Comic Review: Batman/Catwoman #9 (DC Comics)

As the cat has nine lives, here we are at Batman Catwoman issue 9. Many happy returns, or what? This Black Label title, written by Tom King, and illustrated by […]

As the cat has nine lives, here we are at Batman Catwoman issue 9. Many happy returns, or what?

This Black Label title, written by Tom King, and illustrated by Liam Sharp (with Clayton Cowles on lettering) begins in a familiar fashion: it’s like the Advent calendars, I suppose, with an opening double-page spread showing little doors to open for each issue. And these doors, appropriately enough, are labelled with the titles of Christmas Carols… ah, ’twas the week before Christmas, and all through the house, darkness was stirring, and so on. Hum along if you know it.

And of course, the Joker appears, but without any tiny reindeer, and is holding a woman hostage. But wait, let’s look back several years, but only for a moment. And out of this time-shifting, mind-twisting tale we see the emergence of a bitter Penguin, a lithe Catwoman, and the occasional glimpse of Bruce Wayne’s Batman.

It’s vile, violent, and very dark, this pre-Noel tale. Its sinister quality does it good, though, and King produces some interesting character tics and phrases for one and all. It’s not all misery and mystery, of course… yet the thin panel design, the blue and red colours, the scratchy graphic Liam Sharp exuberance do combine to keep us guessing…. what is in the package, who will be gifted the most woe?

The young Catwoman is at her most exaggerated and curvaceous here, making seasons bright for sure. And for sure, this is mature adult fare, its bitterness not without quality, it’s narrative a mixed bag of metaphors, misery, and merriment. In keeping with the situation.

DC, Black Label, Batman Catwoman #9, $4.99 for 25 pages of content. Mature.

Alan Spinney

About Alan Spinney

After a career of graphic design, art direction and copywriting, I still have a passion for words and pictures. I love it when a comic book comes together; the story is tight, and the drawings lead me forward. Art with words... the toughest storytelling technique to get right. Was this comic book worth your money? Let's see!!