By Joëlle Jones, Laura Allred, Josh Reed
Catwoman #2 continues this first arc, Copycats, with Joëlle Jones in charge of script, pencils, and inks, Laura Allred on colors, and Josh Reed heading up lettering. Everytime a creator takes up as much responsibility as Jones does, it’s shocking, but somehow they always pull it off. Jones is one of those creators who doesn’t just pull it off though, she nails every single detail. In the first few pages, we get a taste of that, as we pick up where issue #1 left off. Jones uses panel size for some awesome dramatic pacing, shows off her precision with her inks, and adds narration that reads like poetry. Throughout, Laura Allred’s colors give Jones’ art tones of tension and emotion. The villain design may be creepy, but Allred’s backdrops make her sinister. When it comes to lettering, the script is fairly quiet, but Reed still builds a rhythm in dialogue.
Jones’ art is the immediate stand out in Catwoman #2. She’s an artist that you can immediately start to recognize; her inks make each panel look uniquely her own. When she draws something, whether it’s a person, building, statue—anything—she details it with small strokes of ink that translate into textures, muscles, and bones. She accentuates gestures with flares of ink, too. Her action lines are so thin that they almost go unnoticed, other than the definite feeling that something is moving. Even tossing a box and close ups on ordinary objects get little black dots in their backgrounds. These touches make Jones’ art look effortlessly beautiful.
Her storytelling is similarly so. Jones’s story of avoiding trauma is relatable and concise. She doesn’t use huge conversations to tell a story or a feeling; she uses visuals. So when characters are talking, there’s almost always some nuance in the panel, or the panel itself, that enhances the words. Thanks to this, there’s always a strong sense of how Selina’s feeling at a given moment. Although there’s narration, it’s minimal, so when delicious lines like “hope the repeating melody of his name disappears from my mind” are in a panel, they mean a lot more.
Allred’s colors follow that philosophy. Typically, the colors in a panel are cool blues and greys. It sort of echoes the calmness Selina seeks, especially when Allred adds in a warm, bright color. In those moments, it’s difficult to focus on the calming colors, because one object stands really defiantly against them. This effect is best seen when we see the villain for the first time in this issue. Under her frilly, pastel pink facade, she’s truly vile.
Josh Reed’s lettering falls in line with the minimalism as well. In those same scenes where Catwoman’s shadowy nemesis is watching someone suffer are some of the few times when Reed adds sound effects. A character screaming is only heard in this scene, in this one panel, even though there was a serious brawl to start the issue.
Catwoman #2 is very, very good. Joëlle Jones taking the helm of this ship has been a delight in terms of story as well as visuals, and Laura Allred and Josh Reed on the supporting cast are just as skilled. Even though this is a second issue, it’s not too late to jump on. Buy the first issue (and check out our review for it), or just start on #2. Either way, buy this book.
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