Roman Sionis has been brought to his knees, but enough is enough. Catwoman’s vacation is over and it’s time to get back to work. But Selina has never been Gotham’s only protector, and she’ll have to contend with a well-meaning family of bats…What’s that old saying? The enemy of my enemy…should back off and let me handle it!
You Don't Read ComicsOn an issue-by-issue basis, true multi-title integration is really, really difficult to manage. Either theres some big dozen-issue crossover that derails the momentum of the individual titles without actually doing much, or the elements that crossover are minor curiosities. With the 45th issue of Catwoman, Tini Howard manages a deep integration with nearly every title in the Batman family of comics that makes Gotham City feel remarkably vibrant while also providing a fascinating look into the psyche of the title character. The central plot of the story might not be all that interesting, but Howard makes the title character and her world seem totally captivating.
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COMICONThings in Gotham are petty darn good these days across the variety of titles, one of the books at the top is ‘Catwoman' which continues its couple of years reign as one of the best books that DC Comics has been putting on shelves. It's gorgeous, sexy, fun, emotional, full of wild slick action, deep character moments and development, and just a whole lot of comic book goodness.
Geek DadAfter Selina’s road trip and her dismantling of Black Mask’s empire, Selina is returning to Gotham—only to find out that the Gotham mobs have escalated in her absence. The opening segment is a particularly tense battle against human traffickers with the help of her sometimes-ally Valmont—and she’s starting to come around to his brutal tactics, it seems. Valmont is a fine character, charming and ruthless, but he seems a little too close in common DNA to the currently popular Ghost-Maker. The real high point of this issue is Selina’s frequent interactions with the Bat-family. This includes a tense joint crime-fighting mission with Tim Drake, a banter-filled engagement with the Batgirls, and a surprise encounter with an undercover Dick Grayson at a mob club. A lot of these stories sort of intersect with other Bat-titles, and the dialogue is great, although Selina’s story doesn’t seem to be progressing all that much since the end of the first arc of this run.
Comic WatchTini Howard continues to re-establish Selinas role in the Gotham underworld hierarchy, and her place in the Batfamily. We get some fun interactions with the rest of the Batfamily members, and Velmont continues to grow on me. Im really enjoying how closely Tinis going with the continuity of the other Batbooks, which has been a real treat.
Lyles Movie FilesCatwoman is getting close to being essential Batman Family reading. The only real hang up is writer Tini Howard’s odd fascination with making Selina Kyle so independent then proceed to have a litany of guest stars popping up in support roles. Selina has operated just fine as an anti-hero operating just outside the Batman shadow, which made this issue’s interaction with Red Robin, Nightwing and The Batgirls read so out of place. Another curious aspect of Howard’s script is how she writes Catwoman so against working with guys. Selina has been written for a while as someone who didn’t rely on a dude, but Tom Kimg’s extended stint with the character on his Batman run created some evolution with Catwoman. Howard is in some ways staying in line with King’s Catwoman portrayal almost to an extreme of making every guy that’s not Batman beneath her concern. And with The Batgirls fangirling over Catwoman as well the guest star interaction was all around odd. Fortunately, Selina’s main storyline of stopping human trafficking is working. It still feels a little early to determine if Valmont makes for a good sidekick/partner, but he’s at least a fresh voice. Sami Basri’s art is lively with a nice, easy to follow flow. Action scenes give a good sense of movement even if the characters have a slight cartoonish appearance. Robbie Rodriguez handles three pages of artwork that feels somewhat randomly tossed in, but is otherwise solid. Jordie Bellaire’s color work is stellar with excellent lighting choices and eye-catching combinations. Catwoman’s new status quo has made for an engaging read. When Howard dials down the juts because dude-bashing it’s going to make for a book that is well worth reading every month.
ComicBook.comAfter the truly delightful interlude issues of Selina and Harley Quinn's misadventures, this week's Catwoman brings its titular character back to Gotham – and loses just a slight amount of momentum in the process. While Tini Howard's script has some needed character interactions (and a recontextualizing of a previously-controversial scene from a recent issue of Batman), the tightrope act between that and moving the plot forward gets a little clunky at times. That tonal shift also seems to be reflected in the art, which does have some great moments, but fluctuates between the energetic status quo from Sami Basri and Vicente Cifuentes, and some scrappier work from Robbi Rodriguez. While this Catwoman issue isn't as much of a slam-dunk as recent installments, there are still some components that make it worth reading.
Dark Knight NewsCatwoman #45 deeply uprooted my expectations for where I thought this title was going. After the last two issues, I really wanted more of that “girl’s road trip” narrative. However, I, and many other fans, need to remember that the creators need to tell their own story, and we’re lucky it’s been such a good one so far. With this high summer sun, I think this issue sums up the “vacation’s ended” feeling. Catwoman’s gone back to work cleaning up her side of Gotham, and it’s time for us to get back to our daily grinds too. Though that may be a little odd to read in a comic book, there’s plenty to do when we return.
Batman-NewsCatwoman #45 doesn't break new ground with its core narrative, but it does offer interaction between Selina and the Bat family. While these scenes are frustrating due to Selina's general anger at any misstep, whether it be by Tim or Dick, there is some genuine drama to be mined from the current status quo. As it stands, Catwoman #45 lacks a compelling vision for Selina's war against the criminal underworld and the romantic drama is tepid at best.
The Batman UniverseAs Catwoman returns to Gotham after her Harley Quinn buddy road trip arc, Tini Howard CONTINUES to write Catwoman as incompetent, missing the ongoing girl trafficking by the Russian mob, and takes out her shame unjustly on Robin and the rest of the Bat-Family, increasing her unlikeability. Selina’s ridiculous hostility towards Tim and Dick and her amused tolerance for Steph, Cass, and Babs, in addition to the clunky, obnoxious final line about the “men of Gotham” (the mob), continues to underline how preachy, one-sided, and flat Howard’s performance is in exploring the Gotham underworld from a supposedly feminist perspective. Though it is perhaps annoying to continue comparing the two runs, Genevieve Valentine’s run on Catwoman explored almost exactly the same things that Howard is – the exploitation and dismissal of women by powerful criminal men and the way those women fight back – but instead of casting all of the men as one-not mustache twirling misogynists and all of the women as pure victims who just need to band together to burn down the patriarchy, Valentine showed women who make mistakes, have to learn from them, and sometimes even take bloody and unjustified vengeance.