Buckle up for this one, folks. Catwoman/Tweety & Sylvester Special #1 is absolutely wild from beginning to end. The Kindly Ones — yes, those Kindly Ones from The Sandman — make a bet with Looney Tunes‘s Witch Hazel that sends Sylvester and Tweety into Gotham city in a mad game of cat and bird. Sylvester falls into Catwoman’s lap while Tweety pairs up with Black Canary. Does the issue end up running afoul or is it the cat’s pajamas?
What the cover of this special doesn’t tell you is that Dinah Lance is the second lead character in the special alongside Selina Kyle. Both Cat and Canary get mixed up in the Looney Tunes and the bet that has thrust the cartoon cat and canary in their life. Writer Gail Simone pits Selina and Dinah against each other and though their conflict is ridiculous, it’s fitting for a Looney Tunes special. I won’t spoil anything, but Simone pulls in more than just Selina and Dinah to settle the witches’ bet. She doesn’t hold back at all in bringing in tons of characters from across DC Comics history that make the script go wilder with each page turn and it made for a read full of laughs as more characters show up who fit the theme well. Selina and Dinah’s voices really come through via Simone’s keyboard and she keeps their voices consistent even as the plot gets crazier. Tweety and Sylvestor also bring a ton of laughs that really show Simone must be a Looney Tunes fan. There’s a line from Tweety here that references some recent DC Comics events that had me holler out loud from how irreverent it was.
If you’re worried about this one-shot getting shrugged off with one-and-done quality art, worry not. Inaki Miranda brings an incredible amount of detail to their pencils and inks from Gotham rooftop scenes where the background buildings seem to go back for miles, but still contain really fine details to individual hairs and feathers lovingly rendered on Sylvester and Tweety. Sylvester in particular is drawn fluffy, plump, and a little scraggly and he looks so cute and realistic I wish I could lift him out of the page and snuggle with him. I tried to find an off panel where the detail drops or characters looked funky and, reader? There isn’t a page in this book that isn’t stunning, whether it’s the expertly placed ink on Catwoman’s suit to give it her trademark patent leather shine or the plethora of excellent character renderings during the more crowded group pages.
The sheen on Catwoman’s suit wouldn’t shine as well as it does without Eva de la Cruz’s coloring work to fill in the spaces and make the light reflect off it in just the right places. Speaking of light, one of the characters who appears wields energy blasts and de la Cruz makes them light up brilliantly in electric greens that gradate out into white. On every page, the light source is always clear with regards to the color values and every color is on display in tip top form throughout the issue. I especially love the pale green de la Cruz chose for Witch Hazel’s skin to convey her skin tone while still adding a touch of realism that the issue calls for.
After the main story ends, that’s not all folks! There’s a backup story written by Shea Fontana with pencils by Walter Carzon, inks by Horacio Ottolini, colors by Silvana Brys, and letters by Wes Abbott. The creative team evokes the Looney Toons style faithfully and there are a few gags that really sell the insanity. Some of the cultural references including a pop song and a TV personality felt a little forced, but I appreciate the team filling the backup with enough goofs to make each page really feel used to its full potential. Fontana includes a gag with a rope tied to a piano that is peak Looney Tunes and made me feel as nostalgic as I was amused.
Overall, I want to know who gave the Catwoman / Tweety & Sylvester Special #1 permission to go as hard on this special as they did and thank them all. This is a wildly fun issue full of surprises with every page turn. If you’re looking for a comic that brings a lot of fun with some serious talent, definitely add this special to your shopping list!
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