SYNOPSIS: The Gotham mob bosses suspect that their very own leader, Eiko of the Hasigawa Clan, is betraying their code by putting on a Catwoman suit. Is Gotham big enough for two Catwomen? Catwoman doesn’t play well with others, but this cat is gonna need the help of Tomcat to stay out of the mob’s crosshairs. Meanwhile, Selina makes a few enemies of her own in jail, especially the inmates her ex, Batman, put there.
Catwoman’s (Selena’s) stint in prison continues as Catwoman (Eiko) continues to roam the streets with Tomcat.
Eiko breaks up a fight club, with a little help from Onyx, trying to keep her criminal partners in line. Nico Leon’s art feels a little more manga-inspired than normal, bringing some big energy and dutch angles to the action. It’s a decent start to the issue.
Howard then has us check in on Selena, who is getting rudely awoken by the sounds of construction in her room. The jig is up and the guards are aware animals are sneaking in contraband through the vents.
This leads Selena to get her hands on a cell phone, allowing her to check in with her replacement and Tomcat. Apparently, Punchline is moving on to a “phase two”, prompting Selena to start planning a bid for freedom, with the help of her fellow inmates.
The book started to lose me here a bit. This whole “murder of Valmont/life in prison” came out of left field for me and now it seemed to equally turn quickly to “let’s get out of here now” without Selena completely meeting her purpose in paying for her crimes. I understand it logically, but I’m just not invested in it. It doesn’t feel earned.
Nor do I feel invested in Eiko as Catwoman at this point. Tomcat, sure. He’s got a character arc as he tries to better himself and deal with his family and the betrayal of his former lover. Eiko seems cool, but her being Catwoman just feels like a temporary stunt more than progression. And the criminals of Gotham are catching on that maybe this is a different person underneath the mask, but it doesn’t seem to be a problem…yet.
I did appreciate how Howard staged Selena’s recruitment of her fellow inmates. One speech flowed into the next as she sparred individually with each woman. Leon’s art compliments the script well and the colors by Veronica Gandini liven up what could be very drab prison interiors and seedy Gotham cityscapes.
While I wasn’t bowled over by the issue, it was still an entertaining read. There is also a fight between Catwoman and the Queen of Hearts and her Crazy Eights to add a little more spice and fun. I just am left wondering what was the point of everything for some reason and feeling unsatisfied by the end.– Javier E. Trujillo