The Retro Cover Of The Week is a bloodshot, tear-stained, runny mascara mug shot: Catwoman #51

Catwoman #51, 2006, DC Comics, Cover by Adam Hughes.

The POP Retro Cover Of The Week continues its examination and celebration of iconic comic covers from the 1970s through the 2000s, this week returning to the Aughts. Girl-power was booming in this decade, and even Catwoman had her own very popular series, with fan favorite cover artist Adam Hughes beginning a memorable run with issue #45.

Arguably, every one of Hughes’ covers was iconic, but the first one that created buzz was #51, depicting Catwoman in a mug shot situation. It’s another one of those ideas that is so obvious and elegantly simple, that you can’t believe you haven’t seen it before. Hughes’ growing photorealistic style gives this situation real gravitas and impact. An unmasked Selina Kyle, with bloodshot eyes, matted, wet hair, and mascara running down her tear-stained cheeks, holds her mug shot board while staring defiantly at the camera and the viewer.

Extra Geek Points to you if you caught the Easter Egg Adam left on the placard Catwoman is holding; the arrest/case number is the mysterious, recurring sequence from the mid-2000s show LOST.

The cover trade dress (the publisher’s logo, issue number, creative credits, etc.) is minimal and uncolored, with no screaming headlines or word balloons, giving the least possible distraction to the cover illustration, and making this POP Retro Cover Of The Week even more powerful in its silence.

Next week: Back to the 1970s!

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