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Catwoman #13 - Burnt Offerings Review

3

Catwoman is reminded of her friend Lola, and takes on a very bizarre new job.

The Good

I know I've had a lot of criticisms of the 'New 52' CATWOMAN series since it's launch, and that might just be because I like the character so much that I just want to see her done a little bit of justice. Well, the first real issue into Ann Nocenti's run on CATWOMAN (following her disastrous #0 issue) starts out pretty well. The story opens with Lola, which is something I always stressed we should have seen more of. If you haven't read the series from the start, Lola was Selina's most trusted confidant and dearest friend. At the start of the series she was killed by a thug named Bone due in part to Catwoman's recklessness and irresponsibility. Here, we not only get flashbacks featuring her character, but we also get to see the repercussions of her death manifest in Catwoman's reaction. Lola was her best friend, and her death would have hit Selina pretty hard. We see glimpses of that here when someone (who clearly knows a lot about Catwoman/Selina) presents the character with items that once belonged to Lola. This is a great scene.

There are moments that indicate Selina has matured. She's surveying her surroundings and deducing what her next step should be. I think this is important to note because it shows that she's planning her moves and not throwing herself into a situation she can't get out of irresponsibly.

The story here is interesting, and definitely not what I was expecting. Catwoman has taken a job that involves moving giant chess pieces. What she doesn't realize, however, is that there are some serious repercussions to her actions. When she agrees to help a man with a "score," she didn't intend for it to involve the murder of innocent people. In this case we have Catwoman being a little bit reckless, and not very responsible; but not only that. We have Catwoman as the victim of a crime -- she's being taken advantage of. The result is a story that leaves the reader with a lot of unanswered questions and a piqued interest.

The Bad

I admit I rolled my eyes at lines like "what's a hot blooded girl to do?" As funny as they are, this is Catwoman, not Mae West in 'She Done Him Wrong.' I half expected to see Catwoman say "come up and see me some time," in the next panel. A lot of the dialogue is a little silly, and I wonder if Nocenti has a hard time finding Selina's "voice." The result is conversation that feels a little bit forced and campy.

I can almost understand Selina forgetting to ask questions about why these strange chess pieces needed to be moved in the first place; but what I don't get is why she would keep these strange dolls that once belonged to Lola. In this instance it would have been smarter to investigate where these items are coming from. Instead, she seems to sort of brush them off and disregard them when she can't find the person chasing her in the start of the issue. I'm sure this will end up being explained later, but it is a moment that makes her look bad. Why would she keep these tokens that belonged to Lola? Why wouldn't she investigate further to see where they are coming from? Particularly after one of them made its way across her apartment in the middle of the night. Her character doesn't seem to be thinking logically.

The Verdict

I really like the art in this issue. I think that Rafa Sandoval does a fantastic job penciling this comic and doing so in a way that is really clean, not at all cheesecake and still feels a little bit sexy. It's also just really pretty.

For the most part the story is interesting. It's definitely mysterious and there is enough in this issue to pique my interest. However, there are moments where I think Catwoman doesn't appear to be as intelligent as she is. She probably shouldn't have taken the toy bear that belonged to Lola home, but she did it anyway without really asking any questions. Again, she doesn't seem to be taking precautions here. However, it's not as though Selina isn't taking any precautions at all. One of the best moments in this issue are when she's surveying her targets from a short distance, analyzing them. That's smart. She needs to do that when she's going up against more than one thug at a time. I mean she's strong, but she's not that strong.

Overall, a better start to Nocenti's run than I expected. The issue is well organized and the writing isn't that bad. Really pretty art too.

19 Comments
Posted by x_29

So basically it is a 4 star review then.

Posted by No_Name_

@x_29 said:

So basically it is a 4 star review then.

No, it's a 3 star review.

Posted by longbowhunter

I'd love to buy all the Death in the Family tie-ins but I'm holding pretty firm on not buying Catwoman or Batgirl in the DCnU.

Posted by dreamfall31

Made the mistake of picking up Batgirl issue last week because of the it being related to "Death of the Family", which it barely was. Does the "Death of the Family" prologue stuff in this issue make worth picking it up?

Online
Posted by zackattack529

@longbowhunter said:

I'd love to buy all the Death in the Family tie-ins but I'm holding pretty firm on not buying Catwoman or Batgirl in the DCnU.

