REVIEW: ‘Catwoman: Lonely City,’ Issue #1

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Catwoman: Lonely City #1

Catwoman: Lonely City #1 is written, illustrated, colored, and lettered by Cliff Chiang and published by DC Comics under their DC Black Label imprint. Ten years after an event known as Fool’s Night claimed the life of Batman along with most of his allies and enemies, Selina Kyle is released from prison. She enters a Gotham City that has radically changed thanks to Harvey Dent/Two-Face, who is now mayor and keeps order with the help of his “Batcops.” Selina plans to embark on her most daring heist yet, stealing secrets from the Batcave.

The idea of a story featuring an older, more grizzled version of a beloved hero is a well-worn road at this point. DC arguably gave birth to this trend with The Dark Knight Returns, which inspired further works such as Batman: Last Knight on Earth and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Last Ronin; it only makes sense for Lonely City to continue in their footsteps, given Batman and Catwoman’s relationship. The Dark Knight’s death is shown to weigh heavily on Selina, with flashbacks slowly revealing what happened over the course of Fool’s Night. Like other stories in a similar vein, Selina is not only dealing with dystopia but the limitations of age; her inner monologue has her lamenting that she’s not as agile as she used to be, and she’s shown taking a copious amount of aspirin.

Lonely City also marks the first full comic Chiang has written and illustrated, apart from a handful of short stories. His take on Catwoman has Selina sporting a streak of white hair and faint wrinkles around her eyes. The issue even opens with her donning her first Catwoman costume from Batman: Year One. Chiang also has the chance to put his spin on Batman friends and foes, including Barbara Gordon, who is launching her own campaign for the mayorship of Gotham and Killer Croc, who hangs out at the local watering hole. Croc and Selina’s bond is one of the most heartfelt sequences in the whole issue, and I hope to see more of it in the remaining two issues.

The real standout of the issue is Chiang’s color art, which varies based on setting and characters. Gotham itself is shown as uncharacteristically sunny, with bright yellow light flooding the entire city. Cool blue hues cover the city at night, with the sky a bright pink. That same shade of pink, along with various purples, is the predominant color during the Fool’s Night flashback sequences. Even the lettering has its own flair, particularly in a segment of interview sequences with Mayor Dent. The way Chiang structures the panels, along with the lettering resembling that of a teleprompter, is a clear homage to The Dark Knight Returns.

Catwoman: Lonely City #1 features an older Selina Kyle attempting to pull off one last heist, along with and the full range of Cliff Chiang’s artistic talents. While the “hero in a dystopian setting” is a well-worn road at this point and often yields mixed results, I can safely recommend it to longtime Batman fans.

Catwoman: Lonely City #1 is available wherever comics are sold.


Catwoman: Lonely City #1
5

TL;DR

Catwoman: Lonely City #1 features an older Selina Kyle attempting to pull off one last heist, along with and the full range of Cliff Chiang’s artistic talents. While the “hero in a dystopian setting” is a well-worn road at this point and often yields mixed results, I can safely recommend it to longtime Batman fans.