Catwoman #12 – Joelle Jones, Writer; Fernando Blanco, Hugo Petrus, Artists; John Kalisz, Colorist
Ray – 8/10
Ray: Joelle Jones’ Catwoman run is in flux at the moment, with writer Ram V. jumping on for a few more issues in coming months and the upcoming Batman/Catwoman team-up book lurking in the wings. With that in mind, Catwoman #12 is an entertaining issue but maybe not moving fast enough to wrap up its story in the time it has. Selina and her fellow thief Carlos are in the middle of a high-speed car chase as the issue starts, and the first five pages are just one crazy driving stunt after another. But as they barely survive a crash, the story flashes back to Carlos’ past and we learn a little more about this young man who Selina suddenly trusts. An expert in forming connections and getting favors, he works with his Aunt Linda at her museum – but has a side business with Catwoman and has been pulled into her latest caper involving the two halves of the mysterious mask and the map they hold. Teaming up, they contact one of the best art forgers in the business.
That leads them to the auction for the other half of the mask, where they pull a feint and swap out the real mask for the forgery. Finally having both sides in their possession, their path seems to be clear – but it’s about to get a lot more complicated as Raina Creel kidnaps Aunt Linda, holding her hostage to force Carlos to come and get her. Creel continues to be the weakest part of this series, an over-the-top hideous cartoon villain who revels in her atrocities. The presence of her zombie son still feels out of place in a series that’s mostly about noir and caper action. After some more car chases, Selina and Carlos return to their home where they find that Maggie’s been abandoned, Aunt Linda is missing, and Creel has made their move against them. This arc has been a fun return to form for the series after the overcomplicated last arc, and it’s good to see Selina in her element as a thief again. But the main villain and pacing need some work.
Corrina: Reading this Catwoman series has been a frustrating experience.
Why? Because the art has been spectacular from the start. Look at the page posted above. Check out how the panel sizes are used to emphasize the chase and the speed of the cars. I love the close-up of Catwoman’s eye, and the reflection of the sign inside it. I love the headlights in the last panel.
So why am I frustrated? Because the series seems to go from one plot arc to another without truly going anywhere. I’m not sure why Selina has stuck around in this town, nor does she seem eager to move Maggie somewhere less dangerous where she could be receiving professional help. I understand why Selina would not want to be chased away and would want some revenge on our villain but I don’t understand why she’s not making it a priority to get Maggie more care than one live-at-home aide.
I also need a more direct tie-in with Selina’s theft to Creel’s plan. I’m as in the dark about Creel’s overall plan as I am about Selina’s thoughts concerning her break-up with Bruce. (Though, I do understand that maybe those thoughts have to wait until something shifts over in Batman, so it might not be this creative team’s fault.)
To find reviews of all the DC issues, visit DC This Week.
Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.