Rating: 4/5 – There’s a New Crime Boss in Town, and She Has Claws.
by ComicSpectrum reviewer Gabe Bustamantez.
This September marked 3 years since the reboot of the DC Universe and the introduction of The New 52. DC’s October issues has been serving as a chance to re-brand a portion of the DC line of comics with new creative teams and a new start. This month we received a fresh and hip new Batgirl, the introduction of Gotham Academy and Arkham Manor, and there are some interesting developments happening in the new Deathstroke book which has lead me to believe we may be seeing a new New 52. I’m not hinting at another continuity reboot, but a new chance for readers to jump into these DC titles and enjoy a fresh start as some titles get shaken up with new creative teams and directions.
Catwoman #35 is the latest example of the current trend of shifting creative teams to bring a completely different and unfamiliar take on long established characters. Due to recent events in Batman Eternal the character of Catwoman that we knew has been flipped on her head and has started down a new path at breakneck speed. Selina has discovered she is the heir to the Calabrese crime family and she is using her new found power to help Gotham City get back on it’s feet. This issue marks the debut of writer Genevieve Valentine, who has taken Selina and pushed her into the spotlight of this series. Not a whole lot of Catwoman action in this issue, instead we get Selina the savvy business woman dealing with organizing deals between other mob families instead of the face slashing and whips. We’re also give a whole new cast of supporting characters that appear to have their own hidden agendas that may or may not be of Selina’s best interests.
The art chores coming from Gerry Brown really do a great job of creating this new look and feel for this series. Selina is no longer drawn as the overly sexualized cat burglar in a skin tight suit, instead she is maneuvering crime families for her big plans wearing business suits and attending City Council galas wearing gowns. But, the strong attitude of Catwoman is still there. The art caused me some confusion in terms of characters. Many times Brown’s dark and scratchy art work made the supporting characters look too similar and caused me to have to jump back and forth between pages to get my bearings back on who was who. Along with limited backgrounds left many pages and panels looking like they were happening on a studio back lot, but overall I liked the art despite these shortcomings.
Right now is the best time in years to check out Catwoman. Everything from her new image to her new station within Gotham City is providing the perfect chance to follow what feels like a title with a purpose and a story that’s not “just the same” as so many others. Even though this issue is a fresh start with a revamped Catwoman it still comes with a learning curve. It’s almost a prerequisite to read the recent issues of Batman Eternal to fully understand when and how these changes started, unless you’re prepared to just jump in and take the new status quo at face value. You’re not given enough backstory on Selina’s quick rise to power in this issue and that confusion made me want to hunt down those issue to see how it all happened. That said, there is more than enough here to make me want to stay with the title and see where this story is going and what kind of trouble Selina will get herself into.
Reviewed by: Gabe Bustamantez
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