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From A Library – Catwoman: The Replacements

Catwoman (issues #53–58) by Will Pfeifer and David Lopez

First off, something I get off my chest – the dichotomy of having a top cover artist only doing the covers to attract attention but then the different art inside. I always remember the great Brian Bolland covers for Animal Man and then the shock of surprise of seeing Chas Truog’s interior art. Now, David Lopez’s art isn’t as bad as all that – he’s quite good – but surely the contrast between his art and Adam Hughes’ great covers is distracting. Hughes’ work looks like it was born to draw Catwoman (but then his work does that on female characters), so surely anything less inside the book is going to jolt the reader? Maybe it’s just me – whatever, Hughes’ covers are brilliant (especially the Lone Wolf and Cub cover).

To the story – it’s an interesting premise: Selina Kyle (Catwoman) has a baby, she has a new Catwoman under her tutelage, Black Mask was shot dead and Selina is a suspect, there is a new villain called Film Freak (Pfeifer likes his film references in this story – Selina’s new identity is Irena Dubrovna, the lead character in the 1942 film, Cat People – and there are lots of excuses for movie speak throughout) and Angle Man (who it seems has killed Catwoman before?) are out to get Catwoman, and there is a detective out to get to arrest Catwoman for the murder of Black Mask. That’s a lot to be getting through, yet the reader never feels swamped or lost (except for the Angle Man killing Catwoman thing, but that could be just me).

Pfeifer handles all of this very nicely – the plots are juggled well, the characters feel like people and not just parts of the story in order to help the plot along, and he is able to put his own stamp on a book that is continuing a corporate character. This is rather impressive, and it’s rare to see in the crossover-dictated DC universe at the moment. Any personality in a mainstream book is to be applauded. Lopez tells the story clearly without excessive fuss; his linework is clean and light, if just short of being spectacular – well, he does have the Hughes covers to live up to, doesn’t he? All told, very enjoyable mainstream comic books.

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