"To Skin a Cat": Having just rescued a child from a bomb, Catwoman is surprised to find that the Joker was behind the whole life-sized chess game she became involved with. Despite saving the child from one bomb, the Joker soon reveals that a
Appearing in "To Skin a Cat"
- Joker (Flashback and main story)
- Gotham City (Flashback and main story)
- Elliot Beach Amusement Park
- Hotel No-Tell
- Batmobile (Flashback only)
Synopsis for "To Skin a Cat"
Having just rescued a child from a bomb, Catwoman is surprised to find that the Joker was behind the whole life-sized chess game she became involved with. Despite saving the child from one bomb, the Joker soon reveals that a second bomb has been strapped to his chest, in accordance with the Joker's requirement that a pawn would have to die for black to win the game. However, if she comes with him, he will let the boy go.
Catwoman agrees to go with him, and he takes her to the Elliot Beach Amusement Park, strapping her into a ride called the Hell Hole, which spins carnival goers within a centrifuge. Joker, has altered the ride, however, and it spins much faster than is safe for riding. As she spins faster and faster, Catwoman's costume is torn to shreds by the centrifugal force. Eventually, she is thrown from the machine, and falls unconscious.
She wakes to Joker's gruesome kiss, and with her clothing reduced to undergarments, he offers her a new costume, given that her old one squeaked too much. He suggests, as she puts it on, that she become Batman's adversary; his black queen. Once clothed, she tries to fight him, but she suddenly falls over - paralyzed by a poison coating the inside of the catsuit. As she lies helpless on the ground, Joker remarks that he has seen her be the damsel in distress that Batman saves time and again, and his predictability in caring for her safety is boring. At this point, she needs a man to save her every time she's in trouble, but this time, Batman isn't coming.
After forcing her to play a rigged game of strip poker, and telling a false tale about his childhood, Joker gives her the antidote to the poison, and leaves her alone for now.
Catwoman returns home to find another surprise for her: the new costume she was given has left ink prints of the bat symbol all over her exposed skin. Annoyed, she tries to shower it off. Afterwards, Gwen Altamon arrives and demands to know where Selina has been, given that she hasn't returned her calls lately. Brushing off the questions, Selina orders her friend to have Trip Winter meet her.
Trip claims not to know who his employer is, despite the fact that his employer is the Joker. However, he has been ordered to give Catwoman a massive cash bonus for her going "above and beyond" on the last mission.
Afterwards, Catwoman wonders where Batman is, and what kind of trouble he might be in with the Joker. Suddenly, she is nearly killed by an oncoming truck driven by the Joker - particularly perplexing, given that she was standing on scaffolding from an incomplete construction site. She nearly falls into a vat of grinning piranhas, if not for her whip. Angrily, she shouts that she is sick of games, and demands to know what the Joker knows about her, and what he wants her to do to Batman. His response gives her the impression that he doesn't actually want Batman dead; he's in love with him.
Catwoman announces that her relationship with Batman is an antagonistic one. He thwarts her every move, and is an ever present buzzkill in her life. Annoyed with her, Joker gives up, and focuses his attention on the Bats, rather than cats.
- This book was first published on November 21, 2012.
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