspects  of their lives. The story is an extension of what King set up in Batman Annual #2 which long time readers will be able to pick up on but new readers coming in fresh seem to have issues understanding what is happening in this issue and may be one of the biggest issues this story will see is new reader confusion. The story does come full circle in the end and may be its saving Grace to new readers, but I’ve already seen massive confusion start to effect the issues reception. The art of the book is the ultimate payoff, with stunning character designs and overall color tones that sell the tones and emotions of the story that captivate the readers imagination on immersed them into the world of the series. 

Batman Catwoman #1 is available today so make sure you pick up a copy at your local shop and let us know what you thought of the first issue by leaving a comment below!

-Wes Greer  

Our Score:


A Look Inside