I thought the second page was going to read, "Using a gigantic laser pointer!"
This issue begins with Catwoman already in a straight jacket inside a padded room inside what I suspect, and I'm going out on a limb here, is Arkham. It's equally possible she's just in her apartment's sex room. Except then she starts Narration Boxing and I'm pretty sure the synonyms she's coming up with for her location tend more toward "asylum" than "sex room".
Obviously there is some overlap.
J'onn: "It stands for Advanced Research Group Uniting Super Humans, Katana."
Katana: "So shouldn't it be ARGUSH?"
J'onn: "I do not know. Maybe there is a dash in there somewhere that counts for something."
Hawkman: "Hold up. 'Uniting Super Humans'? Weren't we brought together to take down the Justice League? Shouldn't that be 'Usurping Super Humans'"?
J'onn: "At least it is not SHADE with that stupid 'E' standing for 'executive'. I am sure ARGUS stands for something top secret that would blow their whole secret agenda if they told us the real meaning of the acronym."
Katana: "I am sorry for the shame of this next statement but are you stupid, J'onn? It's the word they chose to make into an acronym that exposes their real agenda! The monster with 100 eyes to keep guard and watch everything that everybody does? They're a fascist surveillance group backed by the government to keep control of the American population, powered or non-powered. Forgive me for my bluntness. I must go join my husband now."
The Justice League of America has set a plan into motion that will eventually get Catwoman into the place she's in at the beginning of this comic book. It all happened over in Justice League of America #3 but it looks like Ann Nocenti is going to rehash some of that here in this book. Except Ann Nocenti's version doesn't include Green Arrow. So Nocenti's version is better! And putting her inside Arkham is way easier than I ever imagined.
I would have expected some kind of competency hearing at the very least.
Catwoman is brought in to meet Jeremiah Arkham. Probably because she was dropped off at the gate by a VIM (very important Martian). Arkham doesn't like the way Catwoman refuses treatment so he shoves her in the Super Max part of the asylum. The cell they place her in is in-between The Black Mask and Vortex. Catwoman learns some Knowledge Farm Fun Facts about Gargoyles from The Black Mask and gives some of her own Knowledge Farm Fun Facts to Vortex about diamond cutters. It's almost as if Ann Nocenti doesn't trust that her audience has ever read a book or gone to school or been curious about anything ever. I think I'm dumber just reading her comic books simply because she expects it of me. And I don't have a lot of intelligence to lose before I'm declared brain dead. Some day, I'm sure someone will simply find me rocking and drooling in my office chair as I mutter, "Ann Nocenti. Ann Nocenti. Ann Nocenti." over and over again.
Catwoman convinces Vortex to stop taking his medication which means he's ready to use his powers as soon as he makes the decision to stop. In the chaos that ensues, Catwoman makes a break for it.
Earlier she tore her right arm free to cut the glass of her cell. Now she's shoved it back into the straight jacket for some reason. I might understand the reason but I've been reading this comic book and my synapses just aren't firing correctly.
Oh Goddammit Catwoman! Make up your mind! In or out?
Vortex throws Catwoman from his shoulders and she...holy shit. This had better be the last fucking time!
There's no way she's stuffing her arms back into those rags!
Using a clue from The Black Mask, Catwoman finds a secret exit into the Gotham Underground. The Gotham Underground is a lot like a Lovecraftian landscape. She eventually climbs out through a manhole which is nothing like the rooftop trap door that she crawled out of at the end of Justice League #3. Perhaps I should have just read this one first since the comic ends with "the story continues in Justice League of America #3". Even though it had an editor's note to see Justice League of America #3 earlier in the comic book. Whatever DC.
Catwoman #19 Rating: -1 Ranking. I guess Geoff Johns simply told Ann Nocenti to have the JLA capture Catwoman and throw her in Arkham and have her escape at the end. They probably should have compared notes a little more thoroughly though. Ann Nocenti's writing is still awkward and her dialogue unnatural. Although she has now populated the Gotham Underground with whimsical shadowy creatures that are having a great big party.
Perhaps it's an underground race of baton twirling stalkers.