The worst issue of Catwoman by far, Winick goes out of his way to make everything grotesque and omits the sexy. While I could care less about the latter, the former makes this story an awkward mess. With the help of it's mood-swinging narration, the pacing of the story, and the laughable progression of Catwoman's character.
After having some fun with millions of dollars, Catwoman gets a big surprise when she's brought in and tortured for the location of the rest of the money. Another big surprise: she finds out said money was laundered by the cops. And they're very anxious to get it all back... as is Batman.
One huge problem persists throughout the comic: Catwoman's schizophrenic narration. The subject matter is very serious, but Catwoman's narration only has some serious moments, which quickly turn into comedic, colloquial language. It's painfully apparent when Catwoman laments: "But the real conundrum, my current quagmire, is not that I'm busted... ...but that I accidentally stole a gi-normous pile of money from these dirty cops." We went from the sophisticated word choices of "conundrum" and "quagmire," which add to the seriousness of the scene, and were then immediately brought out of the moment by Selina's "gi-normous" pile of money. A word so colloquial, even spell check doesn't recognize it.
Almost all of Catwoman's dialogue is like this latter colloquial quality, leaving her in a state of inappropriately humorous denial, that climaxes with her admitting she may be suicidal. Her dialogue does have some spurts of genuine humor, but it's hard to keep the chuckles in check when you see the other horrible events happening in this issue.
You can really see how little writer Judd Winick paid attention to his word choices when there is a spelling mistake in the text. This is a nit-pick, but clearly demonstrates how much the writer cared about his work.
Our protagonist's character still fails to develop. She continues to take nothing seriously (judging from her nonchalant dialogue) and tries to make an obviously bogus deal to the cops. Her fight with Reach is much more dramatic than the previous, but it feels like the equivalent of the fight Selina had when she was fighting off Bone's thugs back in issue 2. Except in that fight she could hold them off on her own. In this one, our "heroine" has to be rescued by a cop. But before he shows up, the fight gets very gruesome with a lot of blood, and I was nearly throwing up when Catwoman bit off... well, more than she could (or should) chew.
The officer that rescues her has been slightly characterized in other issues, but he only serves as Catwoman's savior in this issue, making him seem like he's only there for plot convenience and not actual characterization.
Given even worse treatment is Batman. If you only read Catwoman and are not familiar with previous incarnations of the Bat (in which case pick up Morrison's haunting run on Batman and Robin), Batman's character has been consistent throughout this run of Catwoman, but not in the big picture. He illogically lets her go, has sex with her (though thankfully we don't have to suffer that awkwardness in this issue) but still berates her for her villainous while refusing to chase after her, which by the end of this issue does make some sense when you think about it (she did steal money from cops whom you'll usually find in the slammer), but there had to be another way Batman could have handled it that made more sense then simply a sayonara.
The close of this issue is what makes the already obsolete storyline go back to step one. By the end it goes back to square one for Selina, with the narrative going in a ring-around. Not only is Selina doing the same thing she did in the first issue, but she is also sitting in the same exact curled up position.
The only "good thing" story-wise is the fact that the storyline is so intense (even though this is not backed by the dialogue), that it will be hard to forget once you read it.
Guillem March's art has become unbearable with the average image having some over exaggerated quirk that ruins the entire panel. At one point, Catwoman is given a huge smile that could match the Joker's, and her eyes rarely aren't bulging out of their sockets. When Catwoman bites off Reach's ear, there are multiple contradicting styles fighting each other on the same panel. The ear is drawn realistically while Reach's mouth is cartoonish. It makes the moment all the more horrifying to watch, but it is such a nonsensical action this disturbing moment is hard to take seriously. The odd red coloring choice with Reach also reappears later on during a scene with Batman, making him look demonic which does not fit the context of his particular moment with Catwoman, who looks very conservative and poorly drawn with her mask on.
By the end of this issue, you are successfully convinced not to care about Selina or the story. The out-of-control tone changes in narration, combined with Selina's dialogue and the repetitive (but certainly not disgustingly forgettable) storyline. There were some great moments in this arc, but overall the ending is so unsatisfactory, giving the reader not only no closure, but the bittersweet feeling of being tricked into buying six issues only to start right back at the beginning again, making this entire arc unreadable.
Avoid Catwoman's claws (and her ear-bloodied teeth) at all costs.
An all-around nerdette, I’m a comic book connoisseur, horror aficionado, video game addict, anime enthusiast and an aspiring novelist/comic book writer. I am the head of the comic book department and the editor-in-chief of Entertainment Fuse. I also write and edit articles for Comic Frontline. I am also an intern at Action Lab Entertainment, a comic book publisher at which I edit comic book scripts, help work on images in solicitations and help with other comic book related project. My own personal website is comicmaven.com.