Catwoman enters Infinite Frontier firing on all cylinders with tremendous storytelling & gorgeous noirish artwork while adding Poison Ivy, Riddler, the Magistrate, and more to Selina Kyle’s world. Every issue continues to prove why this series is a must-read for comic book fans.
Currently, DC Comics, under the Infinite Frontiers banner, is welcoming a slew of new creative teams as shepherds of its iconic characters through new creative teams taking over continuing series or relaunching with new number ones in some cases. That’s not the case with Catwoman.
After only getting four issues to start their new run, a creative team that included Ram V, Fernando Blanco, FCO Plascencia, and Tom Napolitano had to pivot for a bit as all DC Comics titles took off two months for the Future State event. A two-month break like that could be a speed bump to any run, especially one so young, but Catwoman #29 proves that this break did nothing to slow down this team or this exciting series. While Plascencia has moved on from the series, veteran colorist Jordie Bellaire has joined the team and brought her A-game as usual.
The issue hits the ground running, juggling a number of plot points that were set up in past issues while also making sure to recap at least a little of what went down before for any potential new Infinite Frontiers readers. V has Selina Kyle’s characterization fully down and has done so much to build this world around her, elevating her to a position that is befitting of her status and veteran status in the DC Universe. There is a reason that V is such a rising star in the industry, as one can read an issue of Catwoman, Swamp Thing, and Justice League Dark from DC and all feel different even with the same writer. Some writers end up having a very distinctive style that permeates any work they do, which is not a bad thing overall, but that’s not the case here.
While there is a lot happening in the issue that needs to be explained, V knows exactly when to step aside and just let the artwork speak for itself, allowing Blanco and Bellaire do their thing.
The duo is a sold pairing as Bellaire’s coloring is smooth and both bright and darker/dulled at the same time to go with Blanco’s very noir-like style. It is especially effective during some brutal scenes starring the enigmatic new villain known as the Wight Witch, who is brightly colored with yellows and purples standing against a dulled pink shadowed room with splotches of blood everywhere as it’s an assassination scene. Later in the issue, the pair takes it up a notch as Catwoman and the Wight Witch exchange blows and the colorfulness of the villain expands as their flickering teleport/invisibility/holographic metahuman ability comes into play.
These pages also stood out because of a simple, but effective trick that was employed with the colors, where the pages took on a green tinge to signify the entrance of the Riddler to the scene. Not only was that tinge found within his apartment as Catwoman came looking for clues, but even the cityscape pages before her entry took on that coloring. It wasn’t just a surprise change either as the pages before it featured Poison Ivy and the beginnings of the green coloring started there before exploding across the next handful of pages.
Napolitano gets a chance to play as well in these scenes as his quirky lettering choices for Wight Witch’s power and a lot of the action in her fight scenes with Catwoman actually helps make everything work. The art gives some hints to what the villain’s powers are but the added ‘Flkr’ lettering fully sells what is happening in those moments.
The beauty of Gotham City as it’s been portrayed for decades is that every section of the city has a life of its own and that’s more than evident in the portrayal of Selina’s new kingdom of Alleytown. The Dark Knight isn’t looming over this book as he might have in prior eras of Bat-titles. There are off the cuff, not explicit references to Batman, but there is clearly continuity growing in the Bat-books as the man who becomes the villain Magistrate in the potential future of Future State is shown to have ties to things in Selina’s world. After already showing up in Batman and a handful of other Gotham-focused books since the new initiative launch.
Catwoman #29 is now on sale from DC Comics both in print and digital formats.