This Catwoman Twist is the Perfect Callback to Tim Burton’s Batman Returns


  • Catwoman #59 reveals that Selina Kyle is not actually dead, but has somehow come back to life, potentially with even more lives than before.
  • The comic draws parallels to Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman in Tim Burton’s Batman Returns, where Selina also comes back to life after a fall.
  • Selina’s resurrection in Catwoman #59 may give her the superpower of immortality, making her unstoppable and able to make narrow escapes.



Warning: Spoilers for Catwoman #59!After the events of Gotham War, the world thinks Catwoman is dead. The cover and opening pages of Catwoman #59 don’t suggest any differently, showing Selina back in her purple bodysuit from the 1990s, on a heist. Readers would be forgiven for thinking the newNine Lives” story will be full of flashbacks, before Catwoman was crushed by a piece of meteor that slammed into Gotham.

However, Catwoman #59 by Tini Howard, Stefano Raffaele, Veonica Gandini and Lucas Gattoni reveals that this adventure is current, and maybe she really does have nine lives. For longtime Batman fans, this isn’t the first time Selina Kyle has taken a great fall and been believed dead, only to awaken and find her namesake urging her back to life. Catwoman’s origin story in Tim Burton’s 1992 film Batman Returns looks eerily similar to Selina’s resurrection seen in the preview below.

Given the throwbacks to her costume and going on an international heist, the reference wraps up a perfect gift to fans old and new.

When Selina Kyle Dies, Catwoman is Born

Batman Returns Catwoman Resurrection Michelle Pfeiffer

Michelle Pfeiffer’s Catwoman is definitely in line with Tim Burton’s dark aesthetic set up by his first Batman film. Introverted Selina Kyle lives in a childish, very pink home with stuffed animals, cutesy sweaters, and a dollhouse. When she stumbles on a plot from her boss, Max Schreck, to destroy Gotham via very mundane political means, he pushes her out the window of his high-rise office, seemingly to her death. In a very mystical scene more in line with a horror movie than a heist film, stray cats emerge from the shadows, licking, biting, and pawing at Selina until her eyes shoot open and she rises. Transformed, she destroys everything sweet in her home, smashing furniture, and spray-painting the walls black. Selina is dead, and this woman is now Catwoman, even when not wearing the iconic leather outfit.

At the end of Gotham War, Catwoman can’t escape from the broken meteor’s crash point, falling into the crater, seemingly to her death. When a mourning Bruce leaves the city, he’s still asking if rescue crews have found her body. In Catwoman #59, an older woman is moving aside rubble, surrounded by cats. As Selina’s body lies there, a cat’s paw nudges her face. Just like in Batman Returns, the other strays likely came to her and prodded her back to the world of the living, though the source of her resurrection is more clear and very different.

Gotham War has Made Selina Kyle Immortal

Catwoman 59 variant

In the comic, Selina details the many, many ways she’s been shown to have nine lives before, but this time is different. She really did die and come back. Considering the meteor was summoned by Vandal Savage, looking to renew his immortality, it’s very likely that Catwoman has many more lives than just nine now. As a high-stakes thief, that’s a very good superpower to have. As a woman who still loves Batman, and may need to rescue Bruce Wayne from Zurr-en-Arrh, it may be the one thing that will bring them both back from the brink. Catwoman has always been a bit of a daredevil, making narrow escapes when the odds are against her, but now she’s truly unstoppable.

Catwoman #59 is available November 21 from DC Comics.

  • Catwoman

    Selina Kyle, The Cat

    Created By:
    Bill Finger, Bob Kane

    A simultaneous adversary and love interest to Batman, the acrobatic burglar Catwoman first appeared in DC comics in 1940. Since then, different iterations have shown the character as a villain or an anti-hero. Though Selina Kyle is the best-known Catwoman, other in-universe characters have taken on the moniker, namely, Holly Robinson and Eiko Hasigawa. However, Selina is the one to most commonly appear in movies, usually in a love-hate, chess match dynamic with the Dark Knight.

    DC, Batman

    Video Games:
    LEGO Batman 2

    The Batman, The Dark Knight Rises, catwoman, Batman Returns

    TV Shows:
    Batman 1960s, Gotham, Titans

    Lee Meriwether, Halle Berry, Eartha Kitt, Anne Hathaway, Zoe Kravitz, Michelle Pfeiffer


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