BATMAN/CATWOMAN #11 Review

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SYNOPSIS: After barely escaping with one of her nine lives, Selina arrives at a crossroads. She can either continue on the path of a criminal or take a chance at being a hero like Batman. There’s just one thing she has to do: make a vow to never kill The Joker. But what could lead her to break that sacred promise years later? Find out in the penultimate issue of this critically acclaimed maxiseries!

 Here we are at the penultimate issue of Batman/Catwoman! It’s all starting to come together…or all fall apart, depending on your perspective.

This book has been so many things and has certainly had more than its fair share of twists and turns. And heartbreak. Gallons of heartbreak. All that is present here and more.

Dick is closing in on Selina in the future confronting Helena about her mother. Batman is closing in on The Joker in the past, with Catwoman by his side. And in the present, everyone is closing in on the truth about Phantasm’s son.

We haven’t had enough Phantasm in this book. Vague hints of past history that echo what we’ve seen in Batman: Mask of The Phantasm have had to suffice. If you thought that movie was a tragedy, well, Tom King is trying to outdo it in this issue. I was surprised by how deeply it grabbed me.

As per usual for this title, this issue is more about Selina than Bruce and how her choices impact her small family. For being such a loner, it does seem like Batman’s family far surpasses the one Selina has made, making her hold on to her daughter all the more tightly. I love the scene of her and Helena on the couch. What Selina’s future will hold has yet to be revealed, but Selina seems to think it will be a fatal one. Perhaps what we’ve seen in the Special will indeed be her demise.

Clay Mann is doing masterful work here. A certain splash page with Phantasm will soften your heart, another splash page with Batman is destined to be future lock screen art on my phone. Joker is both malevolent and playful. Selina’s manipulation of Riddler is priceless, injecting a moment of levity in such a somber affair.

There are so many nods and callbacks to not only King’s run, but to past Batman stories, and The Animated Series, as well, including even a villain from Batman Beyond. All this adds to a rich tapestry that feels dense and rewarding for those who have stuck with the ride.

The issue builds to a shocking climax that leaves one simply gutted by the final panel. The pain these characters carry inside is so great that not everyone can overcome it. Is this the fallout that leads Selina to her actions in the debut issue, or does King have one final twist of the knife when the story concludes next time? One thing is for sure, I will be there, maybe with a box of tissues in tow. Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: A+

 

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Javier E. Trujillo was a Batman fan long before the 1989 blockbuster opened on his 12th birthday. After following BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM -- the "Dad-Gum Original" -- since its inception, he started to write for BoF in 2019, covering Batman's 80th anniversary. He's a lover of all eras and aspects of The Dark Knight, but artist Jim Aparo will always be how he pictures him. When on the internet, odds are it's because he's talking about Batman or James Bond (or MAYBE Wally West). He resides in the "Live Music Capital of the World" (and also the genesis of Adam West's Bat-Boat), Austin, TX. You can follow him on Twitter @JaviTru or on Instagram @TheBondIsNotEnough.