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Catwoman: When in Rome (Batman) Paperback – June 6, 2007

4.3 out of 5 stars 52 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up Gotham City's sexiest cat burglar returns in a story featuring intrigue, fight scenes, and Catwoman in various stages of undress. While she spends most of the book in Italy, it seems that Gotham City is never far behind. She encounters such regulars as Cheetah, Mr. Freeze, The Scarecrow, and Batman, but questioning whether they are real or imaginary leaves her doubting her sanity. The fact that her meetings with Batman are filled with sexual tension so thick that you can cut it with a claw adds yet another dimension to her troubles. All of these events revolve around the heart of the story, which is that Catwoman goes to Italy both to settle a score with the Falcone crime family and to try to learn the identity of her mother. Bringing The Riddler with her on this trip turns out to be both an inspired choice and more trouble than it's worth. When in Rome takes places chronologically between two Batman stories by the same author/artist team: The Long Halloween (1999) and Dark Victory (2001, both DC Comics). Fans of those titles will definitely appreciate this one, but there is enough backstory included so that it isn't necessary to have read the other books. This page-turning adventure will fly off the shelves. Andrea Lipinski, New York Public Library
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Loeb and Sale, who have graphic novels about the early exploits of some of DC's and Marvel's most iconic superheroes to their collaborative credit, turn to longtime Batman nemesis Catwoman, who was a bored socialite-turned-cat-burglar before she reformed to become protector of Gotham City's downtrodden. Now she jets to Rome, where she breaks into the Vatican to steal a valuable ring and comes up against the deadly Falcone crime family. Her real mission in Italy, however, doesn't become clear until the final pages. Like the monthly Catwoman in general, When in Rome is more an adult-oriented crime story than a superhero yarn, rather reminiscent of a stylish sixties European caper film, only with spandex outfits and secret identities. Loeb's plotline is appropriately knotty, and his dialogue, including Catwoman's first-person narration, is hardboiled-cum-smartass. Sale, one of comics' most elegant illustrators, here reaches new heights of stylishness (the six issue covers for the original serial, included here, are a tribute to a French fashion artist), aided by bold, moody coloring by Dave Stewart. Gordon Flagg
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: DC Comics (June 6, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401207170
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401207175
  • Product Dimensions: 6.6 x 0.2 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #88,438 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Stephanie Crawford VINE VOICE on January 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover
I love the projects Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale team-up together on (Superman for All Seasons being my absolute favorite) and Catwoman is my all-time favorite comic book character, so when I heard about this project in the summer of 2005 it sounded like heaven. Sadly I missed collecting the original miniseries so I snapped up this hardcover the minute I could get my claws on it.

This follows Selina Kyle after the events of The Long Halloween (probably Loeb & Sale's most popular book together.) It's very early in her Catwoman career, and she's still dealing with her attraction to Batman and even her own identity. After the grisley events of Halloween, she decides to hoof it to Rome to find out the truth of her past and maybe pick up a priceless gem and a hot local guy or two. She takes the Riddler with her, which is pretty unusual, but after explaining why he's there he becomes a nice piece of comic relief for most of the book. I loved watching Selina beating him up. A lot.

You could pick this book up and enjoy it if you haven't read Long Halloween, but Selina's contacts in Rome are all related to the Falcone family, whose exploits and various murders happen in that book. All in all this was a fun read, and while I love the current Catwoman series (don't get me started on issue #50 though, oy!) it was nice seeing Selina as a self-absorbed socialite-type for a bit. There IS a major revelation in this book about Selina's real parentage, which tweaks her entire backstory. I can only assume the abusive/suicidal parents we've been shown for so long as her backstory happened after the events shown in this book.

This is a valentine to Selina Kyle and her prior jet-setting lifestyle, and also to the stylish Rome- and they fit together like a glove.
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Format: Hardcover
Selina "Catwoman" Kyle is seeking for her roots -- and how better to do so than to fly to Rome in the company of a diminutive Edward "The Riddler" Nigma? Convinced that a deceased Gotham City mob boss is her real father, Selina -- still at an early stage of her career -- recruits Nigma to help her solve her personal riddle. (In the meantime, he might also help her figure out where her missing luggage went.)

Let's forget for the moment that this would mean Selina isn't really related to her sister, with whom she shares a remarkable resemblance, and focus on this story alone.

Let's ponder instead why Selina is haunted by visions of Batman. Why members of the Mafia in Italy are so eager to take Selina's life, and why one of their pre-eminent hitmen is willing to put his on the line to save her. And why the Riddler is suddenly a criminal of dwarfish stature.

"When in Rome" is a sleek and sexy Catwoman as envisioned by the hit team of Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale, the writer and artist responsible for several bestselling titles for both DC ("The Long Halloween," "Dark Victory," "Superman for All Seasons") and Marvel ("Daredevil: Yellow," "Hulk: Gray," "Spider-Man: Blue") in recent years. Loeb's writing is more noirish and character-driven than the average superhero comic; he doesn't shy away from a little mayhem here and there, but it's not the central motivation of his work. He quite obviously finds layers of personality much more interesting, and often a meaty source of conflict. Nigma is a perfect example, providing both the comic relief and genuine menace. Sale's art, on the other hand, is not my favorite style: the faces of his characters are often uniformly sallow and drawn, and there's a certain awkwardness in their movements.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I generally enjoy Jeph Loeb's writing and Tim Sale's artwork, and I wasn't disappointed with "When in Rome". I'm a fan of Superman and Captain Marvel, and only have a few Batman titles apart from Superman / Batman -- nothing too dark for me, please -- so I'm not a regular Batman reader. I purchased this Catwoman title based on my experience with the creators and on the strong reviews. This is a witty, exciting, and very engaging story. It makes sense even if you don't read Batman. I recommend it for fans of Loeb and Sale, and for those who just enjoy a good graphic novel.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book takes place during the Dark Victory story arc. It's told from Catwoman's point of view and shows how she views Batman. The story involves her going to Rome to find evidence to confirm if she is Carmine Falcone's daughter and ends up getting framed for murder. A fun read and another great piece by Loeb. Only problem was that it was too short and quick.
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Format: Paperback
This story takes place between The events of Long Halloween and Dark Victory. To be honest the only hints about the time line are Selina leaving in Long Halloween, as well as a throwaway line in this volume about "Bruce going to the circus" and she wonders "How that worked out for him" (Dark Victory is a Robin origin thus setting up Bruce going to the circus and the rest is history). To me personally this story worked better as a stand alone as apposed to like many other reviews call it, a "Companion Piece". There is no Long Halloween, Dark Victory, or even Hush here. Hell even the colors don't feel like the other books (Tim Sale didn't color this one himself). When I didn't hold this book up to the standards of Long Halloween I found myself really enjoying it as a good solid read even if some things just didn't flow right. It definitely felt very "comic booky" and not as Epic as some of Jeph Loeb or Tim Sales other works.
Despite all the flaws I found myself finishing the book and thinking "Yeah I got into this". I like the dichotomy between Riddler and Selina.Equally well this is not just a story of Catwoman trying to do a big bank job, but instead we get to see her try to unravel "The mystery that is her life". With that said...The book definitely loses immediate points because of the comics it came after, but as a single stand alone Catwoman story, it is highly entertaining.

Best way (for me at least) was to read this right In between Long Halloween and Dark Victory. Even though this came after both books reading it in the middle will at least give Dark Victory a better sense of completion and finish the arc on a strong note. Don't worry even though this takes place during Dark Victory NOTHING from the book is spoiled.
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