Catwoman #54 Review
It’s kinda funny, but I have become so used to the characters in this title that it was not until reading this issue that it occurred to me – “Hey, wait a sec, Catwoman is a lesbian now! How has that not been made into a bigger deal?” IS that still a big deal? I honestly do not know. Do you think there are parents who will flip out if their kid is reading a comic about a lesbian? Oh well, no one’s really brought it up yet, so I guess it isn’t a big deal. That’s nice to hear.
As for the comic itself, Will Pfeifer does a good job on this issue, with basically just one drawback (although I think it’s a fairly decent-sized one) – this reads pretty much exactly like a standard “Friend of a hero becomes the hero when the hero can’t be the hero” storyline. I mean, you could take an issue of Denny O’Neil’s later run on Iron Man (once Tony was no longer a drunk) and easily turn it into an issue of this Catwoman, that’s how “by the books” a lot of the comic book was. However, that’s just plot. Plot-wise, that might be true, but unlike Denny O’Neil’s Iron Man (which I was not a fan of), there is a lot of good character moments that make this issue stand out from the pack.
David Lopez is a pretty good artist (is his inker, Alvaro Lopez, a relative?), and I especially loved (I mean, absolutely LOVED) the little tummy he gave Selina when she is seeing to her baby. Very nice touch. While Lopez is definitely no Pete Woods (who is?), he does a nice job of depicting the emotions on the characters. Occasionally, it seems like he goes a bit TOO far with the emotion, as some characters seem to go a bit into caricature than actual emotion (like when Slam Bradley is surprised, he looks like a cartoon character), but for the most part, it goes over quite well. I especially like how creepy he makes the new villain, the Film Freak. The Film Freak has a pretty good shtick, too. Very Silver Age-esque, but with a modern sensibility (although, when the Film Freak first showed up, I thought I was reading a Brian K. Vaughan comic for a sec, what with the long historical talk about Ed Gein).
The constant “nice touches” throughout the book demonstrate a real understanding of the form by Pfeifer, and it is impressive to see. The irony of the Angle Man deciding to do something “non typical super villain-y,” while, at the same time, being undone by doing something TOTALLY typical super villain-y” was an especially nice touch. The reactions of Holly, the reactions of Karon, the reactions of Slam – all note perfect. Also, any comic where you get to see Wildcat beating up people while his cell phone is ringing deserves some bonus points!
Selina’s situation, too, is handled quite well – as Selina is one of the few people out there who wake up at 3:30 am by their baby’s screaming to think “Hey, this is about the time that I would be going out.”
Also, what a cool Adam Hughes cover!
So I would recommend this comic, with the reservation that the general plot is quite familiar to quite a few readers out there. Oh, and it’s now TWO issues without the baby being kidnapped! Applause!!