Sparks fly in this issue of Catwoman as Selina and her new ally Spark go up against some unprecedented trouble. The relationship between Catwoman and her two main allies is the strongest part of the issue. Their exchanges are the highlight, with little else to glamour about – but that may be just enough to get your money's worth with this issue.
In this issue, Catwoman and Spark try to get a big score by stealing five ancient daggers. Unfortunately, after a theft that almost gets them some new bullet holes in their heads, Catwoman and Spark manage to find only four of the five daggers. Without the full set, the daggers are worthless – and guess what feathered fiend has the final dagger?
Yes, Penguin makes an extremely short appearance in this issue. While it was great to see him and learn a little about his monthly habits, we never hear Penguin speak. This is a disappointment now, but it is strongly hinted at (and by strongly hinted at I mean almost directly stated) that Penguins appearance will go into at least another issue of Catwoman, also intersecting with The New 52's first big event featuring The Court of Owls. But that's next issue. What else does this issue do other than disappoint?
There's little to say about the story, which has some mystery but also a lot of the elements readers are overwhelmingly familiar with in this series; Catwoman attempts to steal something without thinking about the consequences (having no evolution in her character), and something unexpectedly bad happens. This seems to be the gist of every other issue of Catwoman. But what made this issue stand-out was not it's story. It's the characters actions and their dialogue.
The addition of Spark made for some great banter between him and Catwoman. The two have an instant chemistry that kept the issue feeling fun throughout. Even when Spark is not on the scene, Catwoman manages to have some pretty pivotal and enjoyable dialogue with her new fence Gwen.
As for Catwoman, her dialogue has some wit and her narration is rarely used, which is for the best since it's usually very serious in tone versus her outwardly playful personality. This seriousness takes away from the comic's tone, but does hint at the fact that Catwoman's character has some depth and intelligence. But what truly made Catwoman shine in this issue was during a stake-out. She leaves her post to save a woman being attacked by a cloaked figure. Careless? Yes. Heroic? Definitely – and it's that little nod to Catwoman's heroism that makes me enjoy her character and the development it was given in this issue. Sure, she is still unbelievably naïve for almost completely trusting Spark and she has some questionable fashion choices that were completely unnecessary to include. Seriously, opening the comic to having a first page with her in a bikini and her mask on is not as "sexy" as it may sound. But that one action made her character much more substantial than it has ever been in the past. Now I can genuinally say I like her character in the series rather than just feel sorry for her.
Adriana Melo's artwork is the only thing that has gotten worse since the last issue. There are a lot of positions Melo draws the characters in that look uncomfortable - and not those kinds of positions, just simple positions like Catwoman making an "I don't care" gesture with bulging eyes, an oddly contorted mouth and deep wrinkle lines; three disastrous qualities that persist throughout the issue. Not all of the artwork is terrible – some times the bulging eyes work to the artists advantage in showing a characters emotions. It's just the over expressiveness most of the characters have make them look awkward. It was enough in this issue, however, to make me miss Guillem March's artwork on the series, the complete reverse of what the last issue had me feeling in the end. Only the color scheme by returning colorist Tomeu Morey continues to remain strong with a unique feel to it that fits the tone of the comic.
This is a solid issue of Catwoman. It's storyline, while going through the same basic motions as previous issues, has several things spicing it up including Spark, the dialogue, and the addition of several other enticing plot elements. With the exception of the pencils, things seem to be looking up for our favorite feline fatale.
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.