Written by: Joelle Jones
Art by: Joelle Jones, Laura Allred, and Saida Temofonte
Cover Price: $3.99
Release Date: November 13, 2019
Catwoman is an odd book to include with the Year of the Villain stuff. Catwoman's only real villain right now is Raina Creel and what could Lex offer her, a new nose?!? So, it makes sense that the offer went to Selina herself, though I am pretty sure she won't do anything that crazy with it since she will eventually be heading off with Batman to...who knows, really! That's Bat and Cat stuff, though, so we will just move along. So, does the Year of the Villain give Joelle Jones something fun to play with? Let's find out...
The issue opens with some quick visual recap followed by some catch-up and then some fill in the blanks stuff followed by more recap. I know that sounds bad and all of it is a huge problem for this issue (and a bit of a microcosm for the whole series), but some of it isn't half bad.
We get to see Lex make his offer to Selina and while the actual object isn't that exciting (essentially a road map), the dialogue from Lex is great. Joelle Jones really sells the fact that Selina is an anti-hero with nowhere to go. Lex sums it up perfectly when he asks her if she wants to stay and be a hero in Villa Hermosa or go home to Gotham and be a villain. For now, it looks like Selina will be the hero which is a nice little tweest on the Year of the Villain theme, but also might spell disaster for Selina sooner than later.
As Selina goes off to use her gift, Jones gives us what feels a bit like a victory lap for Selina. My guess is that this book may see an ending by the time we get Tom King's Bat/Cat book on the shelves and if that's the case, the overarching recap here might serve well for people jumping on tp see how it all ends. Selina's narration is all about having balance in her life of playing the hero and the villain...funny as she kind of threw that off by taking Lex's offer.
The issue continues in the mysterious Lazarus Pit under Villa Hermosa and again, the dialogue was really good and we did get a bit of story to match. Raina has a couple more monsters to hang with her son, Adam, but I am a little confused by the rules for all of this. Plus, can she please just dip that hideous face in there and hope for the best?!?! During all of this, we get an odd fast-forwarded fight scene that looked kind of cool, but threw me out of the issue and really made no sense on all sorts of levels. Why put it in the book???
The issue ends with something really cool and unexpected and yes, it does have me very interested to read the next issue. First, because it involves a cool character, and second because it hints that some forward momentum may actually happen.
I didn't hate this issue. It looked great and there are some spot-on parts that showed that Joelle Jones knows Selina well. However, this book continues to tread water and the fact that Raina Creel is still the big bad is proof positive of that. She was interesting...eleven issues ago, but now has just turned into a mustache-twirling baddie whose main purpose is to make Selina the good gal. Please, let's get to Maggie and something more interesting and do it soon!
Bits and Pieces:
While I think Lex Luthor's offer was done extremely well here, not much else happens. That is bad for any book, but it is downright ridiculous for one with so little forward momentum. We do get a really cool cliffhanger that has me interested in what happens next...I just wish more happened now.