It seems like this new Catwoman run is flying under the radar, which is wild to me, because it might be my favorite crime comic running today.
So far in this series, Selina has set up a crew for herself, and this issue has them really popping off. There’s a car chase. Some drugs get moved around. Bullets get fired. It’s a good time!
We’re only three issues into the run, and I think it’s my favorite issue. I liked the anthology format of Catwoman #25, and it’s got some great stuff, but this one’s meatier and pushes the story forward in fun ways. This issue uses the new status quo in the best ways, and since it’s already a very good status quo, everything feels really good. All of this is great, and Ram V is what sold me on this new run on the series, but what stands out this issue is the work of the art team of Fernando Blanco, FCO Plascencia, and Tom Napolitano.
I think the whole issue is a place where Blanco gets to show that he is one of the premier crime artists working today. He does a great job of knowing when to be simple and when to be detailed, and his lines are thick and well defined. Plascencia does his standard work here, working with a lot of deep purples, pinks, and reds, reminiscent of Burton or Schumacher’s Gotham. Napolitano rounds the team out, with some amazing sound effects that both look great and draw the eye across panels in a fun way. As far as craft goes, this book is top notch.
I think the double page spreads (DPS for short) of this issue should be noted. I’m extremely picky about double page spreads. I tend to think there are right ways and wrong ways to use them, and ways that some writers use them actively harm my reading experience. Thankfully, both spreads in this issue are used perfectly. The first is one of the preview pages, and is a great example of how a DPS can be used to create horizontal space that looks and feels meaningful. Typically I ask myself if the same effect could be done on two pages next to each other without combining them, and the answer here is no.
The second DPS is a whole other thing, and is just so so good. It creates the feeling that the space is being invaded, damaged, changed against its will. Which, of course, is what happens in story. I’m not sure when the last time I’ve really dug into DPSs the way Catwoman #27 made me, and it’s a testament to the whole team that it works so well.
There’s one other page in the issue that’s notable, and it’s just really really clever. It should be seen, but it’s a fantastic use of negative space, while everyone on the team still gets to show how awesome they are at their jobs.
I think this series is still warming up, at least to some degree, but it’s already really clicking for me. Its combination of great art, fun core concept, and general vibe are making me want to compare it to Marvel Now! era Hawkeye, which is a huge compliment from me. I hope this series gets some heat behind it because this team deserves it, and if you want to be on board, how’s the place to start.
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