Overview: Selina visits her sister Maggie in the hospital and remembers events from their shared past. But there are evil forces that wish to do Selina harm and don’t care who gets hurt.
Synopsis (spoilers ahead): Selina is visiting her sister Maggie in the hospital. Maggie doesn’t speak and is probably not aware of what is going on. Selina talks to her about their past as sisters. Their parents fought which upset Maggie and hardened Selina. When Maggie was a nun she didn’t understand Selina’s need to be Catwoman.
Selina remembers meeting Maggie’s husband Simon and his subsequent torturous death at the hands of Black Mask. Black Mask was trying to get to Catwoman so he captured Simon and Maggie and did unspeakable things to them.
Selina also remembers stealing costumes for Halloween. While they were having fun in costume (Maggie as an angel and Selina as a cat naturally) some tough guys stole candy from a nonathletic kid. Selina chased down the candy stealers and forced them to return their loot at gunpoint. Maggie was aghast at her sister’s aggressive behavior.
Maggie never understood Selina’s risk-taking. Her willingness to steal to get what she wanted or her eagerness to fight those who hurt those weaker than they. Maggie was timider and risk-averse. It was a gulf between them that they never really learned to cross. And Maggie unfairly suffered terribly for it.
A doctor enters Maggie’s hospital room forcing Selina to hide. She overhears that Maggie is getting treatment at the behest of the Creel family. The Creel’s are Selina’s enemy de jour. The dastardly doc gives Maggie a hypodermic needle and says that she will feel like a whole person again. Uh oh.
Analysis: Typically, books that jump around in time get confusing. Especially when the different time periods have art by different creators. Characters often don’t look correct in one time period or the other and it muddles the narrative.
Jones and team manage to solve this problem by going all in. Narrative and dialogue from different time periods are interspersed throughout so that you come to realize that it doesn’t matter exactly when different things were said. When you have a close relationship all of your memories jumble together into one.
There are some events, such as the candy theft and the Black Mask debacle that the real story is pinned to. These pieces are interesting, but the centerpiece of this book is the personality differences of the sisters and how it has alienated them from each other. Maggie never understood how Selina could be Catwoman and all that comes with it. Selina never understood Maggie’s need for love.
The book ends with the Creel story-line coming back into play so we don’t lose the story progression, but defining the relationship between the sisters is the central focus here.
Joelle Jones’ art is terrific. Her lines express details fluidly and almost impressionistically. Squiggles and swirls become clothing folds and facial features. It is almost scratchy but more elegant. Laura Allred’s colors are muted like with Maggie’s rusty hair or the dull hospital blues and violets. This contrasts nicely with Blanco’s bolder lines and Kalisz more vivid colors. Kalisz uses strong reds and purples when the action calls for it, particularly in the torture scenes and at the end of the candy theft chase. The art teams are helped by the natural contrast between the black haired Selina and the red-headed Maggie. Still, this was an easy read and I was hoping for more at the end. That is a very good sign that the book is working for me.
Final Thoughts: We get a compelling look into Selina and her sister’s lives and learn more about how they ended up with the relationship they have. Selina’s presence gets Maggie into more trouble.