Batman: The Cat and the Bat Review

Overview

Batman: The Cat and the Bat is a part of Batman: Confidential. Although it has Batman in the name this is pretty much a Batgirl/Catwoman book, majority of it being Batgirl. It’s a short, self contained story with 5 issues included. It’s a ‘fun’ book with bright, vibrant colours and a lot of facial expressions. I’d say the book is probably most known for the nudity and overall sexual tones throughout. In my opinion this book also has some casual sexist moments and hasn’t aged well even though it was written by Fabian Nicieza in 2008.

Key Information

Book NameThe Cat and the Bat
Book SeriesBatman: Confidential
Edition ReviewedCollected Edition
Year Published2009
Originally Published2008
Writer(s)Fabian Nicienza
Artist(s)Kevin Maguire
Pages128
Issues5
Where to BuyAmazon

Batman: The Cat and the Bat Review

Batman: Confidential #17

It’s fun, colourful and Batgirl’s first encounter with Catwoman in the modern age. I feel throughout that there’s slightly off lettering from to time to time when it’s in cursive. However, Batgirl looks great, facial expressions look goofy but I like the light heartedness. Other than notebook she’s after (belongs to James Gordon but Catwoman wants it) there is no plot really.

Batman: Confidential #18

So, Batgirl is completely naked and drawn in pretty great detail (there’s no full frontal nudity but it’s clear Barbara Gordon is actually naked in the story). She still retains her identity though as she keeps the mask on. Catwoman joins Batgirl in the whole nakedness, in fact everyone is naked in this issue. As if it could get any more carry-on Batgirl and Catwoman get into a fight completely naked.

Among the silly facial expressions the chase which started in 17 continues into 18 where even a dog gets involved in the possession of the notebook in a junkyard. A mysterious shooter has been aded to the mix and we still have no clue why Catwoman wants it so much.

The silliest issue so far, starts with a lot of nakedness and sexually suggestive panels. It’s not one for the serious Batman story fans like Legends of the Dark Knight and similar but it’s definitely a nice break if you’ve been reading a lot of them and need a rest.

Batman: Confidential #19

The chase still continues and it us just more of the less Batgirl and Catwoman one liners. When the face off happens in the warehouse there’s a great two page spread when the light goes off and you see Catwoman’s silhouette take care of the Russians. There’s back and forth throughout and it’s a lot more action packed than the other issues so far in Cat and the Bat. Batman makes his grand appearance right in the end in his very Batman ’66 style suit to save them both. Not sure if it’s just me but the book always had a sexist feel to it and Batman at the end saving the girls doesn’t change my mind.

Batman: Confidential #20

The sexual tension between Batman and Catwoman is on full display in front of Batgirl. There’s some more back and forth between the three and it’s still quite sexist as Batman is made out to be like a disappointed father or brother figure. The issue’s short and sweet as they still track down the notebook which is now being deciphered by the Riddler for the Russians.

The girls give it a good go before Batman just comes in and punches a big thug after Catwoman scarpers and Batgirl gets a beating. Still don’t think this is sexist?

Anyway, as is the case with Cat and the Bat as a whole so far the colours are vibrant, the facial expressions are a bit odd at times but it’s a fun ‘caper’.

Batman: Confidential #21

Batgirl is now Arkham Asylum tracking down The Riddler who now has this long sought notebook, we see a couple of old faces straight away including The Cavalier from the Collected Legends of the Dark Knight. Even The Joker is included and he look particularly twisted. What happens next is supervillain after supervaillain getting beaten up with way too much ease, I get they wanted to make Batgirl looks tough but these villains should never be beaten this easily or they wouldn’t be super. The book ends with Catwoman getting one over here for the last time before the notebook is finally handed back. There’s some kind words in her direction from Batman and Catwoman and that’s that.

Summary

Batman: The Cat and the Bat is a short, humorous caper between Batgirl and Catwoman and only a little bit of Batman. The artwork, although colourful is often off especially the facial expressions. The biggest issue with The Cat and the Bat though is the sexist overtones from start to finish. By trying to make it light hearted, Nicienza and Maguire have ended up making Batgirl and Catwoman’s rivalry a bit of a joke and the pair of them are unable to sort out the situation without the intervention of Batman. The nudity scenes in the early part seem very forced and an excuse to try and sell issues. Shameful really.

There are some good moments though but they are few and far between. If you’re looking for a fun, quick and easy read then this is probably a decent book.

Score: 2.5/5

Batman: The Cat and the Bat Gallery

 

 

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