Review – Catwoman #26: Making Friends and Influencing Criminals

Comic Books DC This Week
Catwoman #26 variant cover, via DC Comics.

Catwoman #26 – Ram V, Writer; Fernando Blanco, Artist; FCO Plascencia, Colorist

Ray – 8.5/10

Ray: As Selina settles into her new home in Alleytown, new writer Ram V has set up a compelling new status quo for her. In last month’s oversized issue, we were introduced to her new allies—a group of street kids who she takes off the street and into her penthouse to be her feet on the ground. So that’s the good guys—now for the bad guys. This issue is all about introducing us to the rogues’ gallery that populates Alleytown, starting with the sinister Father Valley. This gothic assassin, with long stringy hair and an obsession with the Bible, is hired by Penguin to get revenge on Selina for robbing him. Given the name and the religious motif, I had to wonder if he has some involvement with Azrael—potentially Jean-Paul’s father, as a way to bring back the dangerous religious fanatic Azrael as a counter to the more heroic one introduced in the Bat-books?

The high life. Via DC Comics.

We’re also introduced to a drug-running criminal running a chop shop, a corrupt cop who facilitates his operations, and a charming gun-running mobster who provides the issue’s most dramatic scene in her debut. She proves to be the most important of the villains in this issue, as Selina reaches out to her to try to broker a deal to take down the criminal she views as the biggest threat. This issue, with Selina operating a larger operation and cutting deals with both sides of the law, reminds me a lot of the best Catwoman run of the decade—Genvieve Valentine’s story with Selina as the head of the Gotham mob. It’s hard to do a good antihero story without choosing one side of the fence for the lead character, but while Selina has been a heroic character for a while, she’s clearly well at home in the world of crime. That indicates that Ram V’s run has a good chance to be a long-term success.

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