CATWOMAN #63 Review

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SYNOPSIS: “NINE LIVES” PART FIVE! Selina’s international tour of death and rebirth continues. Her latest crime? Going deep beneath the sea to rescue a film director turned brainwashed political prisoner from a bunch of undersea ne’er-do-wells. The only problem is the director doesn’t want to leave his new home, and he’s harboring a secret that’ll make him lethal to Selina if anyone finds out he’s been taken…including the director himself. To make it through the mission with any of her nine lives intact, Catwoman will have to trick her quarry into thinking nothing out of the ordinary is happening. But will her acting skills stand up to the director’s standards?!

After going into a radioactive wasteland and resurrecting to tell the tale, what danger could a Cat(woman) face next?

Water.

Lots and lots of water.

An ocean of it, actually.

And so, Selena finds herself under the sea in an attempt to rescue a noted documentary director from the clutches of a N.E.M.O. cell in Tritonis. There’s a lot of Aquaman backstory to unpack here, and while the king of Atlantis doesn’t make an appearance, Selena seems to know enough about the situation to give the readers the backstory through her narration. I wasn’t lost. Much.

Aiding writer Tini Howard in this overcomplicated plot is returning artist Carmine Di Giandomenico. As usual, lots of widescreen panels abound, making the story feel very cinematic, and appropriate given Catwoman has to steal a director and his revealing documentary, as well. The title splash page is a neat image, with Catwoman adorned in diving gear, her costume’s cat ears pulled back. They’re very emotive throughout the issue. It’s not practical, but it adds a sense of fun to the proceedings.

Veronica Gandini does her usual brilliant job on colors, capturing the warmth of the sunset, or the blue-green bubbles in the ocean depths. The deep purple of Catwoman’s costume stands out amidst the gold of the Tritonians’ armor and the bright red of the N.E.M.O. occupiers. The plot is busy, the fight scenes, too, but thanks to Gandini’s assistance, the art is easy to decipher.

As Howard inches us closer to the Goddess Bastet’s true intent, I appreciate Selena’s questioning of it all. Her narration is really strong and shows us many different facets of her personality. I particularly liked lines such as  “throwing a punch underwater feels like a bad dream”. It not only feels noirish but highlights the predicament Selena is in. Catwoman is literally out of her element.

So, while a bit complicated, I loved the twists and back and forth in this issue. It may not my favorite of the arc so far, but entertaining nonetheless, with a great sense of danger and engaging art. The rising threat hinted at during the end means Catwoman may be running out of her nine lives faster than she thinks and I can’t wait to see what adventure Howard cooks up 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.