Catwoman #47 “On the Run”
Written by Frank Tieri
Art by Inaki Miranda
Colors by Eva De La Cruz
Alright…. That potentially dreaded time has finally come. Valentine is gone, and we now have a new writer, a new artist, and a new direction… So… How was it? It was good!
One of my biggest concerns heading into this creative change was that there would be a jarring difference in quality. Valentine did an amazing job with the characterization, and really brought Selina to a level that we hadn’t seen since the launch of the New 52. So much of a foundation was built under Valentine’s direction, and with Selina fleeing Gotham, I worried the new team would also flee from anything that was developed during the past two arcs. Thankfully, that isn’t the case. The narrative transitions rather seamlessly, and del la Cruz shared in that ease of transition by carrying over many of the color choices Loughlin used. It’s a tiny detail, but it makes a difference.
Tieri launched his run acknowledging Selina’s stint as the head of the Calabrese family. That’s already brownie points right away in my book, because nothing irritates me more than when creative teams try to pretend like the previous team’s run didn’t happen… Unless its Nocenti’s run, then you have a license to wipe that whole time period from your memory.
Here, Tieri returns Selina to who she is at her core: a thief. It’s her comfort. It’s what she knows. And in many ways, it’s somewhat nostalgic for her. For Selina, it appears that stealing takes her back to a time when things felt simple – something that the creative team touches on. But that doesn’t mean she’s now a flat character. Selina is still as complex as we want her to be.
The plot takes her to New York, where she meets up with her old fence, Louis – who just happens to be the fence she used as a teenager. We’re introduced to Louis as the two eat pizza and discuss a job he has for Selina… but it’s no ordinary job, its top of the line. After Selina initially declines, Louis discloses his personal intrigue and need for the heist. His reason is personal, concerns others, and is something that hits Selina close to home. Family. Knowing that he’ll need someone of her caliber, she agrees.
The story is high energy, fun, and produces a nice balance of sass and grit that it good perfect for Catwoman. You get a little bit of everything here, action, adventure, suspense, emotion, and it’s all packaged rather nicely with a whip! If I have one complaint, it’s that the plot was a little predictable in the end. I won’t give anything away here, but I’ll provide more details in my breakdowns below.
I was rather impressed with Inaki’s art. I wasn’t too familiar with his work, but he brings a nice energy to the title that was sometimes missing from Messina and Brown’s work. Where the previous artists felt more equipped for Selina, Inaki is the opposite. He seems to falter with Selina, but thrives with Catwoman. There were tiny details that he included or showcased that felt special, and were completely character driven. Whether it’s pulling a page out of Christopher Nolan’s book to make her goggles more than just a pair of goggles, or the way he features her physicality and the use of her whip, Inaki will win in the art department if he continues to provide this type of attention to detail.
While Inaki won concerning Catwoman, he made Selina more of a fashionista, and took some risks with her wardrobe that didn’t completely sit well with me. I’m not the most fashion forward guy, but I do work in the fashion industry. Bottom line, the eye makeup is a little much for some of the places she’s going… as are two of her outfits. It all just seems over the top for someone who probably wouldn’t want to draw too much attention to herself. Again, I’m complaining about the fashion itself – that’s a matter of opinion – it just doesn’t seem like smart things to wear considering her profession.
Breakdowns can be found in the spoiler tag.
The Good: This book is a lot of fun, and while “fun” can often mean it’s lacking depth or a “voice,” that’s not the situation here. You get the heist, but you also have nice relationships that are built. I really enjoyed Louis. He had a good natured, fatherly feel to him, and I was really looking forward to seeing more of him, and to potentially learn more about Selina’s youth… until Selina finds him with his throat slit at the end of the book.
Which leads me to the moral of the story. NEVER BECOME SELINA KYLE’S FENCE! No, seriously, you’ll die. In less than fifty issues, every one of Selina’s fences have been killed (Lola, Gwen, and now Louis). Take out the eleven or twelve issues where Selina gave up stealing to become a mob boss, and you’ll find they they’re killed within roughly thirty-six issues… I’m not going to lie, I’m a little peeved this character was offed so early, because I want more of him – which is a sign of decent writing.
Throw in solid action, a little wit, some grit and edge that has become synonymous with Catwoman, and you have a creative team with a lot of potential.
The Bad: My biggest disappointment was the predictability of this book. A good portion of the book consists of planning the heist, executing the heist, and reaping the rewards of the heist… and in every step of the way, I knew it was a set-up. The entire thing just felt too fast and too easy. The showcasing of the necklace at a private event; how easy it was to defeat security; getting ambushed by NYPD… I expected all of it. I gave the book some grace for now on this subject, but considering this arc is about Selina being the best thief there is, it’s disappointing that she didn’t catch on to this sooner.
- You thought Valentine’s Catwoman didn’t feature Catwoman enough.
- You enjoy a fun heist.
- You’ve been dying to see an older supporting character from Nocenti’s run.
Overall: Tieri and Inaki deliver a strong debut to their run on Catwoman, but it’s far from perfect. While Tieri’s dialogue is really strong, I’m concerned his plot won’t be as bullet proof as we’d like. Regardless, it’s still a fun read, and will keep you entertained!