The biggest worry going into the 8th issue of “Catwoman” was the introduction of a new character called “Spark”, a wisecracking thief with electrical powers. Well, I have some good news: he actually wasn’t annoying. Do I still hate the idea of Catwoman pulling heists with a guy who shoots lightning from his fingertips? Yup! But Winick played it safe and basically gave him the exact same personality as Selina so he’s not too grating (yet) and I didn’t have to suffer a character who acted like he was too-cool-for-school, or some sort of Jar-Jar Binks comedic-relief type of character.

Instead, what I got was a pretty fun and energetic failed caper, a cameo by Penguin (who looks like he’ll be handled way better than he was in “Detective Comics” recently), and more from the mysterious prostitute murders that were barely touched on in the last issue. There’s quite a bit going on here and it’s clear that there are big plans for the future (including a nice tie-in to the Night of the Owls which will be the focus of next month’s issue).

Spoiler
My problem with the issue’s writing is that it has one of the same problems that came up in Winick’s other bat-title, “Batwing”. When the big guy in the cloak blows up his car and runs away the story jumps to a visit with scared hookers– why didn’t they chase after the bad guy? Winick apparently hates writing scenes in which the hero actually pursues the bad guy because Batwing never chased after his villain, Massacre, either. Multiple times, in fact. Just let him get away. That’s what happened here. I mean, the bad guy was huge and was wearing a giant cloak– he should stand out. Plus Catwoman is one of the fastest, most agile characters around and should definitely be able to catch up. It’s not like she doesn’t have a partner now to hang back and protect the downed prostitute.

My other problem was that the prostitutes Catwoman and Spark visited said that their pimp didn’t care what happened to them just as long as they didn’t go “indie, or working for a new man”. I don’t see that happening. Especially when the hookers just explained that 9 of them have gone missing recently. Nine! No pimp is going to just let it slide that nine of their hoes have vanished. That’s a lot of potential income down the drain and they now have to turn out even more hookers just to break even. These pimps would be mad as hell and looking around to see who took their girls. By the way, have you ever seen the film “The Chaser”? It’s a very good South Korean movie about a pimp who goes on the hunt for his missing girls who have been captured and murdered by the same serial killer. I highly recommend it.

As for the art…well, it looks nice for the most part. Really nice. The amount of detail put into the mansion armory was particularly nice. Adriana Melo does an incredible job drawing the settings. Gwen’s apartment, the pool area, the mansion armory, and more are all rich in detail and it’s worth gazing at the panels a little longer just to take in the minutia. What isn’t handled quite so well are the faces. Particularly Penguin and Catwoman who look different from frame to frame. It’s a much bigger problem for Catwoman, obviously, who sometimes looks…

Ew. And if that wasn’t enough…

Quite the, er…handsome woman, eh?

Overall it’s an alright book. Catwoman’s changing face is a bit of an annoyance, but at least Spark wasn’t! And the story Winick is cooking up appears to be going places, unlike the last arc which was basically just a bunch of stand-alone adventures that were incredibly fun but lacked depth. He’s even found a way to blend the Court of Owls into the current plot quite nicely. It’s not a must-have issue, but it was definitely an enjoyable read.

SCORE: 7/10