Monday, August 21, 2006
by A.C. Hall
Writer: Will Pfeifer
Artist: David Lopez
Inker: Alvaro Lopez
Colorist: Brad Anderson
Letterer: Jared H. Fletcher
Plot: Selina Kyle continues to fight against the two villains who have figured out her secret identity and are threatening the thing she holds most dear, her daughter. Selina calls on the powerful Zatanna for support, but there are many issues still standing between Catwoman and Zatanna. Meanwhile, the new Catwoman has been arrested for the murder of Black Mask. A murder she didn’t commit, but Selina Kyle might have!
Review: The only time I’ve ever read Catwoman was during the big War Games event a few years back. However, once DC launched their One Year Later initiative I decided to give all of their books at least one try. I fully didn’t expect to like Catwoman, but it was a surprisingly good read. So I decided to pick up the next issue, still not really expecting to like it. Again, it was great. Another month goes by and I pick up Catwoman again, sure that it’s going to be terrible and confirm what I’ve thought all along, that Catwoman isn’t a strong enough character to warrant having her own book. Guess what? I was wrong again. Since One Year Later, this has been one of the most consistent and best comic books on the shelf.
The story has been split between two different main plots. First up we have the Catwoman we all know and love, Selina Kyle. Selina has a baby daughter now and is living under an assumed name in an attempt to keep her baby safe. I assumed that was going to make me hate the book, but I was totally wrong. Seeing the human side of Selina is what really makes this book worth picking up. It’s rare that we get a really well written take on the humans underneath the superhero masks, but Will Pfeifer has done an amazing job of making Selina Kyle a character that we truly care about. The other main plot is that of a young girl named Holly, who Selina has trained as the new Catwoman. Holly isn’t too terribly bright and doesn’t have much of a handle on the superhero business yet, which makes her a lot of fun to read about.
Overall, this book is most certainly one of the best books out there right now. Amazing writing, gorgeous art, and a story that keeps you coming back for more. Even the seemingly cheesy villains end up having a lot of bite to them. If you’re like I was and think Catwoman is a book to be overlooked, think again and check it out. You won’t regret it.
Catwoman #58 by Will Pfeifer ,David López , and Alvaro Lopez. $2.99, DC .
Pfeifer likes this cover. Well, it seems like he does. I do not. It’s one of the weaker Hughes covers we’ve seen on this book. What’s up with Zatanna’s pelvis and breasts? It creeps me out.
Anyway, as usual with this book, it deliver solid, meat-and-potatoes storytelling with good art. It’s amazing that it’s just a story, with no fancy bells and whistles, and López’ art is nothing spectacular, but it’s a consistently entertaining book, and Pfeifer continues to make something decent out of the Identity Crisis mess. We get two stories in this one, as Zatanna mind-wipes Angle Man and the Film Freak, while two of Black Mask’s thugs go to kill Sam Bradley a year ago, after Selina killed their boss. This second story seems to imply that Bradley is Helena’s father, but we’ll have to wait for that. In the present, Zatanna tells Selina that mind-wiping isn’t as easy as everyone thinks, something that Meltzer never bothered with, and although we’re not quite sure what Zatanna does to the two men, she manages to make them forget about Irena Dubrovna. She gets Angle Man to go to the cops and confess his crimes, but Edison, interestingly enough, feels he has committed “crimes against cinema,” and he decides to hack his station manager to death, in a very beatifully rendered, “cinematic” page. Wow - a mind-wipe that goes awry - what are the chances?
This continues to be the kind of book that is difficult to hate, yet is difficult to truly love. It doesn’t blow you away, but it offers a story that is completely organic, uses continuity from other parts of the DCU without being a geeky wet dream, and gives us good, quality characters who make choices that might be poor, but are certainly consistent. Pfeifer is simply telling a story, and in the attempts to make comics kewl , some writers forget that that’s what it’s all about.
Memories Are Made of This
In one sentence? If you haven't been reading Catwoman since long before OYL, you'll be lost. In fact, there's so much drawn from so many different storylines, this issue is like a nexus between Identity Crisis ,Flash: Rogue War , the sub-plot of Zatanna's mind-alteration of Selina, and everything that's happened in this book since... maybe even last year... it was just a little too top-heavy.
