Batman: One Bad Day – Catwoman #1 is part of a series of one-shots published by DC Comics, written by G. Willow Wilson, art and colours by Jamie McKelvie, and letters by Clayton Cowles. Catwoman slinks into an art exhibition searching for a prize to steal, but this is one connected to her own past.
The book is a long but utterly entrancing read. Wilson approaches the one-shot with a methodical but powerful build-up, the slow pace beautifully helping generate an atmosphere and heart to the comic. The issue focuses on this one object, a brooch that belonged to Selina’s mother. And through this object is a story filled with twists, history and heartbreak. Class imbalances are a long-standing theme of Catwoman and using something of perceived value is a brilliant core to explore this with. But Wilson also hones in on that theme on a wider, more direct scale. The comic transitions into a heist, superbly crafted. The extended length of the book allows for more intricacies and details in the plan. The last part of the comic has multiple surprises, most of which could not have been seen coming, even with the masterful foreshadowing. It transforms into a Batman and Catwoman comic, with stealth and action combined, not letting us leave without more mystery.
Selina is wonderfully written by Wilson. So many aspects of her life and her personality are addressed. There isn’t a feeling like they are rushed or crammed into a small story. At the forefront is her intellect, most noticeable in that burglary. She can reevaluate situations and switch tactics in a second. She is analytical but intensely emotional. Those emotions are powerful, often leading to outbursts. Where she can plan, the second half of the comic shows a lack of patience when she’s angry. Her relationship with The Bat is explored in this one-shot as well. Playful yet not always aligned, that notion of knowing each other for years is woven through their every interaction. The dialogue is phenomenal in both the captions and word balloons.
The art is stunning. McKelvie’s rendering of Catwoman is jaw-dropping at times, again capturing various facets of her life just within her body language and outfits. The sleek catsuit, with the spotted texture added, is magnificent. And whilst they are still images, the artist instills a perfect sense of grace and elegance in her movements. Exquisite attention to detail is paid to her facial expressions, allowing for little specificity. Her musculature is also captured beautifully. McKelvie has a distinct approach to fight scenes, especially ones as fast-paced as Catwoman would encourage. It recognises these characters as existing on a three dimensional-level, using depth perception and space to its advantage with acrobatic fighters.
McKelvie is also terrific at colors. The tones are so pretty, especially in the nighttime moments, with that obsidian shade of black for Selina’s uniform. And no matter what the light situation or overriding colors within a panel, Catwoman’s green eyes are always present a piercing. The lettering is very easy to read, with word balloons that aren’t too large to be an obstruction.
Batman: One Bad Day – Catwoman #1 is a comic crafted by masterful creators. Both the writing and the art is flawless, capturing the intricacies within the life of Selina Kyle. She is a woman of grace and of vulnerability, an imperfect antihero that truly lives by her own rules. It shows how a seemingly simple origin story and one object can be used to tell a tale filled with depth and endless possibilities for a twist.
Batman: One Bad Day – Catwoman #1 is available where comics are sold.
Batman: One Bad Day - Catwoman #1
Batman: One Bad Day – Catwoman #1 is a comic crafted by masterful creators. Both the writing and the art is flawless, capturing the intricacies within the life of Selina Kyle.