New 52 – Catwoman #14 review

It’s Thanksgiving so I’m making these reviews short this week. So we’re getting straight to the point:

Is Catwoman #14 any good? Yeah.

Really? Because you said the last two issues were complete crap and book was probably worth dropping. 

Yeah, I know what I said and I stand by that. Issue #0 and issue #13 were absolutely terrible but this actually wasn’t so bad. Yes, the action and the overall story behind it doesn’t make much sense but the actual conversation that Catwoman and Joker has is interesting. Nocenti really does a good job of capturing the Joker’s voice (Catwoman still doesn’t sound like Catwoman to me though) and he says some very funny and very creepy things here. What makes Joker’s Catwoman intervention so interesting is that Nocenti uses it to address some problems that occurred in Winick’s run. Namely, how Catwoman hasn’t felt very independent. She’s had to be saved by Spark or Batman a bit too frequently. It’s a good point.

The problem is that this Joker, while he feels like the Joker, doesn’t feel like Death of the Family Joker. Ya feel me? The Joker we’ve been seeing in Batman is a walking holocaust. So why in Catwoman is he so determined to convince Catwoman to cut ties with the Bat family on her own as opposed to the Joker simply cutting her throat and moving on? It would certainly pain Batman more to find Selina dead rather than learn she’s going to take on more responsibility. Joker killing Selina would only push Batman more and that seems more up Joker’s alley.

The artwork is great at times and not so great in others. Some of the action is kind of hard to make out and the Joker’s face doesn’t look as loose and decomposing as it should. This Joker looks like the typical Joker only with more horizontal lines creased across his face. It doesn’t look anywhere near as nightmarish as we’ve seen from the artists of Batgirl, Batman, and Suicide Squad. One moment on a bridge was also rather confusing. Catwoman appears to be sitting on the ledge of a building but in the next panel it turns out she’s on the edge of a bridge, but the bridge doesn’t have any guard-rails whatsoever and there’s a tank of piranhas underneath it so Catwoman has to use her whip to pull herself up but the artist drew her with the whip still tied around her waist which must mean that Catwoman has two whips…

Whatever! You said this would be a short article! Is Catwoman #14 worth buying? Ehhhhh….I guess? I don’t feel like what happened here really changes anything. It doesn’t feel like it has any real impact on the greater Death of the Family story and you’ll also be straining to figure out exactly when this would’ve happened if you’re trying to make a timeline out of this event. It’s just one amusing, psychotic conversation between two characters we rarely see talk. That’s pretty unique and worth checking out in my opinion. So you’re coming here for that discussion rather than a story. When Joker walks out of frame on the last page he’s gone for good from Catwoman. Next month will be the start of a brand new arc.

Ranking the Death of the Family tie-ins so far:

1. Batgirl #14- By a very, very wide margin. It puts these other two comics to shame.

2. Catwoman #14 – Showed us something new, but felt very unnecessary. I don’t think Joker would’ve bothered visiting Catwoman at all. Joker’s argument is that the batfamily makes Batman weak, but Catwoman can’t really be seen as a crutch to lean on like the other side-kicks. She’s just a very minor distraction and one that’s never really gotten in the way of the Joker/Batman rivalry… unless you look at it as a weird jealousy “He’s my man!” sort of thing.

3. Suicide Squad #14- Added nothing new. We see Faceless Joker meet Harley for the first time but again he’s toned down so as not to kill Waller and the rest of her team. The next issue of Suicide Squad will likely contribute more to the overall story of Death of the Family.

SCORE: 6.5/10