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Catwoman #22

Posted: Friday, September 5, 2003
By: Ray Tate



Wild Ride:"Meanwhile"

Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Nick Derington(layouts), Cameron Stewart(finishes), Lee Louridge(c)
Publisher: DC

Sigh why is it that Batman only acts like himself when he stalks outside his own continuity books? Guest-starring in Catwoman the Bat acts mysteriously, shows off his supreme understanding of the fighting arts, his sense of humor, his sense of decency and above all his optimism. This Batman would call in a favor and have Dr. Fate magically repair Babs' spine.

Unfortunately, Batman displays his multidimensional persona during an unnecessary fight against Slam Bradley. Slam isn't the sharpest private eye on the block, but attacking Batman represents the height of stupidity. You can argue that Batman by remarking on how Slam took advantage of Selina's dire straits goaded the attack, but since Slam already worked out how wrong his bouts of hot sex with Selina were he really should not have been all that upset that "the world's greatest detective"--who acts like it, can't stress this enough--pieced together all that has led up to the less than great Keystone Museum robbery.

Batman acts like Batman, but the book is called Catwoman. What Mr. Brubaker comes up with for the star is almost perfunctory and badly handled until the conclusion. An experienced player like Selina should have been able to register the victim's look of fear and comprehend the source of the diner's anomalies. There's no reason why she should have been brought into the hostage situation in such an amateurish fashion. When she does buy a vowel, her acting ability is abysmal and not the slick con you expect from Catwoman. The scene should have been dictated and directed more subtly.

While I thank the cosmos that Cameron Stewart has returned to the book, and I love what he does with Batman, his pacing is off during a pivotal scene--this may be the responsibility of layout artist Nick Derington. Holly seems to hang in mid-air between panels before she lays into the plug-ugly.

This issue of Catwoman is way better than the Keystone Robbery issue or the Wildcat team-up, but it still doesn't match the power of the power and confidence of the reintroduction story. The dialogue is wonderful. There are some outstanding character moments between Holly and Selina which show promise for the future. These assets however are mired in two unworthy plots.



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