Crooked Little Town

Author: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Various
Titan Books
RRP: £12.99
ISBN 1 84023 736 8
Available now

Throughout Batman's career
, he has faced a host of heroes and villains - but none walk that fine line quite as much as his sometime ally, sometime enemy, Catwoman. After private detective Slam Bradley tracked down the missing Catwoman, the two develop a working friendship. With a bold new look, and a new take on life, Catwoman returns to the streets that created her - only to find that they now play host to a brutal serial killer...

Crooked Little Town is the second volume collecting the stories regarding Selina Kyle's return to the streets of Gotham City, as told by Ed Brubaker.

As before, Batman appears occasionally to show that this is still his city. Thankfully, he never outstays his welcome. But this doesn't stop the local gangsters from becoming suspicious that the two costumed freaks have a romantic attachment to one another.

This collection pulls together several interesting stories and touches on social issues without shoving them in your face and saying: "Look we're really cool and covering this controversial topic". Homosexuality and drug abuse are elements of the stories, as is Kyle's childhood and how there is a thin line between taking the right and wrong path in life.

The short, tongue-in-cheek, story at the conclusion to this graphic novel is almost worth the asking price in itself. Don't you just hate the way comic book continuity is a law unto itself? Brubaker obviously does, and Why Holly isn't Dead is his way of venting his frustration with this subject.

Catwoman fans will love this collection, as will anyone who enjoys a good read.

Amber Leigh

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