Battle in Black
For my own sanity, I've had to downgrade Catwoman into a whole different category of comic book. It is no longer something I compare to modern Batman, Nightwing or other serious comics but rather something I compare to Silver Age stories where crazy things often happened without explanation, and all the characters spoke in long monologues which explained relevant plot details. Truth be told, I'm not even sure how to grade Catwoman anymore because it has taken such a bizarre turn since Nocenti took charge.
I actually gave Catwoman a decent rating last week despite the fact that it left tons on unanswered questions and was extremely silly. I suppose I was being overly generous, but I thought as a nonsensical, adventurous romp, it was kind of fun. I'm not sure if I will be so kind today. Does Catwoman turn things around and deliver a high quality story, or does this strange conglomeration of nonsense just continue to fester?
In this issue, power mad Catwoman does battle with other evils unleashed in the Black Room.
Ow, My Brain...Starving!
I tried to go into this issue with the same light hearted expectation I had last time, but even that could not save this issue. Even as a ridiculous, escapist adventure, this fails. It is not one single problem but a whole slew of major oversights, so I guess I will just enumerate the problems.
1. The artwork sucks. It has the same art team as the last issue which I think I said I actually enjoyed visually. I don't know if this is a major change or if I was just high on crack during my last Catwoman review, but man, things are not pretty this time.
2. One of the major problems with the art is that two of the villains are amorphous blobs which means there is a lot of ill defined sliminess moving in ways that cannot be clearly identified.
3. There is random stuff floating around Catwoman.
4. Dr. Darwin makes no sense. In the last issue, he appeared to be under Eclipso's influence, but that does not seem to be the case this time, and he is still helping Catwoman who nearly killed him several times.
5. Nobody's dialogue, except perhaps the guards, sounds like real people.
6. Catwoman is a completely unlikable character in this story treating the doctor like crap and acting like a moron.
7. The flesh map is still not explained, and it is apparently sentient.
8. The flash map smacked Selina's booty just so we could get a close up of her butt.
9. Catwoman demands that the doctor show some spine while constantly deriding him. Is this supposed to be lovable? Is this real Selina being cruel, real Selina trying to help, or Ecplipso toying with Dr. Darwin?
10. Selina has elven ears without explanation. I know this happens when Eclipso possesses somebody, but this must be very confusing for those who've never previously seen an Eclipso comic.
11. Darwin attempts to analyze Selina's psyche by comparing her to monsters. This is...really dumb.
12. Half way through the issue, we finally hear some inner monologue from Selina which makes it clear that she is fighting for control of herself. That is kind of interesting, so why wasn't this clear through the whole issue rather than just those few panels?
13. Selina's whip is a million miles long.
14. Does Selina even have a secret identity? Why doesn't she wear her mask anymore?
15. Seriously? Why did a random disembodied arm superhero seem like a good idea to anybody? Seriously!
16. Catwoman defeats Escalate by slashing him with a sword...something she had already done several times previously.
17. Soldiers are portrayed as stupid enough to think they can shoot through a steel door.
18. Selina grew up driving tanks?
19. Tanks can't go through steel walls. Brick walls? Sure. Wood walls? Sure. Steel? No.
20. Even if they could go through steel walls, they would not go top first.
21. ARGUS apparently has no problem with letting anybody exit the building after a security breach.
22. We are seeing the third or forth expendable, forgettable, partner-in-crime-who-doesn't-actually-do-anything supporting character in less than two years of this series.
23. Ninth hour introduction of a villain nobody has ever heard about without any explanation or elaboration who was masquerading as ninth hour hero that nobody has ever heard about.
24. Catwoman has a “revelation” at the end of the issue that she no longer desires diamonds. This will never be explored ever again.
25. The flesh map was never explained or explored; it's current location is unknown.
Let's Be Fair
I came up with a list of twenty problems with Batman #16, but Batman still ended up being a fair issue because it had a lot of good things going for it. In comparison, I could only find two good things in this issue of Catwoman.
1. Obscure nod to the classic war series, “The Haunted Tank.” Sweet!
2. I do not have to read Catwoman for another month.
This is so very, very bad. It's not even ironically or light heartedly amusing. It is bad on every level.