Action Comics Weekly #611 (Catwoman)
“The Tin Roof Club”
Writer – Mindy Newell
Pencils – Barry Kitson
Inks – Bruce Patterson
Letters – Carrie Spiegle
Colors – Adrienne Roy
Assistant Editor – Dan Raspler
Editor – Denny O’Neil
Consider this… DC Comics puts out a weekly anthology series, featuring a rotating cast of series’… and it’s taken until the eleventh week to get anything Bat-Adjacent! I don’t think that sort of thing would happen today… would it? I mean, not on an ongoing basis anyway!
Don’t look now though, but in a couple of weeks… 1/3 of Action Comics Weekly will be Bat-Adjacent!
We open with Catwoman (which I’m going to type out as “Catowman” every. single. time.) stealing a precious Egyptian (cat-shaped) brooch from the Gotham City Museum of Fine Art. We jump ahead to find out just what Selina Kyle is up to at this point in history. Turns out, she’s a pretty successful businesswoman, and owner of The Tin Roof Club, a nightclub where the elite and shady alike congregate to drink (and play) their cares away. In one of the “shadier” rooms, the talk is all about that stolen brooch.
Selina is visited by her old pal Holly Robinson (from Year One), now a married lady living in Joisey… but written with more of a Lon-Gylund accent just the same… maybe there’s crossover, I never spent much time in Jersey. She keeps badgering Selina to come out to the ‘burbs, but keeps getting run-around replies. Selina then gives her a boxed gift… and tells her not to open it until Christmas.
As Selina asks her bartender, Willy to serve Holly a Shirley Temple, Detective George Flannery enters the Club. Holly excitedly shows him the gift (box) that Selina had just given her, which gets his wheels ta’ turnin’. He’s about 90% certain that the box contains the stolen Egyptian brooch… and heck, so am I! He reminds her that he’s let her get away with a lot over the years… but this is a bridge too far. She maintains her innocence, before heading back to her office…
… where she realizes she probably ought to deep-six the cat suit for now. It’s not outside of the realm of possibilities for Flannery to procure a search warrant. As she starts changing clothes (I guess she’s going to wear the cat suit out under her clothes?), a trio of armed baddies burst on the scene! Selina grabs her whip and starts fighting them off.
With the trio kayoed, Selina attempts to flee her office… only, she runs right into her bartender, Willie! He’s also holding a gun… and asks where Selina is running off to… before pulling the trigger!
This I like.
Anytime we’ve come across a Mindy Newell piece here at the blog, I always walk away from it feeling like I’ve read a pretty darn good story. First time I noticed her name in the credits was in that two-part Lois Lane: When it Rains, God is Crying story from 1986… and I really liked that! This Catwoman four-parter starts off very strong as well.
In fact, my sole complaint (thus far) is that this feature will only be around for four-weeks… then it goes away forever! It’s worth noting that this feature is being promoted as a “Showcase Presents”-branded story… whatever that means. Perhaps this was intended to launch into an ongoing series? I know the first Catwoman miniseries (also written by Newell) will come out in 1989… so, maybe this is a lead-in to that. It almost certainly must be… though, I’ve been wrong before.
Anyhoo… into the story. It’s really just a table-setting chapter, but it’s done quite well. Really, where so many of the ACW features have struggled out the gate is in straddling that line between introducing their cast and establishing their purpose. Catwoman manages to successfully do both here. Really looking forward to what’s next.
Tomorrow: Will Black Canary finally get on with it?