blogging by Andrew Wickliffe


Catwoman (2002) #7


Cw7Last issue ended with Holly, on assignment from Selina (but maybe a little too gung ho), shot by dirty cops. This issue opens with them approaching; luckily, Selina gets there in time. Selina rushes Holly to Leslie Thompkins’s clinic and reveals she knew Holly was a recovering addict this whole time.

As Leslie gets to operating, Selina takes the scant information she’s got—Holly was trailing an undercover narc before seeing some cops kill him—and heads over to Slam Bradley’s. Meanwhile, very special uncredited guest star Crispus Allen shows up at the dirty precinct to help out in the murder investigation, not suspecting he’s after some fellow officers.

Most of the issue is Selina and Slam bantering and getting the skinny from his contact at the precinct. Writer Ed Brubaker wastes no time getting to the meat of the corruption; the precinct has taken over the local drug trade, shooting down anyone who gets in their way. It’s good exposition stuff, tough capes noir, with some really nice layouts from penciller Brad Rader.

The other big change this issue is the narration. There isn’t any. Brubaker’s not narrating from Selina’s perspective (or Holly’s, like last issue). And with Selina wearing her mask most of the time, there’s less potential insight into her emotions. The issue’s very quick—Selina wakes Slam up at four in the morning or thereabouts, and the cliffhanger is the morning news—something the art doesn’t convey.

The art this issue’s a tad disappointing. Rader has Rick Burchett and Cameron Stewart inking; Burchett makes it all look like an issue of Batman: The Animated Series, with Stewart presumably the one who gives Slam some visual character. It’s too bad, though it’s worst at the open and improves throughout.

It’s a compelling story, slightly bland visuals or not, and Brubaker’s plotting is impressive. I was expecting another first act for the arc since last issue was a Holly “fill-in,” but no, he’s full speed ahead on the story. And already writing Slam and Selina great together.


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