Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Catwoman #35 Review


That Cat's Out of the Bag

Writer: Ram V
Artist: Nina Vakueva, Jordie Bellaire, and Tom Napolitano
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: September 21, 2021

One of the things I have liked about Ram V's Catwoman book was that it was its own thing.  Selina and the Strays were hanging out in Alleytown, fighting crimes and making up rhymes (and funny names for themselves). But, unfortunately, Fear State has put an end to that, and even leading up to the big crossover event, it was easy to see that the times they were a-changin'.  Batman and Selina hooked up a bit earlier than they had planned, and the Magistrate put the bullseye on a section of Gotham that usually doesn't get that sort of attention.  Reading some of Ram V's tweets (and reading his books), he is not a guy who prefers writing quick in-and-out types of stories, so I wonder how he will deal with being part of this crossover.  I guess we will start finding out right about now...

I'll give Ram V some credit here.  Catwoman is the worst-selling of all the books involved in this crossover, but he doesn't write this first Fear State issue as if it is.  Many new eyes will be looking at this issue, but he doesn't change his game (much) and is seemingly writing for those of us who have been reading all along.  

Sure there is a bit of Fear State recap here, but that's part of the event game and really can't be avoided.  As far as what's been going on in the Catwoman book, Ram V picks up from the last issue's cliffhanger and hits the ground running.  Well, maybe jogging...

If you weren't sure at the end of the last issue, Hadley is dead. Of course, everyone has someone to blame, but seriously, it was all Father Valley, and while I was hoping never to see him again, the door is left wide open for his return.  Where that will be is up for grabs, though, as I still feel like this book is coming to an end soon.

Now, I have gotten some crap for that prediction (I'm looking at you OptimistPrime), but characters are suddenly leaving this book like rats on a sinking ship!  That might be a bit of an exaggeration, but having Maggie go hurts a bit since Ram V and Joelle Jones before him never did much with her.

We then jump into the Fear State part of the book, and it plays off silly, with a big inspirational speech narrating the troubles coming to Alleytown.  Why is it silly?  Because it's coming from Clayface and I'm guessing it was supposed to be from one of his film roles, but without spelling it out, it felt a bit off.

Ram V then continues with Selina, who hears Anti-Oracle say Batman is dead and freaks out..  There is a bit of a problem here as Selina says that she didn't believe it before, but now that (who she thinks is the real) Oracle is saying it, it must be true.  The problem is, it was Anti-Oracle's initial report that everyone heard in the first place (In Batman: Fear State Alpha). So it's not a big deal, but a forced way to get Catwoman going off to find Batman.

Meanwhile, the most exciting thing in the book (and maybe the event so far) happens between Riddler and the Penguin.  It's all about Poison Ivy and has me worried because who thought Nygma was going to stay on the straight and narrow for long?

The issue ends with Catwoman finding out that Batman's death was highly exaggerated and fighting the Magistrate with Lian while Harley and the Gardner show up in Alleytown with a few days to thrill... and/or find Ivy.

I liked what we got from Ram V in this issue.  It's a tricky thing getting thrown into a crossover and it doesn't help that the main book hasn't done much of anything yet.  Still, we get some significant developments for Catwoman readers while setting up some cool things for Fear State.  I wasn't a huge fan of Nina Vakueva's art, but it gets the job done at least.

Bits and Pieces:

Ram V does a good job giving loyal Catwoman readers some developments while tying into the Fear State Event.  I think the most interesting thing in Fear State so far happens in this issue, and that, combined with the cliffhanger, has me excited for the next issue. 


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