REVIEW: Catwoman #0

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Before ever donning the feline-inspired costume, Selina Kyle was a directionless thief struggling to get by in Gotham. Now that she’s Catwoman, Seline Kyle is a directionless thief struggling to get by in Gotham. Catwoman #0 is reviewed after the jump!

CATWOMAN #0
Writer: Ann Nocenti
Artist: Adriana Melo
Colorist: Jason Wright
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Cover Artists: Guillem March and Tomeu Morey
Assistant Editor: Ricky Purdin
Associate Editor: Sana Amanat
Editor: Rachel Gluckstern
Publisher: DC Comics
Cover Price: $2.99

Previously in CATWOMAN Judd Winick’s run on the series ended in Catwoman #12 as the titular character met up with the arc’s focal villain, a really nasty foe by the name of Dollhouse. Despite the buildup, the climatic throw-down between Dollhouse and Catwoman ends with a whimper as Batman shows up to save the day. The heroine becomes a sidekick in her own book as the threat is dispatched and the series prepares to move on to the next storyline.

CATWOMAN’S PAST SHOULD NOT BE THIS COMPLICATED…

This issue’s biggest fault is that it wants to be more important than it has any right to be. This is not meant as disrespect to Catwoman, her creators, or her fans. Catwoman has always been great when she has been presented as that fun and sexy cat burglar, who is an on-again off-again foil for Batman. But this issue plods through a convoluted timeline (seriously…we get five time period changes in nine pages) to establish very little. Selina is an orphan brought up in a group home where children are trained to be thieves, goes on to be a teenager who regresses into a pretty lousy burglar and winds up a young adult trying her hand at corporate espionage. Why? What does this add to the character? Instead of seeing Selina get tougher and more streetwise as she struggles through life in Gotham, we see her get constantly taken advantage of and outsmarted by every other character in the book before getting pushed off what looks to be a skyscraper and getting brought back to life by magic kitty-kisses. By the time I got to the last page and read what was intended to be a big development in Catwoman’s life, I was completely detached from the issue.

There is nothing in these pages that makes the book’s lead character stronger or more interesting.

…BUT AT LEAST THE ART IS NICE

The art in Catwoman #0 is nice enough. There’s no focus on cheesecake, at least on the interior of the book. Instead, Melo gets to depict a wide variety of scenes ranging from an office cubicle to a seedy orphanage and an upscale bar. Everyone looks nice as well. The action scenes aren’t ever confusing or set up improperly, but the script is able to jumble things enough that the book becomes hard to enjoy. Solid if unspectacular work on art.

BOTTOM LINE: KITTY LITTER

The New 52 version of Catwoman debuted to quite a bit of controversy. The fans and media alike were angered at what some perceived as a walking example of misogyny wrapped in black latex (and this controversy has lasted even through this issue…remember all the hoopla surrounding the cover before it was edited?). I stuck with the title since that first issue and experienced a few ups and many downs as the series tried to find its footing. Going forward, Catwoman is somehow going to wind up in the Justice League, but neither the series as a whole nor this issue makes Selina Kyle seem like a hero. She’s just a thief who has landed in trouble that’s way beyond her abilities. Yet, we’re never given a reason to sympathize or cheer for this underdog. It’s frustrating as I want this book to work, but it’s just not doing it for me.

As a single issue, this book is completely missable. I can’t think of a reason to pick it up. As the cap on a lackluster twelve-issue run, Catwoman #0 has convinced me to stop buying the series altogether.

Rating: ★☆☆☆☆

DID YOU READ THIS ISSUE? RATE IT!
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