Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Catwoman #51 Review

Face the Face

Written by: Frank Tieri
Art by: Inaki Miranda, Elia Bonetti, Eva De La Cruz and Travis Lanham
Cover Price: $2.99
Release Date: April 13, 2016

I want to start this review by yelling at all those haters who have been yelling that they want their Catwoman back.  Wake up guys, she's right here waiting for you!  Yep, she's standing here in her leather catsuit, just waiting on you guys, but unfortunately, she can't stay forever because come June she has to go away for a little vacation.  It really sucks, but you still have a couple of issues to show the love and lucky for you, Frank Tieri is killing it.  After one of the best (and definitely the most fun) #50 issues, Tieri is finishing things up with a very personal story for Selina that dips back into her past as it heads for the exit.  Will it be a fitting sendoff for our favorite burglar?  Let's find out...

The issue opens with a news report announcing the imminent death of Richard Sionis, who of course is the father of one Black Mask and while fans know full well of Selina's hate of Roman, we see here she is not a huge supporter of the Sionis family in general. We also get hints that the apple didn't fall far from the tree here...hints that we all know are true.

After a brief but cool look at Catwoman being Catwoman, we head back in time and see Selina hasn't changed much at all.  Actually, then she was more of a junior con woman possibly involved with the wrong guy, a guy named David.  While identity theft and credit card fraud are no laughing matter, the fact that they are doing it to Richard Sionis makes it all the more interesting.  We also get to see a very alive Louie the Mustache which is a plus.

The story continues going back and forth and in the present, Selina narrowly avoids the False Face Society and their new leader, White Mask.  Yea, they're not very imaginative with their names, but he grabs the Faceless Mask that Selina was after and thus begins a little cat and mouse game...but hasn't it been going on all along?  I just wrote that to sound cool, but it really does fit when we see that in the past, Selina and David's sins did catch up to them.

In a couple of pages we see Selina's first face-to-face with Richard Sionis, learn False Face Society politics 101 and even get a Field of Dreams reference.  It all leads to a startling blast from the past for Selina that makes this story a lot more personal than I thought it would be when it began.  The issue ends with a little father and son bonding if "bonding " means something more sinister and awful than, you know, what it actually means.  It's a very typical moment for the character involved and really points to an all-out war coming real soon.

I have to admit that I am not a huge Black Mask or False Face Society fan and because of that, this story does not feel like it's aimed at me.  I really enjoyed everything with Selina, but she feels more like the narrator of the story rather than a major player.  This is more of a False Face Society story, but even as that, it felt incomplete and rushed.  The pacing was way off and things just seemed to happen out of nowhere.  If I found out that this was a condensed version of a much larger story, I wouldn't be shocked in the least.

I have loved Inaki Miranda's art since this run started and this issue is no exception.  Granted, there wasn't a whole lot of Selina going on, but Miranda takes the opportunity to get his macabre on with the False Face Society and Black Mask in particular to really cool results.  However, I wasn't as much of a fan of the flashback art by Elia Bonetti.  It was more pencil heavy and compared to Miranda's, came out looking unfinished at times.

Bits and Pieces:

Frank Tieri sets up a pretty good False Face Society story here, but unfortunately it nearly makes Catwoman unnecessary.  Sure, Selina's past actions and present situation help to frame the action, but this is more about the quest for the False Face leadership than anything else.  Hopefully, the spotlight shines more on Selina next month, but in the here and now,  I can't recommend this issue.



  1. Seriously, what was up with The Dark Knight Joker moment? It shows he kills everyone, so why dress up like a nurse?

    1. purely visual and while it looked cool, not necessary at all

  2. There were a lot of Masks and a lot of movie references even for one comic. By the way do you think that DC movies exist in the DC comicverse?

    1. I'd like to think that they do in a weird way

  3. Same here right? Like there no reason why it couldn't work. The only difference is that whenever a movie like the Dark Knight Rises or Batman V Superman came out they would include "BASE ON A TRUE STORY".

    1. lol...Batman '66 chapters #37 and #38 had a Batman show ("The Dark Knight Detective") going on within the Universe and it was great. They used it as a way to show how different Batman became.