There’s never been a duo of ladies to take on Gotham City.
It’s inevitable that I’ll read all the DC Icon’s series. In fact, I am just one short – the Superman book. Catwoman was definitely on my list alongside Wonder Woman (which I highly recommend.) And based on the cover, I did spend a good portion of the book thinking of Katie Cassidy.
by Sarah J Maas
Published: August 2018
Read: March 2019
Genre: Comic books, anti-heroes, young adult
Rating: 3.5/5 Moose
Page Count: 384
How did Catwoman become Catwoman? How did she get off the streets and become the sly cat burglar she is today? And is Batman the first superhero she fell for?
Selina Kyle – street rat turned millionaire, with a new identity to boot. At least, by day she is Holly Vanderhees. By night, Catwoman comes out to play.
Luke Fox – the son of Lucius Fox. After returning home from war in Afghanistan, he now Batwing and working with Bruce Wayne during the night. Holly Vanderhees’s new neighbor.
Rants, Raves, and Thoughts
I wasn’t sure what to expect of this book. While I genuinely enjoyed the Wonder Woman book, I was so-so about the Batman one. Nonetheless, I have a love hate relationship with Maas, and figured it was worth a shot.
I’ll also be the first to admit, outside of Anna Hathaway, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Joelle Jones’s current Catwoman run (okay and Tom King’s Batman run), I am fairly uneducated about the character. I haven’t even gone down a long Wiki dive. I get the feeling I would like her even when she’s supposed to be evil, and maybe at some point I’ll look to going further down the story hole.
This is all to say I have no idea how this Catwoman actually plays against the character super fans will know and love. And in part, I don’t care. The DC Icons series is aimed at getting YA readers into comics, and that’s exactly what I think this book will accomplish. Even if, in some ways, the publisher took a risk with having Maas write the book. I mean, I’ll be honest — I overall like Maas’s books. They’re ridiculous and fun, and the second ACOTAR was very good. Was I a bit weary that this book would lead to awkward sex scenes with Catwoman and Batwing? Sure! (Also, do these books fit in the canon? Does she kiss and make out with Batwing just to eventually go for Batman? Bizarre.)
What this book does really well is action and female friendship. While every synopsis of this book discusses Batwing, it rarely every discusses Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn showing up. Now, I have some serious reservations about Harley Quinn. If anyone can recommend a good run so I can get a good beat on her and actually like her, please let me know. (I am curious about Old Woman Harley though for sure.) Selina is incredibly standoffish from Ivy and Harley, but Ivy continues to try to push through her harden exterior. I know little about Poison Ivy as well, but I truly enjoy Maas’s portrayal of a woman who has been screwed over too many times, and just wants to make Harley happy and help the planet.
And maybe steal some expensive stuff.
Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn are supposed to be the stand-in LGBTQ+ characters, and I go back and forth about how I feel about it. I would have rather had Ivy realize that Harley is toxic (really, she doesn’t add much to the story except to be toxic) and she and Selina start to have feelings.
Man I go back and forth between wanting GOOD female friendships and GOOD lesbian couples.
Notice how I am not talking about Luke much here? Maas tries, I will give her that. Luke is a different kind of damaged rich boy. His parents are great, he’s had a happy family life, but the PTSD from war is rough. Is boxing and vigilantism the way to combat that? Probably not. But mostly, he falls flat. He doesn’t do much outside of anxiety attacks and like both Selina and Catwoman, with the occasional reminder that he IS a black dude. It’s just, not needed? This story would have been fine without a love story (probably better) and with a background vigilant that cannot keep up with Selina.
There is also a whole story involving Selina’s sister, which did make me cry and is maybe why the story is worth reading. It’s the underlining plot, which is why I am having more fun discussing the characters I like. (POISON IVY.)
Most of what I love about this book comes from the end of the book. Things start happening quickly, and what Selina stands for and against I do like. However, something is missing. The cool confidence she seems to have elsewhere? The sassy no bullshit persona? I don’t know. I do know that overall I was satisfied with this book, but I am also incredibly happy it isn’t the start of a series. While some YA authors I am wonderfully giddy about writing comics, Maas isn’t going to be one of them.
Also, look at how great Katie Cassidy would be as Catwoman? I am here for it.