Synopsis: As Selina attempts to find sure footing as the new queen of organized crime in Gotham, many plot against her.
01. My kingdom for a time machine, and some form of editorial control over at DC Comics. Actually, scratch that last part. I’m not one for politics, and the environment seems a bit poisonous with it these days. Just give me the time machine, please. And a basket of kittens. My wife would be very pleased if we could do the whole time and/or space thing with a basket of kittens. What was I supposed to be talking about?
02. The second issue of this new status quo is quite stellar. For the longest time, Catwoman hasn’t been the book for me. I would check up on it every now and then to get the shape of what was happening, but would always fall away and let the customers who enjoyed it read in peace. As always, I decided to drop in again when the new creative team hit, and I’m very glad I did. The book seem is a completely different animal from what it was when it began. Selina has relinquished her costume, and has traded in her life of disorganized crime for the organized variety, and has risen to the top of the Gotham underground. As is natural in these kinds of stories, enemies abound from within and without. Good guys think she’s gone bad. Bad guys think she’s no good. The balancing act is quite precarious, but Selina takes everything in stride, making moves and countermoves in turn, all in service of her own goals. While new to the medium, Genevieve Valentine has hit the ground running with a story that doesn’t feel like prose or a teleplay mashed into the form of a comic. The medium is utilized beautifully with a steady pace, and I’m left wanting more – which should always be the goal of serialized storytelling.
03. The contributions of Garry Brown can not be overstated. As always, comics are the result of words and pictures working together to form narrative. Brown does exceedingly well here, bringing in shades of Tommy Lee Edwards’ sure hand and staging. Colourist Lee Loughridge compliments this with a muted palette that runs through different prevailing shades as lighting and locale change. Action scenes break out into a kinetic pace and layout while the more conversational set pieces remain compelling, camera angles and scene panel breaks building a tension that holds just below the surface.
04. This is an incredibly strong book that has been lost among the twelve different books DC launched or relaunched last month. With the marketing budget stretched a little thin, many of the books were left to sink or swim on their own accord. The teams behind Batgirl and Gotham Academy did some Herculean self-promotion to really put their book on the map, but Catwoman was stymied by the fact that cards had to be kept close to the chest, as the inciting events had yet to be revealed elsewhere in the line of comics. It’s a shame, because this book could have done a whole lot more if it had disappeared for a couple of months and returned with a brand new number one. (Time machine, please!) As it stands, it should hold its own with this level of quality. People will surely come in as those who enjoyed the previous iteration of the character find themselves reading something new that might not be for them. I hope this team gets a lot of room to move, and gets to play this story out to a conclusion. I’m itching to see where this goes.