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The Greatest Catwoman Stories Ever Told!

Every day in November we will reveal the greatest stories ever told starring a particular character or written/drawn by a particular creator (and throughout the month, you’ll get daily chances to vote for NEXT week’s lists). These lists are voted on by YOU, the reader!

Here is the list of characters/creators featured so far (along with the rules on how to vote).

Today’s list is the Greatest Catwoman Stories Ever Told!

Enjoy!

10. Catwoman (vo. 1) #15-19 “Catfile”

This action-packed adventure saw Catwoman kidnapped by a government agent who forces her to work as a super-spy for him. Writer Chuck Dixon has a blast with the over-the-top adventures of Selina-as-spy while she constantly works to gain her freedom from her controller. Jim Balent and Bob Smith did the art.

9. Catwoman (vol. 2) #32 “Only Takes a Night”

Batman and Catwoman spend the night exploring their relationship and determining if they are really meant to be together in this inspired one-off issue by Ed Brubaker, Sean Phillips and Stefano Gaudiano.

8. Catwoman #1-4 “Her Sister’s Keeper”

In this mini-series, Mindy Newell fleshed out the origin that Frank Miller gave Catwoman in Batman: Year One, as she (and artist J.J. Birch) explore Selina’s past as a prostitute as well as her sister’s life as a nun. Newell explores a lot of the same themes (like sex trafficking) that she did in her Lois Lane mini-series (only this is a lot darker). You can read about the Lois Lane series on the Greatest Lois Lane Stories Ever Told list.

7. Catwoman (vol. 2) #5-10 “Crooked Little Town”

This gritty tale features Selina caught up in trying to bring down a drug ring while also clearing the name of Holly (who is, for lack of a better term, Selina’s sidekick), who has been framed for the murder of a cop. Ed Brubaker wrote it and Brad Rader handles the pencils (with Cam Stewart and Rich Burchett splitting inking duties roughly right down the middle).

6. Catwoman: When in Rome #1-6

In this continuation of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s acclaimed Long Halloween/Dark Victory series of stories, Catwoman travels to Italy to attempt to learn the truth about her birth mother while also settling a score with the Falcone crime family (could the two have something in common?). There is lots of action in this beautiful looking series.

5. Catwoman (vol. 2) #20-24 “Wild Ride”

After the events of “Relentless,” Selina feels that she needs to take Holly out of Gotham City, so they take a tour of the DC Universe, including getting Holly some training from Ted “Wildcat” Grant. Meanwhile, what Holly does not know is that Selina (with help from Slam Bradley) has another reason for this little getaway. Ed Brubaker wrote it and Cam Stewart, Nick Derington and Guy Davis drew it.

4. Selina’s Big Score

Darwyn Cooke goes old-school crime noir with this amazing graphic novel depicting Selina putting together a team to pull off a major score to allow her to pull off faking her death (this is set before the Ed Brubaker Catwoman series). If you have read Cooke’s amazing adaptations of Richard Stark’s Parker books, then you know just what kind of awesomeness you can expect from this heist story.

3. Detective Comics #759-762 (back-ups), Catwoman (vol. 2) #1-4 “The Dark End of the Street”

Slam Bradley is on the case, looking for the missing Selina Kyle, who everyone thinks is dead. When he finally finds her, she re-examines her life and decides to begin a new chapter in her life, as the protector of Gotham’s East End. The search for Selina took place in back-ups in Detective Comics, leading to the new ongoing series. Darwyn Cooke supplied the artwork (and her awesome new costume) while Ed Brubaker did the words. Cam Stewart inked the back-up story and Mike Allred inked the Catwoman series. Brubaker ties into the Mindy Newell series, bringing in Holly and Selina’s sister, Maggie.

2. The Brave and the Bold #197 “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne!”

Alan Brennert wrote this classic tale depicting how the Earth-2 Batman and Catwoman fell in love and got married. Joe Staton and George Freeman handle the art on this really well-told story. The clever hook is that the Scarecrow uses his gas to make everyone Batman cares about disappear (to his mind). All alone, Batman turns to the only other person he can find to help him take down the Scarecrow – Catwoman (since he doesn’t care about her, she is visible to him). As the story goes along, though, you can see how well Brennert edges along the relationship – from a state of mutual distrust to one of mutual attraction to one of mutual love. Really well done one-shot.

1. Catwoman (vol. 2) #12-19 “Relentless”

In this taut series of stories, Catwoman finds out that being a “Robin Hood” to the people of Gotham’s East End can gain her the enmity of Gotham’s vilest villains, and in this collection, the evil Black Mask takes his revenge out on Catwoman by striking at those closest to her, including her sister and her friend, Holly! Characters are forced to make some unsettling decisions in this gripping collection, written by Ed Brubaker with art by Cam Stewart and Javier Pulido (Pulido’s story is an epilogue to the main Relentless story, showing the characters coming to grips with how damaged they all were by Black Mask’s attack, which was aided by an old friend of Selina’s).

That’s the list! Agree? Disagree? Let me know!

33 Comments

When I saw the initial voting post for this, the first story that came to mind (and the only one, really, which is why I ended up not voting) was “The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne” – not only is that my favorite Catwoman story, it’s one of my very favorite Batman stories in general. Glad it placed so highly.

I definitely don’t agree with the Ed Brubaker choices—he did a shitty job on Catwoman, and I only liked issue 32 because he allowed Selina and Bruce to have sex.

But The Catfile and When in Rome are classics! Would’ve liked to have seen more stories from the Jim Balent era on this list.

I remember reading The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne in the Greatest Batman stories ever told and it confused the hell out of me because I knew nothing of the DC multiverse growing up in the wake of Crisis on Infinite Earths. Why was Batman using a gun? How could he be married to Catwoman? I guess I was the poster child for why Crisis had to happen in the first place. Wish I could find a copy to re-read now.

