Catwoman: A 30-Year-Old Villain Makes Their Comic Book Debut

Many characters got their start in Batman: The Animated Series. They garnered enough attention to warrant an introduction to several comic book titles. Terry McGuinness and Harley Quinn are two prime examples. Thirty years later, another character leaps from the small screen to the comic panel. Red Claw might not be as big of a name as Harley or Terry, but she’s making a play against Catwoman, and it’s sure to rank up there with her greatest stories. This Catwoman title will be a defining moment for this villain.

Catwoman encounters Red Claw

Why Does Red Claw Debut in Catwoman?

This former cartoon villain finds herself on the printed page in Catwoman’s own title. On the final pages of Catwoman #43, written by Tini Howard and illustrated by Bengal, a woman clad in red spandex and a claw tattoo introduces herself to the title character. This is a major throwback to her origins. In the classic cartoon, Catwoman threw down with Red Claw alongside Batman in her first appearance. The preview for Catwoman #44 promises another nod to Batman: The Animated Series. The title ‘Cat vs. Claw’ is reminiscent of her premiere episode titled ‘The Cat and the Claw.’

Red Claw’s purpose in Catwoman isn’t entirely known yet, but it seems to be drastically different than her role in the ’90s cartoon. After Selina and Harley finish a round of roller derby and retreat to the locker room, they’re ambushed. In the television show, Red Claw enacted grand schemes that involved entire cities. This is much more personal. However, the DCU might have a new villain to play within its sandbox.

Who is Red Claw?

Red Claw is the leader of a terrorist organization of the same name and a master martial artist. She can go toe-to-toe with the Caped Crusader any day of the week and has. Her first appearance in Batman: The Animated Series was back in 1992 during the show’s pilot episode. Red Claw went to Gotham City with the threat of releasing a plague unless the mayor paid her one billion dollars in gold bullion. As a result, Batman enlisted Catwoman to take down Red Claw and her organization.

This crimson-clad terrorist made three appearances throughout her tenure on the animated series. However, her threats were real and required every ounce of cunning the Dark Knight could spare. The show revealed very little about Red Claw’s background beyond her various attacks across the globe. She managed a terrorist organization, used the corporation “Multigon” as a front, and was known as the “most ruthless terrorist alive,” according to Commissioner Gordon. It will be interesting to see how much her character develops in the Catwoman title and the DCU as a whole.

Catwoman #44 hits shelves on June 21st, 2022.