Review – Catwoman #25: Return to Alleytown

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Catwoman #25 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Catwoman #25 – Ram V, Writer; Fernando Blanco, John Paul Leon, Juan Ferreyra, Artists; FCO Plascencia, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: Ram V’s first regular issue of Catwoman is a pleasant surprise, as free of the status quo of Joelle Jones’ run he’s able to craft one of the most unique and likable takes on the queen cat of Gotham since Genvieve Valentine’s run. This double-sized first issue starts with a Joker War tie-in as Selina works with Riddler and Penguin to take the Wayne fortune away from Joker, apparently to divide it between themselves. It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Selina has other plans, and soon she’s double-crossed them and leapt into a dangerous escape that shaves off at least one of her nine lives. Team-ups with Detective Hadley from Villa Hermosa and Luke Fox work nicely, and although Bruce doesn’t appear in the story it’s clear this whole thing is her attempt to bridge the gap that’s formed between them. By the end of the main story drawn by Fernando Blanco, Selina’s back and ready to get up to her old tricks again.

The lady and the tiger. Via DC Comics.

This is followed by two stories by guest artists John Paul Leon and Juan Ferreyra, as Selina settles into her new—old—digs in Alleytown. This run-down area of Gotham is where she had her difficult childhood, and as soon as she sets foot there again she’s quickly robbed by a group of kids. This gives her the opportunity to set up her own mini crime syndicate where she gives these would-be criminals a crash course in how to stay ahead of the law. It’s all very in-character for Selina, as is the next story. That’s a quick and funny tale focusing on a stray cat that doesn’t like that someone new moved in. The angry feline proceeds to troll Selina, trying to bait her into a fight—only to be surprised by her move towards kindness instead. She wouldn’t be Catwoman if she didn’t take in stray cats. This issue does a very good job of balancing Selina’s criminal instincts with her heroic ones, and the backups are what really win me over that this is going to be a good run.

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