CatWoman #56

Catwoman #56 by Will Pfeifer ,David López , and Alvaro Lopez. $2.99, DC.

Pfeifer continues to piss me off with Catwoman . If I had to name my top ten favorite books, it would not be on it. I often forget that it even exists. It has not catipulted Pfeifer to my list of best writers in comics. And yet I keep buying it. Why? you ask innocently. Well, that’s a good question.

Simply put, Pfeifer is telling a good story. Each month, when Catwoman hits the stands, I read it and appreciate the craft that goes into it. That’s not to say it’s brilliant comic bookery, because it’s not. Catwoman will not change your life, or make you stop and think, or alter your religious beliefs or sexual orientation. It is, however, entertaining. It’s almost pure entertainment, and that is what I want, first and foremost, from my comics. The other stuff is just gravy. If you’re not entertaining me, I don’t really give a rat’s ass what your position on the Buddha is. Or why you think the Poles got screwed by the Great Powers in the late 18th century. Or why we should all be watching Deadwood (and you should, you know - what’s wrong with you people?). It’s just sheer entertainment. Yahoo!

Take, for instance, this issue (and why not, since it just came out). The Film Freak continues to be one of the most interesting villains in a long time, as he watches the footage of the two Catwomans, casually poisons the guy who brought him the footage, and then watches the footage of him casually poisoning the guy who brought him the footage. He’s evil, but entertaining (note the water brand that Edison was drinking when he was poisoned - “Rebecca,” which in this story has to be a shout-out to the classic Hitchcock movie with Joan Fontaine and Laurence Olivier - also a good novel, by the way). And when Selina and Holly travel by cab, the driver is unimpressed, accepting their explanation that they were at a costume party and even remarking that they look nothing like the real Catwoman. Selina’s right - Gothamites are used to this kind of thing, so they think nothing of it. There’s a weird scene with Slam Bradley that I’m sure isn’t what it seems - he says hello to his son (who does call him “Dad”) but we never see Sam’s face, so what’s that all about? And the Film Freak and Angle Man discover Selina’s identity and grab her baby, leading to the cliffhanger of this issue, as Selina confronts them. Although I like how the Film Freak found out where Selina was - she was using the name Irena Dubrovna, who was a character in Cat People - I question why Selina would use an alias that exists in the first place. It’s certainly clever, but couldn’t she just make up a name? Seems like a lot less trouble. And despite my grumpiness when kids and pets are threatened in entertainment - no way little baby Helena gets hurt - I don’t mind here, because Pfeifer isn’t really implying that the kid will get hurt. It’s obviously just a set-up for the Film Freak to get some good footage. So I don’t mind.

See what I mean? Entertaining. Lots of stuff happens (even some stuff I didn’t mention), there’s a bunch of action, there’s some nice character development, and Pfeifer is still managing to keep a lot of balls in the air. Ever since he arrived on this title I’ve been warming up to it a little more each issue. This is the first time I can confidently say that I will buy the next issue. It’s an intriguing story.

Oh, but “nonexistent” is spelled wrong. What’s up with that?

7. Catwoman #56
Just not enough happening. Wildcat making constant appearances is nice, but kinda getting old. The midnite film guy is kinda freaky, and I like him. A lot. Tell me that the ending of this wasn't done waaaaay too soon. I just hope that Will does not keep using this plotline, as its going to get old real damn fast. I do like how it was drawn though. Seemed kinda old school.
Rating : 2/5

Catwoman #56, $2.99 . Written by Will Pfeifer, Art by David Lopez and Alvaro Lopez. Pfiefer is taking this slow, and it is driving some readers a little bonkers. To tell the truth, as good as the title has been, he has been taking things a little slower than he probably should. He does deserve some benefit of the doubt - he is clearly laying down several plots that get a little thicker month after month. It is like he is starting from scratch once again, and though it isn't good in the short term for a serial book, in the long term we are sure to be in store for some great months in the near future. 32 Pages.

