Catwoman has slowly become one of DC Comics more consistent comics since debuting. Joelle Jones has found her groove on this series with how she has written Selina Kyle’s character. The latest storyline Jones is writing has Catwoman coming face-to-face with one of her long-time antagonist, Penguin. Given the recent story involving Penguin and his close ties to what Bane is planning to do against the Batman Family this meeting likely is not good for Catwoman. Let’s find out how things turn out with this meeting in Catwoman #8.
Writer: Joelle Jones
Artist: Elena Casagrande and Fernando Blanco
Colorist: John Kalisz
Story Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
Art Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
Overall Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
Synopsis: Raina Creel enters an abandoned building alone. A couple of dogs surround her. A priestess comes out of the shadows who Raina has made a deal for a special elixir for. The priestess reminds Raina of the consequences for using the elixir she is buying.
Raina notices a statue next to the priestess and asks if the elixir comes from that. The priestess stands up and says the statue is not for sale as the price for it exceeds what Raina could offer.
Elsewhere, Catwoman confronts the Penguin. The Penguin says he has a job he is prepared to pay her a lot. Catwoman says she is not interested in any job offer from Penguin.
Penguin reveals he has a letter that Holly has been looking to give Catwoman for a while now. Catwoman is shocked by this.
Sometime later Catwoman tries to sneak into a building but is drag through a window by a zombie-like monster. Catwoman is able to kick the monster off her. As she gets up Catwoman notices she is surrounded by similar looking monsters. She quickly jumps off the ledge of the floor she is on and is able to land safely to the ground-level.
Catwoman finds the statue the priestess had. As she is about to grab it the priestess and her dogs appear.
At the Creel mansion Raymond arrives and Raina calls him into a room. There she shows Raymond the casket with her brother, Adam, inside it. Raymond tells his mom that she has to stop whatever she is planning to do. Raina says Adam is the son she loved.
Raina then puts the liquid from the elixir on Adam’s teeth. Adam suddenly opens his eyes much to Raina’s happiness.
Back at an unknown building the priestess warns Catwoman that inside the statue is a map that causes mischief and sorrow for those looking to change their fate. Catwoman says she can handle it as she is only planning on borrowing it. The priestess then warns that the statue comes with a high price.
Catwoman responds by attempting to kick the priestess, who dodges the strike. Catwoman tries to make a break for it but the priestess nails her in the back of the neck. They start fighting with the priestess gaining the upper hand.
When Catwoman is knocked to the ground the priestess prepares to finish her off. Before she does Catwoman is able to hit the priestess face with the statue. Catwoman then smashes the priestess face with the statue again.
The priestess begs for her life and declares Catwoman the winner. She then reminds Catwoman about her previous warning. Catwoman says she will take her chances and walks off.
When Catwoman walks outside she is immediately surrounded by Penguin’s gang. Penguin says that he knew Catwoman would get the job done. He then asks Catwoman if she thought he would leave her new town without a souvenir. End of issue.
The Good: There is no wasted page in Catwoman #8. Joelle Jones had a clear vision for what she wanted Catwoman #8 to be and did not waste anytime moving the story forward. That clear vision helped keep the readers attention on all the key story beats without being distracted by everything else that is going on.
The strength of Catwoman #8 was the confidence Jones had in the story she was trying to tell for Selina Kyle. Jones knew that there is still a lot of material with where Selina is in her life as she has moved to a new city. One of those is all the things that Selina left behind when making the move to Villa Hermosa, including Holly Robinson.
Bringing Holly back into play added immediate importance to the story between Catwoman and Penguin the need to have a long conversation. The length of their conversation made every word spoken feel even more important. Jones got into where both characters are at this point in their lives without having to make it obvious. Also, in bringing up Holly’s name Jones is able to subtly create another long-term sub-plot for this series that reminds the reader of its ties to the greater Batman Family.
Moving straight into the job Penguin wanted her to take one was another strong showing of Catwoman’s skills. Jones continues to emphasize how there are very few wasted motions in everything Catwoman does when in action. Even when she is pulling off a flashy maneuver it had a purpose, such as when she was confronted by all the zombie-like monster.
The focus on how Catwoman dealt with these supernatural elements was also smart as Jones did not stop to make us think of how crazy these elements are. Catwoman just kept her mind focus on the job at hand rather than joking about seeing zombie-like creatures and demonic dogs around her. Catwoman’s attitude allowed us to keep our attention on the serious aspects of the story at hand.
This was especially important with how Jones introduced a brand new nameless character in this issue. Jones was able to create an immediate aura of this character being someone that Catwoman or Raina Creel should try to manipulate. Seeing how the priestess came close to killing Catwoman and how she somehow commands supernatural creatures does create a strong mystery of who she is. Hopefully this is not the last time we see her in this series.
This all fed in well with how Penguin seemed to double cross Catwoman at the end of this issue. Jones did a great job of implying Penguin’s current connection to Bane without it getting in the way of the story. This helps for those that are not reading Tom King’s Batman comic so they feel lost about continuity. It also kept the attention on how Penguin is back to his wicked plans as he seeks to use everyone to benefit himself.
Given most of Catwoman #8 was focused around Selina Kyle it did make the brief look into Raina Creel’s plot standout. As the only other story going on it allowed Raina’s story to only be around the more compelling parts without it dragging everything else down. This was a much better way of integrating the Creel Family into the series as major antagonist. After how things turned out for them, especially for Raina, there needs to be a slow build to them as threats again. Jones continuing to build them in this way will be key into making the Creel Family better characters.
Elena Casagrande and Fernando Blanco did a very good job sharing art responsibilities for Catwoman #8. Though the shifts between each of their art styles was obvious the transition spots never got in the way of the flow for the story. Casagrande and Blaco continued the grounded visual tone Jones established for this series during the first story arc. Even with supernatural elements being introduced it was all kept grounded in the world in place for Catwoman.
The Bad: Nothing.
Overall: Catwoman #8 was another fantastic issue in what is quickly becoming one of DC Comics more consistent comic books. Joelle Jones showed a clear vision on where she wants to take Selina Kyle. That vision made the story around Catwoman, Penguin and Raina Creel carry a sense of importance as things continue to escalate. If you aren’t reading Catwoman yet I highly recommend giving this series a try.