Review: Catwoman #26

"The Big Shake-Up"

Writer: Ram V
Artist: Fernando Blanco
Color Artist: Fco Plascencia
Letterer: Tom Napolitano
Review by Adam Ray

The previous issue made me wonder how many of the previous issues' independent stories were relevant; how much was it there to link her to the wider story in current DC, and  was it telling us anything new? I do love to be surprised, and Catwoman #26 gives us the shunt into a new storyline, fills us up with relevant information, shows the angles of many interesting characters, and leaves us eager for more… but without overloading us.

As a fiction writer myself, beginnings are a real point of struggle for me. The balance of getting the plot going, without filling up a reader with too much detail, and answering the questions “who’s involved?” and “why should I care?” is a tough one. This issue actually comes close to struggling with this. Within the first few pages, we’re shown a unique assassin coming for Catwoman, and all the criminal enterprises on her doorstep.

This almost information overload is well balanced by moments of mystery, and Ram’s intentional drip-feeding of information in a slightly non-linear order. Perfect for the noir crime genre the title is going into. Then, when you pair it with the gorgeous muted art and color from Fernando Blanco and Fco Plascencia, the kind we expected from Joëlle Jones’ run; you’re handed a a strong slice of crime thriller, in just 20 pages.

Conclusion

It’s been just over two years since this run started. It’s incredible to think of this character’s evolution. We’ve seen her heroics in liberating Villa Hermosa, and her thievery reach new heights in recent issues. A character as diverse – and nearly as old as Batman himself – Catwoman owes herself to many different kinds of stories. The greatest thief in DC comics looks to get into a new side of organised crime, and Catwoman #26 shows her taking those first steps. I, for one, am eager to read on.

Images Courtesy of DC Entertainment

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