What can I say? It’s a drastic improvement over previous issues because this comic actually made sense. I wouldn’t go so far as to call it interesting or memorable in any way, but at least I didn’t feel like slamming my head in a car door a few pages into it.
Nocenti’s quirky style is still there and Selina doesn’t feel like Selina but the painting heist she and Gwen are trying to pull is a nice change of pace from the bizarre demon possession storyline from last month. It’s the kind of situation that better fits this title as I’m sure you can imagine. Nocenti also does a pretty nice job of tying the past 3 or 4 issues together. She brings Milo back, Alvarez returns and now he has a partner, the Joker mishap is referenced, and we’re even tying into John Layman’s Detective Comics a bit. Heck, it also connects itself directly to the short story from Young Romance #1!
The artwork is also an improvement over the last comic but that’s got a lot more to do with what the content is. Instead of the weird ink map that bounced around or the pages full of shrapnel and blob monsters we have a much simpler narrative. Yeah, Sandoval still gets a little crazy with the length of things like Catwoman’s whip or the rat tails sprouting from the heads of some of the thugs. These things stretch for several feet and dance through the air in crazy zig-zag patterns but that’s all part of Sandoval’s more rubbery style. Everyone is always slightly distorted as they stretch to and from the given panel’s perspective. Sometimes it looks like I’m peering through a door’s peephole. Did you ever see the graffiti episode of Samurai Champloo? The one with the two brothers who all get up in the lens of the camera? I imagine all the characters in Catwoman move like that. Another thing about the art that doesn’t quite sit right with me but I suppose it’s all part of the New 52’s more Ke$ha-like Selina Kyle is how trashy she dresses. I hate it, really. To me Selina Kyle should be classy.
It’s when she dresses up as Catwoman that the bad girl truly comes out. I like the contrast of having this Audrey Hepburn looking woman turning into this S&M figure at night.
So…yeah. It’s not that offensive. The dialogue is quite bad and the art is pretty stylistic so it won’t exactly please everybody but at least the story was easy to follow this time around and we’re back to doing more traditional cat burglary again. It’s a step in the right direction, but not quite worth picking up just yet.