Cutting The Ties That Bind Us: Reviewing ‘Catwoman’ #46

by Scott Redmond

Overview

Issue after issue, ‘Catwoman’ continues to be a gorgeous, sexy, and character-rich peek into the title character’s heart and mind mixed with a street-level crime story showcasing a different side of Gotham from the other Bat-line titles. Selina Kyle has been elevated to the spotlight level that she has long deserved thanks to the past few runs on this book. Anyone who is not reading this series needs to add it to their list right away.

Overall
9/10
9/10

Any comic book story can be full of heroes punching villains or stopping something massive from trying to destroy Earth for the billionth time, but truly some of the best comic books are those that focus on the human aspect of these characters. The relationships, the development, the flaws, just all the things that make them relatable or endearing to audiences for decades upon decades.

Catwoman is one hundred percent one of those best comic books, hands down.

After a really great issue reconnecting Selina with the younger members of the Bat family, Tini Howard spends this issue really getting to the heart of Selina Kyle and her variety of relationships, past and present. We get a deeper look and understanding of how Selina feels about her relationship with Bruce, way more about her and Eiko (including what Eiko must do in severing that relationship in order to stay in with Black Mask & the other crime bosses), and get some insight into why the relationship with Valmont is not even close to the same as the others.

I’m a huge proponent of issues such as this one, where the plot is still moving forward but the action and big motions are downplayed or set aside to really focus on character. To give us a deep issue to really learn more about character motivations and where things are going, and just giving us a really good character-rich meal. It especially helps when a writer happens to be really good at mining character gold and spreading it across the pages.

Over the past few years, this is a series that has had so many really great artistic teams on board. This run started off with a really slick neon noir-like vibe and then went into a colorful but slightly rougher sort of feeling with the two-part road trip, and now we get more of the really slick and smooth sort of work that Sam Barsi and Vincente Cifuentes create month in and out. So many fantastic panels showcasing the pure emotion of characters, able to bring kinetic and powerful energy even to pages where characters are sitting on a couch talking to each other, with a bit of flowing action peppered in here or there.

There is a weight and depth to all of the artwork, helped by the great inking work that Cifuentes brings to the party.

Jordie Bellaire has done so much amazing work, having spent a ton of time on this series through both the current and previous run, because she’s just a truly amazing colorist. A lot of the splashes of bright vivid color that are always found in her work are here, but these colors are smoother and toned down a bit to fit with the slick feeling that this artwork has. Such as how the colors are brighter or have way more variety with the costumed folks compared to those that are considered a more ‘normal’ variety of character. No matter the artist, her colors morph and flow to match their energy and style all while keeping a style and powerful quality about them.

A new letterer joins the party this month, and Lucas Gattoni makes sure to come with a lot of the same feeling that Tom Napolitano normally brings to the book. It all flows and there is plenty of great usages of changes in font size, style, and color to really emphasize the tone/volume of any given moment. Big giant words for yelling, even bigger and redder letters for rage moments, smaller font, and faded bubbles for whispering. It’s all just so well done, adding these elements that make the world feel closer to reality despite all the fantastical elements.

The same goes for all the big bright colorful personality-filled SFX that dot the pages, snuggled right up to whatever is causing them to exist so that they are part of the story rather than something disconnected.

Catwoman #46 is now available from DC Comics.

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