After having freed herself from being abducted by one of Raina Creel’s goons at the end of the last issue, Catwoman – who notes that she’s always been able to find comfort in strange situations – fights her way out of the lower levels of the Governor’s Mansion. On her way, she convinces one of Raina’s goons to work with her and turn off the lights in the manor in fifteen minutes. While Catwoman frees herself, Raina Creel is alerted by her security detail that there is trouble, which she expected. She has her oldest son Raymond taken to her office where she drugs him with more of the narssistrine. Selina, finally on the upper levels of the mansion, is stopped by Detective Sam Yilmaz. Selina, being Selina, takes the moment to shamelessly flirt with him, catching him off-guard, but just then the lights go off.
After deftly taking out Yilmaz, Selina goes into the part of the mansion where the party is taking place and asks for Raina Creel. Selina takes out more of Raina’s goons as Raina commands them to get her, and then sends a very drugged up Raymond after her. Selina, never one to back down from a fight, attacks Raymond and kicks him out onto the terrace, where he snaps out of the effects of the drug and begs Selina not to fight him. He blames his mother, but Selina tells him it’s too late to beg. Before she can do anything, Raina comes onto the terrace with a gun aimed at Selina. Selina, cool as a cucumber despite all the action she’s had the last few minutes, tells Raina that she just wanted to turn down the woman’s offer of employment. She adds that everything Raina has done has gotten her nowhere, and asks if it was all worth it. This angers Raina, but before she can shoot at Selina, her younger son Adam arrives on the terrace and asks his mother to stop. He wrestles with Raina for the gun, but the gun goes off and Adam falls. Rina screams and kneels over his dead body just as the VHPD arrive. Raina promises to kill Selina, but Catwoman gets away as Detective Will Saito takes Yilmaz into custody.
Later, Saito is speaking to Yilmaz, who is rocking a new orange uniform because he’s a prisoner, and tells him that he knows Raina’s been in touch with him, and he’s willing to make Sam an offer. Sam tells Will that he will probably be hearing from Raina soon enough, and Will agrees. He tells Sam that Sam doesn’t need help getting released early, but he could offer him an exchange, and tells him that he knows Selina is still in the city, and he knows where to find her.
Across town, Selina visits her sister Maggie at the Golden State Psychiatric Hospital and tells her that she wants to find a better situation for the both of them, but that first she wants to come the next day and move Maggie to a safer place. She’d feel better having her sister close. She goes back into the night as Catwoman, realizing that she doesn’t mind being uncomfortable – she exists when she doesn’t sleep.
Joelle Jones continues to show that she’s uniquely suited to write Selina Kyle, and the love she has for the character leaps off the page, both through her writing and her art. Jones truly has a deep understanding of who Selina is and where she comes from, and it’s evident in the internal narration Selina has, as well as her interactions with other people in the story. Jones retains Selina’s coyness and her playfulness even when she’s in the midst of a dangerous situation, and it’s a detail that many writers, as they’ve taken Selina on the path to heroism, have forgotten about. Selina remains in command of herself and her surroundings at all times, and that’s a key part of her character that sometimes gets sidelined in order to up the stakes, but that tends to downplay the character’s own inherent strengths.
While Raina Creel proved an interesting, worthy opponent to Selina – she functioned, in many ways, as a dark mirror to Selina, a road not taken – one complaint is that the two women didn’t really have much time face to face. Raina worked mostly behind the scenes, which makes sense given that she couldn’t really be running around as the face of her operations, but some more interaction between the two women would have been dynamic and interesting to see, further playing up their similarities and differences.
One of the books’ biggest strengths is the fact that Jones serves as both artist and writer on the book – she has complete control over how Selina is both written and visibly portrayed, and it helps a lot. Selina gets to remain sexy, but it’s not an over-the-top, unnecessarily cheesecake sort of sexiness that the character has been portrayed as sometimes in the past – she’s a force to be admired and reckoned with her, strong, graceful, terrifying when she needs to be, comforting when she wants to be. Jones draws some fantastic fight scenes that are easy-to-follow and a joy to look at, and there are some truly standout panels, such as the one that shows Selina as a dark silhouette with white eye-slits, crouching, ready to take on her next enemy. She does the quieter moments incredibly well too, such as the one-sided conversation between Selina and Maggie, wherein Maggie’s only contribution is for her eyes to shift their gaze at the end of the conversation. It’s some truly wonderful stuff, and Laura Allred helps make it all pop wonderfully.
Jones has said in previous interviews that now she’s set Selina up in Villa Hermosa and has allowed her some space from her life in Gotham, and it seems the Penguin is going to be paying Selina a visit very soon. Given that there’s now a throne sitting empty in Villa Hermosa’s underworld, there’s no doubt that he will be making a play for it, but given the lengths that Selina has gone to in order to protect whatever space it is that she considers hers, it’ll be interesting to see how that plays out – and how many more homages to Batman Returns Jones can work into the story and art.
A fantastic action-packed end to the first arc, this book is firing on all cylinders with beautiful art, and a true understanding of who Selina Kyle is.
Catwoman #6: Comfort in Strange Situations
Writing - 9/109/10
Storyline - 8/108/10
Art - 10/1010/10
Color - 10/1010/10
Cover Art - 9/109/10
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