Best Catwoman Stories of All Time


OK, so, if you’re unaware, this is National Cat Day. What better time to bring you our quick list of the best Catwoman stories of all time!

Selina Kyle is everyone’s favorite cat-themed character and one of the world’s most popular cosplay subjects. She’s a layered, conflicted and often misunderstood anti-hero, so what should you look at when trying to pin her down? There’s more than one way to skin a cat, so it’s important to look at the various approaches to the character throughout time.

#5 – Catwoman: Defiant

Written by Peter Milligan and drawn by Tom Grindberg, Catwoman: Defiant is the first book loosely defined as a graphic novel dedicated entirely to Catwoman as the protagonist. In it Batman and Catwoman tangle with a new villain called Mr. Handsome, whose henchmen where masks of handsome men to hide their identities. In brilliant Batman fashion, the manipulative near-sociopath uses Selina as bait to set a trap for Mr. Handsome, but Selina is a master manipulator herself. She manages to turn the tables on everyone.

The book is a bit cliche and the plot is secondary to the interaction between Bruce and Selina, but it’s one of the first modern solo stories dedicated Catwoman in all her glory.

#4 – Batman Returns

While, admittedly, both Tim Burton films are fundamentally flawed, they are much less so than quite a few other Bat-films. Michelle Pfeiffer’s portrayal was the first serious onscreen interpretation of the character. The actress does a masterful job of channeling both Julie Newmar and Ertha Kitt into a sultry anti-hero that moves at odds with the Caped Crusader.

Sadly, 1992’s Returns is the film we can blame for shoehorning in too many characters into a superhero film. Unlike the first film, though, Selina’s revenge based motivation is much more appropriate than Bruce’s.

#3 – Chase Me

While there are some brilliant Batman and Catwoman team-ups in Batman: The Animated Series, the animated short Chase Me was a completely overlooked piece of Catwoman storytelling.  Even though the Max Fleischer Superman-inspired show had been revamped into a the more kid-friendly The Batman Adventures, the writing was just as sound. The short, which accompanied the underrated Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman film, features no dialogue, just the classic cat-and-mouse game that masterfully defines the relationship between Bruce and Selina.

#2 – Catwoman by Ed Brubaker

If you didn’t already know it, Ed Brubaker is one hell of a writer. He’s the guy behind a bunch of Noir comics like Criminal, an underrated Wildstorm book called Sleeper, the great Death of Captain America arc and the story that got me back into comics Batman: Fugitive/Bruce Wayne: Murderer.

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Brubaker used multiple artists like Sean Phillips and Nick Derington to create classic standalone stories and short arcs that explored the heart of her character as it ties to the tapestry of Gotham City. Suggested stories: Crooked Little Town, Wild Ride, The Dark End of the Street, Relentless. 

#1 – Detective Comics #569-70

This classic story finds an DC’s other, oft forgotten cat character – Catman – pulling a caper at the Gotham Medical Supply House. Catwoman, in one of her most ruthless and badass incarnations, takes umbrage to Catman stealing her shtick and helps Batman foil the robbery.

The Joker, feeling listless and lost, sees a newspaper headline reading ‘the Dynamic Duo and Catwoman join Forces’ and suddenly feels irrelevant. He launches a scheme to manipulate Jim Gordon to lure Batman, Robin and Catwoman into a trap where he can ‘re-condition’ Catwoman into being the antagonist to Batman he finds so compelling.

The story is a great look at Selina’s constant walking of the tightrope between hero and villain and touches on some of the ‘a leopard can’t change his spots’ theme that Paul Dini nailed so well in Batman: TAS and Batman Beyond.

That’ss just my top 5, Bat-fans. I’m sure there will be debate and things others feel I’ve left out. Feel free to give us your thoughts in the comments below!

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