Joelle Jones has done a great job carving out a corner of the DC Universe for Catwoman. Each passing issue of Catwoman has developed her world and cast of characters. Now after developing her world Jones is adding in some supernatural elements with a key item that has some mystical unknown power. What exactly the ancient item does is still not fully clear. But with the Creel Family still hovering over this series Catwoman will need to be careful with whatever her next steps are. Let’s see if that is the case with Catwoman #12.
Writer: Joelle Jones
Artist: Fernando Blanco and Hugo Petrus
Colorist: John Halisz
Story Rating: 6 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Catwoman, using a police car, does her best to evade the cops chasing her and Carlos. Eventual dozens of cop cars are chasing right after Catwoman.
Carlos, who can only sit in the cop car as Catwoman does her thing, remembers how he helped Selina Kyle discover what the statue she brought is about. Through his connections Carlos introduces Selina a museum curator who is able to discover that the statue is incomplete as there was a mask that was held by the hands.
Selina used this information to track down where the missing mask is being placed up for bid.
Carlos then introduces Selina to James Thien, who can forge a fake mask they can swap with the real one. During the meeting Carlos could tell that there was instant attraction between Selina and James.
In the present a person wakes up at the Creel Family hideout. Raina Creel tells this person that they will understand that doing the right thing is to help the Creel Family.
Back at the car chase Catwoman finally is able to get enough distance for Carlos to figure out where they can hide the cop car they are in. Carlos calls in one of his favors.
As they go to where they’ll hide the cop car Carlos remembers how Selina and James were able to trick the security guard protecting the mask and change it out for the fake. When Selina and James got the real mask they went to the meeting spot they agreed on with Carlos.
Unfortunately Carlos was not at the meeting point.
Back in the present, Raina tells a captured Linda (Carlos’ aunt) she will help her find were Selina is or else something will happen to Carlos.
Flashing back to hours ago, Carlos is shown coming across a van with some auction items. Carlos decides to leave the meeting point to steal some of those items. While searching the van he gets locked in when the guards decide to finally drive away.
Back in the present, Catwoman still has a few cops chasing her when she gets to a shipping yard. Catwoman pulls some quick moves to causes the cops to crash into each other. Once safely alone Catwoman drops the cop car off in a shipping container that Carlos’ contact set up for them.
Sometime later Selina, James and Carlos go back to El Triangulo Pawn store. Selina takes James to her hideout inside the pawn shop. Selina goes to talk to her sister, Maggie.
Carlos suddenly rushes in a panic to tell Selina that his Aunt Linda has vanished. Selina, James and Carlos take off in a hurry.
Maggie is left along with the mask on the statue. Suddenly the mask starts to glow purple. End of issue.
The Good: Catwoman #12 is one of those comics that would’ve been stronger if Joelle Jones cut out one narrative choice that she made for the story. The narrative choice of flashing back to previous scenes through the perspective of Carlos detracted from the story moving forward. While that was definitely annoying, Jones does such a good job with the present day scenes that the overall story is able to move forward than go backwards.
Opening Catwoman #12 with a crazy car chase between Catwoman and the entire Villa Hermosa Police Department injected instant energy to the story. It set the tone for all the present day scenes to be something to pay attention to. The scene also help spotlight how Catwoman’s skills go beyond just those that make her an incredible thief. When she has to, Catwoman can drive just as well as anyone.
The entire car chase sequence also highlighted the fact that Catwoman is someone that can quickly think on her feet. No matter how many cops were chasing her Catwoman was in complete control of the situation. She knew exactly what she needed to do to get her and Carlos out of their present situation. Even when things were thrown her way that could derail her escape plan we see that Catwoman can adjust by causing three cop cars to crash into each other. It all made for an impressive showing of how flexible Catwoman is in any given situation.
The chaotic chase sequence was nicely balanced out by how Jones continous the proper development of Raina Creel’s character. After a rough introduction, Jones is now focusing more time on developing how wicked of a villain Raina is. There is a certain presence that Raina now has that she did not in the first Catwoman story arc. Making Raina much calmer in the way she talks to Aunt Linda made her infinitely more dangerous than she previously was. There was a sense that Raina would truly kill Aunt Linda and everyone they are close to if she didn’t help her find Selina Kyle.
The mystery around the ancient statue also continues to hold some solid interest. Jones is doing a good job at treating the mystery behind this ancient statue as a wild card in everything going on. We still don’t fully understand what it does. But we do know it is dangerous. And the fact that it activates with only Maggie Kyle in the room was a strong hook to end Catwoman #12 on.
While I am not normally a fan of art by committee Fernando Blanco and Hugo Petrus did a great job matching each other’s styles in Catwoman #12. There were times were Blanco and Petrus each made it obvious when it was their turn on art duties. But they never got in the way of the flow of Catwoman #12. They kept the issue moving forward by showing how chaotic the cop car chase sequence was and smooth Catwoman was in stealing the ancient mask during the auction. It all looked great and either artist can shine if given full reigns of woking on the artwork for an entire issue of Catwoman.
The Bad: For as well written as the present day scenes were Catwoman #12 was held back from reaching its full potential by all the flashback sequences. There was nothing new that was established in these flashbacks since Jones mostly revisited scenes we already saw happen in previous issues of this story arc. The only real difference was that we got all the events from Carlos’ perspective.
Unfortunately Carlos has not been a particularly strong supporting character up to this point. He has largely been a background character that has been Catwoman’s sidekick when she needs one. As a solo character there hasn’t been much to him. Seeing him get jealous of the attraction between Selina and James did not help make him more interesting. It instead just further painted him as nothing more than a supporting character that should not be directly involved in things Catwoman is doing.
The fact that the ball was dropped so badly in developing Carlos’ character only spotlighted how much time was wasted in the flashback scenes. The time dedicated to the flashbacks could have been better used to develop other characters. Especially with how compelling Raina Creel is turning out to be a few more pages dedicated to all her plans wouldn’t have hurt. The same goes for James Thiel, who as a new character would benefit from seeing developing his character more than just a possible love interest for Selina Kyle.
Overall: When Catwoman #12 focused on moving the plot forward by showing us what Selina Kyle and Raina Creel were doing it was at its best. Joelle Jones has done a great job in developing them both as strong rivals. If it wasn’t for the narrative choice spend half the issue with flashbacks to previous scenes from Selina Kyle’s sidekick’s, Carlos, perspective this issue would have been stronger.
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