The buzz around this book right now, is, of course, the paternity of the baby. This issue may be including obvious foreshadowing. Or teasing. I'm even less sure of a guess right now; with how DC has been doing things OYL, I don't know if they're going to go for the obvious suspect for the DCU audience in general or the obvious suspect for people that have been following Catwoman for a good while now, Sam.
Even though I understand the context of what's going on in this book, I still had a few places where I had to stop and think to not be totally lost with Selina's plot.
Holly's plot was infinitely more interesting, which surprised the hell out of me.
It's only a few pages with her even in it, but I was way more into that, and it's those moments that would have had me buying this issue, for the most part. Up until this point, she's been strikingly different from Selina as Catwoman; she's new to this. She's not laden with the baggage and continuity of Selina Kyle, and is riding the rooftop express a bit recklessly; and it just bit her in the ass.
All this makes me really wonder what they're planning on doing with her. Is Selina going to be Catwoman or not? I have no idea, but I'll keep going to find out.
I love Zee, but I'm really, really tired of her every appearance being about the mindwiping. It's not the only thing she's ever done, people. She's turning into a DC deus ex machina with extra angst for flavour, and I don't think it does her justice.
Catwoman #58 : I've been talking quite a bit about Adam Hughes's covers in my reviews of the last few issues of Catwoman with nothing but glowing praise, but... man. Those things are really poppin' fresh there, aren't they? I mean, really, it's like she has a spare ass growing out of her ribcage. A shapely one, mind, but still. Anyway, it's another highly entertaining issue from Pfeifer and Lopez, with some great interplay between Catwoman and Zatanna that rounds out the Angle Man aspects of the "One Year Later" story arc, but there's so much going on in this book that it doesn't all wrap up in a neat package after six issues, and for someone who enjoys following singles month-to-month, that's a nice change of pace from the way a lot of comics are written with trade paperbacks in mind. Holly, after all, is still in a considerable amount of trouble, and with a scene where Slam Bradley's kid does something so badass that it's almost worthy of his old man, there's not a lot more that I could want from this comic. Solid stuff.
Catwoman #58 – is a decent enough coda to the Angle Man/Film Freak storyline, with Selena calling in Selena, and for the moment, ending the threat to her child they presented. I’m still trying to figure out why the layouts don’t feel as compelling or exciting as they could. It has to be a layout problem - Pfieffer’s scripts are certainly dramatic enough. 6 of 10.
S: Will Pfiefer; A: Los Lopez David y Alvaro. (DC, $2.99)
Another witty and typically outstanding Adam Hughes cover ushers us into the latest chapter, as CW brings in Zatanna, no less, to act as Winston Wolf to Selina's Vince Vega and deal with the Angle Man and the Film Freak, who have figured out who she is and where she lives. The other subplots aren't ignored, either- the police continue to confront Holly GoCatwoman about the murder of the Black Mask (she didn't do it, they know, but they're trying to smoke out the "real" CW) and we get some more "One Year Ago" events. Pfiefer nimbly skips around with all of this; I was amused to find myself distrusting Zatanna, of all people, since she was taking so darn long to do her mindfuck thing on the evil duo, and I totally admire the neat curve he throws when giving us Film Freak's eventual reaction to Zee's ministrations. This is how to do downbeat spandex (or leather, I guess) without being oppressive or leaden. Artwise, I wish David L was a bit more facile and had a bit more spark to his style, but he's competent enough and Alvaro L's inks make him look all purty. I thought the neat little Steranko rip at the end was very nicely done. I suppose those who dwell upon such things should be a little pleased to note that two of DC's best ongoing pamphlets right now feature lead female characters not Amazonian in lineage. A
Review by: Blake M. Petit Blake@comixtreme.com
Quick Rating: Very Good
Title: Memories Are Made of This
To save her baby, Selina turns to the woman who tampered with her mind.
Writer: Will Pfeifer
Pencils: David Lopez
Inks: Alvaro Lopez
Colors: Brad Anderson
Letters: Jared K. Fletcher
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover Art: Adam Hughes
Publisher: DC Comics
Film Freak and the Angle Man have tracked down Selina’s new alias. They’ve broken into her home. They’ve threatened her baby. There’s only one way for Catwoman to save her – to turn to the woman who tampered with her own mind years ago, the sorceress called Zatanna. Meanwhile Holly, the new Catwoman, has been arrested and faces taking the rap for one of Selina’s crimes – the death of Black Mask.
