Catwoman #36 Fear State

Catwoman #36 Review

Catwoman #36 Fear State

Catwoman went through a lot just to survive her confrontation against Father Valley. While she was able to get her sister, Maggie Kyle, out of Gotham City there is no rest for Catwoman as Fear State has taken over Gotham City. Things are particularly bad for Catwoman and her crew as Simon Saint has targeted Alleytown as one of the key areas in Gotham City he wants to show the Magistrate’s power in. Can Catwoman survive the Peacekeepers coming after her while protecting Poison Ivy and the others in Alleytown? Let’s find out with Catwoman #36.

Writer: Ram V

Artists: Nina Vakueva and Laura Braga

Colorist: Jordie Bellaire

Story Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10

Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10

Overall Rating: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10

Synopsis: In the Alleytown area of Gotham City the Peacekeepers aresecuring the area and searching for Catwwoman and Poison Ivy as they are two people targeted for elimination. Wight Witch along with the Peacekeepers are deployed for this mission.

Catwoman and Cheshire Cat (the amnesiac Lian Harper, who was thought dead but alive with no memories of being Roy Harper and Cheshire’s daughter) hideout on the rooftop. Riddler contacts them to let them know that Wight Witch (who Catwoman fought in Catwoman #29) is with the Peacekeepers. Catwoman asks Riddler how the Peacekeepers knew Poison Ivy was hiding in the Terminal building.

With no clear answer Catwoman moves on to tell Riddler to coordinate a secure route to the docks so they have the option to have Poison Ivy leave Gotham City if it comes down to it.

As Riddler sends out the message to his network Penguin receives word that Poison Ivy is being moved.

Back on the rooftop Catwoman thanks Cheshire Cat for stopping her from cutting and running. Cheshire Cat says that all the people of Alleytown used to cut and run but Catwoman showed them they can stay and fight. Cheshire Cat then asks Catwoman what she plans to do next. Catwoman says she has friends to see and favors to call in to pull of her plan.

Elsewhere in Alleytown Firefly and Killer Croc hit the Peacekeepers coming after them with a combo attack but that ends up not working. Cheshire and Clayface save Firefly and Killer Croc from the Peacekeepers.

As Cheshire, Clayface, Firefly, Killer Croc, and Knockout find themselves cornered Harley Quinn and Gardner show up to take out the Peacekeepers and saves the group.

Catwoman #36 Fear State
Catwoman assembles the villains in Gotham City to create a team to combat the Magistrate in Catwoman #36. Click for full page view.

Catwoman appears as well so everyone can talk about the situation they are all in against the Magsitrate. Catwoman mentions that the Magistrate are coming after all of them and are specifically targeting Poison Ivy. She goes on to say that she has a plan and needs a crew to pull it off. Clayface, Cheshire, Firefly, Killer Croc, and Knockout agree to work with Catwoman.

Catwoman goes over her plan that includes the Riddler and the Strays transporting Poison Ivy to the docks through the route they secured. As that happens Cheshire Cat will keep tabs on the network they’ve created so they can stay in communication. Catwoman goes on to say that if things go south she will turn herself in to give everyone a chance to escape.

Catwoman then goes over her plan for Cheshire, Clayface, Firefly, Killer Croc, and Knockout to help lure Wight Witch into a fight with her, Harley Quinn, and Gardner.

Catwoman then goes to see Poison Ivy off. Catwoman asks Poison Ivy if she trusts her. Poison Ivy says she does and understands that Catwoman was trying to come back home. Catwoman and Poison Ivy then hug.

The plan Catwoman set up works as Wight Witch and her group of Peacekeepers are lured into a building where Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Gardner were waiting. Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Gardner work together to through Wight Witch off and overwhelm her with combo attacks.

Elsewhere Riddler and the Strays take Poison Ivy through the route they secured with drones keeping watch.

Meanwhile Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Gardner defeat Wight Witch and the Peacekeepers.

As that happens Simon Saint activates a protocol that powers up a several other Wight Witch. The new Wight Witches are ordered to go after both Poison Ivy and Catwoman. End of issue.

The Good: Much like’s it contemporary in Nightwing, what Catwoman #36 does well is telling a focused story within the context of the Fear State event. The story in this issue is very simple in that it is a race to protect Poison Ivy from the evil plans Simon Saint and his Magistrate have. In the process Ram V provides a lot of great character work for everyone that appears in Catwoman #36.

Possibly better than any chapter of Fear State we have gotten across several comic book series Catwoman #36 really drives home the authoritarian regime the Magistrate have already become. The opening scene with the Magistrate establish how they’ve completely taken over Gotham City to a point no one wants to leave their home out of fear. Throughout the issue we see them march through Alleytown in a way that makes you understand how bad things have gotten and that if the Batman Family don’t stop them it’ll only get worse.

This situation opening Catwoman’s eyes has grown as she doesn’t just cut and run like she would have when faced against the Magistrates forces. Lian Harper’s Cheshire Cat being the one that has helped her in realizing this was a good way to establish how important their bond has become. As Cheshire Cat said, Catwoman influenced the people of Alleytown as much as they have influenced her. It gets into how Selina has really created a home for herself in Alleytown and found a place she can call her own. The question with this is if Catwoman will allow herself to stick around in the home.

While that is a question for later at the moment we see how Catwoman has natural leadership abilities as she is the one that gets all of the villains in Gotham City assembled to pull of her big con against the Magistrate. Even in her injured state Catwoman comes up with a plan that maximizes all the available people she is able to find to create her team. It continues the maturity that her character is going through as she gets Gardner, Harley Quinn, Clayface, Cheshire, Firefly, Killer Croc, and Knockout to rally around her.

Catwoman #36 Fear State
Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Gardner take on Wight Witch and the Peacekeepers in Catwoman #36. Click for full page view.

The plan she creates also works to utilize what we have seen as a major weakness in the Magistrate. Which has been the overconfidence in the entire Peacekeeper program that they are these Terminator-like invincible soldiers. That overconfidence leads to Catwoman’s plans being a success as they are able to defeat the Peacekeepers and Wight Witch that are after them.

Which makes the fact that there are even more Wight Witches to go after Poison Ivy and Catwoman something that brings greater concern for those involved in this part of Fear State. We know from the Batman chapters of Fear State that Poison Ivy is a key part of how Fear State will go. Now that there are even more forces going after this half of Poison Ivy it establishes the Catwoman tie-in as key issues to read.

Nina Vakueva and Laura Braga did a very good job working together and matching each other’s art styles. Along with Jordie Bellaire’s coloring, the art gets across how the Magistrate have Gotham City on 24/7 lockdown. The fact that they set the story in Catwoman during the day compared to the Batman and Nightwing stories that are set at night gives this story a unique look. It shows that even during the day everyone is in danger if the rules Simon Saint and the Magistrate have created aren’t followed.

The Bad: Nothing.

Overall: Catwoman #36 is one of the best chapters of the entire Fear State event. Ram V, Nina Vakueva, Laura Braga, and Jordie Bellaire all work together well to get across how bad things have gotten in Gotham City with the Magistrate in control. The environment created by Fear State placed a spotlight on the growth Selina Kyle’s character has been through since making a home in Alleytown. If you are reading the Fear State event I highly recommend picking up the Catwoman tie-in comics.

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