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Catwoman #39

Comicscore Index
Generally favorable ratings

Based on 15 critic ratings.

Meow, Catwoman is bored of Alleytown and has returned to Gotham City proper for bigger fish to fry and to go back to doing what she does best…stealing crime boss secrets for blackmail and looking damn sexy while doing it, of course. New ongoing series writer Tini Howard makes her DCU series debut writing the cat of the night, placing Catwoman in her first blackmail heist disguised as a stripper at Gotham’s most secure underground club! Oh, Catwoman, hiding in plain sight in five-inch platform heels at a gathering of Gotham’s crime elite while surrounded by all the beautiful women and other shiny things to look at…what could possibly go wrong?

Publication Date
Kindle Edition
Print Lenght
25 pages

Cover Artist

15 Critic Ratings & Reviews from:
  • 100


    A whole new era begins for Selina Kyle that picks up where the last one left off, keeping the same character-heavy fun noirish energy while adding a whole new cast and setting for the master thief to play with. A stylish and gorgeous book that is just crackling with energy, kicking off what should be a pretty awesome new run.

  • 100

    DC Comics News

    We are going to enjoy Tini Howard’s run on this comic. Selina is a true player and this comic has surpassed anything historically it was years ago as a “filler” book in the lineup. If you like a bit of noir, a lot of Selina, and a hero/anti-villain that is fighting the mob on several different levels, this is for you! Get in on the ground floor of Howard’s run! You’ll be glad you did!

  • 96

    You Don't Read Comics

    Howard, Leon, and Bellaire do a brilliant job of opening the current era in Catwomans life. It will be interesting to see the series play out from here. Howard is a seasoned storyteller who knows what shes doing. Leon and Bellaire work remarkably well together…each artist admirably amplifying the work of the other. Its been quite a while since Catwoman reached the level of achievement it has in the 39th issue of the current series.

  • 91

    Comic Watch

    As a casual Catwoman fan, I’m really delighted to see emphasis placed on Catwoman fighting for the “little guy.” She risks her life for the downtrodden, like the exotic dancers who the villains were very quick to attempt to kill. I’m also loving her outfit. I despised the armpit cutouts at first, but this issue makes them decently fashionable.

    The villains are a bit lackluster with the exception of Eiko Hasigawa and the surprise villain introduced late in the story. I’m assuming Howard has plans for fleshing out the adversaries, and the fact that their biggest weaknesses are their secrets can lead for some very fun Catwoman moments.

    Catwoman #39 is off to an intriguing start. I’m definitely in it for the long haul, and I’m very excited to see where Catwoman’s adventures lead her next (as long as Duchess is by her side).

  • 90

    The Comicbook Dispatch

    Catwoman #39 is a great first part of Catwoman’s new era, putting her back in Gotham and giving her a whole new cast of enemies and friends. The ultra-cool art and Selina’s savvy attitude, coupled with some great John Wick-style action scenes, make the book a fantastic ride.

  • 90

    Tini Howard, Nico Leon, and company are bringing forward a bold new direction for Selina Kyle’s story—and if this issue is any indication, it is a stylish and profoundly entertaining one. With the recent war in Alleytown in the past, Selina sets her sights on a new crime conspiracy in Gotham City, and crosses paths with a familiar Batman villain in the process. Howard’s script balances Selina’s past with her fun and fizzy future, and Leon’s art—with the help of Jordie Bellaire’s stunning colors—brings some brilliant sartorial and aesthetic moments. While a few sequences might be a little rough-around-the-edges with regards to pacing, this proves to be a pretty excellent jumping-on point for Catwoman readers.

  • 86

    Monkeys Fighting Robots

    Catwoman #39 is a solid start to a new Catwoman plot arc, one that sets the scene for countless conflicts and adventures to come. One can only hope that the pace will stay this steady for the foreseeable future.

  • 82

    The Super Powered Fancast

    The Story: Tini Howard takes over the story of the Queen of Alleytown in this introductory chapter. This story arc begins with Selina’s return to Alleytown and her decision to keep it safe from Gotham’s powerful crime bosses. This iteration of Selina’s narrative is feminist focused and shows her using different methods of research and resolution than in previous issues. I thought it was an interesting choice to focus her time and resources on the society of women. The perspective shift is certainly welcome, and I am interested to see how this approach develops.

    The Art: The illustration in this edition has a modern and youthful tone. Detailed drawings are mixed with a color palate that changes with mood and location. This issue is slick, visually appealing, and surprisingly colorful. I feel it perfectly complements the world of Selena Kyle.

  • 80

    Geek Dad

    Creative team switches are always tricky, especially when they bring with them a radical change in tone. Ram V’s run cast Catwoman as more of a hero than she has been in years, bringing in a collection of street-kid allies and even having her pull a collection of Bat-villains over to the side of good temporarily. Tini Howard’s new run goes the exact opposite route—sending her out of Alleytown and deep into the world of Gotham’s seediest crime lords. It’s very noir-accented, but more in a gritty modern noir vein. Even the art reflects the change—Nico Leon’s realist style seems to take notes from the glossy Tim Burton Catwoman. Much of the action takes place inside a strip club where Selina crashes a meeting of Gotham’s top crime families—three dirtbag guys, and one woman. That’s right—Selina’s ex-lover and former Catwoman Eiko Hasigawa is back and bringing lots of drama with her.

