Sunday, December 21, 2014

Catwoman #37 Review

Written by: Genevieve Valentine
Art by: Gary Brown
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: December 17, 2014

Dirty Soul

If you aren't aware, I became a fan of the new Catwoman last month.  Yep, it took me two issues to join in on Genevieve Valentine's vision of pant suit Selina, the Crime Boss.  A couple of things sealed the deal, but mainly it's Selina, herself.  She is smart and savvy and watching her take control of the Gotham Underworld is a joy for any Catwoman fan.  After Valentine's first issue on Catwoman, I explained that I wanted a fun Catwoman book.  Well, this month's issue of Catwoman is not fun at all.  It's awesome.

Last moth's issue ended with Selina's cousin, Nick, answering for his crimes.  In Gotham, snitches get stitches and this issue opens up with Nick needing quite a few.  Of course, all this is just a game of cat-and-mouse between Black Mask and Selina with the other Crime Families and the GCPD thrown in for good measure.  On the surface, it's great crime fiction, but underneath it's so much more.

Selina may be trying not to show it, but she may have bitten off more than she can chew.  Valentine has thrown her into a situation where she can't keep her hands (or soul) clean.  Sure, she has already been dealing in guns and drugs, but the plan always lead to Gotham being a better place.  This is different.  She is being forced to "make things right" and everyone is watching and judging her.  If she doesn't watch out, she may just lose herself.  She does have help, though.

Last issue it was revealed that the Catwoman "impostor" was Eiko Hasigawa, the daughter of the Hasigawa Crime Boss.  I am so glad to see her continue her double life this month, but even better is that Selina seems to be her mentor.  I give Valentine full credit for a truly genius move.  Unfortunately, what must be done, must be done and Selina knows that.  Dirty hands are one thing, but bloody ones are a different story.  The issue ends with Selina once again proving how much ahead of the game she is even as the target on her back keeps getting bigger and bigger.

If you told me months ago that Catwoman would become a crime drama, I would have laughed at you.  If you told me it would be one of the best crime dramas and even one of the best comics DC is producing, I would have considered you a raving lunatic.  I would have been so wrong.  This quick turnaround reminds me a bit of when Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino took over Green Arrow.  It's funny that both books were Ann Nocenti books.

One of the only things I wasn't giddy about in Catwoman was Gary Brown's art.  That's not the case this month.  I really enjoyed his art this month and I wasn't confused by it one bit.  Now I'm thinking that it was me all along.  I'm sorry, Gary.

Bits and Pieces:

Catwoman #37 is another great issue.  Actually, this one is even better.  Genevieve Valentine shows us that if Selina isn't careful, she will lose more than her family business.  The story combined with Gary Brown's art make this one of the best crime dramas on the shelf today.  Strike that, Catwoman has risen from the ashes and is suddenly one of the best comics, period.


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