Rough in Parts, But Very Exciting Reboot of a Darker Catwoman
Catwoman: Her Sister's Keeper comes to a conclusion in this issue, and it's a good one. Plot-wise there are a few new developments, but mostly it deals with the aftermath of the events of the previous issues and setting up the relationships between Selina and Maggie, Selina and Holly, and most importantly, Catwoman and Batman. Predictably, the sexual tension between the two costumed characters is finally introduced. As an issue, it's a good one - better than some of the previous ones; but as a mini-series ender, it's a great one - it's contribution to the whole being greater than the sum of its storyline as an individual issue, if you will.
So let's take a look at the whole series here for a minute. To begin with, at first it seems like it takes the easy way out by making Selina a dominatrix/prostitute in a catsuit. Part of this we have to blame on Frank Miller, as that was the way he rebooted Catwoman in Batman: Year One. But on the other hand, it's kind of bold for comics - so bold in fact that DC has done everything they can to try to erase it from canon ever since. Frankly, since the goal of this series was to recast Catwoman in a mold more suitable to Batman's makeover as a the Dark Knight, I kind of have to give Mindy Newell some credit here.
The dialogue is a different matter. It tries too hard to be like movie dialogue or something. Sometimes it works - sometimes it doesn't. It's easy to lose the drift of the conversation when everyone is speaking in 'cool' one-liners.
Speaking of lack of flow, one of the biggest problems with the art is that the compositions lack inter-panel flow. Sometimes this is minor, such as a character standing to the left of a character in one panel, and then to the right of the character in the next. Yes, they could be moving around, but spatially it's a little disconcerting. At other times this isn't so minor - as I mentioned in a previous review, there's one panel where Stan's doubled over in pain, but we're not really sure what the source of it is. And last there's Adrenne Roy's coloring which sometimes just doesn't work - especially the lack of any color in Stan's face - seriously, he looks like Deadman or Solomon Grundy.
But as a reboot it is excellent. If Batman is going to inhabit a grimmer, grittier, darker world, Catwoman too needs to come from a grimmer, grittier, darker place. And that's what this mini-series delivers. That makes it a worthwhile read, even for non-Catwoman fans.