Batman: The Cat and the Bat Paperback – 29 Jan 2010
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|Paperback, 29 Jan 2010||
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About the Author
Fabian Nicieza has written a fan-favourite run on X-Men, as well as many other titles including Cable and Deadpool and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Kevin Maguire is a top-tier artist with a unique gift for facial expressions. He most recently reunited with Glffen and DeMatteis on Formerly Known As The Justice League
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Top Customer Reviews
The story is pretty average at best and rather dully written. The antagonists are pretty weak and boring with a cavalcade of villains thrown in for very little plot purpose. The dynamic between Batgirl and Catwoman is done well as they both push eachother physically and psychologically to try and get the upper hand. Most plot point are entertaining but actually serve very little purpose and feel like they are just used for the sake of being used such as a visit to a nudist club and the final showdown at Arkham Asylum.
The characters provide amusement with a frequent use of humour and cat and mouse dialogue between Batgirl and Catwoman. Batman has a very small part to play late on in the book and is pretty much redundant apart from knocking out one thug with one punch (a thug that apparently the combined forces of both Batgirl and Catwoman couldn't even hurt).
The art is the worst part about this book. The facial expressions drawn for the characters make them look either constipated or like they've got their mouth full of toffee. The facial expressions don't usually match the dialogue that's written in the same panel either.
Overall not really worth a read unless your a real Barbara Gordon Batgirl fan. and even then you may be a little disappointed in the lack of prowess portrayed in the character.
Collects Batman Confidential #17 - #21
Other reviews have mentioned the naked nightclub, its kind of contrived and doesnt really help in making me take Batgirl as a legitimate hero. It could have perhaps be handled better.
As my star rating indicates this book isnt bad, I just think those preceding it in the story order have generally been much better stories. Batman: Dead to Rights being a fine book, particularly on the setting the Joker up as a real nasty piece of work. Just better story telling.
This graphic novel collects issues 17-21 of the Batman: Confidential comic, written by Fabian Nicieza and illustrated by Kevin Maguire. The Cat and The Bat is a five-part tale that chronicles Barbara Gordon's first-ever encounter with Selina Kyle, and unlike the majority of Batman stories, it's a light-hearted & comedic scrap between the two females, that ranges from silly-to-fun-to-risqué-to-entertaining-to-attentive.
There's not a great deal to say about The Cat and The Bat, really. It's not a major, groundbreaking tale. It's a self-contained story featuring colourful characters. Batman himself doesn't really show up until after the halfway point, the plot involving Commissioner Gordon's notebook/the Russian Mafia/The Riddler is pretty basic, and there are some minor continuity gaffs (like other reviewers have said) i.e. Batgirl's age/college status in relation to Batgirl: Year One, Batman knowing Catwoman's identity prior to Knightfall, but those are just little quibbles, really.
The relevant issue here is how much of a good read the book is, and for the record it's a rather fun one, all-in-all. You have a very determined & inexperienced Barbara who's trying to prove herself in the eyes of her peers, and you have an equally-determined, yet greater skilled/experienced Selina who's just doing what she does, and trying to humble the interfering Batgirl into submission. It's a wonderful dynamic featuring two deep characters, and the results blossom.Read more ›
This was an entertaining, well written and illustrated story, and kept me occupied on a long bus journey (of about two miles through central London).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The infamous orgy scene (parental complaints made the papers) comes about half-way through. Maguire manage to draw the whole scene without once showing any naughty bits but it shows how seriously they're taking this. For the rest of the story the two women's costumes become more and more ragged until they're showing almost as much skin as they were in the Gotham City Hedonist Society.
That being said the book is very well-written and very well drawn. Nicieza writes a young Barbara Gordon just starting on her career as Batgirl and still nervous about filling Batman's shoes. Catwoman is cocky and arrogant, determined to humble Batman's latest protege. The chase ends with Batgirl having to outfight or out-think most of Batman's foes in the depths of Arkham Asylum and shows why the character is so admirable.
