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Following on the heels of Catwoman #1-4 is Catwoman #5, the first issue that brings Azrael into Catwoman's book, albeit briefly. We'll be getting more into him with the next post, but for now all you really need to know is that he's temporarily filling Batman's shoes.

So, Catwoman #5 opens with Azrael watching over Gotham, which doesn't really have anything to do with anything, and then, after a few pages, kicks over to Catwoman in disguise at the newly opened Skid Row Buds and Flowers. (Cute, Jim Balent, very cute.)

Because when you think street gang tough, you think paisley bandanas.

This is the second time that Selina's mentioned her sister Maggie (Sister Magdelene) since this series has started, which is interesting. When you hear people talking about the purple suit era, you often find them saying that it completely negated and contradicted the events of both Batman: Year One and Her Sister's Keeper, but that clearly isn't the case here. Again, Jo Duffy builds on the foundations of what came before, which is nifty.

Anyway, Selina approaches the alleyway behind the church, where she's accosted by the many, many cats waiting to be fed. She shoos them away, just as one of the nuns comes out to feed the strays. The two women have a brief conversation--Selina asks what happened to the nun who used to feed the cats, the nun tells her that Sister Magdelene is in the hospital--and Selina leaves her purse behind, knowing that if she's approached by the Lost Souls, it'll make them furious.

(I'm..not sure what her logic is here. Why lose her purse to make them angrier? Because she needs an excuse to beat the crap out of them?)

Selina's plan doesn't go as well as she hopes, though, since the nun decides to run after her with the 'forgotten' purse in hand, and she's attacked by the leader of the Lost Souls.

Meanwhile, Selina is stopped from intervening by Hikaru, who randomly shows up to protect who he thinks is just a little old lady. Selina fights him off and changes back into Catwoman:

I know what you're asking yourself. What's Hikaru doing there? Why is the nun suddenly a Ninja Nun? Why does Roller Skate Kid sweep in to save the day? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!

I can't answer that. To be perfectly honest? The story gets pretty nonsensical at this point. The fight with the Lost Souls heats up, until Catwoman, Ninja Nun Hana, Flower Shop Hikaru and Roller Skate Genji are all on the run, luring the gang to a semi-truck, because why not?

...and that's how the issue ends...? O_o

As far as I can tell, these characters have only ever appeared in this story, and their sole reason for showing up is taking on the Lost Souls because they were taken care of by the nuns of this particular church. Why are they all skilled in martial arts? We're never told. They never show up again, to the best of my knowledge, they're just a group of one-off disposable characters.

Personally, I would have preferred if the focus had been on Selina's obviously complex relationship with her sister and religion in general. According to Her Sister's Keeper, Selina is a lapsed Catholic, and this story--being about a gang who terrorizes believers--could have easly given more insight into her character, and her motivations for abandoning her faith. I think that may have been the original intention, since this issue kinda reeks of potential that got stomped on by editorial interference ("There need to be more fighting! Keep it light! Make it funny!") but even if it was, the next two issues of Catwoman are forced to crossover with Batman, so there's a very good chance everything about this issue would have been lost in the shuffle.

If I had written this story? I'd have kept the Selina-in-Disguise gimmick, but ditched pretty much everything else. It would have opened with Old!Lady!Selina! in Maggie's hospital room where she lies unconscious, and then would cut to er delivering flowers to the church. Next page, she'd be attacked by the gang, and then it would be revealed that the old lady is actually Catwoman. The rest of the issue would be devoted to Catwoman systematically shutting down the gang on all fronts, and then returning to see Maggie just before she wakes up.

But eh, you know...that's just what I would do.

Next time, Catwoman meets Azrael for the first time and is seriously not impressed. Same Cat Time, Same Cat Station!

on 2011-10-03 11:49 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] thehefner.livejournal.com
God, there are so many potential directions this story could have taken to be interesting, and they really just go nowhere, don't they? Especially for Maggie: when I heard that this story was going to involve her, I was pleasantly surprised, since I too was under the impression that she was ignored along with everything else from Miller and Newell. And while it's great to see her acknowledged, it was disappointing that nothing really came of it other than a plot reason for Selina to beat up a gang of Cartoon Biker Nihilist Atheist What Now Exactlys.

on 2011-10-04 02:32 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] dr-von-fangirl.livejournal.com
Wasted potential, thy name is Catwoman (1993). Le sigh.

on 2011-10-04 05:26 pm (UTC)
Posted by [identity profile] captaintwinings.livejournal.com
Don't you know all Asians are ninja?


This is the back-up account for what I hope will be the Ultimate Catwoman Fan Blog--Dr. Von Fangirl on LiveJournal. You should go check it out over there. I much prefer the original article.

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