Catwoman #33 – Ram V, Writer; Fernando Blanco, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: While the main Magistrate plotline has been playing out in Batman, I don’t know if its impact is seen as clearly anywhere else as it is in this book. With Alleytown under siege, Mayor Nanako and his private contractors have essentially locked the neighborhood down in search of Catwoman and her allies—even cutting off internet to the people and brutalizing protesters. Catwoman is on the run and is barely able to get back to her base, where unlikely allies about. Tech genius Riddler seems to have briefly turned over a new leaf, helping to restore back-door internet to the area. More surprisingly, Selina’s mysterious ally turns out to be a deep-cover Basil Karlo, still fighting the good fight since his time working with Batman when he was presumed dead, and he’s brought together a team of reformed and not-so-reformed villains including Killer Croc, Firefly, Cheshire, and Knockout.
This is a great group, although there are a lot of unanswered questions—most significantly, what does Cheshire know about Shoes and is this why she’s here? It’s good to see Croc once again on the side of the angels after his stint with his own team in Gotham City Monsters. But things get deadly serious once the mysterious Father Valley shows up. As Detective Hadley figures out how much danger Alleytown is in and races to protect Selina, she finds herself in a one-on-one fight for survival against the knife wielding madman. V and Blanco know how to create a great fight scene, and the battle for Alleytown is one of the best set-pieces of the run. Nanako does seem a little more one-note than he usually is, with none of his sympathetic characteristics, but this is one of the best issues of the run—with a cliffhanger that will make fans of a certain pairing very happy as we rocket towards Fear State.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.