Catwoman is kicking off with a new creative team, a new direction, and a new home for Selina Kyle, Catwoman #25 was a great comic setting up a new supporting cast for Selina, and in #26, Ram V and Fernando Blanco set to explore Catwoman’s new direction as a leader while rival gangs in Alleytown want to take up all the power. If you like crime dramas, you’re going to dig this new story arc.
This issue opens at the Iceberg Lounge. Penguin isn’t very happy with Selina stealing cash from him, and he wants revenge. Enter a new hitman character who calls himself Father Valley. This is a great new character who adds mystery and real danger to the story. At this point, we know Riddler or Two-Face aren’t going to kill our favorite heroes, so Ram V smartly introduces this new creepy character to add a new edge to the book and a new layer of danger. He’s also well designed by Blanco with a creepy undertaker feel.
This sets in motion the main plot, which focuses on Selina’s desire to take hold of Alleytown and take out two gangs who run different things. She’s now leading some young thieves and wants to become the queen of Alleytown. She’s not quite a superhero since she’s technically the head of a gang, but her heart is in the right place. The story opens things up with a cool double page layout of a map of Gotham showing us where Alleytown rests in relation to the Catwoman’s enemies.
By the end of the issue, it’s quite clear Catwoman has a handle of things, but that darn Father Valley might throw her plans out of wack. There’s a good twist on how a crime scene is unpacked using Detective Hadley, which spins into an impressive double page layout by Blanco. It’s an epic fight scene that shows Catwoman can take on an entire gang, but she’s still human and had to take some punches too. Colors by FCO Plascencia pop in that double page layout, with a cool red outline around Selina as she kicks over various panels in the sequence.
This issue does a good job of establishing how Catwoman is doing a lot of the work herself. Whether or not she’ll need to ask for help later on remains to be seen, but at this point, it’s clear she can handle herself. It’s quite light on the supporting cast and the thieves under her stead, which is a tad unfortunate, but it’s still early yet in the story arc.
Catwoman #26 is a good start to “The Big Shakeup” as Selina Kyle attempts to carve out her place as queen of Alleytown. Blanco dazzles with great visuals and Plascencia’s colors explore the seedy sides of Alleytown well, too. Catwoman is shaking up to be a sleeper crime drama hit.