Review: Catwoman #35

Catwoman-035-(2014)-(Digital)-(Nahga-Empire)-001CATWOMAN #35

Written by GENEVIEVE VALENTINE
Art by GARRY BROWN
Cover by JAE LEE
MONSTERS Variant cover by JOSHUA MIDDLETON
On sale OCTOBER 22 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+

Meet Selina Kyle – Crime Boss of Gotham City! Spinning out of events in BATMAN ETERNAL Selina has accepted the family mantle and embraced her true criminal side, but is Gotham City ready for her reign? And with the Cat away, who’s the stranger haunting the empty rooftops of the city? Don’t miss the start of a bold new direction for Selina Kyle by the new creative team of novelist Genevieve Valentine and Garry Brown (Five Ghosts, Iron Patriot).

Catwoman-035-clip

REVIEW:

I’m going to deviate from my normal pattern of reviewing and discuss the art first. The linework by Garry Brown is very nice, and this comic would have totally worked with only greytones, but this is DC, so they are going to use color, and for the most part, the color doesn’t get in the way, but then Lee Loughridge breaks out this blue that’s almost entirely cyan, and it burns on the page. It distracts from the lettering, which is a sin as far as I’m concerned in terms of coloring, getting in the way of the story. For the most part, he does a fine job, especially on the last few pages, but when Selina is face to face with Batman, I feel like I shouldn’t be distracted by the color of the background.

This doesn’t seem like a Catwoman comic. When I started reading it, I thought that was a bad thing, but I might have been wrong. The story does acknowledge that this role as a crime boss doesn’t suit Selina Kyle, so at that point I was in. That’s a serious point, because usually a Batman cameo leaves me feeling like I’ve been sold too by someone that’s very bad at it, like that young girl working in the store that tells you, “That looks so good on you, you should totally buy it.”

Here, it worked. It’s probably because Batman was used adequately and sparingly. By the end of the story, I’m not thinking so much that Genevieve wanted to write a specific story and shoehorned Catwoman into it so much as this is another case of where she’s found herself in a position that she knows she’s not suited for, but is determined to live up to it. It’s the same feeling that I had reading the Catwoman issues after “One Year Later” where she gave up being Catwoman to raise a child.

Ultimately, that’s what this story is about, and why it can be so relatable. This isn’t a story about a woman running a crime family. This isn’t even a story about Catwoman. It’s all about someone who pauses to look around and finds themselves in a position in their life that they’d never thought that they’d be in, but are going with it, because that’s where they are. It’s about those points in our lives where we honestly can’t believe we’re here and wonder how we got here. That’s what this story is about, not about Selina Kyle trying to run Gotham City’s crime families, but about something far more personal, and that is something that I can actually get behind.