Overview: In Catwoman #57, The Gotham War continues with Batman losing his cave, Catwoman creating a new training base, and Vandal Savage revealing his mole.
Title: Catwoman #57
Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Veronica Gandini
Letterer: Lucas Gattoni
Main Cover: David Nakayama
Variant Covers: Joshua “Sway” Swaby, Tirso Cons, and Rian Gonzales
Release Date: September 19, 2023
Note: This comic book review contains spoilers
Part three of “The Gotham War,” Catwoman #57 picks up where Batman #137 left off. Batman (Bruce Wayne) has discovered that Vandal Savage now owns Wayne Manor, and Savage knows about the existence of the Batcave under the Manor. Batman quickly realizes that he has no recourse and leaves the cave without a further confrontation.
Bruce stops at his parents’ graves. He laments losing his family, or more accurately as he puts it, his soldiers. He is being watched. Not by Savage but by Catwoman (Selina Kyle). She is aware of Vandal Savage, and she tells Marquise about him. She is concerned that Batman is coming apart. She then changes the topic to the recruits. She puts in the plan to steal cars from the patrons of the Gala for the Arts.
We return to Batman; he has made contact with the Riddler (Edward Nygma), who is supplying him with intel in the only way he knows how. Batman laments about his family and especially Jason Todd (Red Hood). Riddler leads Batman to the Gala.
The Gala for the Arts
Jason is stationed outside; he is overseeing the operation from his vantage point while Catwoman remains inside. Jason knows that Batman is there. The recruits all go to their respective jobs while Batman and Jason square off. Jason decides to lead Batman away from the Gala, and Batman knowingly follows him.
Inside, Catwoman watches the play from the audience. Afterwards, she moves down to the dance floor.
Batman and Red Hood continue their confrontation in the streets of Gotham. Batman injects a drug into his former partner, knocking him out.
Nightwing (Dick Grayson) meets with Selina on the balcony of the Gala. Nightwing tells Selina that he is not spying on her, but he wants a chance to talk to her. He has a connection with Selina Kyle as well. He kind of looked at her as a possible mother figure, and in his conversation, Selina admits that she may be stupid with this fight. Nightwing leaves her to think about that statement.
Inside, Vandal Savage cuts in on a dance with Selina. His goal is to warn Selina to stay out of his way. He then offers to make her one of his lieutenants, and the two part ways.
Elsewhere, Jason regains consciousness. Catwoman is attempting to contact Jason, and Batman cuts off the transmission. Catwoman, not getting an answer, takes to the street to find him. She admits to herself that she actually trusts Jason Todd.
A woman is seen putting on a colored contact lens. It is revealed that it is Marquise but not only that, she is talking to her father. In reality the woman is Scandal Savage, and she tells her father, Vandal, not to call her Scandal but Marquise. The story continues in Batman #138.
The easiest discussion for Catwoman #57 is on art. The style, pencils, and colors fit this story. It has a dark, stormy feel to it, which fits as the action occurs during just the one night, a noticeably damp day shown by the rain coming down outside of Wayne Manor. This also reflects in the soul of Batman himself. Though not his book, he actually appears more than the title character, Catwoman. Overall, the art makes this book in its tone and mood.
Arguably, Catwoman #57 is more centered around Batman’s story. We hear his motivation for his family, becoming more about saving his “soldiers” than battling against Catwoman’s plans. Selina, for her part, is doing everything she can to allow Batman to save face. When confronted by his actions or opinions, she has nothing but positive things to say about him to her lieutenant, Marquise. She even states that she trusts Red Hood, and she shows that she has a trust and respect for Nightwing as well.
With the introduction of Vandal Savage, it is appearing that he might actually be the main antagonist in this story. He is working both sides against each other for his own goal, one that has not been revealed as of yet. The main reveal is the true identity of Marquise, being Scandal Savage, a character that up to now has faded in obscurity. I am not even sure she has been seen since before the New 52 era. That last page has created a number of questions, which is good for the continued interest in this story.
The main theme of the Gotham War is really disjointed. I am not clear on where the different players really stand. Before this issue, it appeared that all of the Bat-family, except for Batman and Robin (Damian Wayne), have sided with Catwoman.
The scene on the balcony puts that assumption to question. Nightwing appears to be more interested in ending this conflict than convincing Bruce that he is in the wrong.
Editor’s Note: DC Comics provided TBU with an advanced copy of this comic for review purposes. You can find this comic and help support TBU in the process by purchasing this issue digitally on Comixology through Amazon or a physical copy of the title through Things From Another World.