After leaving Bruce Wayne at the altar there were a lot of questions as to what Selina Kyle would do next. Joelle Jones started answering that with Catwoman #1 where we saw Selina go off on her own to live somewhere that is far away from Batman’s shadow. Now that Selina has been established to strike it out on her own the question that still is not answered is what is next for her as Catwoman. That is something that has become murkier as Catwoman has to deal with an army of copycat Catwomen running around ruining her name. How will Catwoman deal with all the copycats that have appeared? Let’s find out with Catwoman #2.
Writer & Artist: Joelle Jones
Colorist: Laura Allred
Story Rating: 5 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 6.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Surrounded by a bunch of copycats of herself Catwoman quickly takes out her two whips. While she is able to take one of the copycats down Catwoman gets overpowered by the second one she tries to use her whip on. Though she is knocked down Catwoman is able recover and starts taking down the copycats one at a time.
After taking care of all the copycats Catwoman takes the last one conscious to a nearby rooftop. From the copycat Catwoman learns that Governor Creel’s election campaign hired all the copycats with the idea of them being like a flash mob.
At the Creel’s place Raina Creel reprimands one of the copycat Catwomen for failing and getting two cops that were on her payroll shot. Raina tells her doctor and men to make sure the copycat Catwoman doesn’t fail them again. The men smash the copycat Catwoman’s hand with a hammer and then inject her with a drug.
The next day Carlos walks in on Selina, who has been unable to sleep all night. Carlos shows Selina the different spy and Batman devices he was able to get. Carlos offers all of them for Selina’s diamond ring. Selina says that is not for sale and she will give him a diamond solitaire instead. Carlos accepts the deal.
Once she is alone Selina looks at her engagement ring and quickly close the box.
Elsewhere Governor Creel speaks on the two detectives that were killed the previous night. He then announces his resignation as Governor because he was just diagnosed with stage two prostate cancer.
While Governor Creel is asked questions his sons ask their mom if she knew about this. Raina just says they’ll just have to move up their plans.
At a downtown bar Villa Hermosa PD detectives Sam and Will on leads for the murder case they are working on. Will questions Sam if he is actually going to solve the case or if Sam will sweep it under the rug. Sam angrily leaves the bar when Will says that.
Will follows Sam to his car and asks Sam to be at least honest with him. Sam says this isn’t Will’s case and just to worry about himself.
Later that night Selina arrives at a party being held at a hotel. As soon as she walks inside Selina is welcomed by Raymond Creel and Sam, who were expecting her arrival. End of issue.
The Good: Catwoman #2 read like two chess moves in a game that just started. There isn’t a lot of forward momentum to the corruption going on around the city that Catwoman now lives. Instead Catwoman #2 is more about continuing to develop the new world that Selina Kyle is becoming the center of. Though that also has its own problem with the progression of certain characters development
From the opening of Catwoman #2 Joelle Jones gets over how much of a badass Selina Kyle is. Seeing how she was able to almost effortlessly defeat a room full of copycats was great. It’s something we haven’t seen since her fight with Talia Al Ghul. As the second issue this is a good time to reestablish how much of a badass Catwoman is even if she isn’t in the best place personally.
At the same time Jones makes sure to give us a bit of an insight on how Selina Kyle still can’t get rid of leaving Bruce behind. It’s something that will clearly hang over her head until she deals with it or at least talks about with someone. Selina keeping her engagement ring signals this which builds an interesting sub-plot for this series. Given that she has cut off communication with everyone she knew back in Gotham City it is not clear who this will be.
Jones also does a good job in building up the Villa Hermosa Police Department to have a GCPD feel. She instantly establishes how the VHPD have a lot of corruption within their force, as shown with Detective Sam in the pockets of Raina Creel. This set-up gives Catwoman a long-term antagonist to continuously fight against, even if they aren’t direct fights. Though she will need to start injecting more personality into both Detective Will and Sam then the two just being the stereotypical good cop, bad cop.
While the story was solid the true strength of Catwoman #2 is the great artwork from Jones. Jones style helps Catwoman as a series standout from what we see in most DC Comics. It especially fits in well with Catwoman with how graceful of a fighter she is, as shown the opening fight. And since she is handling both the writing and artwork Jones does a good job with letting her artwork tell the story. It is much more effective than having a bunch of inner monologue.
The Bad: The weakness of Catwoman #2 is the lack of development in the threat that Raina Creel posses this series. Even though her action of hurting one of the copycat Catwomen was horrible it just spoke of typical evil crimeboss. There was nothing about Raina’s time on screen that created interest in her evil plot.
The lack of interest falls on the fact that we have no indications of what Raina is looking to do. Whether it is to take over her husband’s spot, kill her husband, be the biggest crime boss in the city or just get rich we get zero clues in her motives. Hurting this even more is the fact we don’t learn why of all characters that she is using Catwoman’s disguise to cover up her criminal activity. This lack of intel on Raina’s motives makes her come off as a villain that is more about her appearance than actual plot.
It doesn’t help Raina that we don’t care about her husband resigning his position as Governor. Since this was something done in his first appearance there was no build up into how the relationship between Raina and her husband has been. While it may have meant having him resigning his position until the next issue giving time to this sub-plot would’ve been better for the long-term benefit of this first story arc.
This all made the ending less effective as a cliffhanger since we haven’t spent a lot of time to get invested in the Creel family drama. Without that investment it was tough to actually worry about Selina’s safety since she has such high credibility as fighter and manipulator that she can escape anything the corrupt cops or Creels have planned. And since it was Creel’s son, who is just a nameless secondary in his mom’s plot plot, that greeted Selina in the final page the ending of Catwoman #2 did not have the impact it would’ve had if it was Raina in the role.
Overall: Joelle Jones continues to show through her writing and artwork that she understands who Selina Kyle is. Unfortunately Catwoman #2 suffers from having an antagonist that has yet to be put over as a credible threat with clear motives. If this major part of the story is not improved on than Catwoman’s first story arc will turn out to be a letdown.