Catwoman aka Selina Kyle, has been accused of murdering 237 people and sentenced to death. Batman, with the help of “Bruce Wayne” was able to reduce the sentence to life without parole at the infamous Blackgate prison. Selina, emotionally vulnareble, asks Bruce for one more night together. So on a star-filled, cold night in Gotham, the Bat and the Cat set out on an evening together patrolling the streets.
So after last issue’s heavy dose of sensuality, things stay romantic here but get a little more playful, and a little bit more suspenseful. The playfulness comes in a nice two-page sequence where we get great call backs to earlier Batman/Catwoman fights. They are in fact direct homages to both her first appearance and her role in Batman: Year One. Juxtaposing those two versions really is a great trick and shows you how multi-faced this relationship really is. It’s a great way to start the book before jumping into the action.
But not before a very powerful (yet elegantly simple) scene where Batman and Catwoman exchanges “I love you” vows. It’s a nice quiet scene, and I honestly can’t remember the last time any of these two characters were shown that kind of vulnerability. It’s nice to see a side of Batman that isn’t just a hard-boiled badass and a side of Catwoman that isn’t just an ice-cold seductress and thief. This is what Tom King excels at to me, showing you other sides of the card.
But of course, it IS Catwoman so after a very sincere kiss, she breaks away and Batman gives chase. Here is where the issue turns into one of the great examples of Batman as a detective. It’s a classic set-up of sequences, as Bruce pays a shadowy visit to Commissioner Gordon in order to find Selina’s only true friend (other than Bruce), Holly Robinson (another player in Year One). I won’t spoil what happens WHEN Batman finds Holly, as it was actually kind of surprising, but I will say it’s unexpected and their exchange reveals even more emotions to Bruce Wayne. Again after showing us a very hardcore Batman in earlier issues, Tom King has shown us the heart of the character in just a simple and elegant story. You only need to look at the last panel in the story to sum all of that up. “She stole the night.” Perfect.
Mitch Gerads is just great. Where he gave great softness to last issues scenes, he gives the right amount of intensity, movement, and darkness to the ones here. He also does a great job in that opening sequence when he re-creates the art from different Batman eras.
His renditions of all the characters are spot on and respect the classics, while bringing in his own take. It’s a fine balance that he handles perfectly.
His panel work is crisp and neatly divided, providing a steady and even clip. It’s not muddled or cluttered and feels and looks clean.
The coloring is just fantastic and Gerads continues to draw the best night scenes I have seen in a long time. He and King work great together and pairing them up for this particular intimate story is a great idea.
I really enjoyed this two-parter, and this issue in particular was a pleasure. It was a nice change of pace from the heavier four part arcs that have been the norm for the title and gave it a nice break in rhythm. I’ve said this before but this a great time for Batman fans to be reading this comic, so go ahead and pick it up. Next issue will begin a new arc titled “I Am Bane” so it looks like this ride is going to continue in full force.