Batman: Gotham Adventures #4
DC Comics (September, 1998)
WRITER: Ty Templeton
PENCILER: Rick Burchett
INKER: Terry Beatty
COLORIST: Lee Loughridge
SEPARATIONS: Zylonol (Seriously? That’s the name you went with for your coloring and separations studio? Sounds like a cold medicine or sleep aid or something.)
LETTERER: Tim Harkins
EDITOR: Darren Vincenzo
Catwoman assists Batman in taking down a bunch of carjackers, but one of them gives her a tip on an illegal animal testing facility for cosmetics. She rescues the cats being tested on (they were the only animals there, she’s not picking favorites) and kidnaps the owner of the cosmetics company to show her the price of what she’s done. Too bad she’s a total b____ and couldn’t care less. Batman comes to convince Selina to let her go, but then the woman strikes one of the cats, causing an enraged Selina to take a swipe across her face with her claws. That doesn’t sit well with Batman, and it appears their romance is over.
What they got right: The advantage of the tie-in comics is the ability to set up stories that bridge the gap between the Fox Kids and Kids WB! versions of the show, since for whatever reason a number of status quo changes were made, Catwoman being a full villain again being one of them. In this story we see what caused Batman and Catwoman to become adversaries again, although not why her skin is all white in the Kids WB! character model.
What they got wrong: I’m putting this one on the shoulders of The New Batman/Superman Adventures. It’s not like Superman: The Animated Series didn’t have character growth, even for Superman himself. So what was the thought behind regressing Catwoman’s character from antihero to full on cat burglar again? At least the comic gives a fair explanation for why she and Batman are on the outs.
Recommendation: For fans of this phase of the DCAU, and the DCAU as a whole, this is something of a must-own comic and, like The Lost Years it fills in details of why things happened that the TV show didn’t or at least didn’t in the early episodes. (Nightwing’s origin didn’t come for a few episodes, for example.) For everyone else this is still a good story that’s worth a read.