Catwoman #5 // Review
Catwoman’s adventure has developed an interesting rhythm to as it reaches its fifth chapter. Writer/artist Joëlle Jones manages to deliver on some of the potential in this rhythm in a story featuring color by Laura Allred.
Springing into action after her sister was nearly injected by a sinister doctor, Catwoman is overcome by guards. Meanwhile, the Governor is suffering from an injection of his own. The substance in question is something known as Narssistrine—a vicious pharmaceutical that brings about death in large doses. Scenes fuse between the bedroom of the governor’s mansion and the psychiatric hospital. There’s a fusion between drama at a funeral and violence in the basement of the mansion near issue’s end.
Joëlle Jones bifurcates the story throughout the issue. After a quick introduction, the action between Catwoman and her attackers mixes with a scene between the governor and his wife. The second half of the issue does something similar. There’s real potential for a tale of a lean thief contrasted against the fate of a wealthy politician, but Jones narrowly misses that potential in favor of something altogether more disorienting. There’s clever allegory of a drug named after narcissism that’s intensely addictive in smaller doses and lethal in large quantities, but Jones fails to do much of anything with it, as any thematic form is lost to formlessness between violence and overdose.
Jones’ art doesn’t help matters. She has shown a great flair for kinetic action in previous issues of the series, but here, even the most aggressive action in the issue lays flat on the page as it mingles with exposition and images of an overdose writhing in bed. It’s murky. It’s muddled. It’s still fun, though. There may not be much clear direction to the overall action. Laura Allred’s colors are simple and clear. Jones renders all the detail, giving Allred clear direction with the color that she follows quite well.
The overall rhythm of Jones’ work continues to feel breezy and appealing, even as the delivery doesn’t quite live up to the potential. Catwoman’s charisma carries the issue through kicks and flips and the power of relentlessly slick attitude.