Synopsis (spoilers ahead): In the GCPD Alleytown Precinct, Detective Hadley tries to convince his colleagues that Catwoman is back and starting a war with the Khadym mob. Meanwhile, Catwoman plots her move in that war – stealing a huge shipment of drugs with her crew. After T-boning the drug van with a semi, she gasses the crew in the van and takes them out while wearing a gas mask (like the cover). Her team of kids strip the van for parts, while Selina has her own plans for the drugs.
Later, Selina Kyle meets with rival gang leader Trish “Pit” Rollins and affirms their business alliance/arrangement.
One of Selina’s kids gives Hadley a storage unit location, leading him straight to the drugs and the thugs that Catwoman took out.
Despite the appearance of cordiality, Pit orders her assassin to kill Selina, since Catwoman has principles and is thus unpredictable, and a potential rival in the long term. However, Penguin’s hired assassin Father Valley kills Pit’s assassin first, saying he and he alone will kill Selina, in his own chosen time and place.
Analysis: After the extremely enjoyable Joker War tie-in with Catwoman #25, Ram V and Fernando Blanco have settled into a Brubaker or Valentine-esque Catwoman vs. Gotham crime story, complete with extremely twisty alliances and betrayals, some brutal violence, and a really fun central heist setpiece.
Blanco continues to draw a Catwoman who is full of fun and life as well as strength and intelligence, really keeping the key of the character – that unlike a lot of Gotham characters, she really has a good time being herself. Ram V gives him plenty of opportunities to do so as well, also weaving a complex plot around with fairly sharp dialogue. All in all, Catwoman continues its upward trajectory after the dreary and confusing plots of the last two years.
One small drawback is the lack of signposting. Given the very complex network of characters and locations, all of which are new creations or lack immediately identifiable visual cues in this slightly washed out, grimy part of the Batman universe, it would definitely help readers if the creative team gave a few more reminders about their names and organization. But that’s a minor quibble, and when reading the story in trade, the complexity of the story will probably be much more rewarding, as it was in Valentine’s run.
Joelle Jones (recently announced as the creator of the new Wonder Woman/Girl, Yara Flor) continues to provide solid covers for the run, showing the central confrontation between Catwoman and her enemies. Jenny Frison, who got her own big break as a variant artist for Wonder Woman during Greg Rucka’s run, gives Selina a magenta-washed, contemplative look, with a lovely white cat on her shoulder.
Final Thoughts: Ram V and Fernando Blanco continue their tightly plotted and engaging crime story for Catwoman, increasing the stakes with action and betrayal.
Editor’s Note: DC Comics provided TBU with a copy of this comic for review purposes. You can find this comic digitally and help support TBU in the process by purchasing this issue through Comixology.