Catwoman #20 – Joelle Jones, Writer; Fernando Blanco, Artist; FCO Plascencia, Colorist
Ray – 7/10
Ray: Joelle Jones is wrapping her run on Catwoman in the coming months, so it’s no surprise she’s building up to a big finale in Catwoman #20. The problem is, I don’t think the big finale it’s building towards really fits the tone of the run or Selina’s character.
Selina has been locked in battle with the evil Raina Creel since the first issue, as the decomposing heiress has become more obsessed with power and resurrected her dead son using a toxin that essentially turned him into a zombie. Well, that zombie plague is now spreading, and Selina, her allies, and her catatonic sister are surrounded by rampaging shells of humans. Catwoman #20 is probably the fastest-paced issue of the series, as well as the one that’s the most distanced from the heist thriller it started as. The double-page spreads by Fernando Blanco are the highlight of the issue, delivering some grotesque zombie action and some compelling scares.
The script, though, doesn’t live up to the visuals. Raina Creel has always been a one-dimensional villain, and Selina’s allies haven’t been given all that much attention. The part that really works, though, is the one-sided conversation between Selina and Maggie. The dangling plot thread about Maggie being tortured into insanity has been hanging since the early 2000s, and it’s good to see it finally followed up on. Maggie can’t talk back right now, but the end of the issue hints that a development might be coming there.
Of course, Selina will have to get through a full-scale zombie outbreak to get there, given what Raina pulls off at the end of the issue. Given that Selina is headed back to Gotham soon, it’s likely she’ll be putting Villa Hermosa in the rearview mirror when she goes. I can’t say I’ll miss it. I think Joelle Jones has a good handle on the character, but Selina’s been stuck in an odd genre-bender for the whole run.
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Disclaimer: GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.