SYNOPSIS: Fresh out of lockup, Selina Kyle is ready to make new moves. She won’t be working alone, as more and more Gotham criminals are drawn to her philosophy, but she’s not the only Cat on the streets. Eiko Hasigawa’s got a Catsuit of her own, and their plans to change Gotham forever won’t work if they can’t get along. Did someone say catfight?
Catwoman (Selina Kyle) versus Catwoman (Eiko Hasigawa)???
While the two Catwomen are fighting in this issue, it’s not with each other. Picking up from the last installment, Selena has dropped in on a meeting as Catwoman, prompting things to get a little messy, with her and Eiko running away from Black Mask at the Kitty Kat Club.
Selena finally makes it back to her home at the Trixie Motel, reflecting on how she hasn’t been back since Valmont died. I like that Tini Howard gives us a few moments like this throughout the story. While the new friends she made while being incarcerated don’t factor in this time, having Valmont serve as a reminder brings some cohesion to this arc as Selena gets some time to reflect.
While Selena remarks how she cries over losing cats more than people now, Dario shows up to throw that back in her face by coming to her with his current problems. He has somehow gotten himself into a deathmatch with his former lover, scheduled in three days’ time. Thus begins some practical training, where Selena voices some realizations about her feelings towards Batman. It’s almost done in a thrown-away manner, but it is there for those who look for it.
Of course, a lot of her and Dario’s troubles come amidst the current gang strife and how some gangs are trafficking women. Selena goes to Eiko for help, and again, no physical fighting, although it may come to that as Eiko isn’t willing to let the Catwoman identity go.
I must admit, I’m kind of clueless when it comes to what Selena’s ultimate goal is. Clearly, she and Black Mask have a score to settle, and she is a Robin Hood-type figure for those in Alleytown to rally behind. I’ve just lost the plot a bit and why this is headed in certain directions.
Part of me feels that we rushed to get to this point. From my perspective, Selena did not stay very long in prison, but going by how Dario refers to his training with Eiko, perhaps more time has passed in the story than I realize. I also may be eager to get to the crossover with Batman and this storyline is in the way of that.
Leon’s art is good but doesn’t quite wow me like it used to. Some of it went a little more cartoony than normal for him and I had to recheck the credits to see if he shared duties or had a different inker, but no, it’s all him. Gandini’s colors pack their usual punch and I enjoy how light gets utilized.
Howard has a lot of secret machinations going on between characters as the power struggle in Gotham escalates. Recent issues have felt disjointed to me, but become clearer on revisiting. Perhaps I’m rushing towards reaching a resolution as I am unsure of the direction, as stated earlier.
Catwoman #55 has a nice moment or two but overall failed to grab me as completely as other entries. It’s certainly not a bad comic, with decent visuals helping to provide some interest, but I’m ready to wrap this up. – Javier E. Trujillo