Catwoman #1 feature

Catwoman #1 Comic Review

Catwoman #1 coverPreviously:  The wedding night is barely over, but Catwoman’s back on the streets, this time to expose a copycat who’s pulling heists and murdering cops around Gotham City.  As Selina cracks the whip on her former criminal cohorts, she’s attracting unwanted and unwarranted attention from one of Gotham’s most dangerous groups – the GCPD.  And as if the Bat-Bride didn’t have enough problems, don’t miss the debut of an all new villain determined to make trouble for all nine of Selina’s lives. . .

So, the fun starts again. . . and Catwoman is back at last.  I am so pleased that Catwoman is back in her own title, DC just can’t put her down.  Also, the fact Joelle Jones is writing and drawing this book is brilliant as she has such an amazing eye for drawing the beautiful Selina Kyle, combined with superb action sequences.  Jones literally doesn’t waste one panel.  The artwork is superb, and a comic book is a visual media – so it’s just as important as the storyline, and probably sells the book more.

The book starts not much longer after Selina ditches Bruce at the alter; because she doesn’t want to be selfish and put her love before Batman’s fight on crime, showing us again that even though Selina might steal the odd thing – she’s more a hero than anti-hero, who puts others before herself.

We find Selina in Mexico in the casino’s, while someone dressed in her costume is shooting at cops in Gotham, this is all intercut with the governor and his new wife being interviewed.  Jones foreshadows the plot by unveiling that the hideous governor’s wife is behind the copycat Catwoman.  Then Selina nearly gets picked up by the cops, as they think she’s the villain – but she makes a superbly drawn get away, using her flips and acrobatics to full advantage.  It’s superb.  She then arrives at her new home-base, a storage unit.  Not Selina’s usual luxury digs, but it’s a part time thing.  Then she receives a package in the post from Alfred, returning her costume etc. which causes her to break down sobbing in a heart wrenching scene, before going into the night (in her new costume) to kick her doppelganger’s ass, leading to a shocking revelation.

So, to the narrative etc.  There are some very interesting elements brought to light in the book.  One of the most intriguing is that Selina has “static” moments in her memory, which she can’t remember.  Obviously, this is going to come into play somewhere later in the run.  She’s obviously still not over Bruce, which although isn’t in the book much – punches you right in the gut with just a few panels.

The artwork is stunning, beautiful.  Jones’ uses a lot of heavy blacks and shadowing to accentuate her artwork; which is great given Catwoman’s black costume.  It outlines everything and gives a pop out affect.

The reveal of Mrs Governor Creel’s real face is utterly hideous and disturbing, (I hate to say it, but it makes me think of Michael Jackson) both narratively and especially visually.  It’s done brilliantly.  I’ve always felt that Catwoman needed stronger villains, sure she had Black Mask and Cyber-cat (back in the 90’s) but she really needs someone as strong as her to play off.

The story gives us just a taste of what’s to come, regarding Selina’s emotional state and the events that will force her out of her self-imposed exile after the wedding.  The story seems to jump back in to where we left Selina in the new 52 really, it certainly doesn’t hark back to her mob boss era that was last seen.  It’s all the better for it; Selina belongs in her catsuit, fighting and thieving.

I love her new costume, she doesn’t have the big goggles (which I could never quite take to) and better still she has her cowl connected to her suit – making it a catsuit, but also it means no gigantic cleavage being shown constantly.  I love the Basque, and you can tell that Jones is a huge ‘Batman Returns’ fan as the costume brings sexy back without slutty.  I’m not one hundred per cent sold on the cut out’s, but she would need them if she was fighting in the heat, and it makes her look like a black and white cat.

Sum it up

I’m so excited to see Selina back in her own well-deserved title, I love her new costume.  The artwork is amazing, and the narrative sets the tone for what’s to come, which looks really exciting.  I mean the artwork alone should sell this book, it’s beautifully rendered.  Catwoman #1 features a new start for our heroine, along with a bag load of emotional pain which never forgets Selina Kyle.  The colouring is superb and compliments Jones art.  This is, if anything, showing that Selina is more than T&A – she’s a complex and amazing character, with a history as long as the Bat’s, plus the fantastic female team is leading her in a more feminist direction just by losing the cleavage and huge boobs.  I give this book top marks and can’t wait to see where it goes – especially with that hideous villain. . .

About Steven Murray

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