Batman/Catwoman #5 – Tom King, Writer; Clay Mann, Artist; Tomeu Morey, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: This title somehow delivers both more and less than it was promised. Hyped as a time-hopping suspense thriller that introduced the Phantasm into the DCU, it delivers on that front—but only rarely. The present-day story featuring Phantasm continues this issue, as Selina and Andrea declare a temporary truce and Andrea pulls Selina into her twisted world—even convincing her to watch while she kills one of Joker’s trussed-up former accomplices. It’s a nice, creepy segment that shows that Andrea may be further gone than we thought—and that Selina has a good deal left of her darker instincts—but it does feel surprisingly brief for the story that was hyped the most.
The good news is, the other segments are just as compelling. The flashback segment takes place right after Batman and Catwoman seemingly broke up over her refusing to give him information on where to find the Joker. She promptly gets drunk, beats up a bartender, tries to steal a precious cheetah-themed jewel from the museum, and crashes through a skylight onto a precious dinosaur skeleton instead. This is the lightest story, more of an odd stream-of-consciousness tale as Selina drinks away her sorrows and Bruce… well, Bruce can never quite walk away.
Then there’s the future segment, as Selina gets a house call from the doctor—aka Harley Quinn, who just found out that Joker’s been killed. I was predisposed to like this story, as Harley should be well over Joker by now. But that’s kind of the point of this segment—Harley is complicated, and her anger against Selina isn’t due to her taking Joker away from her. It’s because Selina ended that story for her before Harley was able to decide how she wanted it to end. A lot of takes these days on Harley are a lot lighter and have her in a better place, but those kinds of demons never quite go away, and this segment did a great job of driving that home while also delivering the best fight scene so far in this series.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.