Thursday, July 9, 2015

Catwoman #42 Review

Written by: Genevieve Valentine
Art by: David Messina and Lee Loughridge
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: July 8, 2015


Of all the books that survived the DC You transition, Catwoman is the one that came back the least new user friendly.  While it may have been hard for new readers to understand what was going on, for fans of Genevieve Valentine's run, it was business as usual.  Of course, by business, I mean the "Family Business" as Selina continued running the Calabrese crime family in her grey area quest to clean up Gotham.  While things weren't exactly going great for Selina already, the news of Batman hit her hard last issue.  It was my favorite reaction to Batman's reported death in any book and Selina promised herself that she was going to get down to the bottom of it.  That promise should mean more Catwoman starting with this issue and after all we've been through, I didn't know if that's what I want from this book anymore.  That's probably the biggest compliment I could ever give Valentine.  So, does more Catwoman mean a better issue?  Let's find out...

Selina's life is crowded.  Crowded with enemies, allies, family and lovers.  It's what makes it so special.  Everyone is working an angle and Selina is in the middle of a storm that could get out of hand at any moment.  While she has been more than capable of putting on a hard face, it's obvious to the reader that the facade is starting to crack.

Before any sort of Batman fact finding mission can begin, she has to attend to family matters.  No, I'm not talking about Urkel, but some meet and greets with a couple of other families.  It's all about positioning the Calabreses to take out Black Mask and while it's been the bread and butter of this run, I like when Selina engages in a little backroom politics even more.  That's where Penguin comes in.

Valentine has done such a great job of making the Penguin a wild card whose loyalties are still a mystery.  We all know he only cares about himself, but it's getting clearer that he is picking Selina to win this race.  He helps her out and she returns the favor by saving his life.

We then get some Catwoman action...actually Cat-Women action.  Yes, Eiko shows up in the Catsuit and while Valentine is pushing the book to the point of being overcrowded, Selina and Eiko's relationship make having two Catwomen awesome.  They play off each other so well and it's obvious their feeling for one another is going to cause troubles down the road.

Genevieve Valentine must not agree with my idea of overcrowding because the book adds another character...Spoiler.  While it makes sense for her to seek out Selina after what happened in Batman: Eternal, her showing up here still felt off.  Selina doesn't have time for another woman in her life, so she knocks Stephanie out and gets on her way.  I was not complaining because Stephanie didn't feel like a good fit in this book.  The issue ends with Selina missing an important meeting and Spoiler finding a different sparring partner.  It's funny, because the last page made Spoiler fit right in.  Pretty sneaky, Genevieve.

This issue had more Catwoman than any issue Valentine has given us yet.  I really like the balance between vigilante and crime boss in this issue and hope it continues going forward.  I really want to see Selina look for Bat clues, but I also can't wait to see what happens when she finds out what Spoiler is doing.  There is so much more in this issue, but it really is all setup and if Valentine is going to make it all hit at once, this book is going to get real crazy, real fast.  I can't wait.

I am setting in with David Messina's art and am really starting to like it.  Lee Loughridge's color work helped Messina take over this book seamlessly and now it is all his.  It only took two issues and his art is what I see in my mind when I think about Catwoman.

Bits and Pieces: 

Genevieve Valentine continues giving readers one of the smartest books in the DC You.  Mix in some costume fun with the crime noir and this might be the start of a very beautiful relationship.  While I question why an already crowded book needs another major character, I loved what Valentine did to make it more exciting.  While this was a setup heavy issue, the great art and twisting and turning story make it well worth a read.


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