Catwoman will go from being a kingpin of crime to one of the most wanted women in the DCU — and it's not just the cops who want to take her down.
"Run Like Hell," the new storyline that starts in December's Catwoman #47, will bring a new direction to the book along with the new creative team of writer Frank Tieri and artist Inaki Miranda. The story, which Tieri is describing as an action-mystery, will explore what Catwoman does when both sides of the law are after her — after she is framed for murder — and will play with the idea of whether Catwoman is a villain or hero.
Tieri, a veteran writer with experience at both DC and Marvel, will be taking over the comic after a period of change for Catwoman. For more than a year, the character has been involved in the mob, ruling over a crime family in Gotham City (and for much of that time, staying out of the Catwoman costume).
Along with decidedly putting Catwoman back in her role as a costumed thief, Tieri will be taking the character to New York City, although she'll be confronting more than one Gotham-based Bat-character, including Batgirl, Jim Gordon Batman and Killer Croc.
Newsarama talked to Tieri to find out more about what he's bringing to Catwoman.
Newsarama: Frank, what do you think the core of the character is, and what makes her appealing, and how are you tapping into that in your story?
Frank Tieri: You know, I was asked a similar question back when I was writing Iron Man about Tony Stark. And my answer was that once you carved away the playboy stuff, the millionaire stuff, the superhero stuff, deep down at his core he was an inventor.
And to me, if you’re talking now about the core of Catwoman… again, strip everything else away and to me, she’s a thief. Of course, in her case, it also just so happens to be she’s the greatest thief in the world. So there’s that.
If you want something stolen in the DCU, she’s your girl. The one you have on speed dial knowing that as soon as you place that call to her, whatever it is you want swiped is as good as already yours.
Nrama: Catwoman has recently been immersed in mobster drama. What's the new direction for Selina and the comic when you come on board?
Tieri: Well, if Catwoman’s been The Godfather recently, we’ll be kind of like The Usual Suspects… on speed.
Classic “heist gone bad” story with a lot of action mixed in — and a big overall mystery as to who or what is behind it all. Which I guarantee you will be surprising.
Nrama: You have a reputation as being something of a “villain” writer. How will you apply that to writing Catwoman?
Tieri: That’s the thing, isn’t it? Is Catwoman a villain, or isn’t she? And I think the answer is — maybe more than any other character you can think of — it’s kind of in the middle. You can equally see her joining forces with Poison Ivy as you could see her teaming up with Batman. I mean, she’s been both a member of the Justice and Injustice Leagues. And really, how many other characters are like that? It really makes her one of the most unique characters in all of comics.
And that’s really something that we’ll be exploring in my run: How do the rest of the characters in the DCU view her? The Bat-centric characters in particular? You always figured Batman has a sort of blindspot when it comes to her, but what about the rest of the Bat-family? For that matter, what about the rest of Batman’s Rogues Gallery — sure she’s friends with some of them, but how many of them do you think are wild about the fact that she’s sometime besties with the guy who’s always trying to put them away?
Nrama: What's going to be her biggest challenge as you kick off your first story?
Tieri: Let’s put it this way — we’re not calling this storyline “Run Like Hell” for nothing. Because that’s exactly what she’ll be doing, what with the fact that everybody and their mother will be out to get her. And I really mean that. Something will happen where she ends up wanted for murder and at the same time have an underworld bounty on her head — meaning both the cops and the crooks will be out to get her. She’ll very much have to figure who she can and can’t trust through all this. Are the allies and friends she thought she had really who she thought they were?
Nrama: Will the Catwoman book touch other parts of the DC universe, and particularly the Batman universe?
Tieri: Absolutely the Bat-universe. I’ve said it a million times and I’ll say it again: Catwoman is part of, hands-down, the best rogue’s gallery in all of comics. And I very much intend to put it to good use, which means that while we’ll definitely be seeing some characters that have been in the book recently like Penguin and Killer Croc, I’ll also be mixing in a fair share of other Bat-villains that Catwoman normally doesn’t interact with.
So…you ever wanted to see what a Clayface versus Catwoman fight might look like? Or how she’d stack up against Mr. Zsasaz or Firefly?
You’ll be seeing that and a lot more, including her tangling with some of the Bat-family. I’m talking about Batgirl and Bat-Gordon in particular. Which prove to be some very interesting interactions.
And by the way, as for her touching other parts of the DCU in "Run like Hell?" Like I said earlier, what will be most surprising is who the “big reveal” is… here’s a hint: it’s a major non-Bat-related DCU entity. And we’ll leave it at that.
Nrama: We've seen a supporting cast built around her in the mob families, but now that she's "leaving the mob behind," who is she surrounding herself with?
Tieri: Well, we’re not necessarily throwing everything out when we come in for my run. Those relationships and what happened with certain characters are still there and will be addressed.
One holdover from past Catwoman issues will be Tesla, who plays a major role here. She’s basically Selina’s lifeline at times — one of the only people she can fully trust to get her out of this mess that she’s in.
We’ll also be introducing some new characters. Principal among them will be a guy by the name of Louie “the Mustache.” When we open our storyline, Selina will be in NYC and it’s there we’ll meet Louie.
Louie’s been Selina’s longtime fence and really, he’s the one who sets everything in motion by hooking her up with the heist in question.
Like I said, the heist doesn’t exactly go according to plan and everything takes off from there.
Nrama: Anything else you want to share with readers of Catwoman?
Tieri: Get ready for a wild ride is what I’d say. We hit the ground running in Catwoman #47 with a shocking cliffhanger and don’t stop with the mystery, action, twists and turns all the way up to our big blow-out, double-sized 50th anniversary issue.
Plus I didn’t mention the art — Inaki Miranda and Eva da la Cruz have been killing it on this book. Really, I think it may be the best stuff they’ve ever done. We’re all really having a blast doing the book— including our editors Mark Doyle and Rebecca “Tay” Taylor who deserve a big shout out for putting us all together. And I really do think fans will dig what we’re doing as much as we all dig doing it.