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Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale
A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale is a young-adult graphic novel, written by Lauren Myracle and illustrated by Isaac Goodhart, about the early years of Selina Kyle, aka Catwoman. There are scenes of violence -- the death of a kitten, domestic abuse, the discovery of a man's body, an attack by a villain and his dog -- but much of the mayhem occurs outside the panels. There's frequent swearing, with multiple uses of "pussy," "dick," "s--t," and "f--k." Selina's mother and other characters drink wine to excess.
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What's the story?
As UNDER THE MOON: A CATWOMAN TALE opens, 14-year-old Selina Kyle contends with a neglectful mother and her abusive boyfriend. Selina is also an outcast at school, and when she's forced into a life on the streets, she has few friends to turn to. Luckily, she falls in with a gang of teen criminals who appreciate her sneaky ways, even as Bruce Wayne offers her another means of survival.
Is it any good?
Comic book origin stories can leave some readers thinking, "We know, let's get to the good stuff," but this early adventure of Catman differs enough from previous versions to avoid overfamiliarity. Lauren Myracle and Isaac Goodhart's take on Selina Kyle is tough, sharp, and sensitive, perhaps showing her at her most vulnerable. Selina and the supporting cast are well-defined and fascinating, both in the drawing and the plotting. There are some real rough edges, though: The violence and harsh language may disturb some younger readers. Older teens will appreciate the narrative's sass and tough-girl sensibility.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about how Under the Moon: A Catwoman Tale works as a graphic novel. Are there some stories than work better as comics? Do graphic novels allow effects that are difficult to achieve in prose?
Is stealing ever justifiable? Is it permissible in life-or-death situations?
Is it a good idea to keep secrets about yourself? Why is it sometimes scary to be honest and vulnerable with other people?
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