Everything You Need to Know About Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War

Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War Covers as a Banner

Since 2023 kicked off, DC have made sure that it’s been non-stop on the hype train. From Lazarus Planet to Dawn of DC, to We Are Legends and Knight Terrors – every couple of months, the publishing line has seen something bold, exciting and new emerge to entertain readers. And now, with Knight Terrors barely in the rear-view mirror, we turn to Gotham for the next event: Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War.

What is Batman/Catwoman: Gotham War?

Building out of the ongoing series for both titular characters, helmed by Chip Zdarsky and Tini Howard respectively, Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War sees the former lovers come to blows as their conflicting ideas for how to save Gotham bring them into conflict. As a result, battle lines are drawn, and the Bat-family is set to be divided.

On one side, Catwoman seeks to revolutionise how crime is done in Gotham City. She plans to train the criminal element in her ways, turning them into ‘elite cat burglars’ like her who only steal from the rich and refrain from violent crime. It’s a Robin Hodd-style plan that morally complicated figures like Red Hood are quickly on board with – one that seeks to pacify

On the other side, Batman stands vehemently opposed. Any crime, no matter how violent, is to be eradicated as far as Bruce is concerned, and shifting the problem from one form to another doesn’t solve it.

Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War is a street-level event, somewhat similar in vein to the early-2000s storyline Batman: War Games. Unlike that event however, The Gotham War isn’t co-opting the entire line of Batman titles to tell its story. Ongoing series such as Detective Comics, Nightwing and others remain uninvolved, even if their starring characters do play a role in the story.

Do I Need To Read Anything Before Batman/Catwoman: Gotham War?

While there are no official preludes to the event, the preceding arcs of the ongoing Batman and Catwoman series naturally lead in to the storyline.

In Batman, Bruce Wayne has recently been assailed by the relentless robotic force named Failsafe, beaten to within an inch of his life and come close to breaking mentally. As a result, Batman’s hidden Zur-En-Arrh personality – a kind of break-glass-in-case-of-emergency mental defence – was brought to the surface, and has been causing trouble since.

To catch up on the full Zdarsky run, read from Batman #125-136. Alternatively, you can read these issues in the collected editions:

  • Batman Vol. 1: Failsafe
  • Batman Vol. 2: The Bat-Man of Gotham

Over in Catwoman, Selina Kyle has been waging a war on Black Mask and other crime bosses, asserting herself within the Gotham underworld. More recently, she’s found herself incarcerated, striking up an unlikely alliance with Joker’s newest right-hand, Punchline.

To catch up on everything since Tini Howard’s run on Catwoman has begun, read Catwoman #39-56. If, however, you’d prefer to read in collected formats, the following trade paperbacks cover the same material:

  • Catwoman Vol. 1: Dangerous Liaisons
  • Catwoman Vol. 2: Cat International
  • Catwoman Vol. 3: Duchess of Gotham

Finally, both Batman and Catwoman play roles in the DC event Knight Terrors – a horror-themed storyline where heroes and villains alike must conquer their nightmares, as their very fears come to life.

Knight Terrors: Batman sees Bruce confronting the various traumas of his past, and has some additionally hints toward the ongoing Zur-En-Arrh storyline. Knight Terrors: Catwoman, on the other hand, follows Selina as she grapples with the weight of the plans she’s about to enact in Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War. Each mini-series consists of a #1 and #2. The full, relevant reading list for Knight Terrors is as follows:

  • Knight Terrors: First Blood #1
  • Knight Terrors #1-4
  • Knight Terrors: Night’s End #1
  • Knight Terrors: Batman #1-2
  • Knight Terrors: Catwoman #1-2

What is the Complete Reading Order for Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War?

Despite being the latest Batman related event at DC Comics, its reading order is nowhere near as extensive as past Bat-events have been, such as Joker War.

Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War takes place over the two eponymous series, as well as an event-specific tie-in title. The event does not cross over into any other ongoing Bat-related titles, such as Nightwing, Titans, The Penguin, Poison Ivy or Harley Quinn.

The full list, in order, of all 8 issues involved are as follows:

  1. Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Battle Lines #1
  2. Batman #137
  3. Catwoman #57
  4. Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Red Hood #1
  5. Batman #138
  6. Catwoman #58
  7. Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Red Hood #2
  8. Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Scorched Earth #1

With that, you have the complete reading order for Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War. This event will almost certainly be collected in one edition down the line too, if you prefer to read these stories in a collected format.

What Comes After Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War?

From this event, DC Comics promises a major shake-up across the various Bat-related titles.

Obviously Batman and Catwoman will take the emotional and psychological effects of the event with them into their own series. After Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War, Chip Zdarsky will be setting a beleaguered Batman against his archnemesis The Joker, in a story arc called “Mindbomb”.

Selina Kyle, on the other hand, will be vacating Gotham, as she embarks on a nine-issue long arc aptly titled “Nine Lives”. It will see Catwoman taking on a series of nine, potentially deadly missions in a story writer Tini Howard has described as the type of Catwoman tale that she’s always wanted to write.

Outside of those titles too, it’s fair to assume that there will be some form of status quo shift for Jason Todd, A.K.A. Red Hood, given his prominent featuring within the narrative. Also, we know that new series The Outsiders will be launching towards the tail end of 2023, spurred on by the events of Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War. How it will impact characters like Tim Drake, Duke Thomas and Dick Grayson however, remains to be seen.


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