Last chapter ran at top speed into the conflict between Superman and Batman, but this chapter switches gears to focus on a character whose managed to avoid the fray thus far: Catwoman. We jump into Selina's head and have the opportunity to see how this dilemma between heroes has impacted the street level. While Superman's declaration has decreased large-scale conflicts, desperation still remain large on the streets. Catwoman's thoughts present a motivation similar to Occupy Wall Street's. According to her, these low-level criminals are actually the victims.They're doing what they need to do to survive and the suits behind corporate greed are the true villains. It's an argument we've seen plenty of times before, but what manages to spice it up a bit is how the public's mentality has changed on the subject. Ever since Clark got away with brutally killing Joker, people think it's a-okay to kill criminals -- even if it's petty theft.
This is able to generate a pretty powerful conversation when she finally bumps into the Man of Steel. He's so focused on stopping missiles and war, but what about helping people who can't afford to put food on their table or a roof over their heads? You can stop violence, but what about poverty? I sincerely hope Selina's message will resonate with Clark and we'll see him attempt to tackle these issues down the road. After all, we have about five years until the events in the video game take place. That's more than enough time for writer Tom Taylor to flesh out Clark attempting to build a "better world."
Her encounter with Batman is reserved until the end. It's a compelling scene, but it's dragged down by one panel that's sure to catch your eye. Don't get me wrong, the visuals by David Yardin and Andrew Elder are mostly impressive. There's some great use of motion as Clark swoops after Catwoman and there's a solid amount of detail and life crafted into every moment. But this one panel... well, really detracts from what could have been a truly gripping moment.
As I said above, there's a panel that's sure to standout and not in a good way. Batman's teeth are massive and his eyes feel off. The chapter looks good for the most part, so I have no idea how this one piece is so drastically different from the rest. It's a moment where we should feel for Bruce as he vents, but this image makes it difficult to take seriously.
While it's a nice change of pace to see Catwoman's perspective, I feel like her monologue about fat cats went on for too long. It's certainly a challenge to live up to the last two chapters, but to me, it seems like first few pages were merely going through the motions to reach something more enthralling.
Superman falls to his knees after being near a small sliver of kryptonite. I mean, I know Taylor had to give us a bit of hope Catwoman would elude him, but it would be nice to see him have a little more tolerance to the material. That said, his resolution of the dilemma was fairly awesome.
While #17 doesn't have any moments that'll floor you or make you hold back manly tears (which is what I anticipated in the wake of a terrible loss), it still manages to serve as yet another enjoyable chapter in the series. Witnessing Selina hit Clark with a heavy dose of logic was an unexpected yet most welcome touch, and, despite one questionable panel, the conclusion is a short yet somber reaction to last issue's cliffhanger.
I'm really hoping we'll get a chapter revolving primarily around Damian or Bruce. Placing a strong emphasis on how they're reacting to the tragedy has the potential to be an emotional hurricane, especially if they're forced to simultaneously deal with the greater dispute.