Felix Lamarr is a cat burglar trying to clear some debt while trying to avoid his wealthy grandmother. But what surprises are in store when she catches up with him? Find out in Cat Fight #1 from IDW Publishing!
CAT FIGHT #1
Writer: Andrew Wheeler
Artist: Ilias Kyriazis
Colorist: Dennis Yatras
Letterer: Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou
Editor: Heather Antos
Publisher: IDW Publishing
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: May 31, 2023
Previously in Cat Fight: Felix’s life is pretty sweet – independence, high style, excitement, and world travel. He is a cat burglar, and possibly the best there is. His life is nearly perfect, and only one thing can shake it up.
COME FOR THE CAT JOKES, STAY FOR THE ACTION
Cat Fight #1 opens in Venice, Italy, where Felix leans up against a hotel window with a red jewel in his gloved hand and a bottle of champagne on ice nearby. He is a handsome Black man dressed all in black, as one might expect of a dashing cat burglar. His reverie is interrupted by a couple of guards, but with a small amount of exposition and a load of flair, he escapes with the diamond and his champagne. In passing, we learn that he needs a lot of money, and quickly, to settle a debt.
When we see him next, he has changed into a purple jacket and a white cat mask and stepped into a fancy dress party. Surrounded by the idle rich, he pays little attention to their conversation, but cannot help but catch sight of and assess their jewelry. He ignores his phone but makes his way to the garden gate where he speaks to Tabitha, mentioning that someone seemed to know he was going to be at the hotel. Tabitha swears she never said anything. She deals in stolen goods, and she is here for the diamond, the Red Rosette. He is hoping it will cover his debts and allow him to disappear for a while. She warns him that some fake Rosettes have been in circulation.
Then Felix spots a familiar, but unwelcome, face in the crowd – that of Claude Davenport, his grandmother’s majordomo. She has been calling him lately, but he wants nothing to do with her. Tabitha suggests he change his mind – his grandmother, Nana Kitty, is a very wealthy woman. Instead, he sneaks out. As he goes through an abandoned building, he takes a call from someone called Schrodinger who hopes that Felix will round out his crew. The target is Felix’s grandmother. To put more pressure on him, Schrodinger claims he has paid Felix’s debt, so now Felix owes him. Felix hangs up but is distracted enough that he does not notice Claude’s approach.
Felix awakens in his grandmother’s house. He is cranky because Claude drugged him. She is cranky because he did not answer her calls and she has some family business to discuss with him. He learned his skills from his mother, but today he learns that his grandmother was once known as Kitty Midnight and was a cat burglar supreme in her own right.
He only remembers being a lonely child when she raised him and was often off gallivanting around. She tells him about the syndicate she formed, a group of brilliant thieves she brought together to take up a Robin Hood-style life of stealing from the wealthy and putting the money, or much of it anyway, to better use. Now Schrodinger is trying to recruit her people and create a new syndicate, and she is his next target. Felix’s phone rings. It is Schrodinger, thanking him for (inadvertently) letting him know where his grandmother is located.
A CAST OF LIVELY INDIVIDUALS
The art of Cat Fight #1 is certainly stylish. The opening chase with the security guards is exciting without needing to be a shootout. Felix leaps from a balcony to a nearby roof, and we clearly see the ice bucket, a potted plant, and the diamond falling as well. Clearly, he must keep after the diamond, but this sets up his using the ice bucket against the guards. A few panels later, he pops the champagne cork to disrupt a flock of pigeons. That sets up a full-page panel to introduce the first chapter, and silhouettes of pigeons are used as white space, adding depth and providing background for the chapter title. I like how well everything flows through here.
I like the character designs as well. I cannot tell from this first issue quite what the tone is like. There are cat-related jokes throughout the text. The main characters we meet are all just a bit over-the-top. On the other hand, the relationships between people hold a significant amount of pain. I have already commented on Felix. Tabitha, who is also his ex, is dramatically portrayed in a dress that defies gravity. Kitty in the present day is a wealthy but eccentric lady; in her prime, she is a cat burglar to rival Catwoman as portrayed in the 1960s Batman TV show. The members of her syndicate look fascinating. I suspect eccentricity is the order of the day.
BOTTOM LINE: CRIME DRAMA MEETS FAMILY DRAMA
Is Cat Fight #1 humor, drama, a heist story, or some amalgamation of the three? Only time will tell, but it sure looks like it will be fun to find out.
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Cat Fight #1
Felix Lamarr is in debt to a crime family but intends to use his skills as a master thief to buy himself some time.