Catwoman hangs onto Batman's back as he looked away and she looks at the camera.

Batman/Catwoman Special Review

Written by: Tom King

Art by: John Paul Leon, Bernard Chang, Shawn Crystal, Mitch Gerads

Coloring by: Dave Stewart

Lettering by: Clayton Cowles

Catwoman sits between two walls.
She’s the best thief there is.

This Batman/Catwoman series has been all over the place for me, and this special kind of made it worse. Where it started out pretty good, with a premise worth telling and a main character who was not Batman, it got lost in the weeds. Some Tom King books do that, namely, some that came out last year, but then there are some issues like this one where it comes together.

This issue makes the point that Batman truly doesn’t get Catwoman. He doesn’t get why she steals, and while he tries to, he can’t put his heart into it. That’s not fair to her and she’s lives in this unfair life with him because life has always been unfair to her. Their relationship feels reframed in that the story actually acknowledges how unfair their relationship is. She’s expected to change for him, and he’s not even capable of truly understanding her.

Sure, in the grand scheme of things, she shouldn’t steal, especially when she’s stealing to help herself rather than to help those who were first stolen from. (Depends on the version, I know) That’s something easy to be right about, and yet, because of the way he asks her not to or makes her give something back, he still ends up being wrong. He’s asking her to change for his worldview and isn’t offering an inch. The worst part is, he doesn’t quite understand that he’s doing it.

In the left half, Batman holds Catwoman as their daughter opens her gifts on the ground. In the right half, there's a Christmas Tree with toys on the ground, a cat in the window, and and snow falling.

This is such an honest view of their relationship. Tom King’s solo run on Batman touched on this at times but never seemed to dive completely into it. That story was on Batman, it only touched on things Bruce missed when it bit him in the ass.

I wish the whole series was like this. Instead, it’s not as focused or particular. Again, maybe when read all at once this story will read better overall. Right now, I think this is one of the better issues, with many highs and lows, and you never know which you’re gonna get.

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