blogging by Andrew Wickliffe

Catwoman (2002) #9

Catwoman  9The finale proves way too much for penciler Brad Rader and inker Rick Burchett. It doesn’t look like a Batman: The Animated Series comic; it looks like a generic riff on one. Rader and Burchett rush through every character who isn’t Catwoman or Slam, which is kind of nice, I suppose. They were the leads of this arc, though this issue doesn’t have any time for anything but Catwoman’s complicated scheme to clear Holly’s name.

Oh, Holly and her girlfriend Karon are better illustrated than the norm. However, the dirty cops, who aren’t actually interchangeable, are where the artists really rush. And guest star Crispus Allen, who opens the issue talking on his phone to Montoya over at Gotham Central; they really should’ve had him break the fourth wall to announce the new series.


Selina’s plan involves getting Allen on her side, tricking a mob boss, using Slam as bait for the dirty cops, and so on. It’s a very tell, don’t show conclusion, with Rader getting some of the composition right until the big fight scene, and then he whiffs it. Burchett’s inks don’t help anyway, but it’s all composition problems.

And Allen being so front and center in the issue, he makes Slam and Selina feel like the guest stars.

It’s a pretty good resolution issue, but there’s nothing special about it, which is unfortunate. It’s unclear if writer Ed Brubaker’s in a hurry or just out of time (since he spent the first issue of the arc on a Holly done-in-one); the pacing’s fine for a talky triple-cross story or whatever; it’s the plotting where Brubaker falls short.

The last page reveals a secret villain, promising they’ll be back some time. But, even as the villain decides Catwoman needs to be dealt with… it just feels like another way to move the book’s focus away from Selina.

Also, I don’t know if they do anything with the stolen diamonds from last issue. Maybe they give them to Leslie off-page.

Again, it’s adequate. But I was definitely expecting more.

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