Despite big goings-on, this is really something of a transitional issue, easing out of the first One Year Later arc into a new one, and still occasionally flashing back to the missing year. In that flashback, we get another clue as to the potential identity of little Helena’s father – but like some of the other clues we’ve gotten, it’s so obvious that you suspect it may be a red herring. That’s just a small part of the issue, though – the real story is Selina having to work with Zatanna to carry out the same invasion perpetrated upon her. This makes for a really interesting dynamic between the two women, and what’s more, the repercussions of their actions show us yet again (as if we haven’t learned it enough since Identity Crisis ) that tampering with people’s minds can have serious consequences.
The art team of Lopez and Lopez does their usual good job with the art. The splash page with the two superwomen in especially nice – a great angle, a great pose, a great look.
This may be one of the books that has benefited the most from the OYL jump – they’ve gone through a huge change in the status quo without getting bogged down in some of the more potentially tedious stories that it would have otherwise taken to get here. (Let’s face it, is there really that much story potential in Selina taking Lamaze class?) They’ve taken full advantage of the time lapse and given us a great read on the other side.
Catwoman #58: Who doesn't like Zatanna? Well, perhaps not Catwoman, but she still finds her useful every now and then. Again, Will Pfeifer got handed a tough assignment, not just following up a fan favorite run but being forced to undo a lot of the work done in it. Yet he found a way to turn it around into a quietly effective new chapter in Selena Kyle's life. We get another clue as to the father of her baby, but it could be a red herring.
Another fantastic cover. Another great story. Some more gaps are filled in, clues are dropped right and left. Zatanna's favor has unexpected consequences, so that even her trying to repay Selina for what she'd done to her doesn't clean the slate. Now, we have another killer on the loose. When messing around with someone's psyche, it's a good idea to know what's in that mind first. Better to just leave it alone. And the use of Holly to try to flush out the real Catwoman by the police felt real. And Sam's rescue of Selina in the hospital, in flashback, despite his injuries, was wonderful. And I always like seeing Ted.
Posted by Rae_rae on 08/20 at 08:40 PM
If things went the way it was supposed to then we wouldn’t have a story.
Zatanna just can’t stop screwing up people’s heads. She means well, I know she does, but it seems like lately every time she goes into someone’s mind it turns out for the worst. Zatanna has one simple thing to do, make Film Freak and Angle Man forget who Catwoman is and where she lives. Not complete mind wipes, nor even a change in their personalities, just forget who one person is. She does her main goal, but then she orders the two to go and confess all their crimes to the police. For some reason Film Freak, while in a zombie like daze, goes to his boss and kills him for committing crimes against cinema.
Holly’s not doing to well either. She’s been arrested for being a vigilante. Not to bad. Usually she would just pay the fine and leave. But Detective Lenahan is staying true to character and is going to try to pin the murder of Black Mask on Holly. Did I mention that he knows Holly didn’t do it?
Catwoman #58 - That's a beautiful Zatanna on the cover, but c'mon Adam Hughes, the balloon boobs were a little much. There must be hydraulic jacks in that push-up bra. Zatanna helps Selina get her baby back and deal with the bad guys, one of which doesn't get fixed quite right. Will Pfeifer hints at who Helena's daddy is. I can't wait to find out.
CATWOMAN #58: The problem here is there just isn't any drama in Angle Man or Film Freak knowing anything -- they're strictly D-list adversaries. And I don't really buy that Zatanna would do any more mind-wiping, and I'm getting frustrated by Magic in the DCU. We're told the rules have changed, but everything seems to work out exactly the same. AWFUL.
(w) Will Pfeifer
(a) David Lopez & Alvaro Lopez
FC, 32 pgs w/ ads $4.00 CAN / $2.99 US
If you like soap operas, Catwoman might be the book for you. With murder, doppelgangers, and brainwashing typical plotlines running through the series, one can easily be absorbed into the story. But the focus on Selina Kyle has waned significantly since One Year Later reined its head, and the supporting cast has been elevated to starring roles.
