The previous issue of Catwoman was a side story that did not have a connection of the greater story arc that Joelle Jones has been telling. But now after that very brief interlude Joelle Jones is back to start wrapping up the latest battle between Catwoman and Rain Creel’s family. This long running battle may take an unexpected turn as Lex Luthor made his presence known as he brings the story driving “Year of the Villain” to the pages of Catwoman. How much of a wild card will Lex be in Catwoman’s current predicament? And how may that affect what Catwoman does in the future? Let’s find out by checking out Catwoman #16.
Writer & Artist: Joelle Jones
Colorist: Laura Allred
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Near a Lazarus Pit Catwoman is crawling on the floor, heavily beaten, while Raina Creel mocks for fighting her rather than taking the offer to team-up. Raina goes on to say she has gotten where she is at because she defies the odds.
Raina’s zombie-like children attack Catwoman again. After a short beating Raina tells her children to stop and leaves Catwoman to beaten on the ground. Raina then exits the cavern where the Lazarus Pit is to go to her meeting.
Weeks later Selina Kyle goes to the Geddes household. Gloria Geddes answers the door and lets Selina in even though she did not know Selina was going to show up. Before Selina cna learn were Jack Geddes is a bunch of kids running around the house as Gloria is hosting a birthday party for her kid. Eventually Gloria gets Jack’s attention but he is still too busy with a meeting to pay attention to his wife.
Jack takes his friend into his office to show him a special model pen that he had. Selina reveals she is in the office and quickly unarms Jack and his friend before they can get their guns.
Selina demands to know where Raina is hiding but both say they haven’t heard from Raina in weeks. Selina doesn’t take this answer as the truth and starts beating both Jack and his friend until they tell her where Raina is.
After a while Selina sees that this isn’t working. So she proposes a win-win scenario where if Jack tells her where Raina is she will stop beating him. Jack still does not give Selina what she wants so she hits him with her whip again. She then gives Jack a warning to give to Raina if he sees her before she does “Tell her I’m coming for her.”
After leaving the Geddes’ household Selina contacts Carlos. Carlos mentions that Selina was a bit harsh with Jack so she “promises” to be gentler next time. Carlos mentions that Selina should come home to see Maggie. Selina says she is close to finding Raina so she’ll continue following her leads but promises to visit Maggie when she can.
Flashing back to the Lazarus Pit incident, Catwoman is in a lot of pain when a cat approaches her. The cat leads her to the Lazarus Pit.
Flashing back to before the Lazarus Pit incident, Lex talks to Catwoman at the Creel Mansion. Lex says he has a life changing for Catwoman but she must first answer if she will be a hero or villain.
Back at the Lazarus Pit the cat leads a heavily wounded Catwoman to the pit. Catwoman is able to power through the pain of her injuries and walks into the Lazarus Pit. While in the Lazarus Pit Selina sees a vision of herself in her old purple Catwoman costume.
Back in Villa Hermosa Carlos sees people running terrified through the streets. Carlos goes outside to check what is going on and sees the Legion of Doom symbol in the sky. End of issue.
The Good: As part of a monthly ongoing series Catwoman #16 suffers from the fill-in story that took up the previous issue of this series. Not only did it halt its momentum but made the opening pages question what is going on in a confusing way rather than a place of intrigue. Luckily Joelle Jones does find her footing with Catwoman #16’s story as the story in this issue progress up to the final page.
One of the many things that Jones has absolutely nailed about her run on Catwoman thus far is how tough she portrays Selina Kyle is. Selina is a surpremely confident and skilled character that makes her one of the versatile fighters in the DC Universe. What Jones adds to that is how tough Selina is in and out of her Catwoman disguise. No matter how beaten Selina appears to be she it takes a lot to completely disable her.
We see that with how beaten she was in the cave that held the Lazarus Pit. It would’ve been easy for her to just give up with the torturous pain she was in after the beating Rain Creel’s family gave her. There is even a moment where it looks like Catwoman was on the verge of giving up.
