We pick up on the end of the last issue, where Catwoman and Carlos are being chased by a couple of cops – though not enough cops by Selina’s standard. As they lead the cops on a wild chase, Carlos continues to recount how they landed in the mess that they were in – namely, that they were on the search for an ancient mask that would complete the requilary that Selina had acquired. Once complete, the whole thing would lead them to what sounds suspiciously like a Lazarus Pit. Selina was able to use her contacts to find the mask and get it put up for auction so that she could steal it, with the help of Carlos’ attractive friend James Thien. Unfortunately, during their heist, Carlos himself got sidetracked and wound up in the back of an armoured truck – the situation that Selina was shown to have saved him from at the end of the last issue. Selina and Carlos are able to hide from the cops and then come back to the pawn shop and storage area where Selina is staying with her sister Maggie. Carlos goes looking for his Tia Linda – who was kidnapped at the end of the last issue. As James puts the reliquary and the mask together, Selina realizes that Maggie has soiled herself and asks where Linda is – which is right when Carlos bursts into the room and exclaims that Linda is missing.
Across town, Linda is in the clutches of Raina Creel and her creepy back-from-the-dead son Adam. Tied up and gagged, Linda has no choice but to listen to Raina talk about how she needs Linda’s help in finding Selina, because it’s the right thing to do. After all, while Linda might not biologically be a mother, she did help raise Carlos, and so she should understand Raina’s plight in wanting her son back. Motherly types should always stick together, shouldn’t they?
The most glaring thing about this issue is the fact that it could easily have been melded together with the last issue to create one solid issue that had more action and less decompression. The story here bounces back and forth between flashbacks and events that happened in the last issue in such a way that it’s a bit of a chronological mess, and the story suffers all the more for it. While the series started on out on plenty of strong notes, nearly a year into it, it is quickly losing steam, a shame for a book about a character as fun, wild, and unpredictable as Selina Kyle. It’s also, unfortunately, another issue we’ve had where we’re not in the mind of Selina Kyle, but in the mind of Carlos, and while he undoubtedly has the potential to be an interesting character, he’s not the title character, and it’s honestly more interesting to see things through Selina’s point of view than Carlos’ – especially as Carlos hasn’t been fleshed out enough for the audience to really care about him all that much at this point.
At least some of the plot is finally falling together – why Selina wanted the mask from the last issue, why Raina herself would want the reliquary. A fight for a Lazarus Pit could definitely prove interesting – Selina and Raina both have their reasons for wanting it – but there has to have been a better way to set the story up than the way it has been presented to the audience.
The art here – split between Fernando Blanco and Hugo Petrus, with John Kalisz on colours to keep it all tied together – is decent enough, but it lacks the power and detail that comes with Jones’ rendering of this world. That isn’t to say the art is bad – it’s far from it – but Jones was able to infuse this world with a gritty, sexy edge that’s woefully missing here. Raina Creel doesn’t look as creepy as she normally does (though Adam is as terrifying as ever) and there’s an odd softness to Catwoman that doesn’t seem to work quite right. That said, the final splash page with the reliquary is gorgeous to look at, and the car chase scene is drawn well, even if it does feel more like padding than actual story.
An issue bloated with some unnecessary flashbacks and narrative choices, it's not the best issue of Catwoman, but it does set up some very important things near the end.
Catwoman #12: A Currency of Favors
Writing - 6/106/10
Storyline - 5/105/10
Art - 7/107/10
Color - 8/108/10
Cover Art - 8/108/10
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