Catwoman #31 – Ram V, Writer; Fernando Blanco, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 8.5/10
Ray: This book instantly shot up to one of the most anticipated titles on my list last week when Ram V dropped a massive bomb in the Festival of Heroes anthology—that Shoes, Selina’s young partner-in-crime, is actually the presumed-dead Lian Harper. I’ve been wanting Lian back ever since her poorly-regarded death in a 2010 event comic, so this makes me extremely happy, but this is likely to be a slow-burn mystery. While Shoes does appear this issue, it’s just as an assistant for Selina’s latest heist. The focus is on the target of the heist—Poison Ivy, who has been captured by a shady businessman for genetic engineering purposes. Ram V does something clever with the plot, jumping ahead to after Selina has already foiled the plan and liberated Ivy, and then going back to show us exactly how she pulled it off. It’s almost Sherlock Holmes-esque, except told from the perspective of the criminal.
The use of Ivy is interesting here as well. She comes out of the tube with a childlike personality—almost confused, only mirroring back things that are said to her. I’m wondering how this ties into what V did with Ivy in the recent issue of The Swamp Thing where Levi encountered her in the Green—with two distinct personalities, the ruthless Queen Ivy and the innocent Ivy. It looks like this might be a bigger storyline than we thought. The addition of the new big bad of the Bat-line, Simon Saint, to this title is interesting, as is the reveal that he’s been behind many of the villains plaguing Alleytown. This is the first time in a while that we’ve seen Selina’s status quo directly affect the Bat-line, with her back in Gotham and clashing with some major villains. In only a few issues, Ram V has given her a more interesting supporting cast than we’ve seen in a long time, and this is another strong issue.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.