WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Catwoman #41, now on sale from DC Comics
gotham city is absolutely full of amazing and impressive heroes and villains, to the point where it’s easy for some of them to fade out of the spotlight over the years. Now, a fan favorite from the Post-Crisis DC Universe is reaffirming her place in the world — and she could fill a lot of important roles going forward.
Onyx’s return in cat woman #41 by Tini Howard, Nico Leon, Veronica Gandini, and Tom Napolitano sets up the vigilante as a unique friend and foil to Selina Kyle, while also making a case for Onyx’s potential as a fixture in the modern Gotham.
Debuting shortly before the end of the Pre-Crisis DC Universe, Onyx Adams became a more singular character in the Post-Crisis timeline. Trained by the League of Assassins, Onyx eventually grew tired of her place in the world and resolved to become a hero. After working with Green Arrow and Black Canary, Onyx eventually relocated to Gotham City and became one of the many vigilante defenders of the populace. She was a member of the Birds of Prey, trained alongside Cassandra Cain, and earned the respect of the Dark Knight. Onyx more or less disappeared in the Post-Flashpoint DC Universe, where she briefly reappeared as a member of Green Arrow’s Outsiders.
The Onyx who appeared in cat woman #41 is far more in line with her Post-Crisis appearances, supposedly serving Gotham as one of the only Batman-approved independent heroes in the city. While confronting Valmont on the streets of Gotham about his murder of some criminals, Selina ended up getting to watch Onyx arrive and deliver a quick beatdown to the vigilante. The two women soon head out to discuss not just Valmont but Catwoman’s own heroic place in the Gotham ecosystem. Onyx proved to be a surprisingly solid foil to Selina, offering her own views of her on Catwoman’s love life and morality of her. She even gave Selina friendly advice and agreed to come to help if Catwoman needed it.
It’s actually a really good idea, and the kind of friendship Catwoman could use more of. Officially on something of a “break” from Batman, Catwoman is well-positioned to continue fleshing out her own unique corner of Gotham City. This includes focusing on characters who aren’t as closely tied to Batman, the larger Bat-Family, and the greater Bat-Rogues gallery. Onyx is capable in her own right as a hero and gives Selina a peer she can work with. But her greater reliance on physical strength and combat over Selina’s stealth and speed de ella could allow for dynamic action sequences focusing on the pair working together. Their shared role as heroes in Gotham City — but their different approaches to the city — could set them up as interesting foils to one another. Onyx can be Selina’s friend in a way many characters just can’t.
Onyx also being back in Gotham City could present the opportunity for the character to reunite with the Birds of Prey and Cassandra Cain — who she was allied with during the Post-Crisis DC Universe. Her experience and skills de ella might also quietly make her an ideal fighter for heroes to recruit in the upcoming Shadow War storyline. Onyx also helps add to the diversity of Gotham’s heroes, making a strong black woman a potentially major unique hero in her own right. Setting up Onyx as a friend and foil for Catwoman is a great way to highlight Onyx while also giving Selina a non-Batman-related hero to work with and bounce off of. Hopefully, Onyx’s return from her is just the beginning of her partnership with Catwoman, and her return from her to the DC Universe proper.
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