Wednesday, November 21, 2012
SPOILERS: Catwoman #14
Honestly? This is a pretty interesting issue to write up. It's not formatted in such where the action in the scenes are are what really drive the story (thus things I can easily describe), what's being said is way more important, and that's the kind of stuff that really becomes a problem in these write ups, as those sort of details are better just read. So, with that in mind, I'm going to ditch my usual formula, and just sort of talk about the issue in an extended review of sorts.
So, picking up where last issue left off, Joker was indeed behind that big chess game just to make a point (doesn't making the framing of it last issue any better). Knowing Selina is inherently a good person, he threatens blowing up a child if she doesn't agree to play with him.
Joker's play date turns into this creepy situation with sexual undertones, where he examines the Bat/Cat relationship and what it means to either of them. The games are held across two nights, the second of which Selina really starts to worry about just what's happening to Batman. What Anne Nocenti definitely nailed was Joker's dialogue. At first glance, it looks as if he's just spouting off a bunch of nonsense, that comes across almost incoherent madness at times, but there's also that sharp point that can be found when you really read what's being said. I have to admit, Joker's take on the Bat/Cat dynamic makes for a rather interesting read.
All in all, this is probably the most psychological issue of "Death of the Family" yet, but with that I feel it misses a mark. Having seen a good portion of this event, we've come to know what to expect in Joker really directly attacking "the family," something he doesn't do with Selina to the extent we've seen. This is both a disappointment and probably a highlight as well. While this issue isn't exactly playing ball with the rest, Selina isn't a hero so to speak, so it would make sense for her to be treated differently in the cross over. The unique nature of Joker's attack this time around is definitely the saving grace.
Artistically speaking, Rafa Sandoval is doing great so far on this book. See DC, this is how you do it, sure, the main guy left... have some fill in here and there, but you find someone who is really capable enough to take the book on afterwards... not whatever the hell is happening in Red Hood. Sandoval has this great exaggeration to Selina's movement, fitting in her acrobat like nature, and his Joker is creepy and menacing. Great stuff on his end.
Look, I'll be the first to admit it... Maybe I jumped the gun in my judgement of Nocenti. I thought the zero issue was pure shit (and hope it really gets buried, still) and the last issue fell apart for me. But this... this was pretty damn good. I would have liked perhaps a little bit more up front substance (potentially another issue, given that this is it for Catwoman and the crossover) but the psych stuff was really pretty good. I was very surprised, and pleased coming out of this issue.