Publisher: DC Comics
Writer/Artist: Joëlle Jones
Colours: Laura Allred
Lettering: Josh Reed
Release Date: 8th August 2018
After a strong first issue, Joëlle Jones’ CATWOMAN continues this week as we take a deeper look into Selina Kyle’s life in a post-Batman #50 world.
Jones is taking an impressively measured approach to her storytelling here, keeping things relatively restrained for the most part – with the exception of the massive, multi-Catwoman brawl that kicks off the issue, that is. The threat from the Creels is only broadly hinted at here, although Jones does provide us with another truly memorable moment as we discover what the price for failing Raina Creel is.
Often when rising star creators get a stab at one of the big-name characters they blow in like a hurricane in an attempt to shake things up and leave their own mark, often to the detriment of the story itself. It’s fortunate then that Jones knows exactly what she’s trying to do here, drip-feeding us details of the fractured mindset of Selina following the jilting heard ‘round the world, while gradually immersing her leading lady in an imminent danger she may not be fully aware of just yet.
Visually, Jones is making sure that CATWOMAN is one of the absolute best looking comics on the shelves, and there are some legitimately cover-worthy pages and panels along the way here. Everything is impeccably detailed, and while the action moments are fluid and suitably slick, it’s the other dramatic beats – the scene with the jewellery box or the moment where Selina walks into the party – that really make this issue sing.
It also doesn’t hurt things that Laura Allred is providing the colours here, with a rich, striking palette throughout. What I enjoyed most about her work was the striking block background colours she uses during the aforementioned doppelganger skirmish at the start of the issue, telling the story and emotion of each panel every bit as much as Jones herself.
Selina’s inner monologue drives things forwards, and while some of the sub-plots feel a little distracting in the short-term, it’s clear that they’re going to merge into the main story sooner or later, and that it’s likely to be worth the wait until they do. It’s somewhat reassuring to see just how badly she’s taking her controversial decision, and while Jones isn’t necessarily delivering any new information about Selina’s choice, the fallout of the non-wedding is providing ample opportunity for captivating character development.
It’s another solid issue for sure, although it’s starting to feel like the artwork is doing the bulk of the heavy lifting to this point. Don’t get me wrong, there are some interesting storyline elements at play here, and the new villain is definitely worthy of your attention, but it doesn’t feel like the story has quite made it into full gear just year. Regardless, Jones’ track record should be considered pretty much impeccable by this point, so there’s absolutely no reason not to pick this latest issue up.