Selina Kyle is once again flying solo (in more ways that one) with this week's Catwoman #1 by Eisner-nominated writer/artist Joëlle Jones.
Leaping off the shocking events of Batman #50 (spoilers here), this new series lands as the Gotham City cat burglar finds herself strange new footing.
Newsarama spoke with Jones back in June at Charlotte's HeroesCon about her new series, and this spoiler-free conversation delves into what the Lady Killer creator has planned for Catwoman.
Newsarama: So Joëlle, you're giving Catwoman her own solo title once again, but now you're the first woman writer/artist for the series. How did this pitch meeting come about?
Joëlle Jones: I was part of the DC Writer’s Workshop and when you’re part of that, they want you to play with some of the biggest characters and see what you can do.
I had written a spec issue of Catwoman and they liked it and said to pitch a series to them, so I did. [Laughs]
Nrama: By the time Catwoman launches, her wedding to Bruce Wayne will be in the past - one way or another. How will what transpires in Batman #50 affect Selina's solo title?
Jones: I can’t talk about that.
Nrama: Oh no?
Jones: It’s a secret.
Nrama: Well, fair enough. Okay, so let’s talk about this belief with guys like Superman and Batman is that their alter-ego is their disguise, how do you feel about Selina with the Catwoman moniker? Is she just the same person or is Catwoman an extension to her personality?
Jones: I definitely think it’s more blended than Bruce Wayne and Batman. I think that it’s an extension to she is personally. It’s much more integrated into her personality. I see Selina Kyle as a flawed person, who is a conflicted character and that her being Catwoman is an excuse to explore aspects of that.
Nrama: How do you feel like you've grown as a writer and creator since joining the ranks over at DC?
Jones: You know, it was the DC Writer’s Workshop that taught me a ton. You learn how to write superheroes.
Before that, with Lady Killer, it was whatever I felt like doing. I had a great time! But, you know, superheroes are much more intimidating; there’s going to be a lot more people who see it.
I think going through the DC Writer’s Workshop I was able to kind of learn the formula and how to play with those characters without damaging them. [Laughs]
Nrama: You're working with Laura Allred again on your colors, what is it that you think Laura brings out the most of in your linework?
Jones: I think everything Laura does seems to be really inspired and exciting. It’s stuff I would never have expected. She always surprises me and picks these bananas colors that seem like they would work and definitely elevates the emotional cues in the story, as well as my art to a completely different level.
Nrama: The original solicit back in April said Selina has to deal with a copycat now, but this isn't the first time she's tangled with those kinds of people, so what's her motivation going into this bout? What's changed?
Jones: Well, she’s going to be in a completely different city and it’s like 20 copycats instead of one. It’s going to be a really bad-ass battle, I think. I haven’t drawn it yet, but in my head it’s great.
Nrama: Tom King once told Newsarama that Catwoman is Batman without Alfred, how do you see Selina as? More of a foil to Batman or something else entirely?
Jones: No, I think she’s like the other side of the coin of what Batman is. Their origin stories can be seen as similar since they’re both orphans, but Selina doesn’t have the gadgets. I mean, she’s got sweet goggles, but she doesn’t have a car or anything. I plan on changing that, I want to give her a car.
So yeah, I see them as very similar and it’s a big part of why they work so well together in stories.
Nrama: Are there any plans to bring back any old foes from previous runs? What's Hellhound up to these days?
Jones: No, I’m not bringing any of them back. I mean, I reserve the right to change my mind at any time, but I was really focused and excited to create new villains for Catwoman, villains that were tailor-made for her. Seeing a slot that is going to open for a new villain in the DC Universe and creating a new character to fit in there is half the fun.
Nrama: Let's talk about her new costume. What was your primary idea about the design when you started working on it?
Jones: I just wanted to reflect a more fashionable, elegant sort of look to her that’s functional...ish, but that wasn’t my primary focus. I really wanted her to have this beautiful silhouette. The cutouts are there so she can be drawn in complete black and you can see the gesture lines of her body without having all the fancy highlights on the fabric itself.
Nrama: So you basically just made her fun to draw over and over again.
Jones: Yeah, basically, yeah.
Nrama: Are you treating this series like a fresh start and incredibly accessible, or do you need to follow other books to get the big picture?
Jones: No, my biggest focus was wanting to new readers to pick up Catwoman and just enjoy it straight out. I also wanted to give tribute to the longterm fans and readers who have been following Catwoman for a really long time. So I didn’t want it to be so rigid on the past that would have made it unaccessible.
Nrama: Lastly, should you want to step down as artist and keep writing who would you want to recruit to help tell the stories you want to tell?
Jones: I have no idea. I get excited about so many artists I micromanage and just get up in there and do it myself. [Laughs]