Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Catwoman: 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1 Review

Papa Read

Written by: Ann Nocenti, Will Pfeifer, Tom King, Ed Brubaker, Paul Dini, Jeff Parker, Chuck Dixon, Ram V., Mindy Newell
Art by: Ty Templeton, Jonathan Case, Steve Rude, Lee Garbett, Tim Sale, Pia Guerra, Kelley Jones, Fernando Blanco, Robson Rocha, Jim Balent, Emanuela Lupacchino, Tula Lotay, Mikel Janin, Cameron Stewart
Cover Price: $9.99
Release Date: June 2, 2020

I am torn when it comes to these big Anniversary issues. As a fan, I love seeing all the creators celebrate a character, some of whom had successful runs with the character in the past. As a reviewer, it's a pain in my ass, and I am a lazy guy! So, how was this 100-page issue that will take me so long to review? Let's find out...

The biggest reason to buy this issue is the art. The artist list is massive, but each one brings their own style, for the most part. Add in the additional pinups and I could, and so I will argue that the art is worth the price of admission alone.

As for the stories, well, it all depends on what you showed up to see. Of the recent Anniversary books and Specials, I think this one gives the best variety, and I'll chalk that up to Selina as such a great and diverse character. Bad, good, in-between...she has played most of those roles very well, and this does show that, thanks to the writers doing their thing. I mean, where else can you get a Batman '66 story by Jeff Parker, sandwiched in between a Bat/Cat story by Tom King that continues his Batman Annual #2 future and a Mindy Newell story going back to Her Sisters Keeper time and space? The answer has to be "nowhere," right?

There is also a funny meta-heavy story by Will "Papa Spank" Pfieffer that I enjoyed, and a Chuck Dixon Clayface story showing Selina can beat the crap out of the best of them.  

I thought Joelle Jones was writing the continuation of her ending in Catwoman #21, but instead, it was Ram V bridging the gap to his start on the book in a couple of months. While I found it a little odd not to have Jones here at all (I kind of wish her and Tom King did something together), I enjoyed V's story enough to keep anticipating his start in Catwoman #25.

Listen to Our Spotlight Episode featuring Catwoman #22 and Catwoman: 80th Anniversary 100-Page Super Spectacular #1

The issue ends with Ed Brubaker, and this was probably my favorite. It was nothing mind-bending, and really, the action taking place wasn't even an entire tale, but the action, plot, and progression were spot on, and he certainly still has Selina's voice down. As a bonus, Selina gets to tell Slam Bradley he's a moron! Mama Spank!

I enjoyed this Anniversary issue a lot. There wasn't what I'd call a dud in the lot, though some stories were stronger than others. The best part was it felt like a celebration of Catwoman and her creators, and while that sounds like a silly thing to praise, you'd be surprised how these things can go sometimes.  

Bits and Pieces:

I can easily recommend this Anniversary issue to every Catwoman fan out there, but seriously, any true fan has been waiting months to get their hands on this. Better yet, though, I can also recommend it to anyone who wants to see some great art and read some pretty damn good stories with a kick-ass female lead who toes the line better than any character in comics.  


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