Secret masks, a civil war breaking out in a masked gang and an old boyfriend rearing his head. Just another day for Selina Kyle, but is it good?
Catwoman #52 (DC Comics)
I loved the last issue, but let’s let DC Comics officially catch you up:
As secrets about the Faceless mask and the history of the False Face Society come to light, Catwoman’s own past comes back to haunt her. And where the False Face Society is involved, Black Mask is never far behind—and with him, a dark secret regarding his connection to Selina’s past. And when it’s revealed, that secret will change Catwoman’s life forever!
Why does this book matter?
Frank Tieri has been writing one hell of a series so far. The last issue balanced flashbacks with the current events well to flesh out a new character. The Black Mask ended the issue with a real bang, which upped the ante and Catwoman has considerable buy in to move this mysterious mask story forward.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Tieri does it again folks! Once again we follow Catwoman in the current day, but flashback to find out more with her ex-boyfriend. He’s the White Mask now and this issue reveals how he went from lover/crook stealing and smooching with Catwoman to full time boss man. It’s incredibly refreshing to read a comic like this as it’s brisk and is more concerned with telling a gripping story than stretching things out endlessly like so many comics do these days. Those of you who didn’t read Catwoman #50 (that issue had a fun backstory just about this mask) will get a bit more info in regards to what the Faceless Mask is in this issue too.
There’s a standoff in this issue – I won’t reveal more than that to avoid spoilers – and it plays out not how you’d expect. Again, I give Tieri props for keeping Catwoman’s edge and pushing this story forward rather than spinning its wheels.
How awesome is this page?
The art by Inaki Miranda, Pop Mhan and Giuseppe Cafaro is solid in the issue too. I wish the credits page told you who drew what, but it’s obvious one of these artists did the flashbacks while the others worked on Catwoman in the now. The flashbacks aren’t quite as sharp as the now, but then they do take place in a dusty mansion for the most part. There’s some nice exposition delivered via a book that works well though and the facial expressions convey the arrogance and ego present in the scenes.
The events in the present day are flat out gorgeous with a blast of neon to make it feel modern. Colors are by Eva De La Cruz, Beth Sotelo and John Starr. Again, tell us what they drew! The final panel in this issue, with Catwoman’s motorcycle lights dragging in a blur is quite something. The best page in this issue is one of Catwoman busting through a window, her legs splayed as her sonic boots break the glass. It’s in your face and quite pretty. There’s also a clever layout of flashback near the end of Catwoman #52 as we learn how White Mask came to be; we see Black Mask on the left taking up half the page telling the tale and Catwoman on the right listening. Black Mask’s story reaffirms the fact that White Mask was – and probably still is – a bonafide douche.
It can’t be perfect can it?
What was the deal with the transition from the last issue to this issue? The last issue ended in a corn field and this issue opened with Catwoman in the city. I have to guess that she left the corn field and followed White Mask home, but it would have been nice to get some details on how we got here. It made me feel like I missed an issue and I reread the first page more than once to make sure I didn’t miss a transitional detail.
So she’s the jealous type?
Is It Good?
A great balance of flashbacks with current events propel this story ahead of the pack. Catwoman is great storytelling that doesn’t hold back. If you’re sick of slower moving plots in comics this is your cure.