Between a Rock and a Hard Place
Written by: Frank Tieri
Art by: Inaki Miranda, Eva De La Cruz and Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: February 10, 2016
I have really enjoyed Frank Tieri's run on Catwoman so far. He has taken her from the Gotham mob scene, put her back in the catsuit and the places she and most of her fans are more familiar with. That doesn't mean things are any easier as she quickly found herself wanted for a murder she didn't commit and on the run with a million dollar bounty on her head. Last issue ended with Killer Croc seemingly ready to cash in and while I love that Tieri is throwing a bunch of Gotham's least finest into his story, I really have taken a liking to the more user friendly Croc. So, I couldn't wait for this issue to see if the cliffhanger was a red herring and if not, how Selina was going to get out of that very precarious situation. So, which was it and was the issue itself worth the wait? Let's find out...
The issue opens right where we left off and I hate to break fellow Croc lovers' hearts, but he is after the money. He does give Selina the option to fork over the Frost Diamond, but he is no longer BFF's with Selina. He is not on an island in that regard, either, as we see that some of Gotham's heavy hitters are also interested in the bounty including a very bad man that Selina just battled during her mob days.
In case the reader didn't realize they were in Gotham, another guest star showed up and while I love the idea of Batgirl being in this book, the reality ended up feeling more forced than I hoped. The reason is she just kind of shows up and besides fighting Croc and then Selina, she doesn't have a great reason for being there and doesn't have a lot to do. The fight between her and Selina was cool, however, and then Croc lets her exit stage left with a massive body slam of both of the ladies in tights.
That leaves just Selina and Croc again and after slashing his eyes, Selina goes for his heart when she lays out that he has no friends by her and while it seemed like a stretch, it worked...just as the GCPD arrived. Selina makes her getaway as Croc goes all Wolverine on the GCPD helicopter, but she runs straight into the Riddler. He does get one lame riddle out before Selina knocks him out and then she escapes the scene.
Frank Tieri promised much more of Gotham's heroes and villains in this book and boy, he wasn't lying. While they aren't integral to the story, they do give it some flavor and pizazz that I like.
Back to the story, Selina is contacted by her Quentin Tarantino obsessed client which leads her to take a closer look at the Frost Diamond. After smashing the "priceless" jewel on the table, she finds a usb drive inside it with the Penguins blackmail files in it. Whoever her client is, he or she wants this list bad. Looking at the list, my main suspect would be Frank "The Fireball" Tieri...that guy just sounds like trouble!
The issue ends with Selina going to the one person who she thinks she can trust to get her out of this trouble...Bruce Wayne. However, the way things end shows that she hasn't been paying attention to current affairs and I hope it leads to some friction of the Bat variety down the line. At the moment, however, she has a bigger issue to deal with.
This was a fast, fun issue of Catwoman that had some awesome guest stars, but still kept it's focus on Selina. Tieri is giving fans a smart, lead that also happens to be Catwoman. He really has her voice down and I love the way the inner monologues jive with the art to show how smart and aware she is at all times.
It doesn't hurt that Inaki Miranda's art is so good. He really makes this book his own and it looks great. From the detail of Killer Croc, to the atmospheric rain, to the awesome look from inside Catwoman's goggles...the art really helped Tieri tell the story and the two work really well together.
Bits and Pieces:
Frank Tieri is giving fans the best of both worlds. Those who wanted Selina back in black, get that as well as some of Gotham's coolest heroes and villains. Those who wanted the smart, tough Selina to stay get that as well as she is one step ahead of everyone even as she finds herself in hotter and hotter water. Inaki Miranda's art tops it all off and I am enjoying the hell out of this Catwoman book in general and this issue in particular.