The overall story threads have decent potential, and will eventually build into something better here in Catwoman . With Selina a new mother, her interaction with the likes of Batman and Wildcat, and Zatanna's admission about interfering with Catwoman's mind, a new pinnacle point has been reached with the character. But with all this going on, I think there is too much to take in. ( Dana Tillusz )
3 of 5
New readers pouncing (sorry) onto Catwoman #58 will find themselves a little lost, as Selena Kyle now has a new name and a child (but still looks fine in a leather catsuit). The problem she’s dealing with at hand is a never-ran criminal named Angle Man who has deduced her new identity and location and is eager to reveal it to the world at large in the name of revenge. Catwoman deals with it in an unexpected way, by calling in Zatanna, who in the past had stolen her memories and now is asked to do the same. Meanwhile, an old crime of Selena’s is causing Holly Robinson (a new Catwoman?) some headaches. Writer Will Pfeifer has multiple balls in the air, and he skilfully juggles them, creating interesting character and plot turns, fitted underneath on-point dialogue and a general sense of knows-what-he’s-doing-ness. The art by David and Alvaro Lopez is clean but slightly generic, yet serving the story at every turn. They do the job well without bringing distractions or much else of interest to the table. Adam Hughes cover, meanwhile, brings plenty of distraction… but where are Zatanna’s fishnets?
Catwoman # 58 (DC; by Koben): Looking at Hughes' cover to this issue, I'm strongly for DC putting out an All-Star Zatanna series instead of Wonder Woman. That said, this issue is a great wrap-up to the current OYL storyline. As indicated by the cover, this issue guest-stars Z, who has come to whammy away the Angle Man and Film Freak's knowledge of Catwoman's adopted secret identity. In the process, Pfeifer tells the tale of A-Man's decent into his current state of affairs. Even though there is static between Selina and her magical help, a solution is found that satisfies both. Will Pfeifer has done a fantastic job of keeping me interested in Selina Kyle's life after the birth of her daughter, and I hope he stays with the book for quite some time. Also of note, while I loved his work on Fallen Angel , this series is a perfect fit for Lopez's artistic style. Even though I don't want it to be permanent, I enjoyed his new design for Zatanna's attire. Yllatot toh!
Written by Will Pfeiffer
Illustrated by David Lopez
I don't normally read this comic, but Zatanna is on the cover. I get to the register, and Emily (see below) says "Look at her breasts. She must have cast a magic spell on them to make them float." I look, and sure enough, Zee's breasts are right under her chin. Whoa. I'm sort of embarrassed, so I try to backpeddle, and Emily isnt having it. "It's like they took her butt and surgically planted it on her chest!" I feel shame for my gender, and I wish that comics were fair in their representation of gender (see above -- Casanova features full frontal males (le gasp!) -- and below -- Yfeatures all different kinds of women).
So before I made it to the register, I flipped through to see how much Zatanna's in this comic. I've been burned too many times by the promise of a Zatanna appearance only to find out that she's standing in the background at someone's funeral or magical hootenanny. Dialogue balloons are a must, and this one has a lot of them for her. She's in it AND she's speaking! Woo-hoo!
Or so I thought... Okay, so this issue is a mess. I mean, if DC's plan is to have these books be new-reader-friendly in the afterglow of One Year Later , I have no idea what the hell is going on. With two degrees, I think I can figure out a comic book plot. Uh-uh. Someone's in the hospital in a coma, there are two Catwomen, Black Mask's skull interrogates/ intimidates one of the Catwomen, and, oh yeah, why is the Film Freak an albino?! I just don't get any of it.
I like that there is more characterization here for Zatanna than the titular (no pun intended, Emily!) character of the book. That's always the mark of a great comic (CATWOMAN...starring ZATANNA!). So Zatanna is feeling guilt at having messed with Catwoman's head, ie making her more heroic, so Zee feels some responsibility to help Catwoman when C's daughter is threatened. But I hate, hate, hate ANY story that references Identity Rape . I just don't want to read a rehash of that. I want slick, cool fun or something really dramatic (something character driven, not driven by killing and rape and torture and brainwashing).
Also, this is one of those comics that drives me crazy with the fashion thing. The guys that draw these books have NO idea what a woman would actually wear. Zatanna would not be caught dead wearing those klunky Payless slip-on sandals. Nor would she be wearing a pentagram belt buckle with the comic book artist's name on it. Zatanna is a media star as well as a super hero, and I think she'd be paying a LOT more attention to what she went out of the house looking like than this. Unless she has a "Yawa og, izzarapap" spell or something...but even then she'd still be meticulous in her style. Blech.
a las 20:27:00