|August 12, 2015|
|Written by||Genevieve Valentine|
|Cover by||Kevin Wada|
|Interior Art by||David Messina|
|Colored by||Lee Loughridge|
|Lettering by||Travis Lanham|
|Edited by||Rebecca Taylor, Mark Doyle|
|Previous Issue||Batgirl Annual #3|
|Next Issue||Catwoman #44|
While Selina investigates the mystery of whatever happened to Batman, Spoiler finds a mentor in Eiko. Plus: Antonia makes a dangerous bargain.
Summary of Stephness: Eiko is training Steph in the upper reaches of the Hasigawa Training Facility. As her father orders Eiko to enact retribution on defectors from Black Mask to Selina, Steph listens in and analyzes the situation. She is eager to join the fray, but is still a bit on edge after Selina's rejection. Eiko assures her that she is still on Steph's side.
As Steph and Eiko head out, Steph comments that Black Mask gives her the creeps. Eiko tests her on strategy, and saves her from an overbalanced rooftop jump. They find Lewis gravely injured in an alley along with other bodies, and Eiko deduces that Mask is going after Selina directly. She sends Lewis with Steph to the hospital, and Steph says she won't wait up, but to be careful.
As Selina, Mask, Eiko, Penguin, Antonia, the police, the new Batman, and everyone else circles each other like sharks in the water, Steph continues practicing in the upper reaches of the Hasigawa facility, this time in uniform.
Behind the scenes: In her interview for this issue on the Graphic Policy Radio podcast, writer Genevieve Valentine had a few great comments about Stephanie. With regards to Stephanie's shirt while training, she contacted the Black Canary team to see if Dinah had been in Burnside recently enough so that Steph could wear her shirt while training, and the answer was yes.
“I have loved writing Stephanie. She’s such a dork, and she has so much heart, but she is surrounded by a bunch of people who have trained their entire lives to be master martial artists and keep it all inside and suppress everything and she’s walking around like, “This is AWESOME!” Like, [high voice] ooooh, Steph!"
In a hypothetical poker game between Eiko, Selina, and the other major players in their universe, “Everybody is playing for increasingly high stakes and Stephanie is just eating M&Ms and watching everything go to hell, it would be amazing.”
When asked about Steph's entrance into the Catwoman title, she responded, “That was something of a Mark Doyle brainchild. We wanted to have a character come in who wasn’t quite a mentee for Selina because again, Selina has never looked at a potential mentee and said, “Ah, here someone I can shape to be the me of tomorrow” because she doesn’t particularly like the me of tomorrow anymore than she likes the me of today...”
“Of course, the only person who would walk up to Selina and have enough reason after Batman Eternal, to be like, “No, no, I want you to mentor me, and this is not a request,” is Stephanie, who has never taken “no” for an answer in her life...”
“Stephanie is coming in here thinking that because she has gone up against someone who is bad she has the potential to go either way, and of course Selina does not want to influence her one way or the other given what she’s currently going through, and so she has more or less taken up with Eiko for the moment, but of course, for everybody there comes the moment when they realize “here and no further”, and part of the fun of this arc is decided if she gets there, and if so, when and where.”
On Steph's outfits: “In comparison to both of those [Selina and Eiko], I wanted Stephanie to be the person who shops at Gap, Target, Old Navy, and makes the best out of it. She is a mortal among people who are buying Chanel couture to go to parties, because she [not Steph] does have $25,000. So every time Stephanie gets something I’m throwing out things from H&M, J. Crew, and saying, “Okay, this is on sale at J. Crew so we could use it because she would have gotten it for $17. She has one exercise outfit to train in and that’s all that she’s got. She does not have a lot of money.”