"Catwoman: Year One": Selina Kyle crashes out of a high-rise window, bleeding from her side, a string of pearls clutched in one hand. She isn't wearing a mask, and she doesn't have a weapon. She falls into the water outside the apartment building.
Appearing in "Catwoman: Year One"
- Babganoujian Consulate
- East End
- Galler Gallery
- Gotham Museum
- Peterson Pier
- The Catacomb Diamonds
- The Amulet of Inyui
Synopsis for "Catwoman: Year One"
Selina Kyle crashes out of a high-rise window, bleeding from her side, a string of pearls clutched in one hand. She isn't wearing a mask, and she doesn't have a weapon. She falls into the water outside the apartment building.
Inside, the owners of the apartment she robbed are upset. The man scowls and comforts the woman, who is crying, and the police collect a piece of glass with Selina's blood on it. They send divers into the water to search for her, but she crawls out of the lake on the opposite shore.
Selina lays low in the East End for months, working for Stan, while the cops search for her, though they must have given up by now. She remembers the saying "There're no cops in the East End... only customers" as she stares out the window. A client comes to hire her services as a dominatrix. After he falls asleep, she digs through his belongings and finds plans for Galler Gallery's security net, which she considers a sign she might be going back into business sooner than she expected.
She jumps out the window in her gear as the sleeping client grins at her fleeing figure. At the Galler Gallery, Selina climbs down into the basement and shuts off the master control box, which turns off the security system. She then runs upstairs to grab what she can, including the Amulet of Inyui, but while she's in the process of robbing the gallery, something hits her from behind and knocks her down.
She sends her whip flying at her attacker, but he catches it in mid-air. She tries to overcome him, but he deflects all her attacks, lands his own, and derides her as "a girl." He claims that because she touched the Amulet of Inyui, she's defiled it due to her gender, but once he's defeated her, he takes it anyway.
Selina rouses herself and pursues him. She stuns a man as he goes to get inside his car, and she steals his car, even though she doesn't know how to drive.
Selina wonders whether she was set up. Finding those plans was too convenient, she thinks, as she drives up to a dojo where her attacker has stopped. She breaks in, only to be surrounded by more ninja who deride her as "a girl." Her original attacker tries to take her out, but Selina kicks him away from her.
A new voice scolds "Kai" for his bad stance and asks him who this woman is. Kai says she is a cat burglar, and the stranger asks the cat what she seeks. To her own surprise, Selina replies "knowledge." The Armless Master senses the truth to her words, and he accepts her as his student over Kai's objections.
For weeks, Kai forces Selina to get up at five a.m. to practice the unique kata the Armless Master invented as part of his blend of every martial arts form. He wants to discourage her, but Selina is unafraid. She continues to call him "Pie" mockingly. He grows angry and threatens to break her right before the Armless Master interrupts them.
Selina gets one over Kai by claiming he was showing her a move and offering to demonstrate for the master. Kai laughs, convinced Selina will fail because she doesn't heed his lessons, but Selina has been practicing on her own. Selina's natural ability to master a move by only seeing it once helps her win over Kai, who learns by rote. He can't improvise, so after Selina takes a hard hit, she remains on the floor and kicks out at his lunging body. He bends over, clutching his stomach. When she is unsuspecting, he kicks her in the back.
The Armless Master isn't impressed by their brawling. He sends Kai to cleanse himself and attend to the morning sessions, but he asks Selina to come with him. In his private chambers, the Armless Master compliments her progress.
Selina asks him if he isn't worried about what Kai will do with the skills he learned from the Armless Master out in the real world, and the master says that's a needless expenditure of worry. All he cares about is teaching. He then asks Selina to make him tea, and when she says she doesn't know how, he says her education will have be extended to include the finer arts.
Kai complains to his lackeys about Selina, and they speculate whether she is a cop or maybe the sensei's lover. Kai doesn't believe any of that, but he does wonder where she disappears to for days at a time, especially since she comes back more skilled than before.
Back in Selina's apartment, Holly wakes her up and says things are blowing up over by Robinson Park. Holly turns on the TV, and they learn that Batman is surrounded by police officers in an abandoned tenement building. They pull on their coats to go see.
