Catwoman takes on a train heist with some differences. Set in a future Gotham City even grimmer than the presents day one, ‘Future State: Catwoman’ #1 is a rollicky good, fast-paced, high-octane thrill ride with more surprises than not.
If you follow Otto Schmidt online, you’ll know he has a real thing for Catwoman. So, I was hyped to hear he was taking her on in Future State: Catwoman #1 with writer Ram V and letterer Tom Napolitano. He was born to draw her! And I for one hope to see him return to the Batman family sooner rather than later.
Catwoman and her mostly female heist team are planning a train heist. But one with a few differences in this high-energy, zippy and tense issue. We are transported some several years into the future and witness a Gotham City in the grips of The Magistrate’s fascistic rule. The colour scheme says as much – all greys and dull, washed-out tones – as does the weather.
Reading further you will recognise that this is not your usual train heist story. And certainly not the usual heist this feline fury usually gets involved with either. Although Ram V keeps her real target purposefully vague until the very last page. Although, in this instance, I imagine many readers will be one step ahead and guess the identity of the treasure she is aiming to retrieve.
It’s not the only giveaway either, I’m afraid. As Catwoman prepares her heist, we meet the mysterious Lady Canrous. Someone you will immediately pick up vibes from and someone you just know isn’t simply going along for the ride. Although, unlike the true identity of the prize Catwoman is targeting, the big reveal in this instance was more of a surprise. So 1 for 1.
Overall, this is a story very firmly rooted in the tradition of heist films, and so the action and the execution of the plan are often the real stars of such narratives. As it is here.
With Schmidt’s economy of line that he brings to each page, there is a certain kinetic fluidity and speed suggested on each page. Add that to the timer counting down the minuscule amount of time Selina has to pull this off and you get a very dynamic, quick paced story. The well-timed cuts between scenes only ramps up the intended tension as we split our tie between Catwoman, her agents and the Magistrate’s goons.
And while I was disappointed in the big real at the end of this issue, I was more than excited to also see the return of a rather obscure villain from Batman’s past. What his role will be in the ensuing issue is anyone’s guess, but it’s he’s intriguing inclusion. Given the vast roll call of rogues Ram V could have tapped into.
As heist stories go, Future State: Catwoman #1 really gets out of the blocks at a pace and one that doesn’t let up. A great take on a classic, with the odd surprise, and always excellent art too.
Future State: Catwoman #1 is out now from DC Comics