Clawing Her Way to the Top: Tini Howard Discusses the All-New Catwoman

In a universe made of superheroes and super-criminals, you would think crime stories would be pretty common within the DC Universe. And yet, they’re not. At least not in the traditional sense. Gotham City may run rampant with gangs and crime families, but we usually only see them as they’re being painfully brought down by the city’s heroes. We rarely get to know them as anything more than easy targets for the Bat-Family.

All that’s about to change with Catwoman #39, the first chapter of what promises to be an enticing new era for Selina Kyle, brought to the page by the all-new creative team of Tini Howard and Nico Leon. In it, Catwoman returns to the heart of Gotham, immersing herself once again into its powerful underworld, where she’ll find herself in conflict and occasional collaboration with crime lords both new and familiar. We’ll also see the return of a one-time flame, the introduction of an intriguing new adversary, and at least one surprise super-villain.

It’s also Howard’s very first DC ongoing after dipping her toe in the DCU last month with a story in Batman: Urban Legends #10. As such, we thought it would be fun to catch up with her before her big DC debut to discuss the change in direction of the book, Leon’s stylish art and why we’re all so intrigued by the power and mystery of organized crime.


To read the interview with Tini, head over to DC Comics!


Are you excited for Catwoman #39 to arrive tomorrow? Let us know in the comments! :point_down:

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Yes, an interesting premise for a story, look forward to reading and how it plays into Gotham and the greater DC universe.

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It should be interesting to see the exploration of Eiko and Selina given what I know of their relationship(i came into Catwoman with vol 5)…but I am also a Diehard batcat shipper. (and still scared from Gotham City villains.) I also see Selina teaming up with Helena Bertinelli in the future if she continues to focus on the mob angle as Helena was the one to focus on the mob.

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I have to say, I’m pretty disappointed with this first issue. First, the voiceover leads us to expect a Catwoman who is in control, competent, and cool. But her dialogue does not meet this expectation - when she confronts Eiko, she sounds pathetic, Black Mask surprises her and beats her easily, and Valmont easily provokes her into a fight that she definitely doesn’t win. Not impressive. Catwoman doesn’t have to win all the time, or be in control all of the time, but this version doesn’t seem to get any really impressive moments, and it is at odds with the internal monologues.

Eiko went from an extremely complex character, full of torn loyalty, desired heroism, and a strong protective nature, to…generic ex mob boss tough woman. I’m glad she’s back, but this isn’t the Eiko who fascinated me.

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Might not be the same Eiko from the new 52 given there have been 2 soft reboots since then and one hard reboot, given she is a mob boss now not an ex-mob boss. also, Selina may be in one of her depressions, as she does go through them canonically. Bruce also seems depressed in batman given they tend to celebrate a big win together but their promise to each other to have a 1-year separation, prevented them from doing so they are both off their game. also selina is likely still recovering from the stab wounds to the gut she received during fear state, Black mask stuck her there which would aggravate it. and they both are getting older.

I also get the feeling Huntress will be joining Selian once the twelve weeks are up given she will not like that roman took her family’s seat at the table.

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Eh. I still think that it’s all the same universe, more or less. The reboots don’t feel nearly as hard as stuff like Zero Hour to me.

All that being said, I feel like the problems here are much more writer incompetence than writer trying to explain things that happened in other runs.

Ugh. I am not looking forward to Howard writing Huntress given how she’s handling Selina and Eiko, two characters I really enjoyed from Valentine’s run. We’ll see how she handles Onyx. Maybe that will give me hope again.

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well given Selina had no sister between 2016 and 2018 (and was found in the trash as mentioned when Bruce and Selina deal with Talia) but reintroduced holly Robertson, then Catwoman vol 5 issue 2 reintroduced her sister maggie, these two returning would have serious changes through Selina’s life those changing some of how here relationships developed. plus with what had happened with City of Bane, Joker War, then Fear State, Ekio would likely have changed somewhat.

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Shrug shrug. I think you have a point, but I just assume that unless outright stated, there hasn’t been a change, and chalk it up to writer incompetence. :slight_smile:

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well, it’s getting interesting as they brought Heart of Hush back into cannon. Really I like that because it brings Bruce back to Selina being the only woman he has and could ever truly love. only part of batman RIP I have read. and given black mask is still alive it means OYL is not cannon. Now I am wondering if Valmont…0_0 Ekio might be Valmont!!! their completion is similar along with their chin.
PS: I am finding it entertaining that Selina’s cowl seems to be expressing her emotions like a cat’s ears very Cat tales like manner. I missed this initially.

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hmm, well I really think Ekio is Valmont now.

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That’s an interesting theory, but wouldn’t Selina recognize Eiko?

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Valmont is wearing a mask, maybe binding her breasts (as you see bandages around her chest through the shirt. Also, she could be altering her voice. their chin and lips are similar too. also, they have mostly only met in the dark, and Selina was in a distressed emotional state when they were in a bright room due to learning Valmont is a killer on top of waking form a nightmare.

Further supporting this is it would be easy for Ekio to have gotten the weapons after the commotion Selina and black mask kicked up and how her assassins could find Selina so easily. Ekio should be capable of moving and fighting as Valmont does and is a thief too.
I could be wrong However am fairly sure Valmont is a woman.

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I’m not saying you’re wrong about Valmont’s sex. But I think that Selina would recognize one of her her former love interests.

And if you’re right, I’m definitely going to call out Howard on writing Selina as even dumber than I already think she is writing her. :frowning:

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Actually, it might be one of the Weight Witches… actually it’s very likely it’s Weight Witch.

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Not liking the cover for the next issue -_-

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But who doesn’t want more and more love interests all over the place? :wink:

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Superman fans =) they hate it when he is not with Lois. :smirk_cat: However i just realized Valmont was drawing a lot broader than he appears in the books, and a lot taller. Valmont is about four inches taller than Selina (the best comparison i can find from the last issue and Selina is wearing four-inch heels instead of her flats as a costume alteration.) also I think they changed Selina’s height like they did huntress to be more in line with Zoë Kravitz’s 5 foot 2 inches. given onyx is only five foot eight in this universe yet is a lot taller then selina now.

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Interesting theory, though definitely not one I’d ever think of. However, what would Eiko have to gain from such a charade?

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I don’t particularly like it either, but one should never put too much stock into cover art and or solicitations; they can very easily be misleading or even straight-up irrelevant to what’s exactly inside.

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