Agree with catsmeow about Brubaker. Is there anything more dreary and unimaginative than the “villain victimizes the people the hero loves” stories? Would have loved to see some Conway or Moench.

This is a nice mix overall, but it is noteworthy that it does not feature a single comic with Catwoman in the role of the antagonist. Has any other character ever flipped so completely?

I really liked what I read of Brubaker’s series, though “Autobiography” is the probably the best Catwoman story.

Detective Comics 569-570, “The Last Laugh” about the Joker’s corruption of Catwoman, is fantastic too. The first (and probably the best) story in the Barr/Davis run.

There’s also a fun two-part romp in the Grant/Breyfogle Batman run “Sisters in Arms”, where she teams up (kind of) with Vicki Vale and Sarah Essen.

The “Catwoman Defiant” one-shot by Milligan ain’t too bad either.

Yeah, just out of curiosity, did Detective 569-570 get any support? That was a great story.

Loved Brubaker on Catwoman. I wish DC would collect the rest of his run.

@Diggity They are starting a series of Brubaker collections starting sometime soon.

Only read When In Rome, I honestly don’t remember that story much but that’s how I feel about most Jeph Loeb stories.

Re: #4 Richard Stark, not Robert.

Brubaker ruled on this book! Glad he took the character to new highs, though not well liked some of pfeiffers work was quite good also, selina stealing from lexcorp was a great little story. The new book is really getting better with each issue, thoroughly recommend issue 3 from winnicks latest run, check it out.

Am I the only person who hates those goggles? Her costume’s easy. Slap a catsuit on her and you’re good. Why goggles?

The goggles, they do nothing.

was hoping her sisters keeper wound up on the list. for felt the story fleshed out why catwoman became the way she became. plus nice to see the story that deals with the after math of black masks attack on this list considering the story it follows up is the creepest story ever.

I hated Her Sister’s Keeper. Selina’s definitive origin can be found in Catwoman Annual #2, “Catwoman: Year One”. It corrects all the mistakes that HSK made.

@road waffle,

I agree with you about the Barr?Davis Catwoman/Joker story deserving a spot. It was a great take on both characters and added an extra layer of enmity to the Batman/Joker relationship. (Although I’d put either “Fear for Sale” or “My Beginning and My Probable End” as the highlights of the Barr/Davis run. Still don’t get why DC hasn’t collected that yet.)

@C. Towns

Great news! I’ll keep an eye out for them.

Is the Brave and the Bold issue the oldest story on here? Were her stories from the first 40 years just not that good?

Forgot to vote, but I’d have put Catwoman #81 I think, the farewell issue at the end of Will Pfeifer’s run on there. There were a couple speedbumps after he took over from Brubaker, but eventually I think he had a great take on Selina.

Wow. Not only is “The Jungle Cat-Queen” from Detective #211 the greatest Catwoman story ever, but it is, in my opinion, the greatest Batman story ever. And this is not some out of the blue selection; it is included in The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told.

Meaningless Albert

November 21, 2011 at 12:40 am

I really thought the Catwoman/Catman story from Batman 323-324 would be on the list.

From the “Dark End of the Street” back-ups until the end of the Wild Ride, Catwoman was easily the best comic book DC was publishing. Such awesome stuff.

Autobiography would have been my top choice. HSK would never have made my list. Except for Wild Ride, not fond of Brubaker’s run at all. I also thought A Night on the Town by Moench was a better Batcat date night story over Catwoman 32.

Personally, some of the best Catwoman stories I’ve read are in Chris Dee’s Cat Tales.

Brave & the Bold:
George Freemans inks looked great on Joe Statons pencils. His inks also made Billy Grahams pencils shine on Saber. Wish I could see more of his work other than an occasional Captain Canuck piece. I wonder what his inks would have look over Steve Ditkos pencils?

I wish “Its Only a Movie” made the list, loved that story in the post one year later stuff.
But cant argue with the brubaker stories.

why no love for new 52 issue 1

I’m not surprised that none of her villainous appearances made it onto the list, as her original Shtick was that she was a really good cat burglar, and not someone who was a murderous psychopath or out for revenge.

When in Rome was pretty, but my problem with Loeb’s Selina is pretty much how I felt about Arkham City’s Catwoman, which is just T&A generic sexy woman. The Michael Bay of Catwoman so to speak.

Brubaker’s, Cooke and Pfeifer’s (Will) Catwoman is multfaceted and classy, and are like a combination of James Cameron, Tarantino and Hitchcock female characters. Hoping Anne Hathaway pulls it off and hasn’t been terribly miscast…

Cooke’s run is the only Catwoman stuff I’ve read, but I see some others here that I should check out.

Just watched the Batman: Year One dvd today and was surprised how “soft-core” pornish the Catwoman short seemed to me.

There should be SOME golden age in that list, it does not feel right.

Impossible to take this list seriously with all the Brubaker and Cooke on there. I agree with Autobiography, When in Rome and Chipsnopotatoes about Chris Dee. That’s it. The rest of your choices would be a worst of list.

What an unfortunate list. Less than the sum of its parts, that’s for sure.

I’ve read like 7 of those top 10 stories, and I agree, they are great.

Brubaker’s Catwoman run was top notch. Its funny that nothing after #24 is mentioned… because I haven’t read anything past that issue! So it looks like I stopped at the right time.haha…

I’ve been meaning to pick up the full runs by both Dixon (I did read Catfile however) and Moench – as I really enjoyed their Batman runs. Are they any good?

Oops! There is one after #24! – I’ll have to track it down! :)

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