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Road Home one-shots have been disappointing. The art is not that great and the story often fails to move forward. Catwoman fails to move the story forward more than a step or two and the art is by no means spectacular. It is better than the usual Batman one-shot however.
Catwoman has been assigned to follow Vicki Vale to Club V, a traveling auction composed of criminals. Vale is continuing on her journey while Catwoman finally meets the Insider – will sparks fly? Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy also make an appearance, making the comic feel similar to an issue of Gotham City Sirens. Good news for fans of the serious sometimes promising issues.
The writer, Derek Fridolfs, is trying to make a story out of nothing here. Like I mentioned before, Vicki Vale’s story is not really furthered. She goes to meet a contact that never shows, taking one step forward and two steps back. It is a self-contained adventure with a beginning and end that seem to make a heart-warming love story… unfortunately the moments are so fleeting they do not make too much of an impact. The addition of Harley Quinn did make the story more fun, adding her bravado that has been missing from the previous issues of Sirens. Derek definitely has a better handle on her than they do.
Peter Nguyen’s art on the first page made me cringe. The pencils were too sharp and the eyes were completely dark. Throughout the comic Ryan Winn’s pencils are still sharp, but the artwork improves slightly. Backgrounds are often neglected and people’s eyes are often closed, making them look like something out of an anime rather than a DC comic.
My favorite piece of artwork and by far the best was the way Poison Ivy was drawn. It is mostly thanks to the colors, which really make Ivy stick out as opposed to the bland atmosphere. Towards the end of the comic when Catwoman is talking to Insider the artists seem to suddenly pay more attention to her and the artwork of her is much better than it is throughout the rest of the comic. The colors really pop on the last page especially in all our femme fatales, so why couldn’t they have made the rest of the comic look like this? And do not misunderstand me, the art and colors toward the end are good but they are nowhere near the level fans want them to be – get Frazier Irving from Batman and Robin and we would have a masterpiece of art. Nguyen just can not cut it.
I hope the anticipated and final one-shot of Bruce Wayne – Road Home: Ra’s Al Ghul (still continuing with the ‘spiffy’ titles) is good. The rest of the one-shots sure have not been up to snuff, and this one barely makes me saying it’s good with it’s non-existent story and mostly poor artwork. The colors and some small gems redeem it a bit, and if you like Catwoman or just the Gotham City Sirens in general, you may be surprised that you’ll enjoy this issue.