It's a (Cat) Woman's World (Batman #460)

What I Remember:

Not a whole lot. I bought this book at a comic book show sponsored by my Boy Scout troop. I remember enjoying the book but couldn’t tell you what it’s about at all. I do know it features Vicki Vale, which I thought was great because she appeared in 1989 movie but I had never seen the character in the comics. 

Vital Stats:

Batman #460 “Sisters in Arms Part One: It’s A Man’s World”

Writer: Alan Grant

Penciler:  Norm Breyfogle

Inker: Tim Sale

Colorist: Adrienne Roy

Lettering: Todd Klien

Assistant Editor: Kelley Puckett

Editor: Dennis O’Neil

Created by: Bob Kane

Publisher: DC Comics

Publication Date: March 1991

Cover Price: $1.00

Re-Collection Price: $1.50 plus shipping


What Happens:

Catwoman flees a heist via a rooftop, stopping to break up a mugging, clawing the muggers...

I really like Catwoman's costume in this issue.

...but leaving her jewels behind after getting into a confrontation with the victim, only for the jewels to be recovered by Batman.

Yeesh! This reads like bad fan fiction. Everyone's a strawman.

Batman returns the jewels to Sergeant Essen who makes it clear that if not for Jim Gordon, who’s currently in the hospital, she would lock up Batman.

"In this department we go by the book!"

Batman excuses himself and meets up with Joe Potato, a private investigator who has a lead on the white slave trade in Gotham. Potato (seriously, that’s his name) tells Batman that he has a client that hasn’t seen their daughter in sometime and may have been sold as a dancer in the Orient. Batman tells him that there’s no evidence to back up his theory.

"Why no, I've never heard that I look like Harvey Bullock."

Meanwhile, Selina Kyle returns home to her new roommate Arizona who’s writing a book about cats, which is conveniently narrating this story.

Selena's roommate would go onto become the internet personified.

While Sgt. Essen is visiting with Gordon at the hospital sees the report and announces she’s going to the museum, hoping Catwoman shows at the Egyptian exhibit. Gordon tells her it’s too dangerous, only to get an earful from Essen.

Selena is lured into robbing the exhibit which is showing the “Fabled Emerald Cat of Karnak,” by a television reporter with an ax to grind after Catwoman attacked his coworker. She takes the bait.

Vicki Vale, meanwhile gets into a fight with Bruce Wayne after she says that she’s going to exhibit, hoping to get some photos of Catwoman.

Lots of paternalism going on in this book.

Catwoman, Batman, Essen and Vicki Vale all stake out the place...

...And re-converge on the museum ready for action. 

Only to discover that Catwoman is being lured in by something more sinister than a reporter. Who is trying to capture Catwoman? Will Batman or Essen get to her first? Was Joe Potato right about the white slavery ring? Is his name really Potato? I don't know, I never bothered to pick up the rest of the arc.


Continued After Ad:

Has anyone  had Cracker Jacks outside of a baseball game?


Worth Re-Collecting?

Hooray! I finally picked up the beginning of a story arc! Unfortunately, I never read the other parts. Grant and  Breyfogle are always good and this story is no exception. Tim Sale, who inks the book, would go onto fame working with Jeph Loeb. Even the Assistant Editor is Kelley Puckett who would go on to create Cassandra Cain and work on the Batman Adventures. That’s a pretty awesome creative team.

This is like robbing the Met Gala with less Kardashians.

This is a classic Batman tale involving a museum heist, like you would see on the 60s show. A villain shows up at a gallery opening and steals what’s on display or has the rich donors donate their wallets. Catwoman is lured out with a cat-related jewel and Batman, the cops and even other criminals try to catch her. That's what's fun about Catwoman, she doesn't even have allies with other crooks. She's on her own.

I liked that the book was filled with info on cats from Selena’s roommate. I like that everything Selena did was cat related. It made the book feel like a throwback, to when rogues had gimmicks and stuck to them, unlike the Toyman in last issue who went from guy who liked wind-up toys to child murderer.

"Jim, can you believe these women don't listen to us?"

"Jim, can you believe these women don't listen to us?"

This book also had a surprisingly contemporary theme of paternalism. Women being told not to do something by the men in their lives because it’s too dangerous. First, Catwoman victim blames the muggers, telling them that they should have taken a cab, then Gordon tells Essen to not go after Catwoman, and Bruce tells Vicki Vale to stay away from the museum. Each time the person being told that something is too dangerous, lashes out and does it anyway. I thought it was an interesting theme that ran throughout the entire book.

Pick this book up if you find it and I’m going to get the rest of the arc. It’s another cheap but good Grant/Breyfogle story and as always please help out Norm Breyfogle and donate to the Hero Initiative.

Next Week:

We travel to Westchester, New York and for the first time meet the X-Men! Forget X-Men '92! This is actually the X-Men from 1992! See you next week!

Back Cover: 

This game looks phenomenal!