Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Javier Pulido
In the aftermath of the recent tragedies in her life, we see Selina Kyle is in pretty sad shape, and her attempt to find comfort in the arms of Slam Bradley only looks to be making the problem worse. Meanwhile Holly regains a monkey that she had thought she had long since thought she had gotten off her back.
This issue does a pretty fair job of presenting Selina Kyle as damaged goods, and it's good to see that after all the recent turmoil in her life the character isn't simply going to move on like nothing had happened. Now I'm not looking for this book to become an angst-filled, highly melodramatic affair, but it is good to see that when Selina is knocked down, it takes time for her to get back up. This issue also spreads the impact around a bit as we see Holly also has herself a worrisome little crisis that I expect Ed Brubaker has every intention of realizing to its fullest extent, which in turn leaves me quite concerned for the character. Now the situation between Selina & Sam Bradley was unexpected, as one expects a romance involving the book's lead character to advance a little slower than this one appears to have done, but then again this doesn't look to be the most healthy of relationships, so perhaps rather then being her port in the storm, Slam is more like the rock that her ship has run up against in the storm, and this relationship is what sends Selina back down her formerly villainous path.
As for the art, Javier Pulido's work is a bit rougher looking than we normally see, but it does a fairly impressive job delivering the action sequences, and the cartoon scene detailing Holly's childhood was surprisingly effective way of explaining why she would contemplate taking the action she appears to be.
Now the idea that Selina has a self-destructive personality is hardly new insight, and her relationship with Slam is a bit surprising, but it's hardly unexpected. What makes this issue stand apart from the crowd is that the book allows Selina to recognize the track that she's set herself upon, and having her self aware of her situation allows for a stronger character study. I mean it's one thing to follow a character whose behavior is clearly recognizable as self-destructive, but it's quite another to follow one who is able to not only recognize what they're doing is wrong, but is also unable to stop themselves from doing it. The same goes for the scene where we see Holly looks to be making a second trip down a path that nearly destroyed her the first time she ventured down it. One also has to feel for Slam, as we see he's also able to recognize this new fling is doing more harm than good, but he unwilling, or unable to allow himself to fully commit to this notion.
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