Catwoman (2002 Series) #30
Quick Rating: Good
Title: End of the Line
No more teasing – Catwoman and Zeiss go for blood!
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Pencils: Paul Gulacy
Inks: Jimmy Palmiotti
Colors: Laurie Kronenberg
Letters: Clem Robins
Editor: Matt Idelson
Cover Art: Paul Gulacy & Jimmy Palmiotti
Publisher: DC Comics
It’s been some time since Zeiss carved up Catwoman’s pal Slam Bradley, and Ed Brubaker has been dancing around the inevitable confrontation between the two characters ever since. Things finally come to a head in this issue in what amounts to almost a full-length fight scene, with the two of them tearing through Gotham City as they try to tear each other apart.
The book isn’t 100 percent action, though, as the fight scenes are punctuated by flashback sequences to the origin of the brutal killer Zeiss. Brubaker deserves credit here for recognizing something that not enough writers understand – if you need to give us some background information, a flashback sequence is always preferable to stilted expository dialogue that lurches us out of the scene.
Interestingly, last issue I was starting to get the feeling that this story arc was dragging on too long and hoping that this would be the conclusion. Instead, Brubaker sends us on a roller coaster to a last-page cliffhanger that has me anxious for the next issue.
While I can understand that Paul Gulacy’s artwork isn’t everyone’s favorite, I think he does a solid job on this title. There’s a lot of action in this issue, and more than a little blood. Gulacy does a fine job portraying each panel in mid-punch or halfway through a backflip. Close-ups of Zeiss with his freaky goggles are nice and creepy. The art isn’t perfect – the faces of some of the supporting characters look a little tacked-on and it took me a few panels to recognize Joe, one of Catwoman’s “agents,” in the nighttime colors of the scene. Overall, though, it’s a good looking comic.
This book walks a thin edge – part superhero, part action, part crime drama. Fortunately, these are all genres that Ed Brubaker handles very well. I didn’t jump onto the book at the same time he did, I’ve only been with it for six months or so, but they’ve been six solidly entertaining months. This is the most this title has had me anticipating the next issue yet, and that’s saying something.