Catwoman #13 // Review
A fiercely independent thief struggles to assert herself in Villa Hermosa as a grizzly spectral conflict erupts in the Governor’s Mansion in the latest issue of Catwoman. Writer/artist Joëlle Jones directs the flow of traffic between a number of different plot points in an issue brought to the page with the aid of fellow artists Fernando Blanco and Hugo Petrus. There’s a lot going on in the issue, which comes across as a few different odd ends meeting together between two covers on the way out to a meeting with Lex Luthor for an obligatory meeting with DC’s Year of the Villain crossover event.
James wants to help Selina Kyle. He knows that she’s not well. He chases her across rooftops. She’s in costume as Catwoman. She doesn’t want to be helped. Elsewhere an ancient artifact has found its way into the Governor’s Mansion. When blood is spilled on it, a strange vision appears that bends the story in the direction of greater mystery in the shadowy city of Villa Hermosa. Near the end of it all, Catwoman hops a motorcycle...off to meet with Lex Luthor, who is there to offer her a mysterious opportunity to embrace the inner person he thinks she really is.
Jones does her best with a scattering of stray plot elements in the thirteenth issue of the series. She does a pretty good job of developing a rhythm with all the loose ends in the ongoing series, but it still feels like a scattered patchwork of things that would have more resonance if they properly shifted into a more coherent theme. There IS some sense of Selina Kyle trying to find herself only to be offered greater insight by Luthor, but it’s a bit chopped-up by other events going on in the Governor’s Mansion. It’s a series of somewhat unrelated scenes, but each scene DOES feel well-executed for the most part.
The art doesn’t help matters. Three distinct artists are working on the issue. The first pages of drama are brought to the page by the inky pools of Fernando Blanco’s art. Blanco’s good with the action, but the subtle detail needed for the drama between Catwoman and James feel a little flat with Blanco’s style. The mystic horror drama going on at the Governor’s Mansion feels suitably sinister with the relatively detailed art of Petrus. After the work of the two other artists, its refreshing to see Jones return to draw her own scripts as Kyle dons the catsuit and heads out on a motorcycle to meet with Luthor.
Things collide in this issue in a way that may not precisely feel cohesive, but at least it’s true to form for Kyle at this stage in her life. Things aren’t neat and tidy. Sometimes they’re gloopy and murky. Sometimes they get ugly. Every now and then she’s got to hop onto a bike and go for a ride. Issue thirteen might not feel very connected, but it IS an impressive 20 pages or more with a fascinating character.