Catwoman 80th Anniversary Special (2020) by Various Artists

If you are a fan of the character or a fan of comic books, you will very likely enjoy this. I did, and I recommend it to all comic book fans out there. It’s a good chance to sample a variety of stories written and drawn by some of the current creative teams in comics in 2020.

Speaking of the creative teams, they feature in the ten stories in this 100-page special. The writers are Ann Nocenti, Will Pfeifer, Tom King, Ed Brubaker, Paul Dini, Jeff Parker, Chuck Dixon, Ram V, and Mindy Newell. The artists are Ty Templeton, Jonathan Case, Steve Rude, Lee Garbett, Tim Sale, Pia Guerra, Kelley Jones, Fernando Blanco, Robson Rocha, Jim Balent, Emanuela Lupacchino, Tula Lotay, Mikel Janin, and Cameron Stewart.

Released with a whopping 23 variant covers, I ordered the 1970s variant with gorgeous art by Frank Cho & Sabine Rich. I’ve always had a soft spot for that purple and green costume. I’ll post some images of the main variants below. Please let me know which one you would choose!

1970s Variant Cover by Frank Cho & Sabine Rich

Publisher’s Blurb

Our gal Catwoman is turning 80 next year (and looking very good, if we might say), and DC is celebrating with a huge soiree, invite only, packed with creators who mean the most to her and to whom she means the most! Stories featured in this 100-page spectacular include a tale that takes place at the end of the Brubaker/Stewart Catwoman run, in honor of artist Darwyn Cooke. Plus, Catwoman is caught by an exotic cat collector, runs into a wannabe thief trying to prove himself as her apprentice, encounters a mystery involving memorabilia from alternate continuities, and of course some Bat/Cat fun.

Brief Summary & My Thoughts

In “Skin the Cat,” Paul Dini and Emanuela Lupacchino present a story of wild cats and the dangers of taxidermy.

It was nice to see Ann Nocenti in this collection. Many years ago, I used to read her run on Daredevil. In her story “Now You See Me,” Catwoman reveals why she prefers working alone. The art is by Robson Rocha.

In his story “Helena,” Tom King offers a possible future for Catwoman and Batman. I wasn’t a fan of the dialogue in this one. It reminded me of the worst parts of the Wedding issue from his Batman run. Mikel Janin is the artist.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is dsc_0481_15917928950561.jpg
A shot from Tom King and Mikel Janin’s story

Jeff Parker and Jonathan Case give us “The Catwoman of Earth,” a very colourful tale that looks like it dropped out of the sixties. It’s light-hearted and fun, like the old Adam West series.

Liam Sharp both writes and draws his short story “A Cat of Nine Tales” which has fun with the ‘cats have nine lives’ idea.

In “Little Bird,” Mindy Newell and Lee Garbett present a moving tale that takes us back to Selina Kyle’s early days. This has the look of the classic Batman: Year One storyline.

Industry veteran Chuck Dixon provides a cool story involving Clayface and a precious emerald. It’s called “Born to Kiln” and the great Kelley Jones illustrates this one. Catwoman’s figure appears to be as malleable as Clayface’s in some of the panels!

Conventional Wisdom” is a very meta story penned by Will Pfeifer and Pia Guerra. It drops us into an unbelievable Batman Convention with a panel to die for.

Ram V and Fernando Blanco deliver a tale titled “Addicted to Trouble.” Selina embarks on a road trip with her sister. Intriguingly, this story says it will be continued in Catwoman #25. This story’s creative team are set to take over the monthly comic from September.

The final story in the book is Ed Brubaker and Cameron Stewart’s “The Art of Picking a Lock.” This is a really good story that hearkens back to Brubaker and Darwyn Cook’s run on Catwoman back in 2002.

The Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular contains some beautiful artwork. If I had to choose a “Top 3 Art Styles,” I would go for Cameron Stewart’s pulpy-noir style. Next, I choose Robson Rocha’s sharp lines and great facial expressions. Third, I have to go for the cartoony, almost psychedelic art by Jonathan Case.

My favourite story is Ed Brubaker and Cameron Stewart’s “The Art of Picking a Lock.” After that I would choose “Born to Kiln” by Chuck Dixon and Kelley Jones. I also really enjoyed “Now You See Me” by Ann Nocenti and Robson Rocha. But to be honest, every story is worth reading. Yes, even Tom King’s!

Thanks for reading and enjoy the beautiful cover art.

7 thoughts on “Catwoman 80th Anniversary Special (2020) by Various Artists

  1. Oooh, Gabriele Dell’Otto! 😀 Though I think I like the 80’s cover the most – brings to mind the Michelle Pfeiffer’s demented Catwoman from Burton’s movie 🙂
    I absolutely hate King/Janin take on Batman. Sharp didn’t wow me with his Brave and Bold, but I’m willing to give him another chance. I generally enjoy Brubaker and Dini – so you piqued my curiosity with this collection!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahh, the happy days of seeing Michelle Pfeiffer in that costume. And yes, that cover by Dell’Otto is seductively stunning! Unlike Tom King’s back-and-forth dialogue between “Bat” and “Cat.” I thought his run on the title started out okay but got progressively worse as it wore on. Mikel Janin’s art just doesn’t appeal to me. There’s something about it that feels off. Sorry Mikel! I much preferred it when Joelle Jones or Clay Mann were on art duties.

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  3. This definitely sounds awesome! I like that so many writers were given the chance to write something for this moment. I too find that King’s take on Catwoman (and Batman) is questionable at times. I like that Artgerm cover art, it’s so eerily hawt hahaha I’m very fond of The Animated Series (Batman) version of Catwoman with the grey suit myself. As far as the live-action adaptations go, Pfeiffer nailed it for me! 😀 Thanks for sharing, sir.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, these “specials” are a good chance to experience different takes on the character. I like the Artgerm cover, too. Well, I like them all!🤩 I remember watching the brilliant Animated series many moons ago. Happy days!

      Liked by 1 person

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