Catwoman #56 : It's not like anybody actually needs me to say this, but the Adam Hughes covers for Catwoman have been awesome lately. I've been really looking forward to the Lone Wolf and Cub homage next month, but this week's issue has is one of my favorite covers in recent memory. It's great, and once you get to the inside, that's not half bad either. I've been consistently surprised at how much I'm enjoying Will Pfeifer's stories--not that I ever hated him or anything--and he seems like he's having a lot of fun with characters, especially when it comes to Film Freak. And although it's not much of a challenge when you're up against Paul Gulacy's occasionally horrid art, David Lopez's pencils are by far the best the book has had since they abandoned the Darwyn Cooke/Cameron Stewart style that launched the series. It's consistent, highly enjoyable, and-- dare I say it?! --even better than Firestorm !

CATWOMAN #56. Written by Will Pfeifer; Art by David Lopez & Alvaro Lopez. "The Replacements, Part Four". Two Catwomans (Catwomen?) for the price of one! Both Holly and Selina are in costume, and the Film Freak has them both on tape. He also manages to pierce Selina's new i.d., which puts her infant daughter in danger. This is still one of my favorite current DCU titles, with one of the best creative teams around. I hope that you think so, too.

Catwoman # 56 - The revamped Film Freak could only reside in Gotham City. Where else could a master villain expound on German Expressionism while casually poisoning a hapless underling? With several equally effective scenes involving Selina, Holly, Slam Bradley and Wildcat, writer Will Pfeifer and artist David Lopez are hitting all the marks in a book the Keeper thought would collapse without Ed Brubaker.

Reviewer: Matt DeWoskin
Quick Rating: Good
Title: The Replacements, Part Four

Selina is forced to spring into action as Catwoman as her family is threatened by Angle Man and Film Freak.

Writer: Will Pfeiffer
Artist: David Lopez
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
Letterer: Jared K. Fletcher
Colorist: Jeremy Cox
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover Art: Adam Hughes
Publisher: DC Comics

REVIEW: The biggest issue for me on this story arc has been the choice of villains, but in this issue some of the choices Selina makes are questionable for her character at best. I'll never get excited about Angle Man and Film Freak. They're just not that interesting. There has been an attempt to elevate Film Freak from weirdo to villain in this issue and for the most part it worked, but I still find myself questioning his motivation. Angle Man just feels like he's along for the ride. As for Selina, some of the choices towards the end of this title just felt completely wrong, which was really surprising considering how well Pfeiffer has written her in his previous work on this title.

The story also got much more interesting this time around now that something is actually at stake. After an evening out in costume with Holly, she made some selfish decisions and it could wind up costing her in the end. A lot of what Selina did in this just felt out of character, especially the character that Pfeiffer has developed such a terrific feel for. Wildcat makes another cameo and he's put to good use. We don't get any closer to learning the identity of Baby Helena's father. All bets are off at this point, but I wouldn't be surprised if its revealed fairly quickly and fairly suddenly.

The artwork on this one is still a big highlight. Film Freak is fairly ominous in this issue, he has at least two moments in this issue where he's legitimately creepy and its do to the moody tone of the pencilwork in the sequences he's in. A lot of hard shadow and a lot of closeups go a long way in making someone scarier. A big highlight in this issue is the final sequence, it's frantically paced and the artwork gives the sequence a sense of speed that enhances the tension of the scene. This book really is a case of when strong artwork can help make a mediocre story work.

Catwoman # 56
By Koppy McFad
Jul 8, 2006, 02:11

Catwoman # 56
WRITER: Will Pfeifer
ARTISTS: David Lopez, Alvaro Lopez
COVER: Adam Hughes

Selina trains her replacement while old foes, including the demented Film Freak, seek to track her down. The story has some character pieces and gives us some intriguing villains but it also gets over-complicated and this slows down the action. It is as though the writer thought he was writing a weekly TV show and not a monthly comic book where the audiene can lose interest in betweeen issues. For example, there is suppose to be a big mystery over the identity of the father of Catwoman's child but this is hardly played up. The art is detailed and well-laid out but is also rather sterile. It gives us perhaps the least-sexy Catwoman in recent memory.

CATWOMAN #56. Written by Will Pfeifer; Art by David Lopez & Alvaro Lopez. "The Replacements, Part Four". Two Catwomans (Catwomen?) for the price of one! Both Holly and Selina are in costume, and the Film Freak has them both on tape. He also manages to pierce Selina's new i.d., which puts her infant daughter in danger. This is still one of my favorite current DCU titles, with one of the best creative teams around. I hope that you think so, too.