Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Catwoman #81 Review

Written by Will Pfeifer
Art by David Lopez and Alvaro Lopez

Pfeifer takes a lot of crap for his involvement in the editorial debacle that was Amazons Attack. He did write it and he did do a terrible job on that piece, as evidenced by the infamous Batman "bees" quote, but there are few writers that could have turned that flaming bag of poo that was tossed into his lap into something worth reading.

I only mention the the misconception that Pfeifer is a terrible writer based solely on Amazons Attack because his Catwoman is so damn good. Even with those forced Salvation Run tie-ins, he still managed to tell some Selina centric stories that pretty much ignored anything to do with Salvation Run. And, then, there are issues like this one that boil the Catwoman character down to what makes her such a compelling character in the first place.

Following her revenge on The Thief last issue, we find out Selina's behavour since giving up her daughter, having her life torn apart by The Thief, being shipped off and subsequently returning from the prison world. This has all culminated with Selina slipping further and further towards her former villainous ways to where we see her today - in the middle of heist.

Will Catwoman continue her self-destructive freefall into moral bankruptcy or will she return to the anti-hero character or even turn her life around completely?
This is not for charity or to help people or even personal gain. This is about the pure, unadultered thrill of the hunt and the eventual escape and pursuit by the police.

This is all framed with Catwoman's thought process and it's easy to see how she arrived back at this kind of behaviour and it made for a great read. This culminated with the always entertaining confrontation with Batman, which ends much differently than one might expect based on their usual cat and mouse flirtations and has me dying to see where this goes from here.

Will Catwoman continue her self-destructive freefall into moral bankruptcy or will she return to the anti-hero character or even turn her life around completely? Considering the fact she's appearing carefree in Detective Comics and being promoted for the Fight for the Cowl post-RIP event, I think the ending is fairly obvious, but the journey to that point, even if it's only one more issue for this series, is guaranteed to be a gripping story that I can't wait to read.

Verdict - Must Read. There's no reason for a title this good to be cancelled, but Pfeifer is determined to see this through to the end when most other writers would probably have simply phoned these issues in with cheap flashbacks or monologue stories. To have a character piece of this quality come on the heels of a cancellation announcement is unheard of.

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