Batman Dark Victory #13 Double page splash Catwoman art by Tim Sale

Title: Batman Dark Victory #13 Double page splash Catwoman art by Tim Sale Number:
Pedigree: Grading Company: Grade:
Type: Original Art Page Color: Publisher Date: DC, 2000 Price: $35,000.00
This spectacular piece gives a vividly new and fresh meaning to the term, "VA VA VOOM!" Original double splash page artwork for Batman: Dark Victory #13 (DC, 2000), pages 4-5 by the late fan favorite Tim Sale (pencils and inks). Dark Victory was a 14-part (including an issue #0) maxi-series, which ran from 1999-2000 and was written by award winning seasoned scribe Jeph Loeb. The tale is a worthy sequel to Loeb and Sale's very popular 13-part maxi-series "The Long Halloween," published in 1996-1997. Dark Victory is a somber and foreboding tale that takes place primarily four to five years into Batman's career, when he was still fighting crime as a solo act, while his relationship with the Gotham City police department was still rather volatile at best. Loeb's engrossing plot centers around a series of mysterious murders involving various Gotham City police officers by an elusive serial killer only known as the Hangman. Another central plot point to this storyline is a territory war between Two-Face and the remnants of the Falcone mob family, led by the vengeful Sofia Falcone. Also included in the tale is the adoption of young orphaned Dick Grayson by Bruce Wayne and his Grayson's origin in becoming Robin the Boy Wonder.

Dark Victory likewise features appearances by several of Batman's classic arch foes as the Joker, the Riddler, the Scarecrow, Mr. Freeze, Solomon Grundy and, of course, Batman's most important supporting character and love interest, the mercurial Selina Kyle, a.k.a. the Catwoman. Wayne's ongoing, yet complex relationship with Selina is further explored during this series with her, at last, coming to terms with her troubled past when she visits former mob boss Carmine "The Roman" Falcone's mausoleum at the very end of the story and confesses that she knows that he was indeed her father. She brings closure to their relationship by stating, "I know you are my real father, but I can never prove it. My history is as empty as this grave. So, this is goodbye. We never spoke while you were alive, so I don't see much reason in starting now."

This double page splash is from the final issue of Dark Victory when Batman's investigation takes him to Mario Falcone's penthouse and is nearly hanged himself, but escapes certain death due to the protective metal braces around his neck in which Alfred had advised him to wear. As Batman hangs helplessly from the side of the building, Catwoman suddenly appears above him and says, "Well. Well. Well. Look what the Cat dragged in. Need any help?" Batman frees himself and makes chase upon Catwoman, which is the scene that is depicted here. Catwoman tells Batman that she is not the Hangman he is hunting and explains her tragic encounter with Sofia Falcone to Batman. The two come, once again, to an uneasy truce.

It is interesting to note that Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale produced a follow-up series entitled, "Catwoman: When in Rome" (DC, 2004),which focused on Catwoman's exploits in Rome, Italy. This story unfolds during the events of Dark Victory, between Valentine's Day (when Selina left Gotham City) and Labor Day - the very night Batman confronts Catwoman on the rooftop of Falcone's penthouse.

In sum, this is a HUGE and very special image of Catwoman from one the best Batman graphic novels ever published. Some critics have ranked Batman: Dark Victory as high as #7 on the list of the 25 best Batman graphic novels of all time.

Image: Batman Dark Victory #13 Double page splash Catwoman art by Tim Sale

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