CATWOMAN #9

The run on CATWOMAN has been exciting. The wedding night is barely over and Selina is back out on the streets, looking for her next heist. However, for CATWOMAN #9, Joelle Jones and Fernando Blanco are taking a quick break, giving readers a Catwoman one-shot by the wonderfully talented Ram V and John Timms.

ComicsVerse had the opportunity to speak with Ram about his upcoming one-shot in CATWOMAN #9. This is surely a heist that you won’t want to miss!

ComicsVerse (CV): Can you tell us a little about what the CATWOMAN #9 one-shot is about?

Ram V (RV): My CATWOMAN #9 one-shot is called, “The Two Step Cha Cha Cha” and is a self-contained heist story. Selina Kyle encounters an underworld fence called “The Broker” who has stolen something she needs to get back. In classic Catwoman style, she must try and accomplish that while making a healthy profit for herself on the side.

It was an opportunity for me to do something that was just fun. I’ve always been a sucker for a good heist-plot. The kind where everyone is always trying to outsmart everyone else. And so, that’s really what the one-shot is. A heist-story steeped in the classic-crime aesthetic that my favorite Catwoman stories have had.

CATWOMAN #9
CATWOMAN #9, page 1. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

CV: CATWOMAN is currently in the middle of a story arc, but it takes a break with this one-shot. How did this opportunity come about?

RV: Yeah, Catwoman’s the middle of a story arc, but at a point where the overall narrative could take a pause to breathe. So, when Jamie, my editor, came to me with the chance to do this one-shot, I jumped at it. I had a chance to peek into where the story is going, and I must say it was exciting to be able to play in the sandbox that Joelle has built for the character!

CV: What is it about Catwoman that drew you into her story?

RV: I love the chaotic moral ambiguity that has always been part of Catwoman. She is a thief, but also a reluctant hero. Admirable, loveable, and infuriating and cut-throat in equal measure. She almost doesn’t seem to function with a code — only a vague navigational sense, going by a moral compass that is distinctly her own. All of which makes her intriguing and unpredictable. I like that about the character. And, having written Batman in SECRET FILES, of course, I HAD to write Catwoman, next!

CV: You’ve also previously covered a Batman short story a few months ago. Is there something about the Batman universe that really draws your attention? Would you be interested in working on other DC universe characters?

RV: I’d like to think I can do a good job with any character that I take on. Of course, it’s a pleasure to write characters like Batman and Catwoman. I grew up reading these characters. So, there is always that nostalgic thrill of writing within that canon. And of course, I’ve got other DC Universe characters I’d love to write. Batman and Martian Manhunter are particular favorites, but we’ll be here all day if I started listing all the characters. I think it’ll suffice to say, writing these characters so far has been a thrill. And I’ve got a million stories yet to tell. Watch this space!

Catwoman #9
CATWOMAN #9, page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

CV: With a one-shot, you have a short period of time to cover a whole story, which I feel makes them fairly tricky. What’s the process like for a one-shot in the middle of another story arc?

RV: I don’t think it makes them tricky at all. As long as you understand the shape of a story and the structure that you’re working with, one-shots are a lot of fun to do. Of course, you can’t have grand narratives, but you can do something fun and poignant in a short span of time. With a one-shot, usually, I’m more concerned with structure — with fitting everything into a good shape. Making sure the right beats fall at the right moments. You have more wiggle room in longer stories but not in one-shots.

As far as writing in the middle of a story-arc. Really, the only concern is that you don’t want to do anything that’ll disrupt the longer story. You want the story to flow with the larger narrative. My editors were great in helping with that — their feedback on what I can and cannot do was very useful in shaping the story.

CV: Will you be shaking up the status quo with this one-shot or keeping it to the theme of the series?

RV: As I said, you don’t want to come in, write a one-shot and shake up the status quo of a longer narrative. You want to do things that are compatible with the narrative. So, I think the one-shot is in keeping with the theme. But this is very much my story. You can expect to see all the things that readers of my work would expect. It’ll be fun, it’ll play with the medium, and it’ll still bring you closer to the character in some way.

CV: Is there anything you can bring to Catwoman in this issue that is different than we’re used to?

RV: It is certainly a distinct issue. I don’t think we’ve seen an issue quite like this in a while. I pulled my influences for this story, from the Darwyn Cooke run on the character. I loved that aesthetic, that tone and visual language. So hopefully you’ll see all of that infused into the story while being original and true to the character. There are some fun, new things we’ve done with the issue!

CV: John Timms’ work is phenomenal. What is it like working with him?

RV: John is awesome! From the moment he had the script, he knew exactly what we were shooting for. You can see that come through in the story. He nailed the aesthetic of the story and that’s important for the kind of thing we’re trying to do. It was also a dense/tight script. He does a phenomenal job of opening it all up and letting it breathe.

Some of the action sequences are breathtaking. I couldn’t stop grinning when I got the art back.

CATWOMAN #9
CATWOMAN #9, variant cover. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

CV: If you could be any superhero in the DC universe, Batman or otherwise, who would you want to be and why?

RV: Martian Manhunter or Poison Ivy. I love shapeshifters and plants are deceptively dangerous things!

CV: Are there any other projects coming up you’d like to (or can) talk about? I know you’re always working on something, so you have something exciting up your sleeves, right?

RV: Nothing I can talk about right away. I’ve got a couple of personal projects underway too. I try to always have a quieter, more personal, long-form project on the go. We’ve started working on one this year and I’m very excited about it. A few other things are in the works, but I don’t want to steal the thunder from any official announcements!

CATWOMAN #9 drops March 13th! Be sure to add it to your pull list, or snag your copy here!

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