Back in February, when the world was different, Batman scribe Tom King tweeted a tease of an upcoming story: a wordless image of Batman and an incredibly pregnant Catwoman embracing on top of a gargoyle, like the world’s most leather-clad maternity announcement.
Speculation took off: Was this a dream sequence? Something real? Was it from his upcoming Batman/Catwoman series, set in actual DC Comics canon? The story turned out to be an eight-page feature called “Helena,” in this week’s Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular.
“Helena” takes place in an alternate timeline featured in King’s extensive run on Batman, in which Batman and Catwoman marry, become a crime-fighting team, and live to grow old and die of totally mundane things like cancer. In the middle of all that, the two superheroes have a superbaby, and King and Mikel Janín’s story shows what that was like.
What else is happening in the pages of our favorite comics? We’ll tell you. Welcome to Polygon’s weekly list of the books that our comics editor enjoyed this past week. It’s part society pages of superhero lives, part reading recommendations, part “look at this cool art.” There may be some spoilers. There may not be enough context. If you missed the last one, read this.
Catwoman 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular
The anniversary anthology special is full of different Catwoman stories based in all eras — from the pro-conservation burglar/activist, to a jewel thief in the style of the 1960s Batman TV series, right up to homages to Frank Miller’s former dominatrix, and Ed Brubaker/Cameron Stewart’s street-level heist master.
King and Janín pour on the romance angle, however, showing a Selina whose bat-husband supports her through her fears that having a baby will end her days of being an independent spirit — an outdoor cat, if you will. The story ends with Selina telling her adult daughter that she knew it would all be fine when she realized Helena had taken after her mother in one major way. “You stole my heart,” Selina says. Cue the awwwwwws.
Death of Nancy Drew was announced to some controversy, as you usually don’t kick off a character’s 90th anniversary by killing them. Now that the first issue is out and the inevitable twist has been delivered, was it worth it?
Far Sector #6
If you’re looking for a comic that wrestles with police brutality on peaceful protestors, the legacy of war and colonialism, and interrogates the idea of Green Lanterns as “space cops” all in one — and is beautifully written and spectacularly drawn by a couple of just wildly talented black creators — you might want to give Far Sector a look.
We Served the People: My Mother’s Stories
One of our summer comics to watch out for, We Served the People is Emei Burell’s biography of her mother’s youth during the Great Leap Forward — when, among other things, the Chinese government forced a generation of urban teenagers out of school to work rural farms.
Teen Titans Go!: Booyah!
There are likely some parents out there interested in this news: Teen Titans Go!: Booyah! is a new series from DC Comics, for any young fans you know, and it comes out every week.
Batman: The Adventures Continue #5
Batman: The Adventures Continue has been slooooooowly rolling out its version of Jason Todd, to fit with the canon of Batman: The Animated Series, and the plot is finally starting to thicken.
Action Comics #1022
This week’s Action Comics held what could potentially be some big implications for the structural underpinnings of the DC Multiverse. Superheroes were throwing around the word “reboot” and not in a fourth-wall breaking way. But the best cosmic superhero stories don’t forget to include the little moments, like this heartbreaking scene of Ma and Pa Kent realizing that they somehow remember their adopted grandson from another timeline, Conner Kent, and they’ve missed him so much.