THIS WEEK: Ram V continues to build out a purrific new status quo for Selina Kyle in Catwoman #27.
Note: the review below contains spoilers. If you want a quick, spoiler-free buy/pass recommendation on the comics in question, check out the bottom of the article for our final verdicts.
Writer: Ram V
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Colorist: FCO Plascencia
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Cover: Jenny Frison
Before I get into the meat of what Ram V is doing in his run on the title, I want to talk about how absolutely stunning Jenny Frison’s variant cover is for this issue. The Jöelle Jones cover is fine, but the Frison cover is just something else entirely. Frison is consistently one of the best cover artists in the business, but this cover is probably one of her absolute best. I found myself just staring at it for a long while before digging into the book.
The book itself has taken a decidedly noir turn since Ram V came onto the book in issue #25. Blanco’s art in the issue is very reminiscent of Michael Lark on Gotham Central, and that provides the perfect tone for this more street-level take on Catwoman.
Ram V has spent his first three issues building up both a setting for Selina to operate out of and a supporting cast for her to interact with. None of this hinges at all on Batman’s existing settings or support characters, which makes the feat more impressive and also more effective. It provides Selina with her own realm to operate in that doesn’t need a constant presence by other famous Gotham residents to work. The rivals that V has set up are fantastic for her, and I already deeply love the kids that she’s training.
The central plot of Catwoman #27 centers on a heist, and it’s a fantastically set-up crime. If this is the kind of action V has in mind for the series, I foresee an immensely enjoyable run. The pacing and set-up of the heist felt like something taken right out of a premiere heist movie, and the action itself was a perfect fit for the speed of the story.
The most intriguing of the new status quo, though, are the adversaries that Selina is pit against. You have Hadley and Rigs on the GCPD, who are skirting the line between allies and enemies, but still have their eye on putting Selina away. You have Vilos Nahigan and the Khadym mob, whom she’s openly declared war on, and has thoroughly already wrecked their crap. Then there’s Pit Rollins, who is my absolute favorite of the bunch, and it looks like Selina’s trying for an uneasy truce with her (and maybe something more if you read body language in some of these panels).
With the fuzz, Selina is both two steps ahead of them and simultaneously helping them out. While she’s still breaking the law, she is doing so in a way that helps them, so it will be fun to see how much leash they give her.
With the Khadym mob, its just war. She doesn’t want them on her streets, and she’s taking every tool out of her box to get them away from her territory. She’s beating them at their own game, and it’s leaving a bloody smear down the block. I’m sure the retalliation will be intense, but for now she’s kicking them into next week.
Last, her budding relationship with Pit Rollins seems to have hit a snag, because as she tries to build the relationship up, Pit’s having none of it. It’s only by the grace of Father Valley that Pit’s hitman doesn’t get the job done and take Selina out.
All in all, Ram V has done an amazing job building an entirely new beginning for Catwoman in just three issues, and Catwoman #27 may be the best one yet.
- Man, it is so nice to have Nightwing feel like Nightwing again. The quips, the acrobatics, the beautiful Ronan Cliquet art. This issue had it all.
- On the other hand, Rorschach #2 can shuffle off into the pit of obscurity where the “Before Watchmen” series live. The book continues to be wildly offensive to Steve Ditko and Tom King should be ashamed of himself.
- Aquaman#65 was a fitting end to Kelly Sue DeConnick’s tenure on the book, and having Arthur and Mera be married again is a very nice feeling.
- Dark Knights: Death Metal has gone from fun nonsense to incomprehensible nonsense. It feels bloated and unnecessary, and I’m no longer even really excited for where it goes.
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