Catwoman #26 posits the idea that after all of Gotham almost burned down from the latest toss-up between the Joker and the Bat, the titular Selina Kyle has gone back to basics, returning to her neighborhood of Alleytown to take it over from the mobs running the streets.
What's that you say? Yes, Catwoman did find out that she was a mob heiress a few months ago and ran one of the larger crime families, only to discover she didn't like it and preferred dashing over rooftops in fetish gear. Why would she be trying to start another internecine criminal conflict to become a lower rent kingpin? That's a fantastic question … that this issue does not answer in any remote way. Moving on …
There's nothing wrong with this by-the-numbers Ram V script that has Selina practically sleepwalk through lesser criminals, likely only able to rise due to the constant turnover in their industry as they couldn't even make the cut on early levels of a Grand Theft Auto game. The Penguin has a bit of an unusual surprise, framing the issue, but even that lacks stakes as the new element is like a summer thunderstorm. It'll get your attention for a while, maybe mess up a few things, but it's not impossible to recover from most of the time.
Fernando Blanco, Fco Plascencia, and Tom Napolitano have some standouts in this presentation, including the monologue-ing Pit Rollins, who has some interesting distinctions that separate her from the stereotypical crooked Gotham cop and the stereotypical Eastern European-styled mobster.
Overall, there's nothing wrong with the material presented here, but there's no standout element either, nothing to grab you by the lapels and demand your attention like Todrick Hall. It just seems weird to be dancing to the same song so soon, but many would say that's a criticism more fairly leveled at big label comic books as a whole. RATING: MEH.
By Sean Murphy, Cian Tormey, Ram V, Fernando Blanco, Joelle Jones
In the aftermath of "The Joker War," Selina Kyle has taken up residence in Alleytown. But when she finds that her old stomping grounds have been taken over by drug-running mobsters, she hatches a plan to take the town back! However, unbeknownst to her, she is being tracked by a terrifying new foe: a hit man in priest's clothing known only as Father Valley, who carries a bag of bibles around as trophies from each of his victims. Will she be able to loosen the mafia's stranglehold on her, new hometown or become another victim to Father Valley's sacred oath?
Hannibal Tabu is a writer, journalist, DJ, poet and designer living in south Los Angeles with his wife and children. He's a winner of the 2012 Top Cow Talent Hunt, winner of the 2018-2019 Cultural Trailblazer award from the City of Los Angeles Department of Cultural Affairs, his weekly comic book review column THE BUY PILE can be found on iHeartRadio's Nerd-O-Rama podcast, his reviews can be found on BleedingCool.com, and more information can be found at his website, www.hannibaltabu.com.
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