Catwoman is one of those characters who, when given a series of her own, becomes a badass loner who can steal and kick butt like the best of them. It’s the best way to enjoy Catwoman. DC Comics released their eighth volume this week and we delve into her singular adventure. Is it good?
Catwoman Vol. 8: Run Like Hell (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? The DC summary reads:
In these tales from issues #47-52, Catwoman must leave the mob in Gotham City and head for New York, where she finds herself on the run for a murder she didn’t commit.
Why does this book matter?
Writer Frank Tieri has a pretty unique setup in this volume due to it taking place in NYC. She’s far removed from the Batman and his rogues gallery which makes her actions feel more dangerous. That isn’t to say the rogues don’t pop up, because many of them do, which ties into a big conspiracy that connects to yet another big time villain. On top of that, this volume contains an additional story arc that reveals the faceless mask and ties to a woman Selina used to love. We’ve already reviewed the end of this arc in the single issue format and downright loved it.
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
It’s a frame job Selina. The rest is Chinatown.
Don’t let the official summary fool you, this is a very complex and winding story from beginning to end that contains nearly everything you could ever want out of a Catwoman story. Tieri opens with an impossible diamond to steal, brings in a crooked cop to frame Catwoman, has her tussle with a few Batman villains, and then caps everything off with character building backstory. With so much going on, and so many surprises, Tieri makes this very much worth the price of admission.
You can divide this trade into two stories, the first being Catwoman stealing an item that’s not what it actually appears. This leads her down a long road of fighting and running from the police. Tieri does a good job getting villains like Killer Croc and even Batgirl into the mix all the while delivering interesting captions detailing Catwoman’s thoughts on the characters. He’s clearly building up the dynamic between them. For instance, Catwoman seems to have a strong rapport with Croc and a lot of respect for Batgirl. This mystery ends with an amazing twist you will not see coming.
The second story arc delivers a lot of new and interesting material including a mask that always brings doom wherever it goes. This mask is of course something Selina wants to steal, but it leads her to discover more things about herself and her past than she would ever want to admit. Tieri effectively infuses character work into this arc as well and you’ll feel like you know Selina just a bit better after it. Plus, the mask’s story is quite interesting, going back to Gotham when it was just a slab of land with Native Americans living on it.
Much of the book is drawn by Inaki Miranda and it has a unique feel that’s one part detailed realism and two parts pop art. Though much of the book is colored with blacks and darker tones–she is running around in black at night after all–when a kick of color splashes in you’ll note the pop art vibes. Miranda’s work has 70’s vibes and that suits the spy like atmosphere of this book.
It can’t be perfect can it?
Since I came into this volume having not read the previous ones I was a bit unsure what Selina’s relationship with Louis is. He appears to be giving her jobs, has a family, and clearly Selina cares about him. That said, it was hard to feel much when a major attack on Louis occurs.
It’s also unfortunate how quickly the NYC setting is abandoned. It’s a cool concept, but is quickly abandoned as her detective work takes her to Gotham. The threat of the police arresting her after framing her goes away because of this, and also makes the impact of her getting her name cleared of any wrongdoing rather unexciting too.
It’s a party up in here!
Is It Good?
Run Like Hell is a lot of fun with twists and turns that will keep you on the edge of your seat. Frank Tieri inserts everything you’d ever want in a Catwoman story too, including good character work.