Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Catwoman Annual #1 Review

Nine Lives and Videotape

Written by: Joelle Jones
Art by: Elena Casagrande, Le Beau Underwood, Hugo Petrus, Scott Godlewski, Jordie Bellaire, and
Saida Temofonte
Cover Price: $4.99
Release Date: May 29, 2019

I was a big fan of this book when it first hit the stands last summer and as more a Cat fan than a Bat/Cat fan, I was glad that DC was letting Joelle Jones flex some of her muscles with a book she was both writing and drawing.  Well, almost a year later I am not so high on this book anymore.  Joelle Jones has pulled back and is just writing it and while everyone who has filled in has been really good, none of them are Jones.  Plus, the story has meandered about and while it's had its moments, Joelle hasn't really made me care about any of her characters and that almost includes Selina herself.  I will never bail on Catwoman and I still love her, I just need more out of this book every month.  Maybe a little Annual is what the doctor ordered to get things back on track.  Well, let's find out...

While the timeline is not really spelled out fully for some reason, eventually you get up to speed and realize this issue takes place in Selina's early days in Villa Hermosa.  It feels a bit odd at first since it felt like we picked up with Selina's adventures right off the bat, but I'll go with this "missing week" of sorts.

The timeline is not the real problem with this issue in the end anyway.  The main problem is this issue is just downright boring.  Since it is an Annual, it has the extra page count, but I'll be honest...I was hoping it would end around page 10!  There just isn't much to get excited about as Jones unravels a mystery through a bunch of interviews and surveillance footage.

One of the big things going on is that Selina has been framed for a triple murder...kind of.  At points, it looks like a group suicide with possible cult ties, but all of the "evidence" is just thrown at the reader and there is no part where you can play along.

While it's easy to figure out who will eventually be involved, Jones does throw a guest star I never saw coming, but he is there just to be there and ties into it all just because.  It doesn't tie into the regular run (yet?) and really felt forced in and out of place.

There is a very large art team here and that is something that could spell disaster, but it doesn't at all.  The art is great throughout the issue and the changes fit the story which is always nice.

By the end, we get a nice little tie-in to the double date issues of Batman, but it's not enough (and we barely see anything anyway) to make this book a recommendation from me.  I still have hopes that Jones will tighten things up in this book and this is just an Annual so I am not going to hold that over her much.  I still have to review it for what it is though and what it is is a big disappointment.

Bits and Pieces:

As far as Annuals go, the concept was par for the course, but the execution left a lot to be desired.  The larger than usual art team did a good job, but overall this issue was boring from cover to cover.  There is a double date nod that might work for some, but I can only recommend this to completionists.


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