"The One You Love, Part Two"
Writer: Will Pfeifer
Artist: Pete Woods
Publisher: DC Comics
Plot: The issue opens with the revelation that the shape-shifting serial killer that Catwoman battled in the earlier issues of this series was the threat being held in S.T.A.R. labs custody, and this creature welcomes its new-found freedom. A battle worn Catwoman limps her way home, where she soon discovers that there is a steep price to be paid for accepting a job for Hush and failing to deliver the goods.
Comments: This issue deserves a good slap on the wrist for its use of the increasingly tiresome cliché of presenting a dream sequence in order to provide a momentary jolt to the readers, though I will give the scene credit for providing the moment that allowed Adam Hughes to provide such an attention grabbing cover visual. Still, I couldn't help but be a little annoyed at Will Pfeifer for pulling such a lazy trick on the readers, though this scene could be a preview of potential conflict between this happy couple, as there is a genuine question of trust that this dream sequence nicely underscored. In any event, the issue opens with a pretty exciting bit of action as Catwoman finds herself caught in the midst of a rampaging super-villain and the a squadron of heavily armed guards who are working to prevent her escape. In addition to getting the issue off to a high energy start one has to be excited by the prospect that the scene introduces the idea that this villain has good reason to come after Catwoman at a future date, and her rogues gallery could certainly use the big scary threat potential that this character provides. As for the second half of the issue, Hush makes his return to the story, and while I haven't picked up the Batman issues that explained what this character's connection is to the one who was running around during the Jim Lee issues, this isn't information that I really need, as Hush is little better than a plot device that affords Will Pfeifer the opportunity to turn the East End into a super-villain magnet. I'm not sure how Hush convinced all these villains that Batman looks the other way when it comes to the East End, as I thought it was simply an gentleman's agreement that Catwoman took care of the East End, but if it looked like the job was beyond her ability than Batman should have no problem stepping in to lend a hand, which undercuts the entire point of why these villains would look upon the East End as the perfect target.
Pete Woods turns in some highly polished work on this issue, and Catwoman fans should be pleased as punch that he's this book's new regular artist. He has a proven track record when it comes to meeting the monthly deadlines, and in this issue he does a pretty impressive job of inking his own work. The line work is exceptionally tight, and there's a level of detail on the page that can't help but impress. This issue also opens with a pretty solid display of the art's ability to deliver a visually exciting action sequence. Catwoman's big escape in the opening half of this issue is deftly presented, with the series of panels where she leaps through the villain being the highlight moment of the issue. The final page is also a nice piece of art, as it hints at the potential chaos that is waiting for Catwoman next issue without going over the top in its presentation of the idea. Also as I already mentioned, this issue features a lovely cover shot by Adam Hughes; that look of utter terror on Selina's face can't help but leave one curious about the story inside.
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