This issue opens with Selina narrating—remember, she hasn’t been narrating lately, so it took until the second or so page before I realized it was her (and she wasn’t talking about her sister, whose name I thought was Rebecca—it’s Maggie). There’s a girl named Rebecca (in flashback) who went bad; real Bonnie & Clyde stuff. Including what seems like moralizing but won’t be. Writer Ed Brubaker’s going to get back on the ball with narration as the issue progresses, and, luckily, the next scene is a winner.
Socialite (or whatever) Selina Kyle pays local philanthropist Bruce Wayne a visit to talk about her “resurrection,” including mentions of New York City (was she in New York before this series?), but mostly it’s charming flirt banter. Brubaker writes the two with easy but unfulfilled chemistry–obviously, it’s better with the masks on—and penciler Brad Rader very quickly establishes the issue’s visual tone.
Rader and inker Rick Burchett deliver a great issue–none of the previous arc’s too (literal) cartoonish panels. The story’s a mix of flashbacks, including courtroom testimony, talking heads, and heist. See, Selina grew up with that girl in the opening flashback; now that woman is on death row, and today’s her last appeal. It turns into this exceptional (and exceptionally efficient) story for Selina. Brubaker also addresses the idea of real people in the superhero world, just as it seems a little strange Catwoman would be helpless in this situation.
Then there’s a delightful bookend with the Bruce Wayne scene.
It’s not the best issue in the series—though it’s Rader and Burchett’s best issue for art—but it showcases what makes Catwoman so special. Not just Brubaker and Rader’s attention to the characters but the (no pun) clawing humanity at the series’s foundations. It’s wild.
It’s also a done-in-one, so no hints at what’s to come, but I can’t wait, especially with Rader and Burchett having worked out the kinks.
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