CATWOMAN #62 Review

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SYNOPSIS: NINE LIVES PART FOUR Catwoman has completed three of her “impossible” heists, but her nine lives are running out faster than she thought! Little does she know, someone with a particular use for disposable lives has been paying attention to her new mission-and that someone is none other than AMANDA WALLER! Welcome to the Suicide Squad, Selina Kyle — hope you survive the experience!

Tini Howard opens with a flashback to “long ago”, but judging by Selena’s attire and hair, it’s in the Knightfall era. Selena gets caught by Amanda Waller while doing a heist, but Waller lets her go, provided Catwoman goes on one mission for her.

Cutting to the present day in Cairo, Selena comes to Waller to pay back that debt. Getting the requisite bomb in her neck, Selena meets her team of Ravager, Sportsmaster, Jeannette, Black Alice, and Clock King. Their mission? Steal the Royal Beard of Hatshepsut from Black Adam, unseen.

 Of course, things don’t go as planned, including Selena getting some mystical assistance and clarification from the goddess Bastet.

Aiding writer Tini Howard is artist Carmine Di Giandomenico, no stranger to the Bat Cave, having recently done Batman: The Knight. While I miss the presence of Stefano Raffaele, you can’t go wrong with Di Giandomenico in my opinion. While both artists are distinct, I feel Di Giandomenico’s line work is similar enough that it won’t be too jarring in trade.

The very premise of this issue — that Waller let Selena go on a handshake promise –immediately took me out of the story. I can’t see Waller accepting that at face value or without having a plan in place to coerce Catwoman to do her bidding when she wants her to. However, Selena using one or more of her nine lives in a Suicide Squad mission is a great premise. It’s just that something felt off with how Waller came into (and exited) this story.

The Squad members felt random and without purpose, except for Black Alice. I’m not up on any current Suicide Squad titles, so I’m unaware of any current lineup, but Ravager felt shoehorned in to give Selena a threadbare excuse to be there, and Sportsmaster and Clock King could have been any DC villain. We don’t spend much time with them anyway.

The main point of the issue is to push Selena into some more answers about her current status. Howard has been slowly stringing the reader along, leaving little drops of mysticism throughout, so that by the time we reach a certain moment, it doesn’t feel out of place to either us or Selena. Again, Catwoman is one of the more grounded, street-level characters in the DCU, but I am enjoying this more fantastical side of her newfound status quo.

Despite some criticisms, I did enjoy the issue. Black Adam feels menacing and a true threat to Catwoman. I enjoy Selena’s narration, too. The art is enjoyable, but it did feel slightly different under Gandini’s colors, compared to Ivan Plascencia’s work on The Knight. While not a cliffhanger, the ending left me eager to see the next chapter. I recommend this arc, despite any shortcomings I felt with this entry. Check it out for yourself and let me know what you think! 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.