Graphic Novel Reviews: Catwoman 012

The Story

After Dollhouse escapes, Catwoman finds Alvarez’s cellphone, with a GPS tracking device on him. She has Spark vandalize the bat-signal to get Batman’s attention, and leave a cellphone behind for him.

She then tracks down Dollhouse, and tries to fight her, but is hit with tranquilizer darts. Batman, who tracked her phone, crashes his car into the house. Dollhouse escapes, and so does Catwoman, leaving Batman and Alvarez to deal with the victims.

Later, Spark is confronted by Gwen about working for the police. He tries to convince her he isn’t really working for them, but she shoots him. She then calls the Penguin, revealing that he was the one who tipped her off.

The Review
With the exception of the twelfth issue of Batman, I’ve been pretty down on the releases for this month. Fortunately Catwoman doesn’t have to join those ranks. The Dollhouse story has been going on for long enough that the closure to this story feels like proper closure. Sparks end was unexpected, but handled in a satisfying way. I expected Selina would have found out about him, but to have the issue resolved without her knowing was a fun way to deal with it. Catwoman definitely suffered from a shaky start, but out of all the books, with the exception of Batman, I’m ranking it as one of my top favorites.

What works about Catwoman is that the stories are what I’ve been wanting for Nightwing and Batgirl. Rather than dealing with super powered villains, Catwoman has to fight a “regular” serial killer. There aren’t enough villaings like that in the other books. And while Catwoman had her own share of unnecessary meta-humans, at least Judd Winick has learned and given what we (read “I”) want.

There’s been a lot of criticism of the art on Catwoman, and I have to agree that a lot of it is pretty ludicrous. Far too much attention is placed on sexualizing a character that is already inherently sexual, and most certainly doesn’t need the added emphasis. And while there were a few moments in this issue where the art was a little iffy, the omnipresent cleavage still leaves its mark, I think overall the art was at its most subdued this issue. Nothing jumped out at me as being excessively titilating, with maybe two slight exceptions. One being the page where she attacks Dollhouse, and the other being where she’s sitting in the bathtub. Though she’s fully clothed then, seems almost like a missed opportunity for excessive fanservice, so I thank Adriana Melo for the restraint.

Alvarez did not play nearly as large a role as I thought he would, but the few bits of dialogue that he gets are quite entertaining. I honestly expected him to fill the role that Spark filled, and he might still, but he’s gotten enough development that I quite enjoy his character. His exchange with Batman was most entertaining.

I was glad Batman made an appearance this issue. Yes it would be nice if Catwoman stood on her own, and for the most part she has. Several issues have passed since Batman last appeared in this series, and I think that overall the Catwoman book has held its own. Batman’s involvement in the story makes sense, and the means by which he is pulled in is entertaining. Neither is his appearance a detriment to Catwoman’s character. She carries the story, he’s mostly used as a means to an end. And for anyone claiming that BatMAN saving Catwoman is anti-feminist or something, I want you to look deep inside, and ask yourselves, “If I could call Batman for help, would I not do so?”

Most of us probably would have played that card way before Catwoman did anyway.

And I won’t lie, my inner shipper, poor, malnourished soul that he is, loved Catwoman’s smile when the Batmobile crashed through the wall. Phallic imagery aside, that scene was a lot of fun.

Overall this was a solid issue, and Batman’s cameo just helped propel issue twelve of Catwoman to my second favorite book for the month. On its own Catwoman this month is a solid read, Batman is just the icing on the cake.

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