Thursday, September 21, 2023

Catwoman #57 Review


Written by: Tini Howard
Art by: Nico Leeon
Colors by: Veronica Gandini
Letters by: Lucas Gattoni
Cover art by: David Nakayama
Cover price: $3.99
Release date: September 19, 2023

Catwoman #57 continues the Gotham War event as Selina's Henchmen Union gets down to the business of quietly robbing a Ballet Gala, with Jason Todd taking the lead.
Is Catwoman #57 Good?

What?!? Yes, that's right. In the span of three issues in the Gotham War event, the Bat Family, specifically Jason Todd, devolved from "thinking about Selina's plan" to "defending Selina's plan" to "actively participating in Selina's plan." How does Jason Todd come back from trying to kill Batman (see Batman #137) and now robbing people? Does anyone in DC actually care? Probably not.

When last we left everyone in Batman #137, Batman sidestepped a distraction to break up Selina's Henchmen Union training facility, leading to an all-out fight against the Bat Family, which Batman won with Damian's help. As if matters couldn't get worse, Vandal Salvage strolled into town and bought the mortgage for Wayne Manor as a last-page gotcha.

Now, Selina organizes a mass robbery of a Ballet Gala (jewels, cars, everything) with Jason Todd running point to coordinate the new recruits and keep Batman distracted if he shows up. Of course, Batman shows up with the help of a badly constructed riddle from the Riddler to take out Jason. Unfortunately, the rest of the robbery proceeds without a hitch, Vandal Savage shows up to the Gala to warn Selina to stay out of his way, and we learn (SURPRISE!) Marquise is secretly Vandal Savage's daughter, Scandal.

On the whole, this issue isn't terrible. It's certainly better than Howard's previous issues, likely due to Chip Zdarsky's influence. Still, the basic premise is also its biggest flaw - the Bat Family would never just turn to a life of crime because Selina figured out a way to reduce VIOLENT crime. Crime is crime, even if DC doesn't understand that point.

What's great about Catwoman #57? Admittedly, there are two interesting points in this issue. First, Jason's talking-while-fighting scenes with Batman have the potential to serve as a moment of catharsis for both characters. If DC can capitalize on this moment, the two can begin to heal or send Jason down a darker path.

Second, Marquise's true identity reveal is an unexpected surprise that complicates the scenario in interesting ways. It's too soon to tell where Vandal's presence will lead, but his appearance and the motivation behind it are intriguing.

What's not so great about Catwoman #57? The central premise is ludicrous, as noted above. No need to delve into that point more than necessary, so just know the entire event has a bad foundation.

Next, Riddler's riddle that leads Batman to the right event is terrible. It's not clever or "too smart" for the average reader. It's a terrible riddle. Full stop.

Further, the Bat Family's (besides Jason's) passivity to Selina's plan keeps turning into a sore spot. Nightwing checks in with Selina while the robbery progresses to see how she's doing. I almost expected Nightwing to ask Selina if she needed help carrying some jewels her crew stole. Ridiculous.

Last but not least, the dialogue is rough in spots, specifically in the opening prologue. Batman doesn't sound like Batman, and Selina sounds like she's at least anticipating her plan is breaking him psychologically. Well-established characters aren't talking like themselves or expressing their thoughts and feelings consistent with who they are as characters.

How's the art? It's great. Nico Leon turns in solid visuals with excellent character designs and energetic albeit brief action.

About The Reviewer: Gabriel Hernandez is the Publisher & EIC of, a comics review site dedicated to indie, small, and mid-sized publishers.

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Bits and Pieces:

Catwoman #57 is a slightly better issue compared to the previous Catwoman issues, but all focus is on the Gotham War event, which has a broken foundation right from the start. The art is great, and there are one or two interesting developments in this issue, but the central premise is flawed, and the characters act wildly out of character.


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