Saturday, May 28, 2016

Catwoman #52

Did Inaki Miranda forget that New 52 Catwoman's zipper was broken and could never zip all the way up?

The Review or Whatever!
Let's all give Frank Tieri a hand for taking on the responsibility of putting this cat down. It's been sick for a really long time. Maybe that's why Tieri's stories have been so bland and uninteresting. His style of storytelling is supposed to suggest the act of euthanasia! Damn, he's smarter than I gave him credit for! What a brilliant way to end Catwoman! Just bore everybody reading it until they gently fall asleep forever.

Catwoman's ex-boyfriend from her late teen years was introduced to the readership about one issue ago. He was apparently killed by Black Mask's father and the readers all went, "Oh. Okay. Whatever." Then it was revealed that the new leader of the False Face Society, White Mask, was actually Selina's old boyfriend, David! I'm assuming everybody exclaimed at the same time while rolling their eyes, "OF COURSE IT FUCKING IS!" Look, writers. We've all had enough of the thing where you introduce a new character and then you introduce a new mysterious bad guy and then they wind up being the same person. We get it. You can't introduce fifty new people every issue so that the reader won't be able to guess who the bad guy is. It's not like a movie where you can have a whole bunch of faces in the background and have them all speak one or two lines to the main character so that when the bad guy's identity is revealed, you can use the flashback of that one moment the hero interacted with them and have the hero go, "Oh my god! It was that minor nobody all along! GASP!" I suppose audiences are such that they feel cheated if a story has a mystery element that they never had a chance to guess. Even in the first season of True Detective, they had to have the casual run-in with the killer before realizing he was the killer. I prefer that a movie either acknowledge from the beginning who the killer is (Silence of the Lambs) or just let the identity of the killer be revealed when it's revealed without every needing to have shown the person earlier (I can't think of a movie that does this. Probably a bunch of paranormal slasher films?). Rarely have I found myself saying, "I knew it was the guy in the background tightening the bolts on the air conditioning unit in that scene where they were arguing about opening chess moves!"

Frank Tieri has decided that Catwoman should be a totally unlikeable character that nobody fucking cares about because he begins the comic with her crashing through a window while White Mask fucks two women (with his tighty whiteys still on, of course) and says, "So sorry to break up this little party, folks. Oh wait. I'm totally not." Really, Tieri? A not joke? I get that everything you write you've cribbed from some decades old source to help give your readers that feeling like they're slowly falling asleep in a folding chair while watching another school play where the kids shit all over the source material. Disrespectful bastards. Although now I kind of want to do an elementary school stage production of Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds. Um, anyway, should I be happy that Tieri at least updated the "NOT!" joke by making it sort of a #SorryNotSorry joke too? No, no. Of course I shouldn't.

I'm left thinking, "I can't believe they've been reunited after all these years! Or, you know, after he was introduced one or two issues ago!"

Several years ago (according to the prologue of this story, it was fifteen years ago. But that was obviously ridiculous, so now it's several years ago), Selina and David were forced at gunpoint to demand thirty thousand dollars in cash to steal the Faceless Mask for Dick Sionis. I mean, they were being held at gunpoint by Dick who wanted them to steal the mask or die and Selina demanded thirty thousand dollars and to not die. Dick, being an awful negotiator, accepted the deal. Although Selina, being an ever worse negotiator, didn't get any of the cash up front. I have a feeling she's not going to get paid and David is going to be killed.

I know he's not really going to be killed! I just scanned in a picture of him fifteen years older! I mean several years older!

Back in the present, a new artist must have taken over and nobody told them that David was in his underwear and Selina had the mask off and was holding the gun in her other hand and had a gigantic television screen in the background.

Black Mask and his men interrupt the reunion as do all of Selina's Narration Boxes. Her boxes provide the same information that is in the artwork so I can't imagine why anybody thought they were even needed. With an image of Black Mask standing behind Selina with a gun pointed at her head, why do I need Selina's Narration Box of "Black Mask is behind me with a gun pointed at my back"? I realize that the reader can see Black Mask holding a gun to Selina! I sort of get that you wanted everybody to know that Selina knew it was Black Mask before turning around. But you took care of that on the other page with the Narration Box: "I hear the voice and I don't even have to turn around." Then you show the panel with Black Mask standing behind Selina and everybody fucking gets it. We get it! We don't need the other fucking box!

I'm fucking sick of comic book writers who should probably be writing something else. Your words do not have to be plastered all over the comic book. Just write the story that the artist should draw and write the dialogue. Maybe write a few Narration Boxes if something needs clarifying, or you're doing something where the words are from present day Catwoman layered over scenes from the past, or at least for some reason other than you can't let a page go without your fucking precious voice being all over the finished product. The product, the story, is your voice! It's a collaboration between you and the artist! Stop making the art less important than your needless words. It's a fucking comic book! They've been around for like eighty years! Trust that there's a reason for their longevity! Take fucking advantage of the medium!

Back to the past, David and Selina steal the mask. They never get their money because David decides to threaten Dick Sionis for more and gets shot. I'm going to imagine Dick was never going to pay them anyway and this is how it would have gone down even if David had kept his dick in his pants. As David lays dying, Selina is forced to leave before the police show up. She storms off saying, "I love you, David." Oh. Well now I feel silly that I haven't given this story the weight I should have been giving it. I didn't realize Selina was in love with this guy! Now the emotional impact of it all is beginning to overwhelm me!

Back in the present, Black Mask realizes the end is nigh so he begins the comic book explication. David's death was faked because Dick Sionis needed somebody to run his criminal empire in Europe. And who better than a thief he doesn't know who tried stealing from him? Perfect! So he convinced David to ditch Selina and come work for him. Oh no! But Selina loved him! Such tragedy!

I wonder how many dozens of people in Dick Sionis's organization were miffed that he hired his new manager from outside the company? Not cool, man.

Black Mask allows Selina to leave David to die just like his father allowed her back in the past! And she does! Again! Ha ha! She leaves for the same reason as last time too! Because the David she knew and loved is dead. Then she steals the Faceless Mask on the way out because it was just lying around, I guess, and that's the end. Catwoman wins again! Black Mask loses like the loser he is! And I'm left hoping this really is the final issue of Catwoman. I can't imagine any of the New 52 books are going past Issue #52, right? I know what you're thinking right now, nerds! You're thinking, "Well, Detective Comics and Action Comics are!" Shut up.

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