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Catwoman: Anodyne, a.k.a. The Dark End of the Street (DC Comics, 2002; #1-4)

Back in January, I read Selina’s Big Score, which sets up this run of Catwoman.  I loved it, and the only reason that I’ve waited this long to come back to it is because Darwyn Cooke art is a precious, finite resource.

  • “Anodyne” (or, as the trade that collects the arc is titled, “The Dark End of the Street”) is a much more upbeat, optimistic book than Selina’s Big Score.
  • Instead of impending doom, Brubaker leans into a new beginning for Selina—and redemption for Catwoman.
  • She finds a her place in the liminal, gray area between vigilante and criminal, protecting people who have found themselves on the wrong side of the law, whom the police overlook crimes against.
  • This is a Selina who wants to make a difference and who will try to help anyone who has been victimized and forgotten—even if that person has been terrorizing the people she’s trying to protect.
  • I can see the impact of this run of Catwoman on a number of other comics I love.
  • And yes, Darwyn Cooke’s lines are wonderful; Mike Allred’s inks and Matt Hollingsworth’s colors make them sing.

I like Catwoman, but I have a hard time finding Catwoman comics that don’t feel like Selina’s making the same mistakes over and over again.  This run doesn’t have that problem; in fact, it makes a compelling, character-driven story out of having her learn and reinvent herself.  If you like Catwoman and haven’t read this run, you should rectify that.

Collected in

  • Catwoman, Vol. 1: The Dark End of the Street (#1-4)
  • Catwoman, Vol. 1: Trail of the Catwoman (#1-9, Selina’s Big Score, stories from Detective Comics #759-762)


Writer: Ed Brubaker | Artists: Darwyn Cooke, Mike Allred | Colorist: Matt Hollingsworth | Letterer: Sean Konot | Editor: Matt Idelson | Assistant Editor: Nachie Castro

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