Comic books like to commemorate their 50th issue with something special and Cat-Tales chose to honor its central characters' comic book origins with a Crime Alley story for its 50th tale.
In the same way it paid off to wait several years before attempting Catwoman's origin story, it paid off to wait on a story delving into the most important event in the Batman mythos. This story would not have been possible from a writer who had not spent so many years with these characters, loving these characters and respecting them, and most importantly, one who had not drunk the Frank Miller Kool-Aid.
The Bruce Wayne of Cat-Tales is not as crazy as the villains he fights, he is not damaged, limited, or a dangerous psychotic. Most importantly he is not "the mask" as the lesser minds of DC Comics have decreed but the real whole man of whom Batman is only one created facet. When this Bruce is taken to a dark place, finding a rage in himself that he didn't know existed, it is a story that could not happen in a world because it is no cheap stunt and we know it is not done as such. We cannot know what may happen or what it all means precisely because we are in the hands of an author who has demonstrated that consistency and respect for the character and the man.
The story is pivotal not only for Bruce Wayne personally but for his relationships, with Alfred, with Dick and with Selina. The Bruce/Selina relationship finally comes to terms with the issues raised in Blueprints, and the resolution is absolutely beautiful. It touches on bits of her past from Cattitude, and plants a seed that will not bear fruit until Book 6 in The Gotham Rogues. It is truly the masterpiece of the series.
"We could wish if The Dark Knight Rises was going to use 'moving on' as its central theme, it would have done as well as (Kate Beckett's arc (in Season 4 of Castle) or the actual Bruce Wayne of Cat-Tales." ~Arlington, Blogtopia: Sign of Four
Like all Cat-Tales, Casefile 001 can be read online on the Cat-Tales website or mobile mirror, and can be downloaded as an ebook or pdf, which is sized for printing at Cafe Press. It is collected in Cat-Tales Book 4.
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