CATWOMAN #57 Review

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SYNOPSIS: “The Gotham War,” part three. While Batman finds himself more and more isolated, Selina is never alone. With a volunteer army and two powerful generals by her side, the ballet between her and Bruce enters its next act with a shocking twist.

Holy House Guests, Batman!

 With Vandal Savage now owning Wayne Manor, what’s a Caped Crusader to do?

Try and save his wayward children, I suppose.

Although this is Catwoman #57, it also happens to be “Gotham War, part 3” and as such, Selena is giving equal time to Batman. Writer Tini Howard has to balance the Dark Knight’s various plotlines (no family home, how his “kids” are siding, rising thefts) with Selena’s, offering some good character beats with a storyline that feels both a little contrived and familiar.

After being surprised by Vandal, Batman decides he has to save Jason from himself and his new allegiance to Catwoman. The two fight, going through the usual motions when they are at odds. Artist Nico Leon makes it interesting enough, but I can’t help but feel a sense of deja vu about it.

Jason seems to be a fulcrum for this event, and I can see why Catwoman is relying on him for this issue. His history is used effectively on this outing, but I guess you need to read his tie-in issues to see where this goes.

Nightwing pops in for a quick visit to Selena while she’s “at work” and that scene wound up being the highlight of the issue. Howard gets into Selena’s head, giving us a better look at her motivations. Nightwing conjures up an old memory to prove how silly this “war” is and I have to agree.

While I understand the motivations of Batman and Catwoman, there’s just a small part of me that feels it’s forced, like Marvel’s Civil War. Yes, Bruce can be hard-headed and can have an element of “my way or the highway”, but if these characters could sit and have a conversation, this would be a very short crossover.

There is a further complication that Howard springs on us, a last page reveal that sheds a new context on all the stories since Selena has been in jail. That has piqued my interest far more than Jason and Bruce going at it again. It doesn’t bode well for Catwoman, let’s just say.

Being excited about this storyline, my feelings have cooled it considerably. Maybe I’m just tired from all the wars in Gotham. I appreciate Selena’s point of view and why she can’t see herself being a rich wife while parents can’t feed their kids, but the divide this is causing in the Bat Family isn’t working for me. Visually, the book has some great pages that combined with the twist at least make me want to see what comes next. Javier E. Trujillo

GRADE: B-

 

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Javier Trujillo
Javier E. Trujillo was a Batman fan long before the 1989 blockbuster opened on his 12th birthday. After following BATMAN-ON-FILM.COM -- the "Dad-Gum Original" -- since its inception, he started to write for BoF in 2019, covering Batman's 80th anniversary. He's a lover of all eras and aspects of The Dark Knight, but artist Jim Aparo will always be how he pictures him. When on the internet, odds are it's because he's talking about Batman or James Bond (or MAYBE Wally West). He resides in the "Live Music Capital of the World" (and also the genesis of Adam West's Bat-Boat), Austin, TX. You can follow him on Twitter @JaviTru or on Instagram @TheBondIsNotEnough.