We are days away from the world getting another live-action incarnation of Batman, Catwoman, and the rest of Gotham City. And while The Batman’s twists and turns remain shrouded behind its release date, there’s something we can say for certain: Zoe Kravits’ Catwoman probably won’t have ears that flick around like a real cat’s. Because that would look silly in a live-action film.
But you know where it looks rad? In this week’s issue of Catwoman.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Monday Funnies, Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. But there will be great comics. (And if you missed the last edition, read this.)
There are many things that work in superhero comics that don’t work in the realm of live-action cinema — like one-to-one transpositions of colorful skin-tight costumes, or the unique quirks of serialized storytelling that simply don’t translate to even a trilogy of films. But there’s also the matter of artistic license without expectation of explanation.
For example, one of my favorite things is when creators, like Catwoman #40’s Tini Howard and Nico Leon, say “Fuck it, Catwoman’s ears and tail move according to her mood.” And they are correct!
It’s way cooler as artistic license than it would be if we had to explain why Catwoman had mood-sensing servomotors in the hood of her costume. The thrill of the realism of live-action often comes at the cost of the equally enjoyable hyperrealism of animation and comics.
Speaking of stuff you can only do in comics, seeing the villain’s sword bisecting the word balloon of the hero’s reactionary noise to the sword stroke itself is sublime. James Stokoe’s Orphan and the Five Beasts — a gonzo, gross out kung-fu adventure — is not something I expected to like and that continuously surprises me.
As a wordless fable in an original fantasy setting, Step by Bloody Step is all about not explaining itself very much, and I want to shout out this splash page in the first issue. This kind of reveal — underneath its armor, the fragile little girl’s giant, violent armored companion is... the same as the little girl! — would be the trite ending of a lesser story. The fact that writer Si Spurrier and artist Matías Bergara unleash it in the first of four issues is tantalizing in the extreme.
Finally X Deaths/X Lives of Wolverine has gotten around to my personal favorite Wolverine: Sad Dad Wolverine.