Review: Catwoman Annual #1

“Catwoman Annual #1”
Writer: Joëlle Jones
Artists: Elena Casagrande, Le Beau Underwood, Hugo Petrus and Scott Godlewski
Color Artist: Jordie Bellaire
Letterer: Saida Temofonte
Review by Adam Ray
A DC Comics annual is always a unique story experience. Writer Joëlle Jones has flexed her talents in Catwoman Annual #1 to great effect. We get a semi-vignette story, one part found source documentary, one part Blair Witch Project. This annual does the great thing that any annual should; it follows the established arcs being written in the main title, yet is open enough that anyone can dip in. A noir treat is what a fresh reader will find here.
The cuts between interview and events are very well handled. This kind of story is frequently seen in films and on T.V. and the most recent season of Arrow used it to great effect. Here we get the authentic feeling of being part of a slice of journalism. It’s rare to get hard hitting realism in our comics, and I love the ambition.
The quality of facial expressions in this issue are some of the best I’ve seen in some time. The anger on Selina’s face at the fate of valuable artifacts, the confidence of Amanda when giving her testimony, and the disinterest of the police officers providing their statements. Faces, and the subtext they give, really piece this tale together.

Conclusion

Catwoman Annual #1 is a story driven treat that really pulls us away from the high stakes of the current arc in the main book. The unique nature of this annual, combined with its non-spoilery relevance to the ongoing saga, successfully gives us a dip into the character. It touches all the bases of hype and compelling drama. Stand-alone, but relevant.
There’s something blissfully cinematic about this one off and stories like this give me hope. If a single issue can make a compelling film in its own right, then this issue proves that comics have the scope to do anything.
Images Courtesy Of DC Entertainment
(This review was originally published on the Dark Knight News website on June 1st 2019)

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