Catwoman’s newest ongoing has had a solid start so far. Joelle Jones has been impressive with how she has handled both the writing and artwork of this series so far. She has already shown that she understands how to write a very compelling Selina Kyle. But while Selina has been written well the series is still trying find its footing when it comes to the new setting Catwoman is living in. The villain, Raina Creel, has so far been one-note and the supporting cast have been no better. Unless those elements of this series get better than Catwoman won’t be able to reach its full potential. Let’s find out if Catwoman #3 can change all that right now.
Writer: Joelle Jones
Artists: Joelle Jones and Fernando Blanco
Colorists: Laura Allred and John Kalisz
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At a party Raymond Creel and Detective Sam Yilmaz lead Selina Kyle to a private room. Raymond explains to Selina that the Creel Family run Villa Hermosa and is prepared to offer her a place in the city. Selina thinks that Raymond is offering her a job but he says they are conditions for living in Villa Hermosa.
Selina notices that the party attendants are taking some sort of drug and declines the offer. She then says she has her own interest with being in Villa Hermosa.
Before Detective Yilmaz can talk to Selina several party attendants start attack Selina. Selina uses the smoke pellets she bought off Carlos earlier but they end up being duds. One of the attendants suddenly tackles Selina through a window and she falls several stories on top of a car.
At the Governor’s Mansion, Raina Creel is upset that Edmond Creel did not tell her that he had cancer and that he is resigning as Governor. Edmond says he knows that Raina worked hard in his campaign but they need to focus on themselves and their family now.
Later that night while in bed Edmond asks Raina to tell her the story of her first husband again.
Raina recalls how when she was seventeen his then wife actually took her in after seeing her at a charity event and what her home life was like. While living at her new home both of the family’s daughters got sick and died with the evidence pointing to the mother, leading to her arrest. Raina leaves out that she poisoned the two children. Eventually Raina seduced her first husband and he ended up taking his own life, which in reality Raina killed him.
Raina then talks about how Edmond changed her life when they found each other. As she talks about that Raina takes a syringe hidden their bed. She then gets on top of Edmond and tells him that he is no use to her anymore.
At Fort Knox Self Storage Linda and Carlos put Selina in an ice bath. Carlos asks Selina about her gambling addiction. Selina says it is none of Carlos’ business. Selina gets out of the ice bath and says she has an appointment to get to even though Linda tells her to go to the hospital.
Leaving Selina alone, Carlos tells his aunt they can’t leave Selina in the state she is in. Linda tells her nephew to not get close to or fall in love with Selina.
As Catwoman parkours her way across the rooftops her injuries are causing her to be slow and sloppy due to the pain she is in. She eventually makes it to a hospital.
She sneaks into the hospital and goes to the room that her sister, Maggie Kyle, is in. Catwoman says “Hello, sister. It’s been a while.” End of issue.
The Good: Catwoman #3 is exactly the issue that this series needed as we finally learn what is driving Raina Creel. This much needed attention shines a spotlight on why fans will want to see Catwoman help deliver the justice that Raina Creel deserves. In the process Joelle Jones is also able to deliver a sub-plot that clarifies some of Selina Kyle’s own motivations at the moment.
After two issues of zero backstory for the Creel family we finally got to learn more about that. In particular we got to learn how the Creel family controls the entire city of Villa Hermosa with Raina Creel at the center. Raymond Creel explaining this to Selina Kyle during the opening sets the stage for how much Catwoman will be up against in the early life of this series. The way Raymond talked made you want to see Selina punch the guy in the face.
Jones adds an even greater sense to the corruption in Villa Hermosa by heavily implying that Governor Edmond Creel does not know everything that Raina did to give their family so much influence in the city. This was something that was furthered with how Raina told Edmond about her first husband while leaving out the key details of what really happen. Actually seeing those key details and what she said to Edmond before killing him actually built up proper heat for Raina moving forward. And with how Edmond was killed it’ll also be interesting to see how Raina uses his death to give herself even greater power in Villa Hermosa.
This all positions Selina Kyle’s new home as being a place she won’t have an easy time navigating. Having her not being able to live normally in the public puts into question how she can even operate. Jones pushes that idea forward with how we see that Selina is working with a limited toolset since the best she can do to heal herself from a big fall was an ice bath by those she is living with. That limited tool set at her disposal will force Selina to be more creative with how she works as Catwoman since she can’t just use second hand tools.
With Catwoman #3 Jones finally cleared up why Selina is in Villa Hermosa. Before this issue her new city of residence felt extremely random. But now by re-introducing Selina’s sister, Maggie Kyle, Jones instantly built a strong connection for why she is now in Villa Hermosa. Seeing the state that Maggie is in provides plenty of potential for the direction Jones will want to go with this series outside the Catwoman adventures. This re-introduction of Maggie also gives this series a much needed important supporting cast member that the reader can instantly connect with.
Speaking of supporting characters, Detective Sam Yilmaz was another character that got some much needed character work in Catwoman #3. Though Detective Yilmaz didn’t get a lot of dialogue what he did say was enough to develop his character. We at least now know that Detective Yilmaz is working his own angle by being in the employ of the Creel Family. With how he tried to talk to Selina it does seem that he wants to work with Catwoman in a different way than the Creel Family wants. What that way is exactly gives Detective Yilmaz something to work with from his side of the story.
As well done as the story was it was once again the artwork from Jones and Fernando Blanco that carried Catwoman #3. Jones and Blanco did a very good job making sure their artwork was consistent as unless you looked at the credits before hand it was tough to tell there were multiple artists working on this issue. The artwork also continues to be well stylized to give Catwoman a style that you only see in this series. The sense of motion when Catwoman is moving while in her costume is fantastic. Even without any dialogue the artwork was able to get over how injured Catwoman was when she was parkouring through the city.
The Bad: Though Catwoman #3 puts in a lot of work to develop the world around Selina Kyle the two characters that still haven’t been developed are Carlos and his Aunt Linda. These two characters continue to feel like random supporting characters since we don’t know why Selina is even living with them. The only character development that is given to them is that Carlos has a crush on Selina. Outside of that we aren’t really given much to care about them having a supporting role in this series. That will hopefully change as the series moves forward.
The other story point that was odd was the transition from Selina falling on top of a car to her suddenly being at her apartment. It didn’t make a lot of sense that with how seriously injured Selina was from the fall that she would get away without being caught beforehand. There was a whole middle part that was missing to explain how she got away since it did look like she passed out when she landed as hard as she did.
Overall: Catwoman #3 is the best issue that we’ve gotten from this young series so far. Joelle Jones did a fantastic job developing the world around Catwoman. The character work for Raina Creel in particular elevated the entire conflict in this first story arc as we now have a villain to hate. Combining that with a strong hook ending there is a lot to be intrigued about the direction for Jones’ Catwoman series.