New 52 – Catwoman #5 review

Since I’m getting to this review late, chances are you probably already made your decision on whether or not you wanted to buy Catwoman #5. I look around now and see that most other sites have already given a review and they seem to be resoundingly lukewarm or completely negative. Which…I just don’t understand. Too many people are approaching this book as if it’s about a hero and not a hedonistic, adrenaline junkie catburgler in her early 20s. I saw a few reviews that went so far as to call the character and her book as a whole “stupid” and I just don’t think that’s right. Does Catwoman recognize that what she’s doing is going to get her into major trouble? Yes. Does she do it anyway? Yes. And I can see how you could make the argument that that makes her stupid—it sure as hell isn’t smart behavior– but that’s just how self destructive people are and writing it off as “stupid” ignores the character’s complexity. Catwoman wants to live on the edge and to do that she behaves recklessly. Some of the most compelling moments in the series so far involved her actions getting someone close to her killed and like all self destructive personalities she wallowed in pity and swore she would changed but here we see she has ultimately regressed. She’s not stupid, she doesn’t want to be caught– she wants to be chased (by you-know-who). She enjoys getting into harry situations just so she can try and claw her way out. That’s what makes this book fun. It’s something you never see the heroes do: look for trouble.

So what did I actually think of the book? I liked it. It was better than the last issue, but still not the series’ best. I was thankful that the lame, new super villainess “Reach” was taken care of quickly. That makes twice that Winick has introduced a brand new uninspired villain only to have Catwoman kick their ass in the following book’s first few pages. I’ve fallen for it every time. The art is still fun, sexy, and the face of every character is not only unique but very expressive. There’s even a chase scene that’s some of the most well-drawn action in the series so far. In fact, the only things about the art that I disliked in this issue was the way Catwoman’s costume was made reflective and the use of BROOOOOOOM. The way the city skyline reflects on her cowl is incredibly distracting and just plain ugly. Stop it, please. And as for the BROOOOM thing, that’s in reference to the sound of Catwoman’s motorcycle. Not only do I want it to be “vroom” instead (pretty nitpicky, right?), but it’s everywhere. The only ugly shot in the whole book is a two page spread where Catwoman’s face looks extra pointy and the entire page is covered in BROOOOMs. Everything else is wonderful though and I think March is a great fit for Catwoman.

Overall, it’s a good issue. A lot of exciting and funny things happen, we learn more about the detective hunting her down and how corrupt his precinct is, more of Selina’s past comes to light (the more flashbacks the better, if ya ask me), and just like every issue, this one ends with a “How’s Catwoman gonna get out of this one?” cliffhanger that’s really going to make you scratch your head.

It makes you wonder if Catwoman’s identity is public knowledge yet or not in the New 52… hmmm…

It’s easily a 7.5 or an 8…not that points matter if you read what I had to say. Truthfully, Catwoman is one of the better Bat-titles and easily one of the most exciting in the entire New 52. Definitely worth buying. I don’t know why it takes so much flak, but thankfully there are enough varied opinions about this book online so you can make an informed decision before you head to the comic shop.

SCORE: 7.5