Batman Catwoman #4
The biggest problem with this title is the lack of consistency. Tom King always has these high concept ideas, but occasionally struggles in how to best tell his story. That’s the issue facing Batman Catwoman.
King opted to tell the story in three different time periods. It’s a choice he makes needlessly complicated by skipping easy indicators like adding a text box with the year. As this Black Label title is part of its own special continuity it would be helpful to get just basic information to make the story easier to follow.
The Phantasm invades the Bat Cave to discuss with Catwoman the problem with Batman’s lenient stance with his villains. For the buildup and random appearances throughout the series, King hasn’t done much with The Phantasm. With the back story he has developed, King probably could devote standalone issues on her rivalry with Batman instead of these cameo spots.
The future subplot where Catwoman killed Joker doesn’t offer much besides a weird sequence where Catwoman sics her cat on Penguin’s pet penguin.
King also introduces a questionable possibility that Catwoman had a romantic relationship with The Joker. No thank you.
Clay Mann’s art is solid. King isn’t giving Mann a ton to work with, but Mann is finding some dramatic perspectives to tell the story.
It’d be great if colorist Tomeu Morey were able to incorporate some time elements to the pages to offer stronger visual cues for the different time periods though I suspect the standard color use is not entirely Morey’s call in this case.
This issue didn’t flow smoothly at all and was a tough and confusing read. Considering it’s not even at the halfway point, there’s a strong likelihood of more clunky installments over the next eight issues.
Rating: 5 out of 10