EDITOR’S NOTE: If you haven’t read BATMAN #50, read it before reading CATWOMAN #1.  Also, the following review contains information some my deem as SPOILERS, FYI.

SYNOPSIS: The wedding night’s barely over, but Catwoman’s back on the streets, this time to expose a copycat who’s pulling heists around Gotham City. As Selina cracks the whip on her former criminal cohorts, she’s attracting unwanted attention from one of Gotham’s most dangerous groups. The mob? Nope. Try the GCPD. And as if the Bat-Bride didn’t have enough problems, don’t miss the debut of an all-new villain determined to make trouble for all nine of Selina’s lives. Don’t miss the start of an all-new monthly series written and illustrated by Eisner Award-nominee Joëlle Jones!

If you haven’t read Batman #50 by Tom King yet, stop right now and go read it. Or you can go to The New York Times (I’m still a little bitter on that horrible decision).

OK, all set?

Catwoman kicks off a week after the wedding issue, with our favorite feline shooting a police officer on a rooftop. Or so we think. The next page shows us Selina Kyle at a gambling table, inter-cutting back and forth. After a few pages, and unfortunate deaths of the men in blue, we realize we have a copycat on our hands. But the police of Villa Hermosa (her new resting place) don’t know, and are after Miss Kyle. While the copycat may seem like the villain, we are then introduced to the governor’s wife, Raina Creel. She’s putting on a front for the camera, but we see her true colors once she leaves the set (You’re not normal if you aren’t gleefully grossed out when she dismantles herself). Our issue ends on an exciting cliffhanger with a room full of cats.

Artist Joelle Jones takes a crack at writing for this new monthly series, and she soars. I’m always excited to see what a capable artist can do when given the chance to be fully in charge of their own story, and she nailed it. What I enjoyed is how we catch up with Selina almost immediately after she’s left Gotham, not skipping a beat. Jones does a great job of introducing the world of this book, and keeps up the pace for all 20 pages. I love it when I quickly read a comic and am surprised at how quickly it’s over. This comic wasn’t short, it was just quick, fun and exciting. That’s everything I wanted it to be.

Of course, every panel of every page looks magnificent. Jones is more than capable of drawing a book herself. I was introduced to her work in the “Rules of Engagement” 3-issue run on Batman, and she’s been one of my favorite talents since. Here, I appreciate her character work, and the sort of grim and gritty setting in Villa Hermosa (I assume that’s a fake place? I was too lazy to Google it). Her style is original and clear, yet accents the shadows and creates a gorgeous atmosphere. Specifically, I liked Selina’s new home, as it fits her style more than a fancy mansion.

Catwoman #1 is off to an exciting and fresh start. This was one of the most anticipated titles of the summer for me, and it didn’t disappoint. We shouldn’t be surprised though, with Jones in full control. Give her a few more issues, and DC has their next superstar talent. – Ryan Lower