Art by: Inaki Miranda, Eva De La Cruz, Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 9, 2015
I was a huge fan of Genevieve Valentine’s run on Catwoman. While some complained that she got too far away from the character they knew and loved, we really hadn't been getting THAT Catwoman in quite a while anyway. Valentine turned the book into a smart and thrilling crime drama with a strong female lead and if you haven't noticed, that's something in short supply nowadays. But, I am not here to wax poetic about the past, but look forward to the future...and the future is now. Frank Tieri has taken the reigns and going into this first issue I was really wondering what Catwoman we were going to get and more importantly, was it any good? Well, let's find out...
The way the issue opened, I swore I must have jumped into a time machine...a not so fancy time machine that sent me back a couple of months. Frank Tieri and artist, Inaki Miranda, did a really good job easing current readers into the story by making everything feel so familiar. Rocking Nightclub, mobsters and Catwoman. Okay, I'm still getting used to seeing Selina fully back in the catsuit, but I'm enjoying the relearning curve.
It's obvious from the get go that Tieri is going to spend a lot of time giving us Selina's point of view through narrative exposition and that's a good thing because he nails her voice. She's cocky, smart and really excited to be back in the saddle again. The first act of the book has her stealing
the Star of Saint Petersburg from an awful Russian mobster and it was a quick, but fun scene that doesn't go as planned, but ends with a kick to a groin and who doesn't like a good kick to the groin scene? It may not be a mind blowing affair, but it does the job of transitioning the book from the old to the new and setting the tone of the book. I was surprised to see that it wasn't as far from Valentine's run as i thought it would be.
That continues when Selina heads off to see her fence, Louie. You know, Louie the Moustache, one of Selina's oldest friends and confidants. I don't know him either and while it felt a little off, I was willing to go with it. However, things don't go well for old Louie and it would have made so much more of an impact if we did. I'm getting ahead of myself because before shit gets real, Louie gives Selina a job...THE job.
Selina heads off to a big wig charity function to steal the Frost Diamond. We are given the history and details of the jewel, but that didn't matter to me, I just wanted to see Selina strut her stuff and that's exactly what we get. It's a step by step heist aided by tech gal, Tesla and I really enjoyed it. The only thing that felt odd is how easy it all went, but when Selina returns to Louie, she finds out why. The issue ends with Selina even further on the wrong side of the law than when she was a crime boss.
I want to repeat that I was a huge fan of Valentine's run and because of that, I really appreciate what Frank Tieri did here. He doesn't give a shock to the system, but instead keeps everything familiar enough to Valentine's fans and eases them into Selina's new (old) life. If you are a fan of Catwoman and could care less about her Mob days, Tieri gives you that too.
All is not perfect, however, as this issue is mostly setup and the capers all feel too easy and just setup to get to the twist ending and cliffhanger. Not perfect, but still good.
Inaki Miranda's art is really good as well. Selina looks great in and out of the suit and everything else looks gorgeous. Fans of previous artist, David Messina, will love it right away as it is similar enough...another example of this issue easing readers into the new. I also want to give Miranda props because even if Selina has put away the pant suits for the cat one, she is not over sexualized at all. I hope that continues throughout this run.
Bits and Pieces:
While this issue isn't the whole sale change that some wanted or feared, I appreciated what Frank Tieri did to ease his way into the book. Catwoman may be back in black, but Tieri continues writing her as the smartest cat burglar in the room and Inaki Miranda's art certainly makes her the prettiest. It's understandable that this issue was heavy in the setup department, but a twist ending and a how is she going to get out of this cliffhanger has me excited for the next issue. If you are a Catwoman fan of any kind, this is good jumping on point so get in on the ground floor and enjoy the ride.