When it came time to talk of creative team changes and title shake-ups, Batgirl got the most buzz and chatter going.
However, that’s not what had me most excited. No, my eyes were on Catwoman. After a lengthy run with Ann Nocenti, I was overjoyed when I heard a new team was taking over: writer Genevieve Valentine and Garry Brown, who drew Iron Patriot. What can these two bring to the table? Can they revive Catwoman? More importantly, is it good?
Catwoman #35 (DC Comics)
Selina Kyle, now known as Selina Calabrese, is taking control of the Gotham Crime Families thanks to her family name and some crafty decisions. If Gotham is ever going to recover from recent incidents and slew of problems it’ll need a powerful person who can make things happen. At least, that’s what Selina believes. However, like any person rising to the top, she’s going to encounter some problems along the way.
I think they’ll be unconscious before they tell you anything.
If you read Nocenti’s Catwoman run for as long as I had and decide to read this book, you might feel some strangely familiar feelings stir deep within you. You know what those are? They’re called joy. Happiness. Pure bliss. My god, this is what we Catwoman fans have been missing for a long time now; a really well-written, engaging experience with a well characterized portrayal of Selina. All it took was a new creative team and for Selina to… not be Catwoman.
If you have only been reading Catwoman and not Batman Eternal, you may be surprised by this sudden career change for Catwoman and wondering what exactly is happening. The first issue doesn’t dive too much into what prompted Selina’s change (so Catwoman fans who haven’t been paying attention may be confused), but it does explain why she is doing what she is doing. The book does a great job at laying down the groundwork for where Selina currently is in her life, the new and old characters, and the challenges and obstacles that’ll be put in her way. The characterization for her is again, great, portraying her as a very strong willed and intelligent individual — but one slightly worried on the inside about the world she’s in. It’s good stuff.
Let’s loudly talk to ourselves about what we are going to be doing.
The writing by Genevieve Valentine is excellent and that makes me really happy. The pacing is good, the story structure and flow is solid, and the dialogue is very engaging and coupled with well-written narration. Besides Catwoman however, there isn’t a whole lot of characterization or development for the supporting cast or villains. The final pages are rather exciting, ending on a well-crafted, intriguing cliffhanger. It’s been a long time since I wanted to know what happens next in the book.
The artwork by Garry Brown is something I was worried about going into the comic. While Brown isn’t that bad of an artist, he has his issues with drawing people. To an extent, that issue is present in Catwoman #35, with some odd looking facial expressions and minimalistic detail the farther the comic pans out. However, I think this is the best work he has ever drawn. The layouts and double page spreads are excellent, the bits of action are nicely drawn and flow well, his characters look appealing and some of the angles used in the book are excellent. Plus, the coloring by Lee Loughbridge is also excellent and helps set the tone of the book so well. Like the writing, it’s refreshing to have such a nice looking book again.
Is It Good?
Catwoman #35 is a little miracle. The new creative team gives this book just what it needed: an intriguing story, a well-written main characters, solid writing, and fantastic looking artwork. It’s been a long time since I’ve been so excited and happy to read Catwoman, and I hope that this joy and the quality of the book will continue in future issues. Highly recommended, especially if you are a fan of the character and of Batman Eternal.