Writer: Tini Howard
Artists: Sami Basri, Vicente Cifuentes, Robbi Rodriguez
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by Adam Ray
Catwoman #45 brings us sharply from last month’s Thelma and Louise-style antics with Harley Quinn back to the gritty urban crime drama that we’ve been seeing so far. The return of Catwoman’s most unlikely ally, and the previous issue foreshadowing the return of Bat family members, make this issue all the more exciting, but certain elements to it also left me, a fan of the creators and the title, deeply confused.
Ultimately, the tone of the story has jumped dramatically between the last issue and the current one. We see that very clearly in both the writing and the artwork.
Catwoman’s vacation has ended, and the friends she’s been building bonds with across the past two issues are gone. We see her plunge right back into her personal war against Gotham’s most nefarious criminal elements, with no explanation as to where Harley or Red Claw have wandered off to. Everything’s changed back into a situation we thought had been largely resolved. What was comforting is that it remained incredibly consistent with the details that had come before, regarding Selina’s quest against those characters.
There are moments in the story where the artist and art styles jump drastically. I understand that it thematically mirrors Catwoman interacting with certain characters, but as the issue unfolds, it continues to feel clunky and out of place. That, coupled with the art style changing from the stylistic lines and pastel colors of the issues featuring Harley Quinn was a little jarring.
Catwoman #45 deeply uprooted my expectations for where I thought this title was going. After the last two issues, I really wanted more of that “girl’s road trip” narrative. However, I, and many other fans, need to remember that the creators need to tell their own story, and we’re lucky it’s been such a good one so far.
With this high summer sun, I think this issue sums up the “vacation’s ended” feeling. Catwoman’s gone back to work cleaning up her side of Gotham, and it’s time for us to get back to our daily grinds too. Though that may be a little odd to read in a comic book, there’s plenty to do when we return.
Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment