Catwoman #27 (March 2004)
by Ed Brubaker, Paul Gulacy, & Jimmy Palmiotti

Catwoman died an ignominious death in mid-01, the victim of many increasingly ridiculous attempts to take it into new directions. The last few issues of that series were hilariously bad, some of the worst writing and art ever committed on a major comics title. Admittedly, I loved that.

After a six-month break, Catwoman reappeared in a totally new series, and it was exactly the redefinition needed. DC enlisted the real heavy hitters (writer Ed Brubaker and artists Darwyn Cooke and Mike Allred) to completely revamp Catwoman, and they rose to the task by putting out some of the most forward-thinking stuff I've ever seen in a superhero book. Bold, simple, clear, intense, and beautiful—Catwoman was reborn.

It lasted four issues. The art team changed, and changed again, until gradually Catwoman reverted to what every long-running comic always becomes: pure filler. The writing was still pretty good, but there was nothing groundbreaking enough happening to warrant following the travails of Selina Kyle and her merry band of do-gooding hookers and drug addicts.

I picked up Catwoman #27 on the strength of the gorgeous cover … forgive me, I harbor a teenage-girl flutter for Batman & Catwoman stories, ever hoping they will finally get together. Of course, it never happens. Maybe I just need to start writing fan-erotica on the subject and be done with it.

Also, though, I like to check in with certain comics occasionally, to see if they're up to anything cool, especially ones that have shown real greatness in the past. Unfortunately, it ain't the case.

This issue was a complete letdown. Selina is on the trail of sharpshootin' serial killer Zsasz (a sometime Batman foe), who has stabbed Slam Bradley, the tough-talkin', hard-drinkin' private detective who is one of her partners in crime-fightin'. Her mission takes her into various seedy situations wherein she kicks many asses, with a couple of pitstops (to visit Slam in the hospital, and to confer with her egregiously Lesbian friend).

Ultimately, she finds herself on a rooftop with Batman, as we've seen so many times before. They exchange barbs and information, almost kiss, then talk about how it wouldn't work.

Same lame ol' thing as always. Like Catwoman's tantalizing leather costume (depicted with noticeable overzealousness on the part of the artists), it's all tease and no action. Pretty enough to look at, but nothing a few meticulous freeze-frames of The Matrix couldn't provide.

I guess I'll check back with Catwoman in another year or two, when perhaps it will have degenerated to the preposterous level of its predecessor.

Review by Green-Green Yoshifoto