Which is where the symbolism of what could be called a spirit cat showing up to guide Catwoman to the Lazarus Pit comes in. Seeing this cat in the cave reminded Catwoman that there is still a lot for her to do, including stopping Raina Creel’s plot. Powering through the pain and going into the Lazarus Pit showed the strong fortitude that she has.
With this decision to enter the Lazarus Pit made there is now a question as to how this will end up affecting Selina. We’ve seen how every character that steps into the Lazarus Pit is mentally affected in some way. That has happened to Ra’s Al Ghul, Jason Todd and Talia Al Ghul. It is not likely that Selina walks away from the Lazarus Pit fully recovered without some ramifications.
We see hints of that with the aggression she showed against Jack Geddes and his friend. There is a point in the beaten that it felt like Selina crossed a line in punishment we haven’t seen before. It’s those subtle character plot points that Jones absolutely nails. There are enough questions created that provide an intriguing sub-plot for Jones to develop as Selina hunts for Raina Creel and her family.
For her part in this issue, Raina Creel continues to be developed as a more fully fleshed out villain. The character has evolved from the one note villain she was in the first story arc of Catwoman. With the way she taunted a beaten Catwoman and sent her zombie-like children against our hero we are given even more reason to hate her. This all works to elevate her as Catwoman’s signature villain.
And it is being done at the right time as Raina is a character that can benefit from the Year of the Villain direction. Especially with Catwoman turning down the offer it gives Raina a chance to reach the level she believes herself as being in the pecking order of villains. Which makes the Legion of Doom symbol shining over Villa Hermosa. Jones creates the question of if this is Raina gooding Catwoman to find her after what she did to her associates. It’s a very good use of the Year of the Villain direction going on throughout DC Comics right now.
Throughout Catwoman #16 Jones also does a very good job continuing to develop the world around Selina Kyle. As this was a series about Selina getting a fresh start it also meant restarting the world around her. Jones continues to develop that world by introducing us to characters like Gloria Geddes. From the moment she appears on screen to when she exits a few pages later her character is fully fleshed out. Everything we need to know about her as a mother, wife and a person is given a full arc so that if Jones brings her character back we as readers have a strong grasp of who she is. That is character and world building at its finest.
All of the writing in Catwoman #16 is made stronger by the even better artwork that Jones delivered. In handling all of the artwork Jones was able to add several layers to her writing. Each panel was drawn in a way to perfectly compliment the story. Whether there was dialogue spoken or not. Jones continued to develop the story in every single panel so we always understood what Selina Kyle was going through whether she was in her street clothes or as Catwoman.
Laura Allred deserves an equal amount of credit for her coloring in this issue. She does a very good job in shifting between the dark indoor and vibrant outdoor scenes very well. Her coloring especially shined during the meeting Selina had with Jack. The red and black used for the interrogation was complimented well with the brightly colored birthday party scene that took place in every other panel.
The Bad: As I mentioned earlier, one of the things that held Catwoman #16 back from being even better was how long it took to get going. Because of the fill-in story from the last issue there was clear momentum lost that Catwoman #16 needed time to regain. The first few pages had to do a lot of heavy lifting in that respect, which did hurt some of the initial pacing of the story in this issue.
The continuous shifts between past and present day scenes was also oddly placed. This specifically hurt the ending of this issue as it was not clear when the Legion of Doom symbol shining over Villa Hermosa happened. It would’ve been nice if Jones or her editor added a “Now” or “Then” to that page. Without that it was tough to tell if it was part of the events of the incident at the Lazarus Pit or in the present with Selina searching for Raina.
Overall: Handling the writing and artwork, Joelle Jones was able to elevate Catwoman #16’s story to another level. Jones strong grasp on Selina Kyle’s character shines throughout this issue as we see how strong she is in and out of her Catwoman costume. The fantastic artwork by Jones and Laura Allred added to that storytelling, with various points in this issue the art progressing the story forward without any dialogue.
To comment on this article and other Comic Book Revolution content, visit our Facebook page, our Twitter feed, our Instagram feed. Catch up with all of Kevin’s other musings about comics, anime, TV shows, movies and more over on Twitter.