Sunday, December 1, 2013

Catwoman #25 Review

Written by: John Layman
Art by: Aaron Lopresti
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 27, 2013

Building a Better Pussycat

Zero Year has meant different things to different books.  Some have been fun little distractions while others have been unnecessary annoyances from their ongoing storylines.  Catwoman #25 is a bit of the first, but it sure isn't the later.  For the uninitiated, Catwoman has been a stinking mess for over a year thanks in large part to writer Ann Nocenti.  However, I'm not here to admonish her writing (I get to do that plenty each month), but to celebrate John Layman's work this month.  Yes, this issue shows two things.  Selena Kyle is a thief with a heart of gold and at least one person at DC can still write a good Catwoman book...even one without Catwoman being in it.

Ok, if you have been reading Zero Year tie-ins, you know the routine.  The Riddler has shut the power off in Gotham and a Super Storm is about to hit.  The City is in chaos and everyone in it is seeking food, shelter or...a good party?   This is where we see the goodness in Selina's heart.  She can't just sit by while the Gotham elite treat the disaster as an excuse to celebrate at the expense of the needy.

John Layman doesn't give us an origin story here.  He gives us a peek at what makes Selina Kyle tick. There are a few "first" moments that will make Catwoman fans smile as well as a shout out to the current Gotham Underground storyline that made me wince (only because it reminded me what's back next month).  Layman mainly gives us a glimpse at who Selina is, a thief with a heart of gold.  She isn't evil, she just likes to steal things.  She has always walked that fine line between good and evil and Layman does an excellent job showing it here.

Aaron Lopresti's art is really good as well.  He captures the essence of Catwoman without the costume and Gotham looks unique and diverse throughout.  I always liked his work on Justice League International and Sword of Sorcery so I hope we see more of him in the near future.

The only real complaint I have for this issue is that it still is a completely unnecessary Zero Year tie-in.  I say that with a grain of salt, though, because it is such a great diversion from the actual mess of the regular series run.  Still, at $3.99 it is hard to recommend it to anyone but true Catwoman fans.

Bits and Pieces:

John Layman and Aaron Lopresti give us something we haven't had in a while...a good Catwoman book. Yes, it is an unnecessary tie-in, but Layman shows that someone at DC "gets" Catwoman and Lopresti's visuals impress as well.  Too bad we have to return to the norm next month, but for now be thankful for a fun little diversion.


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