Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale Review: A Truly Special Yarn

DC fans have seen countless interpretations of Catwoman over the years, but rarely do any stand out like Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale. DC Ink's latest project comes from writer Lauren Myracle, artist Isaac Goodhart, colorist Jeremy Lawson, and letterer Deron Bennett, and together they craft a Catwoman origin that is simply one of the most impactful, genuine, heartfelt -- not to mention stunning -- takes on the character we've ever seen. That may sound like hyperbole, but we truly mean it.

DC Ink is a new line of Young Adult-focused graphic novels based around one central character at a time. As you might surmise, Under the Moon is the story of Catwoman, but that's probably simplifying it a bit too much. Under the Moon really tells the story of Selina Kyle, a young girl who has weathered far too many storms for someone so young. Myracle touches on some sensitive topics here like suicide and abuse, but it never feels cheap or played simply for shock. There's a tragic honesty to it that reminds you there are kids out there where this is no mere story, but a present fact of life, but Myracle does inject the story with humor at the right times to keep things from becoming too dour.

That said, this book isn't afraid to gut-punch you, and it more than succeeds on several occasions. Myracle keeps the focus though on Selina throughout all of it and not on the obstacles themselves. The book doesn't want you to feel bad for her, but instead wants you to see how she makes it through to the other side. Selina's internal struggles are just as compelling as her external ones, and it all blends together to create a picture of someone who will never let the world beat her down, and if it does even for a second, she's not staying down for long.

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(Photo: DC)

That resiliency comes into view time and time again, and each time it allows another aspect of Selina to shine. She's anything but a victim, but understanding that isn't achieved by simply repeating endlessly until the point is driven home. Selina bears scars from her past, both of the emotional and physical variety, and so does the rest of her group in different ways. As she so perfectly states though, while "we all have our prickly parts," it "doesn't mean we should be defined by them."

Narrative and characters aren't the only things worthy of praise though, as the art team of Isaac Goodhart and Jeremy Lawson present an absolutely gorgeous visual tour de force. The book is awash white and various hues of blue, perfectly conveying not only the isolation and loneliness of Selina's early life but also the hope that the moonlight can bring. The characters leap off the page in every way, and when the time calls for action those sequences don't disappoint either, though sometimes it is the quieter moments that truly have the most impact.

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(Photo: DC)

This isn't your ordinary Catwoman tale, but that's a strength, not a weakness. Under the Moon handles some heavier concepts with grace, charm, and humor, but never undercuts the reality or weight that those events carry. Whether you're a longtime fan of Selina Kyle or someone looking to dive in for the first time, we could not recommend Under the Moon enough.

Published by DC Ink, an imprint of DC Comics

On May 8, 2019

Written by Lauren Myracle

Art by Isaac Goodhart

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Colors by Jeremy Lawson

Letters by Deron Bennett