CATWOMAN #25, available Tuesday from DC Comics, celebrates the 25th issue of Catwoman with an extended issue. That essentially means there’s more material than ever for the fans, as well as a little bit more room to play with.
There are three stories to be told within Catwoman #25. It makes sense; this extended issue doesn’t focus entirely on one individual plot. Though it does begin to tie in the events from the latest Batman run – something that fans have been waiting for.
It should go without saying that you really shouldn’t read this issue if you’re not up to date with Batman. Not unless you’re okay with spoilers, that is, in which case, go right on ahead. The context should be fairly easy to follow, even if you haven’t been keeping up, so that isn’t a problem.
The first in Catwoman #25 story is the longest and is the one that ties into current events. Duende flows like a dance – which was certainly the intention. Written by Ram V, the entire plot makes direct comparisons between the two. Catwoman’s plans, and a deadly dance she has found herself in.
It’s a pretty easy connection to draw, truth be told. Yet that doesn’t make it wrong. The comparisons in this issue are well done, though admittedly, the artwork does go a long way in carrying it further forward.
There are a lot of moments to appreciate here, from getting a chance to truly see Selena’s reaction to the entire mess to the villains included alongside her adventure. Bringing back characters from previous adventures in her series was an added bonus, really.
There are still questions about everything that has happened. Events and details that need to be wrapped up. But again, it’s all tying into something larger, so the assumption is that it will be handled elsewhere.
The artwork side of things was covered by Fernando Blanco (pencils), FCO Plascencia (colors), and Tom Napolitano (letters). Together they brought Selena’s story into brilliant focus. The heavily stylized portions of the tale – where the comparisons are made – is beautifully done. You can almost feel the rhythm of the music she’s dancing to.
The colors are divine, varying from vibrant golds to muted sepia tones, as the scene calls for it. It all sets the tone, all while providing room for those classic touches that scream Catwoman.
Return to Alleytown
Next up in Catwoman #25 is Return to Alleytown, also written by Ram V. Given that this issue is one of those landmark numbers, taking a moment to celebrate Selena’s past is actually pretty perfect. It’s a strong reminder of all the weight she still carries from her past – but how she carries it differently than many others out there.
In many ways, this story is a lot more lighthearted than the previous one. That’s probably a good thing, given how dark things have been getting in Gotham as of late. It’s refreshing to see a bit of hope in this city. Almost like a reminder of why everyone, Catwoman included, has been fighting so hard.
This is a side of Selena not frequently shown – the mentor. Fans know very well how sharp she is, but usually, her intelligence is only ever shown when applying it to heists or getting what she wants. This time, it’s being used to read the adolescents in need of a second chance and her way of solving the problem.
The Artwork for Alleytown
John Paul Leon took charge of the artwork for this story, while FCO Plascencia provided the colors, and Ariana Maher the letters. All of their work blends nicely together, creating a calmer moment. Even the background colors suggest it’s time to take a breath and to see what the future will bring.
The characters introduced here are young and believable, especially given where they’re growing up. All of that is explained rather quickly, thanks in large part to the details provided by the artists.
Speaking of the characters, it seemed like all of the sass and personality was really allowed to shine here. Not just for those adolescents, but for Selena as well. She got to play with people just like her, after all.
Cat vs. Woman
The final story in Catwoman #25 is Cat vs. Woman, and you guessed it; it’s also written by Ram V. This one is, without a doubt, the most casual and fun of the group, as it takes a bit of a twist. It’s told from the perspective of a cat.
Yes, you read that right. Normally that’d be totally silly, but it sort of fits the theme of Catwoman. It’s a quick story, and it doesn’t take itself too seriously. It makes for a fun conclusion to this issue.
Juan Ferreyra (artist), FCO Plascencia (colors), and Ariana Maher (letters) were also involved in this segment, and it is wonderfully done. The attention to detail around that black cat is so lovely. They could have gone simple, but they didn’t. It made the whole story (and cat) come to life.
Catwoman #25 collects three completely different stories. Some are relevant to the core events happening right now, while others are fun and a much-needed distraction. All of them felt like they were celebrating the history of Catwoman, and that alone makes this issue the perfect way to mark the twenty-fifth issue in her series.