Written by: Frank Tieri
Art by: Inaki Miranda, Eva De La Cruz and Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: January 13, 2016
I really enjoyed Frank Tieri's debut on Catwoman last month. While I loved the prior run, it was nice to see Catwoman fully back in the black leather and doing "Catwomany" things. Of course, that immediately lead to trouble as the issue ended with Selina being framed for murder and a whole bunch of NYPD pointing their guns at her. To say my interest was peaked is an understatement and I couldn't wait for this issue to see how Selina would get out of her current situation. So, was the wait worth it and how the heck did she escape...or did she? Let's find out...
The issue starts with Selina giving us the whats what on New York City versus Gotham. While the joke is that nobody would ever want to live in Gotham, that's not the case for the villains of the world. It may be a bit of a Catch-22, but she explains that Jim Gordon and Maggie Sawyer play by the rules while the NYPD doesn't. Unfortunately for her, she is in New York City and arriving Detective Vincent Scagnetti definitely doesn't play by any rules whatsoever.
If fans were afraid that going back to being Catwoman would somehow dumb down Selina, they can rest assured that is not the case. She is still the smartest person in the room and proves it right away by putting Scagnetti in his place. However, when guys are pointing guns at you, it doesn't always pay to be so smart.
Frank Tieri already has Selina's voice nailed. Her inner monologues in this issue are a highlight, coming off like a hard boiled detective drama more than anything else. I am a fan of the genre, so I may be a bit biased here, but I don't care because I loved it. Of course, Catwoman does more than stand around talking and springs into action and before we know it, she is jumping out a window and running across rooftops.
Another thing that Frank Tieri has done in only two issues is show that Selina is truly international with a past we may not have been entirely aware of. From her history with Louie and Scagnetti to having safe houses all around the world, she is no longer tied down to Gotham. It all makes sense for her character and comes into play here as she tells Tesla to meet her at the "pet store".
Selina is now on the lamb and while she pulls a move straight out of The Outsiders (stay gold, Catwoman), it's only here to pull off a not so inside joke. While Bruce Wayne is just getting his memory back in his main title, it's a Batman Returns love fest here. It's funny enough and I love seeing the Ladyhawk reference, but when Selina goes off to pay a visit to Danny Devito...I mean the Penguin, it feels like a bit too much. It's all visual and doesn't in any way affect the story, but it still pulled me out of the book a bit. I really wish that was my biggest problem. I do have to ask one little question before going on...why did Selina dye her hair if she is just going to put her same old Catwoman costume on? You know, the one that covers up her hair!
Of all the people that Selina has run into in the last two issues, she certainly has the most history with Oswald. In fact, she has some very recent history and having him against Selina to this degree felt a little forced. I know that Cobblepot plays every angle and every side, but him knowing that Selina was framed for murder by one of his men and not lifting a finger at all felt off. Sure, he explains that she stole from him, but he also has to know that she wasn't aware of his connection to the Frost Diamond. It all felt like a way to sweep clean their recent alliances and start with a clean (or dirty?) slate. Again, I wish this was my biggest problem here.
Okay, I've hinted at it enough, so here goes. My biggest problem in this entire issue is what we see on the newspaper that Penguin shoves at Selina. Antonia Calabrese has been arrested for the "Night of Terrors" murders. The fact that Selina didn't know about it is odd, but her reaction to it was downright awful. She doesn't seem to care one bit and even uses it to insult Oswald. If you just jumped on this book the last two issues, you would have no idea whatsoever how huge this is. It's stop everything and make it right huge. It's humongous and yet, Selina just shrugs it off. I hope that it is just a matter of not showing her cards, but it doesn't feel like it. Again, it feels like some spring cleaning.
She'll need some cleaning, because the meeting is cut short by the Penguin's hired help...Clayface. The two fight and the action and dialogue are great as Selina subdues Clayface and promises Penguin a return visit. Oswald seems to know much more than he is letting on (even though he lets on quite a bit here) about Selina's mysterious client who started this whole ball rolling in the first place. Stabbing in the dark, I think it's Oswald playing some sort of triple cross, but we'll have to wait and see.
The issue ends with Selina going to a meeting just as Tesla calls her with some pretty important news. In my heart of hearts, I really think it's one of those everything is not what it seems cliffhangers, but Tieri gives us a million reasons why it may be for real. If it is, I will have something else to bitch about next month.
Okay, I know that it may seem like I'm down on this issue, but I'm not. It does upset me that after respecting Genevieve Valentine's run in his first issue, Tieri kind of dissed it here, but as the song goes, it's his book and he'll diss if he wants to. I really hope this is all setup for a future story and he makes things right in the near future, but even if he doesn't, I'm still having fun with this book. Selina is fully back to being Catwoman and I love her interaction with Gotham's more famous villains. Tieri promised that there would be lots and lots (and he meant lots!) of Gotham characters in this book and so far, he ain't lying. Now, if he can give us a Jason Todd/Catwoman team up, all will be okay in the world.
Inaki Miranda's art is so good in this issue and is the perfect compliment to Tieri's story. It's crisp and clean (with no caffeine) and is as great in a battle as it is during the quieter moments. The only thing I could find to complain about was Selina's look during the Michelle Pfieffer bit. Miranda might have tried too hard to combine the looks of the two women and it came out a little weird.
Bits and Pieces:
While this issue had some things that fans of the last arc may not like, Frank Tieri is giving those who want Catwoman being Catwoman a lot to grab onto. Tieri continues showing that he has Selina's voice down and Inaki Miranda's art makes everything look great. The story has been fun so far and if we keep getting more great guest stars like we did this month, it should only get better. Just have Selina pay Eiko a visit and make everything right and I will have nothing to complain about at all.