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It’s funny, it’s sexy, it’s extremely flawed, Catwoman #5 could be enjoyed, but does little justice to Selina’s developing character, who should be declared legally idiotic by the end of this issue.
We open with Catwoman plummeting a thousand stories to her ‘death.’ With some quick whip-work (and after dealing with the meta-human Reach), Selina starts spending the 400 grand she stole. It’s all fun and games until the money-laundering police are on her tail as well as Detective Alvarez, possibly the only straight cop in the Gotham City Police force.
The opening of the story with Catwoman hurtling from the sky has a solid but irritating resolution. The way she saves herself is realistic, but her constant repetition on the way down combined with her well-worded narration was off-putting. The repetitive wording in the beginning to emphasize the danger of the situation is somewhat tedious and does not match the calm narration.
The rest of the story is part of an already weak arc involving the police with a good chase scene towards the conclusion, but a poor action sequence between Catwoman and the meta-human Reach. While their fight is a let-down, the cliffhanger at the end also lacks piazzas as it mirrors the cliffhanger of another issue but will hopefully have a different result so the story can progress in a different direction.
The biggest (yet most enjoyable) problem of this issue is Catwoman’s character. The extremely sexual scenes throughout the comic, along with Selina’s sexual innuendos, are not what is ruining her character. She has always been a very sexual being. Seeing her flirt with her masseuse was very funny, as well as most of her narration and dialogue which were peppered with innuendos and other great imagery like her preference to push out a rugrat rather than have an arm out of it’s socket.
The problem in this comic is Selina’s ongoing stupidity and carelessness, which is a huge whip snap in the face after the events of the previous issues of Catwoman. The previous twist involving Catwoman’s friend was caused because of Selina’s carelessness, and since those events had a huge effect on Catwoman you would expect her to be at least a bit more careful as a result. Instead, after stealing half-a-million dollars, which Selina realized she had false information on, she spends vast amounts of the laundered money without thinking twice. This is funny because of how it is presented in the issue, but it betrays Selina’s development as a character.
But going on a shopping spree with half-a-million dollars is not the only reason Selina is an idiot in this issue. She gets chased by tons of cops and does not realize until the end of the issue why. Her ignorance baffles me – I don’t expect her to be Lex Luthor, but she’s much more intelligent than the baffling buffoon she is portrayed as here.
The villains have never been consistent or overwhelmingly interesting in the Catwoman series. We are given several nameless faces in this issue, as well as the super powered meta-human named reach who is given such dialogue as “I thought you would be exploded pizza” (this being one of her worst lines). I expected her to have her own arc, but her story is wrapped up in this issue before half of it is even over, a missed opportunity to make a bland character have depth. The other enemies are several cops. They are all bland, having not been given even the depth of a name, except for one of them who is given a name (which I don’t remember) and has been seen in the previous issue, but is given little more characterization than being a crooked cop.
The only straight cop, Alvarez, also makes little impact on the reader. He is the only cop smart enough to connect Catwoman to seventeen robberies, and it will be interesting to see the two finally meet, since it is hinted at that they may work together in the future. This would be interesting, but Alvarez already feels like he is going to become disposable love interest #20. And whatever happened to Batman? He made frequent appearances in previous issues of Catwoman, but makes no appearance in this issue, which is disappointing.
Guillem March still makes Catwoman have overly-dramatic expressions when in costume. He continues to give her that awkward, orgasmic look. But he does craft some great scenes, specifically a wonderful scene with Catwoman toward the end of the issue with her covered in snow and the police reflected in her suit. The emotions on characters faces are also great, namely in the opening flashback with Selina sporting a orange-colored hairdo. Her emotions, as well as the nameless people around her, are well done, with beads of sweat giving away subtly hints of anxiety and other looks of pure terror. Sometimes Selina’s face looks screwed up because of Guillem’s insistence to give her thick eyelashes, which hurt her overall appearance. Even in the action sequences, which had more of a focus on Selina’s body than her face (which sounds about as dirty as it is), the artwork has many odd quirks that keep it from being a great piece of work artistically. Before the eccentric style was a plus but for this issue it was a disappointment.
This issue of Catwoman is not bad, but it does not reach the fun stride previous issues had. The story is forgettable as well as the villains, and Selina is an idiot for plot convenience. The series could be much better, but the funny dialogue and great imagery save it from being a bad issue with everything else keeping it from being a good issue.