Catwoman: Futures End #1 “The Death of Selina Kyle”
Written by Sholly Fisch
Art by Patrick Olliffe
Look at this!!! Who knew this could happen? It’s 2014, it’s an issue of Catwoman, and I’m recommending that you go pick it up! And it’s not because it’s good compared to the trite that Nocenti gave us, it’s good because it’s actually good!
This is the first issue of Catwoman where we get to see Selina in her role as the crime boss of Gotham City. If this is any sign of what the new creative team will deliver, then it’s going to be an awesome ride! Now, I need to acknowledge that Sholly Fisch will not be the regular writer for this book, but I assume he partnered with Valentine (the regular writer for this book beginning in October) to get insight into the planned direction. Regardless, this is Fisch’s second time writing Catwoman, and he seems to know and understand Selina so well, that I have to wonder why he hasn’t completely helmed this book at some point.
As with every other Futures End issue, this story jumps forward five years. Selina reflects on her past as Catwoman compared to her new lifestyle as a mob boss. She has successfully established herself as the kingpin of Gotham crime, and is meeting with the crime lord of each major gang that’s under her. Fisch makes the most of this opportunity, and loops in quite a few familiar names and faces. Penguin is here, as is McKillen and Tusk from Batman & Robin, and a Falcone and a Maroni for namesake. Naturally, if you put all of these personalities in a room, there’s going to be some trouble… which is exactly what we get!
Tusk and Maroni get into an altercation over territory. It quickly leads to everyone having their guns drawn on one another, and Selina is forced to get her house back in order. She might have a successful organization, but it’s definitely not a trusting one. Selina reminds everyone of what happened to Black Mask, and mutes the altercation at hand. One of the members isn’t satisfied with her leadership in this situation though, which leads to the death of one of the leaders. I don’t want to give anything away, so I’m just going to let you know that the rest of this issue is really enjoyable. From here on out, the story gets better and better, as layer after layer of narrative reveals small clues as to what’s taken place over the past five years. We learn how Selina runs her organization, how she maintains control over a group of opportunists, who she trusts, and how she operates without Batman interfering. Then there’s the dreaded title. Has Selina finally reached the end of her nine lives? Go pick up this issue and find out! You’ll be glad you did!
- You’ve been waiting a really long time for a good Catwoman issue.
- You want to get a glimpse into what it will be like with Selina transitioning to become a crime boss.
- You want to read a Futures End issue that is actually believable.
Spoilers below. Read at your own risk.
The Art: I’m not going to lie… the opening page of this book shows Selina in her Catwoman costume, and it immediately took me to a dark place, simply because I associate his Catwoman with Ann Nocenti. Thankfully, we quickly jump to future, and I forget all about the past. I’ve been unsure of Olliffe’s art, but I find it to be extremely good here. This definitely goes to show how much the writer and artist affect one another. It was almost as if Olliffe enjoyed this issue so much that he desperately wanted to ensure he delivered his best work. Now that I’ve experienced Olliffe paired with a good writer, I hope I get to see more of him.
I am bothered by the fact that they draw Selina in a woven shirt that is unbuttoned down to her navel though. It’s just a little tacky. She can be sexy without showing off her whole torso.
The Good: I love nearly everything about this issue! So far, this is my favorite Futures End one-shot, aside from Grayson. Above that though, Fisch crafted a story that gives a realistic view into the possible future of Selina Kyle that is believable, and creates excitement for the future of this book and character.
I loved that Selina runs crime in Gotham with a moral code. She’s kind of like Robin Hood Inc. She steals from only those that are well off, and kills only those that “need to be killed.” I love when McKillen shoots Tusk for turning on Selina, and writes it off as needing to be done.
I also love that Batman let’s Selina work in Gotham, despite the fact that she kills people. Bruce has always had a soft spot for Selina, but he has to be turning more and more of a blind eye to her. I can’t wait to read the interactions with these two over the next few years.
And finally, how nice was the Riddler/ Selina moment at the end? It was definitely a nod to When In Rome, and just solidified the fact that even outside of the New 52, having Selina become a crime boss makes so much sense!
The Bad: There’s not much bad here… Not much at all. Damn that feels good to write! If I have one complaint worth mentioning, it’s the solicitation. You guys know how I feel about this… be honest in your solicitations DC!
Overall: Sholly Fisch should be praised for not only bringing back the Selina we know and love, but for literally taking advantage of every opportunity he has in this book! He surrounds Selina with interesting and familiar characters, touches on other Futures End one-shot events, creates a believable world for Selina five years from now, and fills the issue with whit and strong writing. There are even some nice nods to Catwoman books from the past. If you’re a fan of Catwoman, then you NEED to pick up this book!