The essence of Selina Kyle in a new perspective has always been an interesting idea. In a DC Universe where all the heroes comes from some trajectory of tragedy, one more is not necessarily a big surprise. In “Under The Moon – A Catwoman Tale” [Lauren Myracle/DC/208pgs], we get an origin story of sorts. Selina had possibility in terms of a moderately passable childhood but had a mother that either neglected or didn’t understand his own self worth. The reality of the situation is a truism as the actual idea of how this works runs in parallel to Regina Louise whom IR talked to in an interview recently. The situation creates a texture but also the experience of the individual. The story line that involves CInders, which was Selina’s cat she rescues and then loses because of the cruelty of her mother’s boyfriend, scars her for life but causes her not to trust anyone. She runs away from home and lives on the street. Her training with Ono seems organic in terms of how she gains skills. She was already stealing from stores before that so the element of this kind of life is ingrained into her personality anyway. The psychological elements of trust are brought to bear especially with Bruce Wayne whom we see a bigger backstory in terms of their youth. Selina has the modes of communication but she also wants people to make the effort to connect which sometimes is not the nature of human behavior. Because of this stubbornness, she continues to live on the streets and finds her way even if those she really wants to be close keep her at arms length or vice versa. “Under The Moon” is a Catwoman origin story for the new age which unfortunately keys into the isolation of the intention of the character while still keeping it in a time void with its own voice.
By Tim Wassberg
The essence of Batman’s psychology versus Bruce Wayne’s state of being is an existential thrust that is not often covered in either the films or the animated series. There is the gist of it but it needs to give way to a specific story progression. An interesting point of “Batman Vol. 8 – Cold Days” [Tom King/DC/176pgs] is that its namesake moves on the basis that Batman cannot always win. Sometimes he needs to lose in one way or another. The first iteration in “Cold Days” follows a trial of Mr. Freeze to convict the villain of murdering three girls. Bruce Wayne is called to jury duty and is selected as one of the 12 jurors. It bears an interesting reference to “12 Angry Men”. What is quite interesting however is the metaphorical and ethereal discussions that are discussed inside the jury room. Bruce is struggling against himself without letting the others in the room know truly what is bothering him. He brings in tenants of Christianity & God but wrapped within the structure that Batman is Gotham’s savior and he is fallible. He debates that is possible for him to make a mistake claimed by the fact that Freeze indicated that there was something different about the Caped Crusader that night he was brought in. It is an interesting exercise that would oddly enough work well on stage since the audience knows Wayne is Batman but everyone else in the play does not. The second story in this volume: “Beasts Of Burden” speaks to the relationship between Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne. The parallel between Bruce and Grayson mirrors, at times, Bruce and his father. The interesting psychological structure again at play here is Grayson’s initial rebuking of Wayne as a father figure but then the eventual fondness that Wayne replaces with coldness until it causes a dark fate to befall Nightwing.Iinterestingly watching the new “Titans” on DC Universe (see Inside Reel’s interview here) the resentment on Dick’s part is palpable. This story and its requisite end are on a different timeline. But as is spoken within the end of “Superman II”, one cannot deny his or her nature. “Batman Vol. 8 – Cold Days” works on a variety of levels but most especially psychological even going at one point to use allegory with the story of ” The Animals & The Pit” a rather specific Darwinian theory that balances both the aspect of the dark and the light.
By Tim Wassberg