Maguire draws some of the best faces in the business, able to convey subtle feelings much better than almost any artist in the business. It's almost a shame they decided to go the cheesecake route because it undercuts the good character work both creators do.
So this is a fun superhero story with lots of good looking women wearing not much clothing. If that's your thing check it out.
The story may be a little off if you care strongly about continuity. Barbara mentions her junior year in college and tried out for the police force which puts her age around 20-22. She speaks of Robin as if she is attracted to him. I would hope that means he is at least 17 or 18. But if I remember correctly, in Batgirl year one, Robin had to be driven around by Alfred which implies he is under 16. Minor nitpick.
I'm not a big fan of Kevin Maguire's work on Justice League International, but for the most part, the artwork was pretty good. He draws a better Batgirl than either Catwoman or Batman. And, I found at least two occasions where Catwoman's neck was way too long (more like Giraffewoman). So art quality is not a high point and the main reason I downgraded to 4 stars.
For parents interested in buying for their child, there is a multiple page section of the story where everyone in the story is naked (a hedonistic club). "Camera angles" are done so as not to show anything (as a matter of fact, most superheroes show more with their skintight outfits than you see in any part of the nude scenes). But the pages are there and the nudity is heavily implied.
Overall, very enjoyable.
After reading batman and Detective Comics for a while, I began to expand into reading Superman, Spider-man and a slew of other Marvel and DC characters and I realized something about Batman Comics; the artwork on the monthly books did not compare well to other comics on the shelf. At that time, Batman was drawn by Jim Aparo, whose work by then had grown stagnant and rigid under Mike DeCarlo's heavy inking, while Detective Comics was illustrated in the dynamic but not very detailed pencil strokes of Norm Breyfogle. My point of explaining all this is that I began to make a list in my head of artist I would like to see handle the Dark Knight, and one of the names at the top of the list was Kevin Maguire, the artist of the humourous version of the Justice League.
Almost 20 years later I have my wish, and this tale of Batgirl and Catwoman struggling over a certain incriminating diary stolen from Commissioner Gordon suits the artist's talents very well. His knack for drawing facial expressions (as well as the female form) are a perfect fit for this cheeky story, and while I do not appreciate cheesecake in my Batman stories, the simplicity and elegance of the artwork make up for the less than serious tone.
As for Fabien Nicieza's writing; I was a little concerned when I heard he was providing the script. I have found much of his writing to be confusing and breathlessly paced to a fault in some cases. But he does well here, letting the story breath and the action unfold over five issues, and to his credit, allowing the art to do most of the talking. I'd like to point out his strong use of the Joker, who's brief cameo presented a more sinister Joker than other writers manage in a 6 issue mini series.
I would point out one small continuity gaff here though, which is that Batman, Batgirl and way too many mobsters know Catwoman's secret identity, something Batman finds out years later after the Knightfall storyline.
This book reprints the forth story arc from the Batman:Confidential monthly series, and gives us another strong entry after the equally good "Batman: the Wrath", for much the same reasons. The artwork is strong, the writing is crisp, and the editors chose wisely to avoid Batman's early years, which have been overloaded with retro-fitted stories or retelling of encounters with Batman's classic villains. Setting this story in the Dick Grayson years as Robin is refreshing since very few modern Batman tales are told in this era. This arc is a good way to make amends for the disappointing Batman vs. Lex Luther tale, "Rules of Engagement", or the awful Batman Vs. Joker: Round 1 (version 3.0) story, "Lovers and madmen".
More like this please, and definitely more form Kevin Maguire.
The art here is quirky and fun -- not the sexpot versions of these character readers are mostly familiar with. The story is light and enjoyable, though there are a few more "adult" moments that I would not allow a child under 10 years to see.
Overall, this is a great read for teens and adults. And it's a steal at Amazon's price! Let's hope there are more Batgirl/Catwoman team-ups where this one came from. They are both extraordinary female characters, and they deserve this kind of stellar treatment.
The drawings are in the style of Frank Cho, but not as good. You can visualise the audience for whom this comic is targetted.