Barbra Gordon(Batgirl) and Harley Quinn(Suicide Squad) will Probably have the more significant roles in this arc. They will come out of this event changed in some way granteed!

Damien(B&R) and Dick Grayson(Nightwing) will have decent tie-ins. having strong impact on on these characters

Jason Todd(RHatO) and Tim Drake( Teen Titans) is basically Outlaws vs Titans, while Joker pulling the strings. not too much significance. Maybe for Jason though

Selina kyle(Catwoman) and Detective Comics will most likely have the Least amount of significance. although Detective comics will have an interesting story because the creative team.

This is all my opinion judging from solicits and issue descriptions.

Posted by cacarl

I didn't even try to get this or Batgirl. I'm not getting anything this week, so I've money and time to spend on something else.

Posted by FoxxFireArt

I haven't read this or been able to see the credits, as you are. I noticed that the Comic Vine page for this issue also credits Carlos M. Mangual as a writer. Maybe that's just a mistake on the wiki page. If this is true that Nocenti isn't the sole author on this issue. I just wonder if this could be a factor in the writing.

@longbowhunter said:

I'd love to buy all the Death in the Family tie-ins but I'm holding pretty firm on not buying Catwoman or Batgirl in the DCnU.

Is there a qualifier to that? Is there something you're looking for in a change? I reused to buy SPIDER-MAN comics after OMD/BND, but that as just as long as Quesada was EIC. I'm not exactly buying every issue now that he's out, but I'm waiting till they put out the SPIDER ISLAND trade and I bought the BIG TIME digital trade.

Posted by MisterKetch

@Babs: Well its a star more then last months review which gives me hope or at the very least I won't be dreading reading what before the Zero issue was one of my favorite monthlies (if for nothing else then my love of the character).

A lot of the dialogue is a little silly, and I wonder if Nocenti has a hard time finding Selina's "voice."

Honestly as long as she is in fact trying to find Selina's voice I will be able to take a small sigh of relief as to this creative team.

I will say though it would make my year to see Selina ask Bruce to "come up and see me some time"

Posted by Trodorne

Yeah 3 star review i have to agree. it was good but the art was just better than the story telling.

Posted by greenenvy

So this comic has noting to do with the joker yet right? Cat woman has not tied in with death in the family until next issue looks like.

Posted by Loki2u

So what should I do Babs?

I just dropped this last month after the terrible zero issue......should I give it a chance? I haven't enjoyed her character portrayal for a long time... and the zero didn't help matters.

Sigh.....so many books....so little time.

Posted by Om1kron

Catwoman got axed off of the pull list. The story was just uninteresting. I really tried to give this series a chance, but the quality is just not there.

Posted by theTimeStreamer

the mediocrity continues

Posted by No_Name_

@Loki2u said:

So what should I do Babs?

I just dropped this last month after the terrible zero issue......should I give it a chance? I haven't enjoyed her character portrayal for a long time... and the zero didn't help matters.

Sigh.....so many books....so little time.

Honestly? There are better books out there that I would pick up before this one if I had to choose.

Edited by chipsnopotatoes

Fair review. This one is much better than 0 or any of the Judd Winick issues. I'd add how she goes about moving the chess piece to the good list. I think it was clever and innovative, brought up Catwoman's game up from previous issues. Rafa's art is a big plus. As for the bad stuff, yeah, that comment about hot blooded girl had me cringing. And yes, Selina's voice does not come naturally to Nocenti. But, all in all, I was still pleasantly surprised and I liked the issue.

Posted by BatWatch
Posted by DocFishstick

sold out every where i go

Posted by MonkeyToe

I'm picking up this title just for the DOTF tie-in. To me, though, this issue felt like it was some bad acid trip. There didn't seem to be any flow between the imagery on the pages and I felt like I was always waiting for Catwoman to wake up from a bad dream or tied up on some kind of intravenous narcotic.

Posted by bladewolf

@MonkeyToe said:

I'm picking up this title just for the DOTF tie-in. To me, though, this issue felt like it was some bad acid trip. There didn't seem to be any flow between the imagery on the pages and I felt like I was always waiting for Catwoman to wake up from a bad dream or tied up on some kind of intravenous narcotic.

Sounds like typical Nocenti garbage. At least it doesn't sound like she treated this issue as bad as she's treated Green Arrow.