Abuse, Cats, & Theft REVIEWING Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale

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DC's YA graphic novels? Yep, I'm still talking about them. 

Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale

Creative Team: Lauren Myracle, Isaac Goodhart, Jeremy Lawson & Deron Bennett
Year: 2019
Genre: YA Graphic Novel


Selina Kyle is fiercer than she knows. For 15 years, she's put up with her mother's string of bad boyfriends, but when Dernell, her mom's current beau, proves crueler than the others, Selina reevaluates her place in her home. There's no way Selina and Dernell can live under the same roof, and since Dernell won't leave, Selina must. 


While I've not read a ton of independent Catwoman comics, I definitely have a fair bit of familiarity with Selina. I like her as a character and I've been wanting to read more about her. This graphic novel has a very different take on her than fans may be used to. It covers a lot of tough themes that youth may be facing, but overall it doesn't feel very Catwoman like in some regards. This one kind of feels so-so for me though there are quite a few things I like about it. 

Selina lives with her mother and her mother's abusive boyfriends. She eventually reaches a point where she refuses to take it anymore - so she leaves home. She becomes homeless and wanders the streets to try to find a new purpose in her life. She does a lot of wandering and struggles a lot with her desire to be independent, as well as the desire to reach out for help. This is a Catwoman that fans likely haven't seen before and it deals with some rather heavy themes. 

WARNING: While I won't go into detail this graphic novel DOES deal with abuse/domestic violence (as mentioned), as well as self-harm. The domestic violence is the most prevalent theme early on, while self-harm isn't as focused on. 

The story has a lot of important issues like that, however, the pacing and character don't always feel like a fit to them. Selina does do some thieving, which is brought about by her changing lifestyle, but overall this version of her seems very general. Bruce Wayne IS included in this graphic novel and he is a prime example of showing Selina's hesitance to seek help or get close to people. Her emotional scars from her experiences are very much on display here. 

The thing I enjoyed the most about this graphic novel was that it took all the above-mentioned issues seriously. I think this story would be a good way to help youth understand the difficulties their peers may face, or even that they may be facing. It gives Selina's struggles a lot of focus and could emphasize how important it is for teens to feel safe, heard, and seen. However, it really doesn't read like a DC based comic at the same time. So for all its strengths, it does have a rather big shortcoming where theming is concerned. However, Selina's care for her adopted family is fantastic and I really liked the art. 

Overall, this is a good graphic novel with a lot of strong points. The only problem is that it feels like it could just be an original graphic novel without any special branding to it. The only Catwoman/DC aspects feel like they occur only in name. I don't think it's the worst problem the book could have and see where this could be a very beneficial story to young readers. I DID come in looking for a Catwoman story and I did like its handling of tough issues, so I give Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale a Lone Star rating of ✯✯✯ stars. It could've been better in terms of DC branding, but it is a good story in of itself with beautiful art. I think a lot of my problem stems with Gotham not feeling QUITE like Gotham as I'm used to it. 

Thanks for joining me for today's review here at The Real World According to Sam, where I bring the books to your computer screen and even put in my two cents about them! See you at the next review!