Batman 323 – Catwoman hunts for a cure

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After more than a year as Selina Kyle, Catwoman dons her costume again in the Wein, Novick and Smith story in Batman 323 (May 1980).

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Hearing about the theft at the museum, Batman comes to question Selina, and demands that she turn herself in.  Selina refuses, sicking her cat on Batman and fleeing out the window.

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Batman is conflicted, not wanting to believe Selina has returned to her life of crime, but certain she is the thief.  At the office, Bruce meets his new secretary, Caroline Crown, who replaces Gwen.  Gwen had never been more than a characterless name, but more will be done with Caroline.

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Bruce is surprised to find Catwoman in his office.  She has come to him for help and support, but he says basically the same things he did as Batman, that she should turn herself in. Catwoman even comments that he sounds just like Batman, but does not put two and two together.  Instead, she simply flees again.

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There is also a brief scene with Lucius Fox and his troubled son, Timothy.

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Catwoman head to a deserted warehouse, and the old rum running tunnels located beneath it.  Batman is on her trail. When they both fall into a trap, it becomes fairly clear that Catwoman cannot be the one responsible for the thefts.

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And, indeed, the true villain is Cat-Man.  He had last appeared (not counting his cameo in the previous issue) facing the Freedom Fighters three years earlier, but this is his first time facing Batman since the early 60s.

The story concludes in the next issue.

 

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