Carlos is visited by Raina Creel, Detective Yilmaz, and company, his captured Aunt Linda in tow. Carlos gets smart with Yilmaz and tries to get away from him – by running deeper inside his pawn shop and home, a move which has never worked for anyone in any situation ever – but is soon caught and beaten up by Yilmaz, until Raina puts a stop to it. After all, he should be given a chance to speak now, and maybe he’ll tell them where the Reliquary is. Carlos holds out for as long as he can, but it’s either the Reliquary or his aunt, and blood will always be thicker than whatever liquid magic the Reliquary can offer, so once Raina promises that they’ll never darken his doorstep again, he agrees and goes to get the ancient, powerful artifact.
Across town, while trying to find out where Linda is, Catwoman is pursued by James Thien who – as people tend to once they’ve been romantically involved with Selina Kyle – wants more, except she’s not interested. Connection or not, Selina’s still smarting from the pain of her separation with Bruce, and she’s not looking to be fixed or cured or loved by anyone. She lets him down – not very easily, but not enough to destroy his hope of seeing her again – and heads back into the night to find Linda.
Luckily for Selina, she finds Linda at the pawnshop, with Carlos, Raina, and the others. Unfortunately, it was right after Carlos was about to hand the Reliquary over to Raina. Before he could, though, some of the blood on his face fell onto the item and a holographic map flared to life. A savage fight ensues between Selina and Yilmaz as Raina watches on in true Batman ’66 villainess fashion.
Selina turns her sights to Raina, then, having had enough, but before she can do anything, Raina’s zombie son Adam runs a scythe through Selina’s midsection, felling her. Raina’s able to leave with the Reliquary, but not before telling Selina that Villa Hermosa is her town, and if she lives, she should remember that.
In another part of town, Raymond Creel is running a very successful campaign for election as Villa Hermosa’s mayor, and he seems to be free of all the darkness and drama that his mother tends to bring into his world. At least, he thinks he is, because some of her goons come and find him and bring him to Raina…who is in a freakishly delightful mood. He doesn’t want to do any more of her dirty work, but it turns out that he doesn’t need to worry about that. He only needs to do one last thing for Raina, and that’s to be a blood sacrifice for her so she can use his blood to bring the Reliquary’s map to life.
Later, Selina leaves the pawn shop and comes to the Governor’s Mansion, looking for Raina. She finds Raymond’s dead body instead and mourns him, but before she’s able to get deep into mourning, she’s visited by a holographic projection of Lex Luthor, who seems to have something to offer her…
One thing is for certain – this issue finally picks up the pace from the last couple of issues, and gives the arc a far stronger ending than the one it had started out with. Raina getting away with the Reliquary and winning is an unexpected surprise – it’s rare that Selina never gets the score in the end – but what this promises is an interesting, globe-trotting adventure and that could take both Selina and Raina in some new directions. After all, Villa Hermosa may be Raina Creel’s world and turf, but the whole world isn’t, and Selina herself generally tends to be shown as a fairly well-travelled cat burglar. When all is said and done, Selina will almost certainly win, but in the meantime, it’s fun to watch her struggle against a woman who Selina could have been in another world.
While James Thien has been, so far, an uninteresting (if generically handsome) love interest for Selina, their interaction in this issue shed some interesting light on the differences between herself and Raina Creel. Specifically, on the outside, Selina is a woman who looks like she’s got it all figured out and pulled together, but on the inside, she’s broken and raw and maybe a little disfigured from everything she’s been through. Raina, on the other hand, is literally broken on the outside, raw, disfigured, hideous, even, but on the inside…well, okay, she’s a mess on the inside, but she’s got it together in some ways. Or she had, until Selina walked into town and changed her world. Now she’s descending into madness, but it more and more it makes sense as to why Jones created Raina as a foil and enemy for Selina. She’s not a literal dark reflection of who Selina is, but a broken and twisted mirror house version of what Selina might have been if her life had turned out differently.
Carlos makes an interesting decision in this issue, and through that we learn a little more about him. Family comes first, of course, that seems to be one of the main tenets of this book – Maggie comes first for Selina, Linda comes first for Carlos, Adam comes almost-first for Raina though she’s willing to kill other family members to take care of him. The fact that he was willing to give up the thing that Selina had worked so hard to score though – one wonders if that will have any effect on his future relationship and dealings with Selina. So far, he’s been a great support system for Selina, but how will she react to the betrayal? Will she understand and move past it, or is this yet another thing that’s going to break her a little bit and send her away?
Much like the last issue, the art duties here are split between Fernando Blanco and Hugo Petrus (with Joelle Jones doing the last couple of pages to tie the book into the Year of the Villain event that DC Comics currently has going), and it’s a good looking book for certain, though it does miss some of that edge, grit, and detail that Jones herself is able to infuse into the book. Both Blanco and Petrus are able to infuse the book with mood and expressiveness though, and while it’s a different feel from what Jones brings, it’s still incredibly effective in this issue for the story that Jones has chosen to tell.
A satisfying conclusion to an oddly decompressed story, this issue will definitely have you looking forward to what's coming next for everyone's favorite felonious feline.
Catwoman #13: Blood, Sacrifice
Writing - 8/108/10
Storyline - 7/107/10
Art - 8/108/10
Color - 9/109/10
Cover Art - 7/107/10
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