Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Sean Phillips and Stefano Gaudiano
Publisher: D.C. Comics
A bit of a non-starter of an issue as while there are a couple interesting ideas brought into play in this issue for the most part they don't really seem to go anywhere, and as such I found myself a bit disappointed with this issue. Now I'll concede I'm curious to see what'll happen when Selina finds out what Holly was up to in her absence, but since it's pretty clear she didn't get into too much trouble, this idea doesn't look to have anywhere to go beyond a simple admonishment for placing herself in danger. Still Ed Brubaker has surprised me in the past with his ability to make something out of an idea that I had written off so perhaps he'll turn Holly's adventures into something that'll grabs my interest.
As for the other ideas in these pages fans of the Catwoman/Batman romance will likely be happy with this issue as it does a nice job of establishing that the two have settled into a comfortable pattern, and that Selina clearly recognizes that she'll always be second to Bruce's war on the criminal element. Still the issue does a great job of establishing that Batman is not entirely without emotion, as it's clear he cares far more for Selina than he would ever admit. There's also a scene where Slam Bradley reconciles with his son and one has to love the moment of discomfort that results when Slam's son starts egging his father for a reason why he's become involved with Catwoman. In the end though this is an issue where quelling the potential hot spots looked to be its main priority, and this in turn left me a bit cold as it felt like Ed Brubaker was cranking the volume down a couple notches, rather than building up this book's forward momentum.
Sean Phillips has moved from an artist whose style did nothing for me, to a very sound artist who would be near the top of my list when one was looking for an artist for a darker themed story. I mean his characters convey a wide range on emotions (e.g. Selina and Bruce enjoying themselves on their date), and his use of shadows and light has a nice film noir quality. The art also manages to convey the high agility of our lead character, as there's a nice two page sequence where Selina moves through Gotham's rooftop landscape.
There's also something rather ominous about that final page, as it's never a good thing to see a lead character of a comic this happy with the way their life is going.
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