SYNOPSIS: You know what they say: two’s company, but three’s a crowd! The Royal Flush Gang joins Selina Kyle behind bars, and while the other inmates are team Selina, the Queen remains loyal to Punchline. It wouldn’t be jail without the ladies clawing each other’s eyes out, especially when Catwoman makes a special appearance just to kick some clown ass. All this chaos and distraction may just be the break-out-of-jail-free card Selina needs. Meanwhile, Tomcat finally deals with his ex-boyfriend who tried to take the Tomasso heir…
Things get crazy at the Gotham County Jail in “Rise and Revenge, Part 4”!
Selena and her team plan their jailbreak, but Queen and her Crazy Eights have other plans, namely getting Catwoman to fight Punchline! I’m still not sure why there is this Catwoman/Punchline rivalry. Perhaps I should ask BOF Senior Contributor Peter Verra?
Sometimes, trying to keep track of a character’s secret identity status can be really confusing, especially given all the Crisis, Black Label, and other reality-altering events. I would have assumed it was common knowledge that Selena is Catwoman, but apparently not as Marquise and the Queen of Hearts are oblivious that they are one and the same. The story needs Selena’s identity to be a secret, I guess, but it struck me as odd and threw me out of the moment each time it got brought up.
Speaking of secrets, Selena doesn’t know Marquise as well as she thinks, leading to a shocking moment of violence as Marquise literally takes one for the team for their plan to work. Leon totally sells the surprise on Selena’s face and the cringe-inducing way Marquise accomplishes her goal.
Leon is just on fire with this issue. I really enjoyed the way he broke down his panels and staged all the different action moments. Any time he drew Selena in her orange prison-made Catwoman suit he made her look badass, a combination of Zorro’s mask and Michelle Pfeiffer’s claws. It was a fun design that totally makes sense given her options.
Gandini’s colors really set the mood and I loved the lighting she provided, adding atmosphere to key moments and scenes. She made all the different Catwoman outfits pop, particularly the aforementioned prison suit, and did a good job bringing Punchline’s outfit to life, as well.
As mentioned above, I may not get the Catwoman/Punchline feud, but I thought Howard did an excellent job with Punchline getting under Catwoman’s skin, or trying to, and Catwoman also realizing Punchline’s nature and how she had to handle that. There are a lot of character dynamics in this issue, period, and Howard deftly handled them all, including the climax at the Kitty Kat Club and the hot water Eiko was getting into.
I wound up enjoying this more than the last outing, with the story’s momentum saving the day for me. I still feel unclear about Eiko’s motivations but am looking forward to seeing the potential conflict she has with a recently escaped Selena. The visuals in the book are very solid, adding energy to Howard’s script. I am looking forward to the crossover with Batman soon! – Javier E. Trujillo