Sunday, June 16, 2013

New 52 Review: Catwoman

NEW 52 Review: Catwoman Volume 1: The Game, trade paperback. Collects issues 1-6, by Judd Winick & Guillem March.

As Catwoman, Selina Kyle was an anti-hero before anti-heroes were everywhere in comics. As a matter of fact, her flirtatious nature and ability to beguile Batman were present in her very first appearances in the comic books, which occurred more than seven decades ago.
When Catwoman's friend Lola, (also her fence for stolen goods), is killed as a direct result of her connections to Catwoman, Selina investigates. When money she is stealing turns out be from dirty Gotham cops instead of the drug dealers she thought she was robbing, things go from bad to worse. Detective Alvarez has long been trying to apprehend Catwoman, but when she sees her being abused by her dirty colleagues in the police force, Alvarez sets her free. I assume these two ladies will cross paths in future issues. The dirty cops use Reach, a thug for hire with electrical powers, to take down Catwoman.
I did not need the obligitory sex scene with Batman in issue #1, as it does little more than make sure that Catwoman fits as a member of the "bat-family" of titles. That connection probably helps keep the title in the top half of DC's sales, as it is continually DC's leading female-focused solo title in the New 52.
The fight scenes between Catwoman and Reach are predictable but energetic. In the last few pages, we see Catwoman working with her new fence and friend Gwen. This is a nice narrative moment, as we fear that there is a cycle at work here that is bound to repeat.
In a prior entry I reviewed a trade paperback from an earlier run, and probably preferred those issues (written by Ed Brubabker) to these. The dynamic energy that was evident before in Catwoman's prior incarnation is not here, making these issues more of a standard street-level comic book than something special.

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