It’s a brand new year with plenty of new opportunities. However, what isn’t new is that Catwoman is still being written by Ann Nocenti and that’s just… well, we won’t go there just now; we’re talking about new opportunities right? I’m willing to give Catwoman a chance and see if it can improve, especially now that it has been sucked into another event, Gothtopia. Is it good?
Catwoman #27 (DC Comics)
Gotham City has never been better. Crime is at an all-time low and things are looking up all around, except for the increase in suicides. Batman and his partner, Catbird, patrol the city together until Batman loses his mind. Catbird is at a loss. Why is this happening and why does everything not feel right?
Ugh, this dialogue…
Okay… let’s start from the top. Yes, this was bad and let’s face it: that’s not much of a surprise. The dialogue is awful (not nearly as bad as usual but still rife with cringe-inducers) with people not talking like normal individuals and people’s emotions radically changing at the drop of a hat. Also not helping is how the story flows (or doesn’t flow); there are points where it randomly cuts from scene to scene with no transition and it honestly feels like there are pages missing because of that abruptness. A good example is the transition between Catbird talking on the phone and then suddenly dropping Batman off at the looney bin. I think there is a grain of potential with this if the issue was merely focusing on the two being partners and fighting crime (the best part of the whole story was the two taking down the thieves at the start), but it was wasted.
However, where this comic really gets problematic is towards the middle when Catbird is dreaming and the real Catwoman is trying to break through to her. The problem is that this entire dream sequence is pretty awful in terms of Catwoman trying to persuade herself to return to her old ways of being a thief because it’s better. However, having read the series up until now, there has been little indication that her old life was better and why it would convince her to even consider turning back to the “dark” side in the first place. In fact, the way the real version presents herself is as a completely unlikeable, self-serving jackass (like saying how it was great to rob houses during Christmas). I mean, this really paints a bad image of the character we are supposed to like and it ultimately fails to show why the character would want to go back to her old life (not to mention the awful dialogue and bad characterization).
Just listen to me! Doesn’t your old life sound sooo much better?
The artwork is handled this time around by Patrick Olliffe and Cliff Richards (He does about two pages for a flashback within a dream sequence) and they’re fine overall. Olliffe’s people look solid for the most part, though there are some odd faces and facial expressions from time to time. The scenery and backgrounds look nice, and some of the action looked decent. While I didn’t think the dream sequence was written well, the art had some clever moments: for instance, I thought the straw bursting out of Catbird and the crows in the imagery was a nice way to symbolize how the world really is just an illusion created by Scarecrow and when the real identity tries to break through, the straw bursts and breaking from the characters as if the fake reality is crumbling as well.
Is It Good?
Catwoman #27 is pretty bad with its subpar dialogue, poor structure, bad characterization, and terrible dream sequence. It’s certainly not the worst issue of the series and the artwork wasn’t too bad, but honestly, there is no point in buying this. If you want a decent tie-in to Gothapia, go get Batwing.