‘Dark Knight Rises’ Reading: Catwoman’s Best Comics

by Ryan Rigley

Anne Hathaway may not have been the first actress to portray Selina Kyle up on the silver screen, but she certainly had one of the most distinct takes on the feline femme fatale thus far. As you all well know, the Christopher Nolan “Dark Knight” universe is comprised of realistic versions of our favorite comic book heroes and villains. Therefore, his version of Catwoman is a cat burglar that doesn’t dress like a giant cat. Go figure!

If you came out of “The Dark Knight Rises” as Catwoman-crazed as we did, then you’re probably looking for some good, classic Catwoman comic books to read. Well, look no further! We’ve taken the liberty of compiling five of the best story arcs featuring Selina Kyle herself. Check ’em out after the jump!

“Selina’s Big Score”
Taking place before the Ed Brubaker “Catwoman” series, “Selina’s Big Score” sees Catwoman putting together a team in order to pull off one more major heist that would grant her the ability to fake her death. Written by Matt Holingsworth (with art by Darwyn Cooke), this story is as close to the Nolan-verse as Catwoman comic books come. It’s gritty, it’s realistic, and you actually feel something for the characters.

“Relentless”
After acting as a veritable “Robin Hood” to the people of Gotham, Selina Kyle draws the attention of some of the city’s most dangerous criminals. Chief amongst these villains is none other than Black Mask, a diabolical crime lord with a pitch black skull for a face. Black Mask exacts his revenge on Selina by attacking those closest to her, including her sister and her closest friend, Holly. (A version of Holly exists in “Rises,” played by Juno Temple.)

“Her Sister’s Keeper”
Expanding on the origin story created by Frank Miller in “Batman: Year One,” this mini-series gives us a glimpse at Selina’s early years as a prostitute struggling to make ends meet and escape her abusive pimp/ex-boyfriend. When Selina witnesses a crime that threatens to put her sister in grave danger, she begins to study self-defense and various martial arts.

“When In Rome”
In this spin-off of the critically-acclaimed “Long Halloween” and “Dark Victory” stories, Catwoman travels to Rome in order to learn more about her mother and settle a score with the Falcone crime family. Accompanying her on this quest is The Riddler, who we later find out has an ulterior motive for helping Selina. “When In Rome” is an action-packed story filled to the brim with beautiful artwork. If you want to see Selina narrowly avoiding death by jumping naked into a pool, then this is the book for you!

“Heart of Hush”
Although Catwoman spends most of this story offscreen, she more than makes up for it in the third act. After a psychotic doctor named Hush literally removes Selina’s heart from her body, Batman must race the clock in order to defeat Hush and save the love of his life before time runs out. This story is one of the best examples of the relationship between Batman and Catwoman in recent years. It’s even better than the onscreen chemistry between Anne Hathaway and Christian Bale!

Tell us your favorite Catwoman comics in the comments section below or on Twitter!