Catwoman #3 // Review
Catwoman #3 is written and drawn by Joëlle Jones with a strange interlude drawn by Fernando Blanco. Jones continues her opening frame on a brand-new Catwoman series with a mystery that finds the feline thief thrust out of Gotham City and into Villa Hermosa—a sinister place populated by equally sinister people.
Part Three of Joëlle Jones’ opening Catwoman story begins with an offer. Catwoman appears looking suitably regal as Selena Kyle in a meeting with the man responsible for hiring a group of copycat Catwomen. When it becomes apparent that she neither intends to leave the city nor go to work for him, things get ugly. The narrative later shifts to Villa Hermosa’s governor’s mansion. The governor’s wife tells him about her past, and Joëlle Jones passes along some of the art to Fernando Blanco who delivers a bit of her past to the page.
Jones continues to successfully play with a moody, detective-noir feeling. It might lack some of the clever punch of Raymond Chandler or Dashiell Hammett, but Jones’ approach is well-paced and respectably stylish. It might not be terribly poetic, but the dialogue always manages to give away just as much as it needs to without going any further. The sparse exposition enhances the sense of mystery that has become fully engrossing by this third issue.
As is usually the case when a writer is also the artist on a book, there is a really intricate fusion here between script and panel. Like the heroine, Jones knows exactly what she wants and she knows exactly how to go about getting it. She manages to capture the character in some very nuanced moments. The idea of bringing-in another artist to handle the story of an unreliable narrator in the governor’s bedroom might have been a stroke of genius if she could have found someone with a style that contrasted a bit more against Jones’ dark, shadowy inking.
It’s fun to see this sort of noir feel for Kyle and Catwoman. She’s a badass. Not afraid to turn down an offer she can’t refuse or climb out of an icy tub and into her costume with a few broken ribs. There’s no fear. There doesn’t seem to be any sense of self-preservation either. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the long run. An unflappably cool character is only cool for so long. Sooner or later she’s going to have to have a more emotional reaction. For now, this is actually really cool, though.