Catwoman: Judd Winick, Guillem March, Tomeu Morey, Carlos M. Mangual
The Night of the Owls continues with our favorite feline. Cat vs bird? Should be a cake walk, right?
Damn. March and Winick are really going for a very sexually charged book, no matter what the occasion, apparently. I haven’t seen this much nudity in the first 5 pages of a comic book in…ever! First, a big dude running through 1665 Gotham totally nekkid, then the Talon chasing him is stripped of his clothes and left to give us a full butt shot, and then he and the other Talons awaken in present day buck nude too!
But wait…I thought Ephraim was put to sleep naked because he messed up. “Lay him in state without his weapons or in his garb.” But at least two other Talons wake up naked also. So…are they all screw-ups? The Court doesn’t seem surprised they aren’t dressed for duty. So did we just forget from one page to the next to clothe them?
Anyway, the Penguin is targeted for execution and our ashamed Ephraim is given the task to reappoint his honor. Funny thing is…the Penguin is in possession of an owl-headed dagger that the Talon lost in 1665 - a dagger that Catwoman wants. But wait, wasn’t this in a set of daggers? A set of 5? So…does that mean the Talon lost 5 daggers? Or are the other daggers unrelated to the owl one and it was just lumped into this “priceless collection?” Sounds like the sudden plot of the upcoming Night of the Owls crossover was shoved violently into the plot of the Catwoman book. That seems unfortunate.
So Catwoman interferes with the assassination and fights the Talon. Spark joins in, because why not? What good’s a sidekick who doesn’t fight for you? And then Talon starts going all out of character for a trained assassin by spilling his guts about his honor and knives. Oh— so it IS a set of five he’s lost. But…the beginning said one. So…how’d he lose the other four? I’M SO CONFUSED.
But it all ends in such a beautiful way that I want to look past that blatant error that SHOULD have been caught by editing. Wanna explain yourselves Purdin and Gluckstern? (I really just wanted to use their names)
I like that we see Catwoman’s sense of honor and understanding. She recognizes the pain the Talon had to go through while he was raised. And those of us reading the other Bat-family titles know the history of the Talons, and how they were recruited and trained. So we know Catwoman’s telling the truth in seeing that pain. It’s the case of the dog turning bad because it was beaten by its owner.
The art in the issue is good, because it’s March, but it feels very rushed. It doesn’t have that same polished quality as the other issues. It’s the same team, so that’s weird. It adds credence to the theory that they weren’t expecting to have this tie-in to the Batman book suddenly thrust upon them. I’m suddenly thinking to myself how unfair crossovers are. I mean…look at what the Culling did.
Catwoman #9, the verdict: A bit of a disappointment, where most of the other Night of the Owls issues have been pretty outstanding. And usually I love Catwoman so much, so this is kind of a double-downer. A doudow. Everything about this issue just feels incomplete. I liked the resolution, though, so at least Winick was able to give us a satisfying ending.
(Photo Source: Gotham Knights Online)