REVIEW: ‘Catwoman Annual,’ Issue #1

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Catwoman Annual #1 is published by DC Comics, written by Joëlle Jones, art by Elena Casagrande, Hugo Petrus, and Scott Godlewski, inking assist by Le Beau Underwood, colors by Jordie Bellaire, and lettering by Saida Temufonte.

A ghastly crime has occurred and the only thing that seems to be a given is that it isn’t what someone wants everyone to think it is. As we are walked through the events that explain how this has come to pass we are shown the circumstances surrounding the crime from several points of view, including Selina herself.

Catwoman Annual #1 is an excellent example of what makes these regular one-shot comics a model worth continuing. Despite having never read a Catwoman comic I was able to pick up this stand-alone tale without any sense of having stepped into the middle of an ongoing story. With no prior baggage to concern itself with, the story is able to just dive into the meat its plot and devote all 38 pages to telling its tale.

The comic revolves around Selina taking in some lost souls and teaching them to fend for themselves as only Selina could. But it all goes horribly wrong. Writer Joëlle Jones does an excellent job with making sure that Selina is given a great deal of depth in this story. Keeping her in the trademark confident composure she is well known for while still allowing the reader to see what is really going on beneath the surface.

The rest of the cast, while not as fully explored, feel very real. Their reactions and attitudes give them a genuineness that helps the situation feel more grounded. From the barely interested detectives, to the panicky eye witness, these perspectives give authenticity to their stories and are a sharp contrast to the personality of Selina.

Casagrande’s art has a wonderful feel imparting a unique visual style that I found to be a great enhancer to the story. It brings a very noir feel, particularly during the interviews with the various characters that are scattered throughout the book. The visual element that is most striking to me though is Bellaire’s use of color. During select moments, panels become composed of just a couple of colors. These sequences break up the book’s visuals and keep the art feeling fresh throughout the issue.

As the book concludes I felt the ending did a good job of wrapping the story up and showcasing just how full of surprises Selina can be if you make the mistake of thinking she’s nothing more than a common crook. The things that elevate Selina beyond common crook range from her depth of skills to her adherence to her personal moral code and they are all on display here.

Between the nuanced characters, interesting visuals, and excellent pacing, this stand-alone tale serves as an excellent piece of writing. Whether you are a long time Catwoman fan or just looking for an interesting crime story with one of DC Comics’ favorite criminals, this issue shouldn’t disappoint.

Catwoman Annual #1 is available now wherever comic books are sold

Catwoman Annual #1
4

TL;DR

Between the nuanced characters, interesting visuals, and excellent pacing, this stand-alone tale serves as an excellent piece of writing.