Underground Reading: Tokyo by Mo Hayder
Graphic Novel Round-up: 1, 2, 3, 4

Catwoman: When in Rome by Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale

CatwomanAfter wrapping up Batman: The Long Halloween and Dark Victory, the award-winning team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale tacked on a final mini-series, this one featuring DC's legendary femme fatale. Catwoman: When in Rome fills in a few gaps in the previous collections by going back and explaining what Catwoman was up to while Batman was busy lurking around Gotham City.

Bear with me for a second. I was very briefly in a role-playing group that included a guy (geeky, but friendly) who persisted in playing a female character. In hindsight, this was a really bad idea.

Because, in this case, the fellow ignored anything like 'self-awareness' and played a cat-woman. Pointy ears, frisky tail and over-sized boobs included (considerately, he brought a picture with him). While the rest of us tried to ignore him and fight the forces of evil, his character scampered around the demon dimensions shopping for chocolate and trying on clothes. Yikes.

Anyway, he was (probably) a very nice chap, but after spending a couple hours watching him enquire about the bodice-enhancing leather armor, I never wanted to spend the time chatting with him to learn more.

Similarly, if I had read Catwoman before either of the two (decent) Loeb/Sale Batman collections, I would never have spent the time to learn more. Whereas Long Halloween and Dark Victory are clever, well-plotted and complex, Catwoman is rubbish. Rubbish with enormous boobs. The graphic novel is a slap-stick collection of a scantily dressed Catwoman endlessly falling out of bed (nekkid), making endless jokes about designer fashion and whining persistently about her love for Batman.

Catwoman: When is Rome is shockingly trashy, written for fans who would howl in protest if anyone had dare stereotype Batman as abominably.