Catwoman breaks up a drug deal in a Gotham City playground that is turning sour when the well-dressed buyer threatens the underage dealers for not handing over their cut to an apparent crime boss. She bags a packet of drugs to research the rat logo for future investigation. After a quick check on a young boy she tried to help during the Joker incident, she heads off to do a seemingly easy job stealing artwork only to find a similarly well-dressed big man attempt to snatch something else at the same time.Ã‚Â Meanwhile, Detective Carlos Alvares and new partner Tammy Keys target Selina’s accomplice Gwen Altamont after finding her prints on a stolen artifact.
Does Ann Nocenti have a good handle on Selina Kyle? Somewhat. She seems to be taking a cue from Anne Hathaway’s performance in The Dark Knight Rises and writes her as a street-smart, no-nonsense woman with some morals to keep her from crossing that line between being bad and being really bad. The problem is just how chatty everyone in the book is. In the scene introducing the detectives, everyone in the background is talking. I wouldn’t be surprised if a reader accused Nocenti of trying to make herself into a female Brian Michael Bendis. The difference is that Bendis uses dialogue to bring out personality in his characters and to further develop the story. Nocenti seems to still be trying to figure how to write the book the way she wants to after having to deal with crossover tie-ins.
The artwork by Rafa Sandoval is fine. The characters are very loose and move with a good deal of fluidity. Even the background details look really good, though this may be more of a negative because now the reader has to direct their attention to every inch of the panel since every character is talking. Jordi Tarrangona does a nice job making sure the ink lines do not hinder the illustrations and the coloring by Sonia Oback adds depth and definition to the drawings. I think the artwork is perhaps too good, making the dialogue all the more unnecessary.
Catwoman is merely an okay book. While it is not bad, it is hardly anything spectacular either. Ann Nocenti writes an okay story, but the overuse of dialogue is a huge distraction. Which is too bad because the illustrations by Rafa Sandoval and his art team is good enough to be able to enhance the story on its own. Readers merely looking for eye candy might take a peak, but I don’t think I can recommend it to those looking for an interesting book to read.
How much dialogue can you take before it becomes an overabundance for a comic book? Comment below and follow me on Twitter @LordAkiyama.