Batman doesn’t appear in this issue, but he really ought to be here somewhere. What with the cops moving a bunch of heroin through the city to make a deal with the Russians. One would think the Darkknight Detective would give a shit. But he apparently does not. It’s hilarious how bad Batman is at his job.
Enough about useless white men and on to the awesome ones.
Writer Ed Brubaker, penciler Brad Rader, and (sometimes) inker Rick Burchett do incredible work in this issue. The pace is phenomenal, starting with the cops pestering local businesses in the East End to put up Holly’s wanted poster. It leads to Karon, Holly’s girlfriend, calling the apartment to check on her, which wakes Slam, who’s on the couch (with a kitty), getting some shut-eye before he and Selina execute their plan.
The way Brubaker plots their plan is capital–it has different moving parts for each of them; Slam confronting a cop (which still hasn’t paid off) while Selina gets some information from a fence. Meanwhile, the cops (and their mobbed-up bosses) talk about their big deal for the night. Nothing can go wrong. We don’t see them setting up the deal; we don’t hear Selina’s plan to foil them (which Slam swears he doesn’t think is the worst idea, just not a good one because he doesn’t realize Selina’s the GOAT). Brubaker’s revealing the cops’ brash dealings in (for a comic) real-time, while Selina’s messing with them, but we don’t know to what end.
It’s brilliantly executed, heist-y stuff. Rader’s page layouts and visual pacing are exceptional; even at his best, nothing indicated he would do anything this good on the book. And Burchett, inking on his own (Cameron Stewart assisted last issue), only occasionally makes it look way too much like “Batman: The Animated Series.” It’s usually during the action sequences, so the lack of detail isn’t particularly painful.
And Burchett’s inks on the open’s outstanding; Slam and Selina are figuring out their team-up dynamics, and it’s gorgeous art. Fun, but serious.
Great heist-y cliffhanger, a sparing return of Selina’s narration, and some B plot building on the Mister Big… Brubaker balances it all beautifully. Catwoman already got great fast, but this issue’s sublimely raising the bar even more.
Leave a Reply