Catwoman has had to find a new life for herself after what happened, or should I say did not happen, between her and Batman. She has found that new life in Villa Hermosa though it hasn’t been the easiest of moves. The Creel family made things very difficult for Catwoman in her big move. While not easy Catwoman was able to overcome Raina Creel to start settling down in her new life. That includes a reunion with her Maggie Kyle, a relationship Selina is trying to repair. Now with things calming down after Catwoman’s big win what big plans does Joelle Jones have in store for this series next? Let’s find out with Catwoman #7.
Writer: Joelle Jones
Artist: Elena Casagrande and Fernando Blanco
Colorist: John Kalisz
Story Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: At a jewelry store Selina Kyle is trying on different things. As she does Selina remembers the lessons Mama Fortuna thought her about how the best way to combat this scary world is to scare them right back. This is something she does when the guy working at the jewelry store that is giving her an odd look.
Over at the Villa Hermosa International Airport Penguin arrives and gets in a car. While taking Penguin to his desired location the driver talks about himself for a while. Eventually Penguin tells the driver to pull over. When he does Penguin takes out one of his umbrellas and kills his driver.
Elsewhere, at a hospital Raina Creel gets frustrated with the waiting for a doctor. One of the nurses says that what Raina wants is against their policy with how little time she has waited between procedures. When the nurse suggests botox Raina has her look at her face to see what she has to look forward to because of botox.
Over at Selina’s hideout, Selina puts on her Catwoman gear and leaves Maggie with Carlos while she goes to stretch her legs in the city.
Over at the Villa Hermosa Pier there are several explosions at the ferris wheel and around th pier that Penguin has his crew set off.
Catwoman goes to check if everyone is safe. When she does Catwoman notices one of Penguin’s guy calling her over. The guy talks down to her so Catwoman knocks him out. Another one of Penguin’s men comes out of the aquarium. She quickly knocks him out and goes inside.
After sneaking around for a bit Catwoman finally makes her presence known to one guy. She and guy get into an extended fight with Catwoman coming out victorious.
Catwoman eventually finds Penguin, who tells her to have a seat. End of issue.
The Good: After everything that happened in the first big story arc for this series Catwoman #7 was a good calm before the storm issue. With everything that has happened with Selina Kyle this is what the character needed. She needed to take that moment to breathe. In taking that moment Joelle Jones is able to create the next big thing Catwoman has to go up against.
Starting Catwoman #7 out with Selina reflecting on what her mentor told her while at a jewelry store was a good way to set the tone for this issue. More so than any other issue in this series thus far, this was about establishing who Selina will be now in her new life in Villa Hermosa. Jones created a moment in time were we got to see Selina can finally catch her breathe to assess who she is.
What made this particularly refreshing is that the focus wasn’t on what happened between her and Bruce. This was about getting inside Selina’s head and figuring out who she is. It’s helpful for newer readers who aren’t aware of her origin to get tidbits on Selina’s past with her mentor, Mama Fortuna. This also gave us an emotional break while also laying the groundwork for when Jones dives in deeper into Selina’s pre-Catwoman past with Mama Fortuna finally showing up.
Jones using Penguin as a stopgap villain for the next big story was a proper use of the current continuity. For readers of the Batman comic, we know that Penguin is does not feel safe at the moment due to how he betrayed Bane. That tension around Penguin was used appropriately as when we first see him at the airport you could tell something was off with him. The conversation with his driver drove that home as Penguin was very quiet before he ended up killing the innocent man for being annoying.
At the same time, this initial presentation of Penguin does not mean he is suddenly reformed and looking for a fresh start. This is the Penguin afterall and he will always have some big plot that will allow him to gain some control. The attack at the Villa Hermosa Pier showed this as there is clearly something that Penguin needs from Catwoman. What exactly that is will help this quick story arc not come across as just a filler story.
Penguin’s attack gave us another chance to see Catwoman in action. Jones does a good job in switching up the writing with how we don’t get to any inner monologue from Catwoman during this portion of the issue. It’s a decision that help maintain our focus on what was going on. At the same time, it helps differentiate her from other heroes who would be thinking through every move during a mission. Catwoman is just focused on getting through the situation in the quiet way possible while not wasting any motion.
While Catwoman and Penguin were the focus of this issue it was good to see that Raina Creel is still around. There is a lot of room for Raina Creel to grow as a major antagonist for Catwoman. With how things ended for her in the first story arc she can become an even bigger threat with where she now is positioned in life. Her attitude while talking to the nurse and revealing her current look hints at how terrifying of a villain she can be in the future.
For the most part Elena Casagrande and Fernando Blanco delivered very good artwork throughout Catwoman #7. The best part of the art was how Casagrande and Blanco kept the grounded artstyle Jones established going. That’s exactly the style Catwoman needs to fall under as the threats she faces lean more towards the street-level threats rather than superhuman or supernatural threats.
The Bad: The one part of Catwoman #7 that was disappointing and kept it back from reaching its full potential is the minimal use of Maggie Kyle. One of the most interesting parts of Jones early work on this series has been how she has dived into the relationship between Selina and Maggie Kyle. Seeing how their relationship can be repaired as Selina tries to help her sister through her current condition is a major selling point for this series. There interactions have so far stood out from everything else that has happened in so far. Hopefully as Catwoman continues we get to see Selina and Maggie have longer interactions that develop their current standing with each other.
While I did not mind having two artists working on Catwoman #7 there were a few times that it became noticeable. There were specific moments when the switch happened that takes a second to adjust to because it is clear when Casagrande and Blanco takeover on art duties. This is something that did not happen often. But it was noticeable enough and hopefully the transitions are handled better in the future if this split art duties work is going to continue in the pages of Catwoman.
Overall: Catwoman #7 was a very good set-up issue for a short story arc. The pacing of this issue moved at a rapidly as Joelle Jones positioned Penguin as the latest threat Catwoman has to come up against. In the process Jones does not forget the strong character work around Selina Kyle is the strength of this series. How Catwoman’s meeting with Penguin sets the stage for what comes next from this series will be very interesting to see.