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The Greatest Catwoman Stories of All Time

While many people think the Joker is Batman’s most enduring rival, they’d be incorrect; that distinct honor belongs to Catwoman. And in honor of #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Maas’s thrilling new YA novel, Catwoman: Soulstealer, we’re going to run down some of the greatest Catwoman stories of all time.

Editor’s note: This post is sponsored by Catwoman: Soulstealer

The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne

The Brave and the Bold #197 (1983)

While Batman and Catwoman have always had a “will they, won’t they” thing going, there is at least one universe where the Bat and the Cat found love and actually got married: Earth-2. In this story by Alan Brennert, Joe Staton, and George Freeman, Batman is infected with the Scarecrow’s fear toxin, which causes everyone he cares about to fade away in front of his eyes. Unable to rely on his friends, Batman turned to someone he could trust: his longtime enemy, Catwoman. Over the course of their adventure, we see the two begin to move from an uneasy alliance to real confidence in one another, only to fall for each other and to eventually realize that they are perfect for one another. Kind of like myself and my one true love: spending way too much money on comic books.

Selina’s Big Score

Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score (2002)

Anyone who has read Darwyn Cooke’s Parker comics for IDW knows that he was a master of telling a compelling heist story, and Selina’s Big Score is not only a great crime comic, but one of the best Catwoman stories of all time. Down on her luck, Selina learns of a train carrying $24 million in the Falcone crime family’s dirty money. It’s a score that’d put her back in the big time. The catch? To steal it, she’ll have to team up with her old mentor, Stark. Can either one trust the other? Probably not, but that’s half the charm in Cooke’s gorgeously illustrated noir-style story that makes it an absolute must-read for any Cat-fan. This book also features one of the single silliest names in all of DC Comics: Slam Bradley. Just say it out loud and remember how good it feels to laugh.

The Catfile

Catwoman #15-18 (1994-1995)

How many times have you been minding your own business when, out of nowhere, you’re kidnapped by a shadowy government agency and blackmailed into pilfering an ancient relic from a small European country? And to make matters worse, even if you succeed, the government is planning on killing you anyway? Well, if you’re Catwoman in Chuck Dixon and Jim Balent’s Catwoman: The Catfile, the answer is “at least once.” Using her wits, wiles, and superior spycraft, Selina must race against time to both commit the crime of her life and outsmart the government stooges holding her hostage—something that sounds like it was ripped straight from the headlines but is in fact 22 years old.

Her Sister’s Keeper

Catwoman #1-4 (1989)

Selina Kyle didn’t have the easiest upbringing. Though her origins have shifted over the years, they have generally been mired in hardship, and that’s what is explored in Mindy Newell’s mini-series, Her Sister’s Keeper. Serving as a companion piece to Frank Miller’s iconic Batman: Year One, Her Sister’s Keeper examines Selina’s past as a sex worker and her sister’s life as a nun. The gritty story leans into the darker side of Gotham City stories through its look at sex trafficking, and also sheds light on how Selina molded herself into the hardened, self-sufficient badass we know and love, showing us how another DC hero Ted Grant, a.k.a. Wildcat, taught her to fight and protect herself. But most of all, this gripping story raises an important question: are Catwoman and her sister wearing costumes to empower themselves or to avoid their real problems? It’s one that may well never be answered.

Relentless

Catwoman #12-16 (2002)

A good many people would probably call “Relentless” their favorite Catwoman story of all time. The 2004 storyline from Ed Brubaker and Cameron Stewart shows the very real costs of what happens when Selina Kyle tries to do some good for her community. Acting as a sort-of Robin Hood for Gotham City’s East End, Selina uses her ill-gotten gains to do things like build a $28 million community center…only to have it blown to smithereens. Unfortunately, Selina’s actions have put her squarely in the crosshairs of The Black Mask and the rest of Gotham’s underworld. And it’s not just Selina who finds herself in harm’s way: it’s the people closest to her, like her protégé Holly, and her sister. A small spoiler alert: Whatever you do, just make sure you’re not eating grapes when you read Part Four.

Only Takes a Night

Catwoman #32 (2004)

For everyone still bummed about how the Batman/Catwoman wedding of the century shook out, Catwoman #32’s “Only Takes a Night” shows why that’s probably for the best. Over the course of a single evening, Batman and Catwoman spend the night together trying to figure out whether they’re meant to be soulmates or sworn frenemies. Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips, and Stefano Gaudiano’s story shows Catwoman in a tenuous position: losing control over Gotham’s East End, reeling from the death of one of her closest friends, and trying to figure out her place in life. While we see the two of them on a date, we also learn how the people on the periphery of Selina’s life are affected by this larger-than-life connection between Catwoman and Batman. No matter what they may want in their heart of hearts, one thing is for certain: these two will always have a powerful, undeniable connection.

And those are some of the greatest Catwoman stories of all time! What are you favorites? Let me know in the comments below.

Images: DC Comics

Sources: DC Comics; Wikia; Comic Vine; CBR; ComicsAlliance

Special thanks to Catwoman: Soulstealer for sponsoring today’s episode. Written by #1 New York Times bestselling author Sarah J. Mass, Catwoman: Soulstealer is a Catwoman story unlike anything you’ve seen before. Filled with pulsepounding suspense, this action-packed origin story introduces us to a new thief on the prowl in Gotham City: Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman. Two years after escaping Gotham City’s slums, Selina Kyle transforms herself into a master thief-in-the-making, teaming up with the likes of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn to wreak havoc all over Gotham while Batman is out of town. But with Batman’s protégé Batwing, a.k.a. Luke Fox, out to make a name for himself as one of Gotham City’s protectors, Catwoman may have unwittingly stepped into a dangerous game of cat and mouse—and this time, she’s the mouse. Catwoman: Soulstealer – available wherever fine books are sold!

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