Thursday, February 28, 2013

Catwoman #17

As a burglar and thief, it would seem having a really identifiable getaway vehicle would not be a super smart choice.

Whenever I hit a comic book convention in the last fifteen years, I've made it a point to always buy something from the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. It's usually a shirt but one year at the San Diego Comic-con, I purchased some watercolor color guides from House of Secrets. I'm currently wearing the shirt I purchased from the Portland Comic Con last weekend that says, "I read banned comics." Except as I sit here with Catwoman in my lap (sexy!), I realize I should fill in the "NNE" so it reads "I read Bad comics."

This issue begins with Catwoman hanging out on girders in her shit-kicking, line-dancing girl's-night-out outfit. She's watching some kids in a playground and showing her age by judging them by their rattail haircuts. I would probably judge them too but not as no-good drug dealers. I'd just think they were twenty-five years too late to the horribly bad hair party. Which means these kids are probably new members of some Rattales (a woo woo!) gang run by some middle aged guy whose life peaked spinning on a piece of linoleum in junior high. Once Catwoman sees that a drug deal is going down, she realizes she should probably change into her crime fighting jewel-stealing outfit.

Am I the only person concerned with first draft, non-edited comic book scripts?

The fact that Gotham still has phone booths to be turned into toilets I can let go. I don't know the last time I've seen a phone booth in a modern city but Gotham is a fucking wacky place where I can believe a few non-magic Dial H phone booths have been left standing. What I have a problem with is Catwoman making an allusion to Superman's strangely iconic way of changing outfits. Which is a really weird thing for Catwoman to allude to since it makes no sense. Even if Clark Kent has been finding old, decrepit phone booths to change into in Metropolis, how would Catwoman know that unless she's in on Clark's relationship to Superman? And if Catwoman's thought doesn't have anything to do with Superman and the way he changes in phone booths, it makes no fucking sense anyway because why would anybody think a phone booth was a good place to change clothes? Even when, you know, you could find a phone booth? It would make more sense to look for an actual toilet to change in.

Even with her phone booth problem, Catwoman manages to change into her catsuit before breaking up the drug deal that just went bad. She lectures the kids before she drives their faces into the playground equipment, knocking them unconscious.

Has Catwoman always sounded this old and judgmental? By the way, not a single shoe was untied in the artwork.

The guy that decided to fuck up the kids because they were on his boss's turf is named Volt. Catwoman nabs him and tries to get some information out of him. He informs her he isn't a snitch just so she doesn't think he's a snitch when he vomits up the information she needs. Meanwhile she engages with the street kids in a great example of dialogue that shows Ann Nocenti is hip to the way the kids talk.

I am so fucking sick of gangbangers telling me my moral slip and slide has been set to loosey-goosey.

Meanwhile the Gotham Police are busy investigating Catwoman's theft of dozens of gem-encrusted dildos. They're busy questioning the doorman who was bribed with a huge double-sided, diamond-encrusted phallus. The detective working the Dildo Caper is a hard-nosed female police detective named Tammy who wants to bring back the electric chair to clear out the jail cells. I guess she gets to be Catwoman's next nemesister. She's working with Detective Alvarez who's been on Catwoman's tail for a number of issues now.

That double-sided dildo sure has been toned down since it last appeared! Now it just looks like a Subway footlong.

Later that night, Catwoman steals a bunch of paintings from a museum. I think that's the load of loot she had on her when she decided to sit on a roof in the rain and reminisce about the first time she met Batman. That happened in Young Romance #1. But she becomes distracted by a less dextrous and sexy thief that decided to rob the same museum on the same night.

More evidence that 95% of all Narration Boxes aren't needed. She describes what we can see is happening in the panel. And then she tells us her solution. It's par for the course if she just happens not to get shot by someone with a gun. But I didn't realize she can actively dodge bullets?! Holy fuck! That's nubile! Wait! Let me check my dictionary. Um, just replace nubile with something else. Anything else!

Just to explain my nubile joke for everyone except the three people who were there. My cousin Jason had decided that "nubile" meant "agile" from watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I just told him he should probably invest in a dictionary. In high school, my oft-mentioned friend Soy Rakelson had decided that "decadent" meant sweet tasting because his sister described some ice cream as decadent. I'm not telling these stories because I'm immune from being the butt of anecdotes like this! I just leave those anecdotes for other people to tell! Hopefully people without as many readers as I have. You know? So like no more than five.

Catwoman takes down the fat thief and becomes best friends with him. Mostly because her fence and getaway driver didn't show. For a professional thief, Catwoman is kind of stupid. Shouldn't she have called off the job if all the pieces for a successful heist weren't in place? I guess she really does like crimes that go wrong so she can get her adrenaline fix. Since Catwoman's ride didn't show, she talks the fat guy into giving her a lift when they leave the museum.

The fat guy just has a Faggio (trademark Grand Theft Auto), so Catwoman has to walk. She ends up on a rooftop thinking about Batman while waiting for a lift. Hopefully not from Batman. Catwoman's ride didn't show because Gwen is being hassled by the cops being that her fingerprints were all over that two-pronged dildo. And the fat guy returns to his boss who is just a pair of gloved hands with a cane with a bird on top. So it's either The Penguin or The Emperor Penguin! Right? Or is there a Batman villain named The Cane?

Catwoman #17 Rating: No change. If Ann Nocenti would just drop the horrible way everything out of everyone's mouth ends up being a minor oral report, maybe this book wouldn't be fucking terrible. It would just be terrible. Then get rid of the useless Narration Boxes and the comic might improve to not-so-terrible. Lastly, get another writer on it and it might end up being good!

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