"Metamorphosis": In an alley behind a church, Sister Elizabeth discovers the crumpled and beaten body of Selina Kyle, a prostitute. While the police rush Selina to the hospital, Sister Elizabeth complains to Sister Magdalene of the girl'
Appearing in "Metamorphosis"
- Gotham City
Synopsis for "Metamorphosis"
In an alley behind a church, Sister Elizabeth discovers the crumpled and beaten body of Selina Kyle, a prostitute. While the police rush Selina to the hospital, Sister Elizabeth complains to Sister Magdalene of the girl's endless compassion for stray cats. Magdalene comments that someone special to her always had cats around, and Sister Elizabeth softens, explaining that six months is not so long to go without hearing from someone.
In the hospital, Selina is visited by a man named Flannery, claiming to be from Gotham Vice. He demands to know who beat her up, but she is evasive. In fact, she won't answer any of his questions. They are interrupted by a priest offering communion. Perhaps too vehemently, Selina refuses, and the priest shuffles off. Flannery tells her to call him if she does decide to press charges against the man who beat and raped her. He offers her a card, but it's not his card. He explains that she should use the number on the card to talk to a man who can help her take care of herself - it may save her life one day.
At the church, Sister Elizabeth tries to dissuade Sister Magdalene from continually praying for her sister. She comments that there are other runaways in the city who need help. Magdalene responds that Elizabeth is a cold, cruel woman. The elder sister simply states that she is a realist, shooing another of Magdalene's strays away.
After being discharged from the hospital, Selina returns to her apartment, asking her friend Holly whether Stan - her pimp - is around. It was Stan who beat her, and Holly warns that if she goes back to her room, he will be waiting for her and could easily hurt her again. Even so, Selina goes up anyway. Stan is complaisant, apologizing for mistreating her. Selina ignores him and asks where her cats are. He moved them to an empty apartment, because they make him uncomfortable. Despite that discomfort, he presents Selina with a cat-themed dominatrix bodysuit. She is disgusted by it, but eventually Stan talks her into doing one last job for him in the catsuit, promising it will be the last time.
Later, Selina calls the number on the card and winds up doing self-defence training with former boxing champ Ted Grant. Selina asks how many other girls Flannery has sent Ted, and he responds that he doesn't know any cops named Flannery. He says that for $100/hour, he'll teach her everything he knows. Naturally, she can't afford it, and he suggests that she may qualify for a discount, if she's serious.
After cutting her long hair, Selina happens to notice some commotion outside her apartment while her submissive clients whine to be punished further. Ignoring them, she watches as Holly propositions a strange man who seems to be stirring up trouble. Stan gets involved, and he and the man fight until eventually Holly stabs the man in the leg. Instinctively, the man breaks Holly's wrist, and Selina springs into action in order to avenge her friend. Though she puts up a fight, the man lands a heavy punch and knocks her to the ground. When the cops arrive, the man dashes off.
As a result, Selina is late for her appointment with Ted, and she asks him to teach her how to use a bullwhip in a fight. Ted wonders who it is that Selina is really lashing out at, because he doesn't think it's her pimp. Even so, he trains her in the use of the whip.
One night, Selina is wakened by her cats to find Holly at her window looking out over Robinson Park, where there seems to be a lot of commotion and explosions. Turning on the TV, they see a news report indicating that the Batman has been surrounded by the Gotham City Police Department there. Holly is filled with excitement at the thought of glimpsing the Batman, and Selina agrees to accompany her friend to the police line, to see events unfold.
At the scene, things look grim for the Batman, and Selina pessimistically believes that if they see him at all, it will be as a corpse. Suddenly, a massive swarm of bats fills the skies over the park, and in the confusion, Batman escapes. Selina realizes that he is a formidable man, and that he has used the bats and his costume to great advantage.
In training with Ted, Selina begins to break down and give up. Ted keeps pushing her and pushing her, making her angry until she lashes out and really hurts him. This is what he wanted; to get Selina to put her emotion into her fighting. She is progressing.
Selina decides to make her move. She puts on the catsuit that Stan got her and hits the streets. Placing a call to him, she lies that one of her clients became violent and ended up being stabbed on his own knife. Stan tells her to stay calm and meet him at a certain location. As he waits for her, Selina creeps over the rooftops in her new costume, preparing to pounce.
- The events of this issue are concurrent with those of Batman: Year One.
- This issue is reprinted in Catwoman: A Celebration of 75 Years.
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