Tuesday, June 21, 2022

Catwoman #44 Review


Holy Crimoly, It's Catwoman!

Writer: Tini Howard
Artist: Bengal
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: June 21, 2022

I was impressed with the beginning of Tini Howard's Catwoman run.  She was playing my song, grabbing things from Genevieve Valentine's earlier run while continuing the caring and smarts that Ram V pushed in his Catwoman book.  I don't know why this book suddenly became a Harley/Selina team-up, but it changed the book's tone and feels desperate.  But it's way too soon for that kind of move, and looking at the sales numbers, this book isn't doing that poorly.  We may never know what's going on, but I'm here to review the issue so let's get on with it.

Around the middle of the issue, Selina says something that summarizes my feelings for this issue - "I'll be honest, this is really more Harley's thing than mine."  I feel that if we did the Pepsi Challenge with this issue, a bunch of people would guess this is a Harley Quinn issue.  The issue's tone is more Harley than Selina, and that's a shame.  Harley is such an in-your-face character that there is always the danger that she will take over any book she is in, so the writer should be doing things to ensure that doesn't happen.  Unfortunately, Tini Howard seems to go the opposite route.

The overall story of Black Mask looking to get revenge on Selina gets lost a bit in the crazy roller derby shenanigans, and even the villain feels more like something you'd see in a Harley book.  Unfortunately, by the end, it looks like Howard is adding more to the team than getting back to just Selina.

As far as the story goes, Tini Howard makes things way more convoluted than they need to be here.  A hired killer is after Selina because of what she did to Black Mask.  Unfortunately, Tini Howard mucks things up by throwing in a random piece of shit, roller derby nonsense, and an overlong car chase to end the threat with a quick mention of pay inequality.  I understand what she is trying to do, but she also ensures nothing matters by the end.  

While I thought Bengal's art was ok in the last issue, I was not too fond of it this month.  It's hard to describe, but it felt more like Harley art, and there were a bunch of times where I got confused following it panel-to-panel.  But, of course, that problem is more frustrating when not much is happening in the issue.

Make sure to listen to our Weekly DC Comics Recap and Review Podcast to hear us talk more about this book.  Just look up "Weird Science DC Comics" anywhere you listen to podcasts or click here for podcast links and more: https://campsite.bio/weirdsciencecomics

Bits and Pieces:

Catwoman #44 continues the Harley Quinn - Catwoman team-up, and that's a shame.  I can't remember when a book took this much of a 180 this quickly in its run, but I want what we were getting at the start of Tini Howard's run.  Hopefully, we will.


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