By Joëlle Jones, Laura Allred, Josh Reed
Catwoman #1 spirals out of the events of Batman #50 and the wedding, but writer and artist Joëlle Jones makes sure to separate the two. Just as Selina tells readers on the cover, there are some spoilers in the issue, but the most exciting parts of Batman #50 are actually unspoiled. With all that being said, Jones sets up a hell of an interesting story that cashes checks from all the way back in Tom King’s Rooftops arc, and many fans who were frustrated with some narrative choices back then should be sated now. Even if that’s not the case for some, it’s hard not to love Jones’ drawing. She’s perfect as a Catwoman artist. Selina has flexibility and agility when she’s running through the city, and fluidity in her fight scenes. Plus, Jones draws very cute cats.
Laura Allred on colors does great work with Selina’s new city. Her realist approach characterizes it throughout the issue, displaying the atmosphere exactly how it would be. The dark blue night sky framing old brick buildings contrasts indoor scenes where lights and bright colors display the nightlife and, of course, greed. Within a few pages, even readers who have no idea where Selina is will be able to paint a mental picture. Similarly, Allred excels at describing a shape just as much with its shadow as with its color. Objects seep into backgrounds elegantly, and, again, promote the city’s attitude.
When it comes to Selina herself, there couldn’t be a better team. Jones and Allred together have put together a fresh take on an old character that likely satisfies fans from just about every generation. Her costume is shaded and colored excellently by Allred, and the design itself is one of the best in the sense that it actually – makes sense? There are visible separations in the costume that not only look good, but allude to the idea that there are a few connecting parts of the costume rather than one big, leather, footsie-pajama.
A big part of the narrative thus far seems to be Selina coping with something. It’s clear that she’s far from being emotionally okay, and Jones finds a few very in-character hobbies for her to take up. They retroactively give some more depth to Catwoman as someone who is afraid of wrestling with their internal struggles. It’s always refreshing to see something like this for a character like Catwoman. Even though Tom King has been doing good work in Batman, this is obviously a much more direct look at Selina as a person rather than as Bruce Wayne’s love interest.
Catwoman #1 is a must read for die-hard fans of the character, and a recommended read for anyone slightly interested in her. Jones hints at an unfolding mystery that juxtaposes the much more interesting personal struggle, but it’ll certainly be interesting to see how the two connect. This issue sports top tier comic art and a much needed recognition of DC’s feline felon.