By Genevieve Valentine, Garry Brown & Lee Loughridge w/ Jae Lee & June Chung
Spinning out of the events happening in Batman Eternal, Catwoman is one of the many Gotham-related titles to receive a makeover in October, and when you consider the launches of new series like Gotham Academy and the upcoming Gotham By Midnight, the Batbooks are in a really strong place right now when you add them to the already amazing trio of Batman, Detective Comics and the aforementioned Batman Eternal. The long-awaited creative team change on Catwoman only makes the line look a lot more successful, taking Ann Nocenti off the book and replacing it with relative comic’s newcomer Genevieve Valentine, who has had more experience with writing novels than comics.
Selina Kyle is a crime boss, in charge of her own sector of Gotham. For reasons behind this new development in her career, you’ll have to be familiar with Batman Eternal but whether you’ve read every single issue of Catwoman before the creative team switch or are coming onto the book fresh, drawn in by the new talent on a fan-favourite character, its newcomer friendly. Valentine makes #35 feel like a first issue, and it could very well be the beginning of a resurgence in quality similar to what Jeff Lemire and Andrea Sorrentino brought to Green Arrow. #35 is good enough to leave that impression on the reader, and already it’s become the strongest Catwoman issue since the start of the New 52, with Genevieve Valentine knocking it out of the park as a new chapter in the life of Selina Kyle begins here.
Garry Brown’s artwork is amazing, and really captures the gothic feel of Gotham City. It’s dark, atmospheric and very well done, and the amazing cover from Jae Lee and June Chung really helps make this book stand out. Hopefully we’ll see more of Lee and Chung’s excellent cover art going forward, because #35 certainly leaves a striking impression. Lee Loughridge’s colours are as excellent as normal, and with this first issue we’re already given something that looks set to be a winner in terms of both the script and the artwork. In fact, the only negative thing that this reviewer has to say about this issue is that the change didn’t happen quickly enough. In fact, they’ve left such an impression that this is the creative team that we should have had on this book from day one.
Catwoman #35 is everything that readers could have hoped for from a new creative team, and this reviewer can’t recommend this issue enough. From start to finish, it’s excellent, and gives readers a great idea as to what to look out for next. The Black Mask is the primary threat established in this issue and it’ll be very good indeed to see where Valentine takes Selina from here, because this is a book that will certainly have you sticking around for more. The creative change has injected fresh life into a weak series, and if you’ve been wanting to read Catwoman for ages but have been put off by the negative reception that the book has been getting so far, then #35 is certainly the book for you.