We find Selina a little lost in this issue, and Joélle Jones seems a little lost too (as far as the story is concerned) – the pace is just very slow, especially considering our strong start in Catwoman issue #1.
What Miss Jones does do beautifully is draw, she also brings what a character is thinking and feeling off the page, which is exactly what you want from a comic book artist.
The book starts with Selina facing off a roomful of Catwoman imposters. It’s nothing I haven’t seen before in a Catwoman comic (I believe Talent did something along these lines) however, after a brutal fight, Selina pins one of the girls down (looking very ‘Batman Returns’ mistletoe moment) and asks her some questions. Turns out the girl’s don’t know why they’re there. They’re mostly actresses. Hired by the Governors wife, Raina Creel.
We start to see the villainy take place in this issue with Raina Creel in charge, hiring muscle to do her dirty work – though she isn’t apposed to doing so herself. This leaves Selina to judge if she should go after the woman who set her up.
So much of this issue is told throughout the artwork, which may seem (duh! Obvious) but not that many people look for the depth in a super-hero comic book. Well, if you’re reading Joélle Jones work, you better start seeing the depth in every scene. Because her artwork is truly stunning. It’s an example of when an artists work completely enhances the storyline. Her art delivers a complex, unspoken story through body language, facial expressions, lifestyle, clothing, etc. A few people have discussed these panels, because they have no dialogue whatsoever, but probably say more than any little box of words could. It’s that whole thing of a picture saying a thousand words.
It tells us it’s 11AM, but we know that although Selina is trying to sleep, that she’s been suffering from insomnia since her she left Bruce. The chaos in her room, which is actually just a storage shed, is a complete mess around her. This and her obvious heartache combine to tell us that Selina is obviously dealing with depression; the tussled sheets, the piles of loot. The cat is the first thing we see in frame though, beautiful and calmly looking out a window. This could be telling us that she’s at odds with even her pets.
This second image tells us just as much, thinking of Bruce, Selina wonders if she did the right thing? The heroic thing, as she told herself. The ring box is open though, and that tells us that this romance isn’t over yet. As if we didn’t know. Tom King is only halfway through his Batman saga, and even though they didn’t marry in issue #50 – who is to say they won’t marry sometime in the future. The box being open and the ring on display hints to this. Plus, the strong use of black surrounding Selina insinuates depression or something closing in. The crossed leg, head on hands body language all goes with this melancholy scene. As she’s not holding or wearing the marriage ring, it’s just on show to her, and almost out of reach.
There’s a great conversation between Selina and Carlos, which really shows how the characterisation in this book is perfect. The pose of both characters in the different panels is great at telling us a story without the dialogue, although I really like Joélle’s dialogue, and feel that it enhances the imagery.
Even though this issue isn’t action packed, it deals with most of the action at the start, the rest of the book is left to really tell us who Selina is and what she’s thinking. I think the next issue is going to start picking up the pace and putting the past in the past. I really liked this book and would for sure pick it up. The artwork is again superb, and for those of us still crying over the Bat/Cat marriage it haunts us still, by haunting our leading lad.
Writer: Joelle Jones
Artists: Joelle Jones
Colourists: Laura Allred