[World of Bats] Catwoman Vol 1 "Her Sister's Keeper" (3/28 -- 4/3)

Hello once again to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club! Or should I say…the World of CATS?

Since April is the 80th Anniversary of Catwoman’s first story in the pages of Batman #1 in 1940, this month we are going to have a deep dive into the Feline Fatale and see what makes her such a purr-fect addition to the Batman mythos!

(Sorry, that’s going to be the first and last cat pun I’ll make this month.)

(Possibly.)

To start off, we’ll dive into Catwoman’s first mini-series, named in trades as “Her Sister’s Keeper,” written by Mindy Newell and drawn by J.J. Birch.

When a criminal associate assaults young Selina Kyle, she learns how to defend herself—and that murder comes easily. She also discovers she is destined to be the Catwoman.

You can find the link to the mini-series HERE!

Let us know what you think of this yarn! Here are some discussion questions to help:

  1. This story is very much influenced by and a continuation of the plot and themes of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, even going as far as to use pages/dialogue directly from the source. What do you think of it as a follow-up to Year One?

  2. This is also the introduction to Maggie Kyle, Selina’s younger sister. What do you think of this character? Does she add anything to the character of Selina?

  3. What would you say is your favorite moment in this story?

This discussion will be current from: 2020-03-28T05:00:00Z2020-04-03T05:00:00Z

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And if you have any questions about the club or anything, you can contact me, @Jay_Kay, @BatJamags, or @AquamonC137.

Looking forward to reading your thoughts!

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I quite like this series. Subsequent stories tried to dance around the new origin Frank Miller had given Selina. This miniseries instead tried to make it work and round out this new take on the character. I’d compare it to Denny O’Neil’s first arc in LOTDK, Shaman, because of their shared tendency to lift whole panels from Year One, but I prefer this story over that one.

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Definitely – I think the fact that Selina is the lead character in this story instead of being a side one helped make this backstory work better for her.

I also think that the lifting from Year One works better here as well because it’s far closer to what the story of Year One was than in Shaman, which was basically it’s own original story.

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I’m sort of embarrassed to admit that I wasn’t even aware that this mini existed. I thought it was a great follow up to Year One, and I liked out it used those Frank Miller scenes, so we’re really fleshing out the world he created.

I liked her. It’s a bit strange for me being introduced to her after knowing what path her story is going to take, but she works well as a foil to Selina.

Near the end where Maggie asks her if wearing the costume really makes Selina feel safe, and she responds with, basically, “well, does yours?” I thought that was a great moment for both characters .

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No need to be – it sadly isn’t a book that is widely talked about, and worse, hasn’t been collected in any trades recently. Maybe with the release of a certain Matt Reeves movie it’ll get republished and more people will get their eyes on it. :slight_smile:

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  1. This story is very much influenced by and a continuation of the plot and themes of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, even going as far as to use pages/dialogue directly from the source. What do you think of it as a follow-up to Year One?
    This was a nice follow up to Year One. It fleshed out the story from another perspective of something the reader was already familiar with. And mixing the panels and scenes from Year One was a cool touch.

  2. This is also the introduction to Maggie Kyle, Selina’s younger sister. What do you think of this character? Does she add anything to the character of Selina?
    I think she adds tons to the character! It kinda humanized Selina even more. I think it showed that Selina really is a criminal at heart. Her sister had the same opportunities she had but made different life choices and we see where she ended up. I view her as almost a conscience for Selina. The opposite side of the same coin.

  3. What would you say is your favorite moment in this story?
    I’m gonna agree with ralphsix on this one. That moment when she asks Selina that was classic. The look on Maggie’s face is priceless. I like this scene because it shows that we all wear masks of some sort, not just superheroes. This automatically moved into my top moments in comics ever.

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Another neat little touch in this story is Selina’s training by Ted “Wildcat” Grant. Not only does it take advantage of the then-new “JSA & JLA in the same timeline” universe created by the Crisis, but it establishes that this version of Catwoman is going to be a formidable opponent and not just someone who purrs in the background as the henchmen do all the fighting.

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I enjoyed this mini series way more than I thought I would. The Batman: Year One references fit in very nicely, and added a very unique twist to the story. Plus, I was impressed with how much darker this story was in comparison to Year One, considering that there’s only about two year’s difference between them.

As for Maggie Kyle, I can’t say that introducing her into the story was of much interest to me. If anything, it just felt like the writer wanted to throw some unnecessary family drama into a story that would have worked just fine if it was just Selina regaining some confidence and fighting the good fight against the street-level monsters of Gotham.

Favorite moment in the story? Probably when Detective Flannery and Sister Mary Elizabeth show up to Selina’s apartment asking about Maggie. It mirrors Year One almost perfectly, and I got a real kick out of it. I’d say a close second would be the rooftop chat between Batman and Catwoman in part 4, but after Tom King’s run, I’ve seen them quip back and forth like that so much that it doesn’t really interest me anymore :joy: :joy:

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I also noticed that! Considering all the direct lifts for the story, it was cool to see something that rhymed, show that she was putting on a public mask just like a certain hero she’ll be linked with…

Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

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So here’s my answers to the questions:

This story is very much influenced by and a continuation of the plot and themes of Frank Miller’s Batman: Year One, even going as far as to use pages/dialogue directly from the source. What do you think of it as a follow-up to Year One?

I really liked these issues as a side story to Year One. It feels like it belongs in the same world, and outside of the initial beats like Selina’s “meet cute” with Bruce and the whole Batman vs SWAT stuff, it largely doesn’t lean on that original story too much, just enough to set up context. What’s really cool is that it’s able to actually add some depth to some of the more bit characters that were around her at that time, like Stan and Skeevers.

This is also the introduction to Maggie Kyle, Selina’s younger sister. What do you think of this character? Does she add anything to the character of Selina?

I like it – it gives us as the readers an idea of who she was before she became a cat burglar. It’s really interesting to see how both characters reacted and adapted to the world around them as a result to their upbringing.

What would you say is your favorite moment in this story?

I’d say Selina’s final confrontations with both Maggie and Batman, as well as Maggie’s meeting with Batman when he looks for her.

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