Catwoman #50 – Tini Howard, Writer; Nico Leon, Inaki Miranda, Juan Ferreyra, Artists; Veronica Gandini, Lee Loughridge, Colorists
Ray – 8/10
Ray: The big anniversary issue of Tini Howard’s Catwoman sends the story into a new era, as every major subplot in the run collides in one epic showdown. Last issue saw Selina return to Gotham to rescue her friend Dario from his own twisted mob family, only to bring herself and her lover Valmont into the orbit of Batman. At the same time, Howard is bringing her other book into the narrative here, as Punchline and her minions take over as the new main villain of the series. We already saw them nearly murder Selina’s ex Eiko Hasigawa—or at least, we would have if we read Punchline: The Gotham Game. This issue does a decent job of catching everyone up on what came before—and what ensues is pure chaos.
With Eiko incapacitated, Batman reluctantly joins Selina’s team to help her take the fight to Punchline. He also finally clears up some of Valmont’s mysteries—because of course he knows who he is. That interaction doesn’t do much to clear up the odd similarities between Ghost-Maker and Valmont, though. Things escalate to a bloody climax that removes one major player from the book permanently, and leaves Selina in an uncomfortable new situation—prison. It would be a surprisingly grim issue, if not for the very welcome return of Selina’s old sidekick Shoes and a step into a new role for Dario. Both of them add some fun energy to the title that’s been sorely missing until now.
After the full-length main story, we get two bonus stories also by Howard with guest art by Inaki Miranda and Juan Ferreyra. The latter focuses on Dario and Eiko, as they start making plans for who will step into the Catwoman role now that Selina is locked up. And in the second story, we see how Selina is coping in prison as she gets a surprising visit from Batman. This issue packs a lot more plot development into it than most anniversary issues do, and it does feel like a fresh beginning for the title—one with major status quo changes.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.