Connect with us
'Catwoman' #33 is a turning point for Selina Kyle and Alleytown
DC Comics

Comic Books

‘Catwoman’ #33 is a turning point for Selina Kyle and Alleytown

Father Valley finally makes himself known as things heat up in Alleytown.

While not exactly a slow burn, Catwoman is a comic that has generally proceeded at a more measured pace than other superhero books. Writer Ram V and artist Fernando Blanco have surrounded Selina Kyle with mysterious threats — none more intriguing than the assassin Father Valley — and built them up slowly.

If there’s one drawback to this style, it is in how many Catwoman issues feel like middle chapters instead of standalone issues. But with Valley assuming a more prominent place in recent issues, including last month’s breathtaking annual, it was only a matter of time before V cranked things up a notch.

Listen to the latest episode of our weekly comics podcast!

That escalation starts immediately in this issue, which deals with the fallout from Valley’s decision to torch an unoccupied church in Alleytown. The resulting blaze engulfs the area, sparking protests and a heavy-handed response from the Gotham City police (now flanked by agents of the Magistrate).

'Catwoman' #33 is a turning point for Selina Kyle and Alleytown

DC Comics

Blanco handles this scene perfectly, showing the fire’s expansion in a central panel flanked by talking heads from Gotham’s news stations. The design is reminiscent of a structure Frank Miller used in The Dark Knight Returns that treated TV news chatter as a kind of Greek chorus for the comic. What I like about it here is how it reinforces the realism of V and Blanco’s Alleytown. Like Daredevil in relation to the Avengers, Catwoman lives in Batman’s Gotham while managing to avoid the souped-up theatrics of his solo title.

While Selina has kept to the ground, she has followed Batman’s lead in other ways, particularly in how she’s molded a group of Alleytown “strays” to be a kind of second Bat-Family. These kids are one of the more memorable parts of V’s run and, as we saw in Future State, are expected to become more active allies to Selina. We see hints of that in this issue when Selina discovers the stray kids’ new base of operations, but her reaction is not exactly pride or joy. “Teaching them to look out for themselves is one thing, but I will not send them out to fight my battles,” she says.

And fight her own battles, she does. Selina finally squares up with Valley and the eight-page sequence is an exciting showcase for Blanco, colorist Jordie Bellaire, and letterer Tom Napolitano, who does a terrific job rendering Selina’s dialogue as she sinks underwater following the fight. Her words balloon in size, as if viewed through a magnifying glass, accentuating the distorting effect of the ocean.

Catwoman #33

DC Comics

Blanco portrays Valley as some kind of primordial demon sent straight from hell, backed by flames. Knowing he only has one issue left before leaving the comic makes these moments even more bittersweet. Blanco’s unmistakable style has been one of the defining characteristics of this comic since he and V took it over.

At least Blanco is getting quite a story to go out on. Selina, finally embracing her leadership role in Alleytown and willing to accept allies, has never needed them more. Valley, the Magistrate, and a host of other enemies await.

'Catwoman' #33 is a turning point for Selina Kyle and Alleytown
‘Catwoman’ #33 is a turning point for Selina Kyle and Alleytown
Catwoman #33
Ram V and Fernando Blanco's brilliant run on 'Catwoman' heats up as Father Valley and the Magistrate close in on Selina Kyle.
Reader Rating2 Votes
9.5
Fernando Blanco and the rest of the creative team maintain this comic's distinctive visual style.
Father Valley is as threatening as ever in a brutal clash with Selina.
The Alleytown Strays get a bit more fleshed out as the situation in Alleytown gets more tense.
Fernando Blanco is leaving the book soon!
8.5
Great

Like what we do here at AIPT? Consider supporting us and independent comics journalism by becoming a patron today! In addition to our sincere thanks, you can browse AIPT ad-free, gain access to our vibrant Discord community of patrons and staff members, get trade paperbacks sent to your house every month, and a lot more. Click the button below to get started!

Comments

In Case You Missed It

'Fantastic Four' #35 is a celebration for new and old fans alike 'Fantastic Four' #35 is a celebration for new and old fans alike

‘Fantastic Four’ #35 is a celebration for new and old fans alike

Comic Books

'Eternals: Thanos Rises' #1 is an otherworldly joy to read 'Eternals: Thanos Rises' #1 is an otherworldly joy to read

‘Eternals: Thanos Rises’ #1 is an otherworldly joy to read

Comic Books

'X-Men Legends' #10 to introduce the Eighth Circle in Mr. Sinister story 'X-Men Legends' #10 to introduce the Eighth Circle in Mr. Sinister story

‘X-Men Legends’ #10 to introduce the Eighth Circle in Mr. Sinister story

Comic Books

Rorschach #12 Rorschach #12

‘Rorschach’ #12 review: The finale is here

Comic Books

Connect
Newsletter Signup