The big wedding issue has come and gone with plenty of controversy, but it’s far from the end of the current Batman series or Catwoman’s story. In addition to Batman #50, this week also saw the launch of a fantastic new Catwoman series from writer and artist Joelle Jones. Given this great start, the series already looks to have potential as an all-time great for the character. However, there’s still a lot of excellent stories from across Selina Kyle’s more than 80-year career as a burglar, superhero, and occasional crime lord.
That’s why we are taking a look back at so many years of great comics featuring The Cat in order to see just how stiff the competition is. From her multiple origins to many modern adventures, Catwoman has provided superhero fans some of the best DC comics over the years. Here are the 10 best Catwoman comics so far...
The Brave and The Bold (vol. 1) #197
Written by Alan Brennert
Art by Joe Staton and George Freeman
There has never been a better time to reread this classic story from the Bronze Age. With Crisis On Infinite Earths only a few years away, this tale delved into the long-lasting (but soon to be erased) marriage between Batman and Catwoman. It centers on a single adventure involving the Scarecrow that brought the two together and helped them both overcome their fears to finally settle down. It’s a portrait of nostalgia and marital bliss, the likes of which fans of these characters may never see again.
Batman (vol. 1) #1
Written by Bill Finger
Art by Bob Kane and Sheldon Moldoff
The current Batman run has continually reminded readers of both canonical first encounters between The Cat and The Bat. The original is a classic of the Golden Age that delivered a vision of Catwoman that was complete from the very start. Everything from Selina Kyle’s attitude to her modus operandi are present here, showing off just how great Bill Finger and his collaborators were while inventing the world of Batman.
Batman (vol. 1) #404-407
Written by Frank Miller
Art by David Mazzucchelli
The alternative take on this first encounter is a much more seedy affair created in the wake of Crisis On Infinite Earths by two of the best creators to ever work in comics. While the story isn’t focused on Catwoman, her appearance and role in this new origin is an outstanding update on her tale. It has stuck around just as well as any other Catwoman origin and remains an important part of Batman today.
Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score
Created by Darwyn Cooke
Nobody made a heist comic quite as well as Darwyn Cooke, which made this pairing of Cooke and Catwoman a match made in heaven. It’s not a superhero story and that’s perfectly okay as Cooke clarified the versatility of Catwoman. This is a true classic from DC Comics and one of the great crime comics to come from the publisher, making it clear that Catwoman should never play second fiddle, even to Batman.
Catwoman (vol. 3) #1-4
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Darwyn Cooke and Michael Allred
Cooke continued to work with Catwoman alongside other great comics creators like Ed Brubaker and Michael Allred. Their first story together on a new volume of Catwoman introduces the best ongoing series to star the character so far. It blends the crime and superhero elements of the character wonderfully, grounding her in a unique vision of Gotham City somewhere below the rooftops.
Catwoman (vol. 3) #12-16
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Cameron Stewart
This story is the highlight of the third volume of Catwoman. Black Mask pushes Selina Kyle to the edge in a fashion only comparable to Kingpin and Daredevil in “Born Again.” The results are brutal and terrifying, but also show just how resilient and powerful Catwoman is, and why she will always be a hero when the stakes are high enough. This may be the best solo Catwoman story ever published.
Catwoman: When In Rome #1-6
Written by Jeph Loeb
Art by Tim Sale
The best part of The Long Halloween and Dark Victory has to be the flirtatious relationship between Catwoman and Batman. That’s why Catwoman’s solo spinoff from the same creative team is so captivating. Both the fashion and action are exceedingly stylish in a setting packed with great imagery. Whether or not it’s in canon, this is a definitive take on The Cat.
Catwoman (vol. 2) #15-18
Written by Chuck Dixon
Art by Jim Balent and Bob Smith
One of Chuck Dixon’s best comics, this story defines Catwoman’s independent streak. Even when captured by a mysterious agency with a metaphorical gun against her head, Selina Kyle refuses to play by anyone’s rules but her own. In addition to some fierce fights, this story also showcases just how cunning Catwoman can be, marking her as a peer for Batman’s brains or anyone else who might want to tangle with her.
Batman/Catwoman: Trail of the Gun #1-2
Written by Ann Nocenti
Art by Ethan Van Sciver
Ann Nocenti developed her approach to violence in superhero comics on an incredibly underrated Daredevil run, and she deploys it to great effect in this miniseries. Batman and Catwoman team up and deal with the ramifications of gun violence while struggling to prevent more mayhem and death. It is a tough read at times, but one that addresses its subject matter with appropriate gravitas.
Catwoman (vol. 3) #32
Written by Ed Brubaker
Art by Sean Phillips and Stefano Gaudiano
For fans sore about how the wedding turned out, this romantic one-shot from the dynamite team of Brubaker and Phillips should provide some relief. It is a quiet tale that follows the many people in Selina’s life while she is on a date with Bruce. The small scope is purposeful and humanizes both of this larger than life heroes. No matter what decisions they might make, it shows why they will never truly be able to quit being partners in life.