Selina and Holly stand close enough to the police that they can hear their radios. Selina is impressed to hear Batman took a bullet wound for a cat's sake, and when the cat escapes the building, she holds out her arms for it. Then the sky darkens as bats descend. Selina covers Holly's body with her own and thinks that Batman must have supernatural powers to control bats... but then she sees him escape the building, running instead of flying and bleeding, and she decides he must only be a man.
Selina bustles Holly into an ambulance to get checked out as Kai watches, balancing a knife on his finger.
Selina considers how Batman is only human but he unnerves people so much they don't realize until he's long gone, and she decides that's what was missing about her previous attempts at thievery. She buys a high-tech costume and fixes it up so that it looks like a cat.
She takes the costume on a test run to Peterson Pier, the most upscale mall in Gotham County, which will soon become noteworthy as the first place robbed by "the Cat." She breaks in to steal only a single cup with a cat pattern on it. Security guards surround her and briefly capture her, but she uses what she's learned from Kai to fight them off. As she runs away, she scoffs at the nickname they use for her--"Catwoman."
Selina makes tea for the Armless Master, and when he compliments her progress, she says it is only due to his teaching. He apologizes for Kai's truancy, but he would have had to take over her training soon enough anyway, she was progressing so quickly. Selina takes a sip of tea out of the cup she stole from Peterson Pier. She knows Kai is up to something.
Kai has broken into a TV station and killed two employees. He plays several recordings of people discussing Catwoman's crimes, and his eyes narrow.
Harvey Bullock, Agent Galiant (who doesn't give the agency he works for), and the coroner Ms. Flanagan examine the body of Matkowsky from Vice, who was on the take. Flanagan comments on the skill of his killer to rupture the internal organs without puncturing the skin, though Matkowsky was also stabbed through the chest. Bullock compares it to the two murders from the TV station last month. Galiant says they need to know whom Matkowksy was on the take from to find their killer.
Selina completes her training at the dojo after a year, and the Armless Master declares her his "right-hand woman."
That night, to celebrate, Selina goes to the Babganoujian Consulate as they honor Commissioner Grogan for his "work" on behalf of their frozen but oil-rich country. Selina walks through the party like she belongs there until she reaches the bathroom, where she changes into her Catwoman costume.
She doesn't get far before she is stopped by Hellhound. Selina and Kai recognize each other in spite of their costumes. Hellhound shows Catwoman that he has already stolen the Catacomb Diamonds that she came for, and they fight. They go crashing down into the ballroom, which is filled with cops, and they continue fighting.
Grogan demands to know where Gordon is as Catwoman and Hellhound fight, and his underling explains that Captain Gordon is across town on that Joker case. Anyway, Gordon says these kind of events aren't for him.
Hellhound tells Catwoman it is time to end the cycle of cat and dog, and as he prepares to stab her, he reveals that he believes this murder will allow him to shed his human form and gain the power of the hound. Last year, he almost entered the sacred realm of Velek, but Catwoman stopped that when she touched the Amulet of Inyui and ruined the ceremony. Catwoman can make amends now, he says, by letting him kill her, but Catwoman scratches him across the face and calls him "one sick puppy" before escaping... without the loot.
Catwoman lands on a rooftop where the Armless Master blames himself for her crimes, but Selina unmasks herself and says he can't take responsibility for other people's actions. He agrees, and he doesn't. He asks Song Li to hand Selina a chest which holds a small cat statue. He says that those with green eyes, like the two of them, share the spirit of the cat.
The Armless Master and Song Li walk away, and Selina pulls her mask back up. As she leaps away, she wonders what Batman is up to tonight.
- No special notes.
- In this issue, Selina Kyle says that her mother died when she was a baby, but in most renditions of Catwoman's history, Maria Kyle commits suicide when her daughter is an adolescent.
- Selina Kyle describes herself as "washed up at nineteen" shortly before she becomes Catwoman, and she furthermore claims she was on the streets by sixth grade, probably after (as she tells it) the director of her orphanage left her for dead. No other account of her origins mentions Selina spending time in an orphanage, though it doesn't directly contradict the account given in Catwoman: Her Sister's Keeper. It is possible, however, that the "orphanage director" was a mistake and Gorfinkel meant the director of the juvenile detention facility who left Selina for dead in Catwoman #0.
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Links and References
|Year One Annual |
This issue was part of the 1995 Year One Annuals crossover event, in which every annual was an origin story. This template will categorize articles that include it into the Annuals and Year One Annuals category.