Catwoman #16 – Joelle Jones, Writer/Artist; Laura Allred, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: Joelle Jones finally returns in Catwoman #16 as writer/artist, but Catwoman still has all the problems it had at the start – it’s a decent take on Selina, but with a dense and confusing narrative that is often hard to follow in a linear fashion.
The story this issue flashes forward to a mysterious battle between Catwoman and Raina Creel that Catwoman loses – decisively and painfully – at the Lazarus Pit. It makes sense Raina is interested in the pit, given her obsession with eternal life, but the title switches back and forth between scenes so often that we really don’t get any context. Weeks later, Selina is recovered physically but Creel has vanished without a trace, so Selina tracks down one of her associates and breaks into his home during his son’s birthday party. This leads to an overly long segment of Selina having to deal with horrible suburbanites including a callous, fashion-obsessed mother who seems like a parody of a Real Housewife.
Selina corners the owner of the house and repeatedly beats him with her whip while seeking Raina’s location – and the beating is interspliced with scenes of his son whacking a pinata while his father gets whacked in a very different way.
Selina’s ally Carlos mostly exists in this issue to worry about her and imply she’s going too far, but he doesn’t have a big role in the story. The event tie-in in this issue, since all comics seem to have one, has Selina receiving an offer from Luthor as he pushes her to choose between hero and villain, but the issue ends without us getting an answer.
Again, Joelle Jones is a fantastic artist, and some of the scenes this issue are incredibly detailed. But as a narrative, this comic is lacking. It has some good moments here and there, but overall I don’t feel like we’re any closer to discovering why Selina left or why she’s coming back than we were when we started.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.