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This issue of Catwoman is both irritating and thrilling, but far exceeds expectations. After a mediocre first issue the story picks up it’s pace, there are greater action scenes and there is a great interpretation of Selina Kyle that is very cat-like, but Selina’s relationship with Batman and some other characterization will make some fans cringe in disgust. However, that can not overshadow how enjoyable this issue was.
After a steamy night with Batman, Catwoman begins her emotionally prompted vendetta against two mob clans with the help of an ugly old painting.
The comic opens with it’s weakest point: the ‘sexy’ romp between Catwoman and Batman. The previous chemistry between the two never fully shown is obvious here with Selina mentioning she has had sex with Batman before and Batman makes a poor attempt at pillow talk. This is not what I want to see, and not how I want the characters to act, but it does feel like a realistic portrayal of the characters from Judd Winick in the opening, just not a very entertaining portrayal. When Selina leaves Batman’s company and starts her plan to turn the two mob groups against each other in order to fulfill her vengeance the fun begins.
Right after the realistic but uninspiring opening conversation between Batman and Catwoman, we are treated to a quick conversation between Catwoman and her new roommate and old showgirl friend Lola. It does not seem to have much significance on the plot, but does have two elements that make it important nonetheless: it further establishes the relationship between Selina and Lola (and get your minds out of the gutter, I don’t mean that kind of relationship) and Selina is shown with her cat-like qualities. Winick’s portrayal of Catwoman’s character involves many subtle qualities, and in this case Selina carries out her entire conversation with Lola while curled up in a ball, a very cat-like position. This characterization using body language is very unique in comics and people willing to pay close enough attention will enjoy it.
Not only does Catwoman’s body language do a lot for the reader, but she also manages to be sexy without going too overboard – excluding the first couple of pages between her and Batman. She also has quite a dark streak in this issue when her emotions run wild. Her strategy when dealing with the Russian mobs is devious and thrilling to watch play-out. All the violence in Catwoman, especially the ending scene, was surprisingly gruesome and for gore hounds like me a very enjoyable surprise. The twist of the story involving some of these gruesome elements was also not only another huge surprise but highly enjoyable with real emotion behind it.
The only other problem Catwoman #2 suffers from other than the realistic romantic angle between Catwoman and Batman, is how Bruce momentarily steals the spotlight from Selina with some help from his butler Alfred. The two share a very comedic moment together that takes the spotlight off the lead, and many violent scenes shortly follow. These scenes came immediately afterwards and the tone drastically changes and felt jarring. Bruce Wayne’s caricature of a spoiled rich boy is also somewhat irritating, and it is surprising that Selina really seems interested in him and does not want to punch him out which is what I felt like doing by the end of the issue.
Otherwise, there are no other complaints with this issue. The art by Guillem March was even better than the first with Selina sexy as ever and characters facial expressions really going above and beyond to convey realistic expression that were entertaining to look at. The violence was choreographed well, especially with the coloring switching, particularly in one dark scene when the action goes to a panel dipped in a blood red colored close-up of Selina’s face that made the moment a hundred times more effective.
Catwoman #2 far exceeded my expectations and is the best second issue of the New 52 that I have read so far with the omission of the first couple of pages. Catwoman was fun to watch and the story provided some top-notch violence and many twists and turns leading to a great climax that will have readers ready with their claws out in anticipation to dig into the next issue of Catwoman.