Catwoman #35 – Ram V, Writer; Nina Vakueva, Artist; Jordie Bellaire, Colorist
Ray – 9/10
Ray: Most event tie-ins set their series back a step, as all the ongoing plotlines are forced to make way for a larger story. But Ram V seems to have planned well for the coming of Fear State, as this first tie-in issue goes off like a finely coiled spring. The series has been building the tension for a while, with the Magistrate’s regime taking over Alleytown. Selina is at her lowest moment when the series begins. Detective Hadley has been killed, her sister Maggie has chosen to leave Gotham for her own safety, her team is in danger, and the neighborhood is burning. The only bright spot, surprisingly, comes from Gotham’s villains. Clayface is leading a motley crew of redeemed rogues including Killer Croc, Firefly, Cheshire, and Knockout, and is holding the line as Selina scrambles. I would read a spin-off story solely about this team, and I’m glad more Gotham villains are exploring the other side of the fence.
Then the message declaring Batman dead comes in from “Oracle” and things go from bad to worse. Naturally, Selina reacts emotionally and goes running, heading straight to Gotham—and into danger. One of the interesting things about the way the Magistrate is presented is just how inevitable it feels. As soon as a hero shows up, they’re massively outnumbered and every time one goon or robot gets taken down, another is there to take their place. Selina alone with only a whip against twenty Magistrate bots may feel a little unrealistic, but damn if it’s not satisfying to watch. The many players, including Riddler and Penguin, all seeking to get their hands on the non-Queen side of Ivy are getting ready to make their moves, and it’s an unlikely savior who manages to pull Selina away from self-destruction. A lot of fascinating stuff in this book, and the title has picked up a lot of momentum since Ram V took over.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.