    Points to this book for making Selina’s bisexuality a key part of the story, but it doesn’t look like a reunion is in the offing any time soon. Eiko seems dedicated to leading her father’s former empire and playing with the big boys, although she does give Selina a bit of help covertly when needed. Add in a mysterious new masked thief stalking Selina, a new home base that puts Selina amid the wives and mistresses of the city’s most powerful criminals, and a mysterious new cat, and we’ve got a promising start to this run overall. I did, however, think that going back to the main villain here already feels like it’s treading on old ground and the tone of the run feels almost overwhelmingly grim at times. It’s miring Selina in a world that it mostly feels like she’s left behind, and I’m not sure if it’ll build on the work the previous run did. Still, as a down-and-dirty guilty pleasure, this run has potential.

  • 80

    Weird Science DC Comics

    Catwoman #39 is a good start to Tini Howard’s Catwoman run. The issue looks great, and Howard has Selina’s voice down. Fans of Genevieve Valentine’s Catwoman run are in for a treat, but Howard makes sure the story still feels new and fresh.

  • 80

    Dark Knight News

    Catwoman #39 has truly started the new creative team’s run well. We get a clear theme, a new cast of antagonists, and a mission for our hero to work on. The powerful feminist message is something I expect will be built on, and with tension this clear between characters and visuals this striking throughout, this is the renaissance that the Catwoman may not have needed but thoroughly deserves. Eager to see more of this important new direction.

  • 75


    Catwoman #39 is an intriguing start to a new arc where Catwoman is a master of the finer things and finer details around her. The book is absolutely packed with content, maybe too much so in regards to captions, which can feel burdensome. That said, this is a Catwoman ride you’ll want to continue.

  • 70

    Lyles Movie Files

    Tini Howard makes her debut writing Catwoman with this issue and it’s likely to be a divisive take on Selina Kyle.

    Howard makes sure to cram the script with a slew of woman empowerment buzzwords and phrases as if Selina was regularly written as demure. There’s a throwaway line where Selina — or the editor(?) — references a group of crime lords being called gentlemen despite a woman being part of the group. Howard isn’t interested in being subtle to the detriment of her take on Catwoman.

    Maybe the most interesting was Howard having Selina grasp for the slightest hint of misogyny and demeaning phrasing while not even remarking when a crime boss makes a racist remark to an Asian character. If only that weren’t more the exception than the norm for modern writers.

    Howard also seems seems game to reestablish Selina as bisexual presumably to avoid the need to rush Batman cameos.

    The artwork from Nico Leon makes the biggest splash. Leon has an electric style that’s full of energy and a vibrancy that encourages you to see what awaits on the next page. Paired with colorist Jordie Bellaire, Leon seems poised to be DC’s biggest breakout artist in 2022.

    Clunky script soapboxing aside, this is an intriguing debut for the new creative team.

  • 50


    Catwoman #39 has much on its mind as Tini Howard’s script attempts to establish Selina back in Gotham as well as starting a war between her and the city’s underground. Nico Leon’s art is competent, but most pages are cluttered and rely heavily on the dialogue to make sense of them. After Ram V and Fernando Blanco’s methodical, noir inspired run, this issue’s reliance on provocative scenarios feels like a step backward and its execution leaves much to be desired. As a fan of Howard’s previous work, I’m hopeful the series can refocus itself after this hefty introduction.

  • 50

    The Batman Universe

    It is perhaps unfair to Tini Howard that she’s taking over the Catwoman title after just over a year of one of the best Catwoman runs of the past decade. Ram V’s run had a few flaws (largest among them the tendency to be extremely emotionally cold), but it was a tightly plotted, dark noir crime story that highlighted Selina’s appeal and skills. Howard opens splashy and with an enormous, energetic attitude – and that’s good, as it’s the strongest element of Catwoman #39. The original characters are pretty stock, though her masked Thieves’ Guild representative Valmont at least has an evocative entrance, her handling of Black Mask is annoyingly stupid on both Catwoman and Mask’s part (Selina having no idea Mask is a player, Mask being basically just a rabid dog who likes to kill cats), and while I really appreciate the return of Eiko Hasigawa, she has none of the character that Genevieve Valentine imbued her so careful within her year-long run seven years ago.


    Taking over from Ram V’s main series artist Fernando Blanco (currently on the backup stories in the Shadows of the Bat event in Detective Comics), Nico Leon’s art reminds me a bit of David Messina’s art from the second half of Valentine’s run – a bit unpolished, a bit flatter, suited to a noir style reasonably well, but not terribly impressive. Some good layout work, though, keeping reading interesting. Jordie Bellaire’s colors cannot completely compensate for the rougher pencil work, but it does drench the book in style and atmosphere, really catching the brash but shadowed noir tone that Howard strikes.

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