Batman Catwoman #2
It’s a difficult proposition fully trusting Tom King to wrap satisfying conclusions to his Batman arcs. During his lengthy Batman run, the front half was stacked with exceptional stories including The War of Jokes and Riddles, which pitted The Joker and The Riddler against each other.
For his flaws on the back end, King has shown a masterful command of the craziness of The Joker. That remains true in the third installment of this Batman Catwoman series. In the future Joker has been killed and Helena Wayne and Commissioner Grayson have some leads. In the past, Bruce Wayne and Selina take their relationship to the next level while The Phantasm stalks Joker associates. One in particular might be surprisingly familiar.
Similar to the previous issues, Catwoman has center stage while Batman largely operates off camera.
This plays in to artist Clay Mann’s strengths of accentuating the female form without being shamelessly too cheesecake. Mann has some well thought out, uncomfortable framing sequences for The Joker that firmly establishes his unpredictable nature.
Tomeu Morley does exceptional color work although it would have been nice for a color scheme for the three time periods of this story to make it visually easier to follow.
King’s penchant for stretching stories out past their natural endpoint seems an inevitable fate for Batman Catwoman, but for now the ride is intriguing.
Future State Catwoman #2
Future State Catwoman provbed to be one of the most unlikely big hits of Future State. Writer Ram V had a simple premise that made a lot of sense for Selina without feeling like a major departure from the character and it really worked.
Selina and her gang have learned Bruce Wayne is still alive and being transported to a Magistrate prison where they intend to throw away the prison along with the key. With time running out, Selina gets some unlikely assistance in the rescue effort and Ram V allows for a joyous, if temporary, reunion with Bat and Cat.
Artist Otto Schmidt delivered fantastic art as usual with his lively, energetic style. Schmidt did tremendous work while on Green Arrow and it was nice to see his work again on such a high profile Future State project.
Too much of Future State traded in a sense of anything can happen with a depressing notion that the heroes’ work ultimately is in vain. Catwoman helped to prove a reminder that just staying true to the characters can lead to organic fun that doesn’t need to get squashed out for the same of high drama.
Rating: 10 out of 10