New Catwoman run delves into some Dangerous Liaisons (or is it Cruel Intentions) in first look preview

Catwoman #39 excerpt
Catwoman #39 excerpt (Image credit: DC)

This February, Catwoman is returning to Gotham City and is out to steal something even more valuable than cash or luxury items - secrets. 

Writer Tini Howard and artist Nico Leon are jumping over from Marvel to take over DC's main Catwoman ongoing series beginning with January 2022's Catwoman #39, and they're putting Catwoman right back into the thick of the Gotham underworld to face off against some familiar paces from her past.

Catwoman #39 main cover (Image credit: Jeff Dekal (DC))

Picking up after Ram V and Fernando Blanco's current Catwoman run which began in late 2020, Howard and Leon's Catwoman will have her face off against the rejuvenated Hasigawa crime family - a branch of the Yakuza.  And a face-off with them means a face-off with Selina's former flame Eiko Hasigawa, who has wrested control of her crime family for herself.

Nico Leon has designed the Hasigawa clan and their soldiers. Take a look:

Catwoman #39 concept art

Catwoman #39 concept art (Image credit: DC)

In addition to old flames, there's a new face coming into Catwoman's sphere - Valmont, "a talented, charming master thief" as described by DC - someone "who's very interested in Catwoman's talent for thievery... and in Selina herself."

The name 'Valmont' recalls the narcissistic playboy from the classic French novel Dangerous Liaisons. If Catwoman's Valmont is a homage to that Valmont, the question becomes who is Catwoman and Eiko Hasigawa in this - Merteuil and Madame de Touvel respectively? Possibly.

Here's a look at this new DC character, Valmont:

Catwoman #39 concept art (Image credit: DC)

Check out this unlettered, uncolored preview of Catwoman #39:

"I don't want to go too far into what we're doing in the book yet - Selina and I agree that there's nothing more tantalizing than a taste - but you should know that I came in with a lot of plans," Howard writes in her newsletter. "I'm building to a Catwoman-centric tale the likes that Gotham has never seen. The shape of this story, what makes it required reading for Selina Kyle's life all became so clear to me as I worked on this. I'm standing on the shoulders of giants who told my favorite Catwoman tales like [Ed Brubaker], [Darwyn Cooke], and [Geneveive Valentine], and I'm so grateful."

The run will be colored by Jordie Bellaire, with it all overseen by DC editors Jess Chen and Jessica Berbey.

Catwoman #39 will be Howard's first major DC work following short stories in 2016's Shade the Changing Girl #3 and December's Batman: Urban Legends #10.

Catwoman #39's primary cover is drawn by Jeff Dékal, with variant covers by Jenny Frison and Sozomaika). Check them out here:

Catwoman #39 goes on sale on January 18, 2022.

Can't wait? Read our recommended best Catwoman stories of all time. 

Chris Arrant

Chris Arrant covered comic book news for Newsarama from 2003 to 2022 (and as editor/senior editor from 2015 to 2022) and has also written for USA Today, Life, Entertainment Weekly, Publisher's Weekly, Marvel Entertainment, TOKYOPOP, AdHouse Books, Cartoon Brew, Bleeding Cool, Comic Shop News, and CBR. He is the author of the book Modern: Masters Cliff Chiang, co-authored Art of Spider-Man Classic, and contributed to Dark Horse/Bedside Press' anthology Pros and (Comic) Cons. He has acted as a judge for the Will Eisner Comic Industry Awards, the Harvey Awards, and the Stan Lee Awards. Chris is a member of the American Library Association's Graphic Novel & Comics Round Table. (He/him)