After last month’s issue with Sholly Fisch we are back to Ann Nocenti on writing duties with Catwoman as she begins a brand new arc. I’ll hold my tongue on that decision. Let’s get this over with and find out: Is it good?
Catwoman #30 (DC Comics)
Selina Kyle has given up her Catwoman identity after everything it has cost her and wants to move on. However, she may want out, but the old life still wants her in when she gets a message from supervillain Roulette. She has challenge called the Race of Thieves to see if anyone can prove he or she is the better thief. The thing is though, she is holding kids hostage (I have no idea why) and offers up the chance for people to compete to save them. Again, I don’t get it. Anyways, Selina is going to have to get back into our Catwoman identity one more time…
Thank you comic, this was so necessary.
Now here is the thing about the comic that shocked me the most: the idea behind Nocenti’s new story wasn’t that bad. A contest/challenge to prove who the greatest thief is with tons of villains in the mix? That could make for a fun Catwoman story depending on the writer. The writing and dialogue wasn’t even that bad in certain parts of the comic either. I was almost hoping this would be a good sign for the story. Would Nocenti be able to turn the corner?
Alas, the comic is still very poorly written. The dialogue is extremely clunky and unnatural in areas; the final page sounded like Selina was reading the tagline for the next issue or the narration in her own apartment. The characterization and motivation is also questionable. Selina at the beginning of the issue burns her costume and says no more to her Catwoman identity and seems to maintain that for the beginning. However, the moment Roulette says she is the greatest thief ever, Selina gets angry and says she is the best thief. Why is she taking it personally if she is trying to move past it? Also, the poor characterization even extends to other characters, like Mirror Master and Golden Glider who pop up in the issue during the thief meeting (where are the rest of the Rogues?!).
Shouldn’t you people do some actual work or something instead of hovering around her cubicle?
There’s also the poor plotting, with Nocenti tossing everything at the reader with poor transitions and random cuts. It really makes for an odd reading. There’s also questionable science (well more questionable science than a usual comic book) and a rather flat ending. However, the most interesting thing that stood out for me regarding this issue was that comic was bringing back a lot of elements, characters, and storylines from throughout Nocenti’s run. Could Nocenti be wrapping everything up and bringing closure to her run? And would this mean her time on the book is at an end?
Now finally we have the artwork by Pat Olliffe and… it’s a big step down from the artist’s previous work on the book. Odd layouts, poor or creepy looking facial expressions (see image above), bad action and motion (in one panel when she tries to jump from rooftop to rooftop, the artwork makes it look like she’s going to miss and fall to her death), odd inconsistencies like sometimes she has makeup on and then she doesn’t, and other things. Some areas it looks alright, but a lot of the time it doesn’t.
It looks like there is something going on with her hip in that big panel.
Is It Good?
Catwoman #30 had some promise with the premise of the arc, but it ultimately still fails to deliver. The writing is still awful from the plotting to the dialogue, bad characterization all around for the cast, and now with bad and ugly artwork. The only good thing that can be said that it appears that the comic is approaching its end and soon, we may not have to deal with this anymore. Hopefully, that’s the case.