With the big election coming up, DC decided to get in on the hype with a special election issue. It primarily features a Catwoman tale, but it also, surprisingly enough, brings back Prez for a finale. Let’s see what we get with this one. Is it good?
Catwoman: Election Night #1 (DC Comics)
Catwoman: Election Night
It’s time for the mayoral election in Gotham. It’s Donald Trump versus… I mean it’s Penguin versus Hillary Clint… I mean Constance Hill for the mayor’s seat. While this is happening, Catwoman is observing the situation. Then things happen, shady dealings are uncovered, and… other stuff happens.
To be honest, Catwoman: Election Night is not very good. The story itself kind of jumps all over from one place to the next, with very little segue or reason, and there’s barely any focus since the plot keeps changing into something else. Things just kind of happen with little lead up or explanation, making me wonder how we got to certain points at times. The comic barely feels like a Catwoman story outside of the loosest of connections (connections which were established just in this comic), with nothing really Catwoman-esque about the story. Also, for an election special, this comic barely focuses on the election going on at all in the story, mostly just having it as a plot point that sets the story into motion.
GET IT?! You get the satire yet?!
The writing is pretty lackluster here I found. The dialogue and narration isn’t particularly good, with awkward conversations and exchanges that don’t sound natural at all. The pacing and storytelling are weak, since the story is all over the place and barely takes time to build anything up. Characterization isn’t good either, with new characters having very little personality, and old characters just being very out of character. The political satire and commentary, however, is the weakest part of it all. It feels so forced and badly executed, lacking subtlety and almost yelling at you, “this person is a stand in for this person!” Penguin is used as a Donald Trump analogue, saying things Trump has said through the election (the wall part is particularly egregious), while Constance Hill represents Hillary, the person presented as good, but with a secret shady past. It’s so awkward how the story goes to equate all candidates are equally bad that no matter where you fall on the political belief spectrum, this story will just make you groan.
The artwork is handled by Shane Davis, and overall it’s perfectly fine. A bit typical in the superhero genre with its style, but it works more than it doesn’t. The layouts look decent and flow well from one to the other, the characters are drawn decently, and the minor bit of action looks nice. The only weak parts are that some of the facial expressions look off and one character has the wrong hair color (they’re blonde, not white). Other than that, I have no big complaints about the art.
President Beth is currently facing down two separate issues. The gun situation in the country has gotten completely out of control to point where people buy hats with guns in them that are activated by voice command. The other is women need easy access to birth control with it becoming so expensive in recent years. Shenanigans ensue.
I’m of two minds on this story. As a finale to Prez, this isn’t the strongest thing to go out on. While it hits relevant points going on right now, it doesn’t feel like a satisfying wrap-up to everything that has come before. Frankly, the story feels like it ends right at the climax and skips straight to the resolution on the final page, which makes things feel rather abrupt. The story should have been expanded on by several pages to make this stronger than it turned out if it was supposed to be the ending.
You can eat and shoot someone at the same time?! A person can enjoy two of America’s favorite pastimes at once with a hat-gun!
As a regular story within the Prez universe, it works perfectly fine. Lots of good social satire, commenting on issues that are currently going on and exaggerating things that actually happen in real life to even more comical view (the whole conference on Women’s Health Issues feels very familiar). The humor is fast paced and funny as heck, even though the issues aren’t exactly that. Beth’s character is on point, just like she was in her previous series. Again, the only problem is that the conclusion is way too short and needed some more time to fully develop.
Ben Caldwell is back to provide artwork for the finale and while his work is pretty good, it doesn’t feel as strong as before. Some characters don’t look like they used to in previous series, like Randy. There are weird bits of decompression in what is already a very short story, backgrounds can be empty and just white, and some expressions just don’t convey the right emotion. It’s a shame since the rest of the art is good. Characters look decent, layouts are great, the comedic timing is excellent in how things are presented, and more. It just looked like the work needed some more polish here and there.
Is It Good?
Catwoman: Election Night is not very good. While it has a strong story involving Prez, the main event is not very good and takes up the majority of the pages in this comic. The writing is bad, characterization is questionable, the story is poorly told, and the political commentary is terrible here. As much as I enjoyed the Prez portion, I struggle to really recommend this comic, especially at a $5 price point.