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Comic Book Review: "Catwoman #9: Mirrors Come In All Sizes"
Catwoman’s love of stealing expensive and rare artifacts leads her into a confrontation with one of the Court of Owls’ assassins during the Night of the Owls. “Night of the Owls: Mirrors Come In All Sizes”, written by Judd Winick with art by Guillem March, pits Selina “Catwoman” Kyle against a 17th century Talon obsessed with restoring his lost honor with his handlers, the members of Court of Owls. Selina finds herself questioning what a monster is and what makes them tick as she chooses to protect one of the Court of Owls’ targets: Oswald Cobblepot AKA The Penguin.
Catwoman #9 begins in Gotham City in 1665. A Talon has forced one of his targets to fight for his life (he felt that it “lacked honor” to kill him as he was getting ready for bed), but he ran into the street and the talon killed him with witnesses. The ten British soldiers (one officer) were killed, and the Talon lost one of his sacred daggers.
The Court of Owls find him to be he’s too emotional and unreliable; too interested in a “misguide attempt at honor”. This has caused problem with him before. They decide to “retire” Ephraim Newhouse. They choose to put him in his coffin without any of his trappings, so he can feel the shame (since he is so bound by honor).
In the present day of Gotham City, Catwoman and her partner in crime, Sparks, wait for Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin) to leave his house so they can steal a 300 year old owl dagger. It must be worth a small fortune to the right people.
At 5:24 p.m. on the Night of the Owls, Talon Newhouse is resurrected by the Court and given back his armor and some weapons. He is given a new target: Cobblepot. He is informed that if he kills him, his entire honor with be restored.
After waiting until 2:03 a.m. Kyle and Sparks see Oswald Cobblepot’s car leave the Brownstone flat and they move to steal the knife.
Oswald is at his desk complaining about the Russians being late. He calls out to one of his henchmen, Jason, to get him a scotch while he impatiently waits for the Russians to call. Henchman Jason doesn’t answer.
Another henchman goes to check on Jason. Talon Newhouse breaks down the door and kills every single henchman in the room, leaving just Cobblepot. Right before he kills the Penguin, he sees the owl dagger in a glass case; it is one of his lost sacred daggers. He demands to know why he has it. Oswald replies that he just likes to collects bird antiques. The Talon believes it is fate that has brought him there.
Catwoman and Sparks watch all this from the skylight. They had thought that Cobblepot had left. But it seems he didn’t. Sparks wants to just leave and not get involved in this fight. Selina doesn’t like to see an unfair fight and she chooses to crash the party.
The Talon gets the better of her and Sparks jumps in and shocks him. Sparks tells Selina to just grab the knife and get out of there. The talon grabs Sparks by the throat and tells him he won’t take what is his. Catwoman kicks Talon Newhouse into a weapons stand and a knife goes through his neck. They think they killed him, but he simply gets up and pulls the knife out of his throat.
Sparks grabs the owl dragger and tries to run for it. Talon says they will not dishonor him, and lassoes Sparks about the neck. He starts to strangle Sparks, telling him that he needs his daggers to be whole again, to regain his honor with the Court of Owls.
Selina tells him she can get him all the daggers; there are five all together: the one here plus the four other that she has. He only has to let Sparks go. She sees that he was turned into a monster by the Court, not a vile person by nature. She sees a little herself in his eyes. He been “damaged by those who raised him”; just like her.
As Talon Newhouse ponders the amount of honor he can regain by returning to the Court with all the knives, Penguin shoots him in the head with one of his umbrella guns. Catwoman says that wasn’t needed, but Cobblepot doesn’t care.
After all the chaos, Sparks want to just grab the knife and leave, but Selina has another plan.
She takes Ephraim Newhouse’s body and all five sacred owl knives and leaves him on top of the GCPD. She puts all his knives in his hands and turns on the Bat Signal. As she leaves, she thinks to herself that monsters “weren’t born monster” and even they “deserve a little mercy”.
As with many of the “Night of the Owls” stories, Catwoman #9 pits Selina Kyle against one of the Court of Owls’ assassin. The different with this issue is that she isn’t asked by Alfred (on behalf of Batman) to get involved; she just happens to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Despite the fact that she’s a thief; she does possess a strong sense of honor, fairness and decency. Honor among thieves. She feels compelled to intervene on Cobblepot’s behalf, even when she could easily walk away. She can also see that the Talon (Newhouse) has been abused by the Court and sees a resemblance to her own upbringing. This issue doesn’t go into any details, but it makes it clear that the abuse lead her into a life of crime. So she can sympathize with him. She is truly an anti-hero; she lives outside the law, but won’t just standby as something wrong happens. Her compassion for both Cobblepot and Newhouse shows that she seems to have grown into more of mild vigilante. Selina Kyle has a strong belief in “justice” even if “law and order” doesn’t really enter her vocabulary.
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