Oh my God! They’re still doin’ it?! I can’t believe Judd Winnick actually had this issue pick up exactly where the last one ended! And after the uproar over that ending, I can only imagine fans will be dropping this book in droves after this. At first I was more put off with the sex scene in light of the book being rated appropriate for Teens. This time, I was just annoyed at how awkward and clunky it was! I’m no prude. But this scene was trying so hard to titillate and be sexy that it was the exact opposite. It was trying too hard.
I seriously had trouble even reading further. Sigh. Anyway, after she gets dressed, Catwoman steals the Russian horse painting that was a trophy for some Russian mobsters and holds it for ransom from two warring factions. She arranges to pick up the payments at a packed Wayne Foundation benefit. There, Bruce Wayne hits on her, knowing that she is Catwoman, but without Selina realizing Bruce’s secret identity. She finds herself drawn to him. Boy does she! More clunky, crude dialogue, which I will spare you. Selina slips away and changes into her costume, grabs her ransom money and tricks the two mobs into coming face to face. Of course they then proceed to kill each other and she makes her getaway. All is not well, however as she is then attacked by a new villain named Bone. It looks dire. I’ll never find out how this ends, because I won’t be reading this book anymore. I’ll just assume she gets out of it. I mean, it’s her book.
It sucks, because in the right hands, Catwoman is a glorious character! I will concede that there have been glimpses of that in these two issues. As Catwoman is escaping with her money, I got that joy she exudes and understood why she lives the life of a criminal. It gives her a rush like no other. I think Judd Winick gets that about her. I think to a degree he gets the character overall, but he just got in his own way here. Some writers say things like, “These characters just write themselves.” I can tell that is NOT what happened here. Maybe Selina was trying, but Winick was determined to force things his way and stifled that.
Plot-wise, I was surprised that the Russian mafia story line ended so quickly. That kind of makes it feel like a throwaway, not fitting a major relaunch. If Bone is supposed to be the big baddie, use him upfront. Don’t “bury the lead” as they say in journalism. Honestly, the way the story is structured, it felt like the first story line existed just to build up a certain supporting character, only to off them in the second issue. It’s not that shocking a loss, as to my knowledge this character has never appeared before, so killing this person is like killing a red shirt on ‘Star Trek.’ Who cares? Also, the death is rendered in a manner that I’m on the fence about considering exploitative. At any rate, it’s also not “Teen” appropriate.
Guillem March’s artwork overall is good. I loathe that cover, though! I just wanted to scream, “Get a room!” at it. The actual scene of the horse painting vanishing is downright brilliant! He does draw a sexy Bruce Wayne. Selina attends the Wayne benefit in a pretty skimpy dress, but it doesn’t look trashy. (Ugly, yes but not trashy. That asymmetrical hem with that plunging neckline? Girl, please!) Some of his body positions are awkward, though, especially Catwoman’s. I get that she’s nimble, but she contorts herself into some pretty weird poses.
I love Catwoman as a character and there have been times when I’ve continued buying a certain character’s book just to support that character even though the books are so mediocre-to-bad I don’t bother actually reading them. But this isn’t going to be one of those times. This is just so BAD I can’t do it. (Hey, come to think of it, another time when this happened was with ‘Power Girl’ and guess who was writing it at the time!)
Written by Judd Winick
Art and Cover by Guillem March