Catwoman, Vol. 5: The Replacements By Will Pfeifer

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I will say this first and foremost and get it out of the way, I don't like where Pfeifer has taken Selina in the story, with the introduction of Helena this was a bold move for Pfeifer but one that I simply do not like and I still think is completely out of character. So, being as this is the status quo of the series I will base my review simply on the rest of the story given the circumstances that Selina is in now which as I said above I do not like.

So, this is the second arc after Pfiefer picked up after Brubaker and I gotta say the last arc left a really bitter taste in my mouth that almost made me just quit this series, but being me I had to go on to see if it at least gets a bit better and I will say that across the board the book does improve, a bit.

World: This is the world that Brubaker spent 4 years building and with the 1 year later jump at DC comics it pretty much is the same place. There is not a lot of world building in this book, most of the pieces were already established other than Lenahan which if I remember correctly is a Pfeifer creation. The world seems stagnant, yes the status quo is different now but the world itself is different and not a lot of time is spent to show us what has happened after the last year. Also the use of the established characters such as Slam is a travesty cause it seems that Pfeifer wants to do his own thing and in doing so Slam is left in the dust. The art by Lopez is not something that I enjoy, I find the characters, the colors and the framing to be rather boring and the character models to be unappealing I really misss Cameron Stewart.

Story: Much better written than the last arc, I can actually follow the story this time without the choppy pacing. The story is interesting given the circumstances that Selina is in (which I've made known my feelings above). The villain this time around were okay, and Angle was written better. Lenahan storyline is interesting but I still don't have any feelings towards this character (I'll talk more below). Okay story, but nothing special, but not as bad as the last arc.

Characters: I don't like the writing of Selina and I don't like what she's become. I like Holly being where she is but I really wanted more development and I hope we will get more of the stuff from the last year to develop this character. The treatment of Slam is a travesty as he was one of the best characters that Brubaker introduced to the Cat family. Sam is also missing but I also found that character to be poorly used and written last arc. Then there's Lenahan which I don't care about because we never get to know him. We don't get anything from him except his hard-on for Selina and catching her. This is paper thin writing and I just find it lacking.

Better than the last arc but this is still so very far down in quality compared to Brubaker. I know that I should give Pfeifer a chance, and I am. I know that he wants to take the book in a different direction, and I do see that but not at the expense of us having to rethink that Selina is as a character that's just too much.

Onward to the next book! Paperback Although the initial premise left me a little unsure if I would enjoy this, namely that Catwoman now has a daughter, the execution by Will Pfeiffer and David Lopez was nearly flawless. Pfeiffer has a great handle on Selina’s character, and juggles a strong supporting cast very well. His writing seems deceptively simple, but actually has a lot going on. Lopez is the perfect artist for this book, and the colouring is fab.
A fun book, well written and drawn. Recommended. Paperback I resisted buying this book for a while. I'd really enjoyed reading the revamped Catwoman developed by Darwyn Cooke and Ed Brubaker, but I was incredibly disappointed by the fact that this book skipped so many issues, seemingly for no better reason than to catch up with DC's continuity-wide One Year Later event.

The first five graphic novels (from Selina's Big Score to Wild Ride) were a lot of fun, at least partly because they were their own story. Sure, other characters from the DC universe would show up, but they never felt like an intrusion from the massive DC universe; they were just guest stars making cameo appearances. The series remained focussed on Selina Kyle, Slam Bradley, and Holly.

So, how is The Replacements? Eh. First of all, I'm not entirely sure why the title uses the plural, since there's only one person replacing Catwoman, and it doesn't seem as though the book is pushing any particular theme about other people being replaced in any way. The most disappointing thing about the book, however, isn't the title, but the art. I love Cooke's style of art. His simple, graceful, and clean work is one of the highlights of the earlier books, but it's been abandoned by the new artists in favor of the more common Boobs and Muscles style. Maybe it's just me, but this inevitably leads to angles or facial expressions that look goofy and distracting. Even ignoring issues of taste, the art is a failure, since one of the plot points in the book involves people recognizing that the new Catwoman looks different than the old one, yet aside from an almost imperceptible difference in height, both women look almost entirely the same: well-muscled with a big rack.

The story's merely adequate, with the two Catwomen facing off against a pair of minor villains who have unearthed Selina's new identity and the fact that there is a replacement Catwoman. That should be okay, but the rest of the book, with Selina adapting to life as a retired do-gooder and mother or Zatanna showing up for the inevitable references to Identity Crisis and mind-wiping were just annoying. Even the structure of the book, jumping back and forth between the present and the time immediately before Selina found out she was pregnant is just a cumbersome reminder that this story is part of a big DC event and we should go out and follow the rest of the story.

Is it so wrong that I just want the old Catwoman back, fighting crime on some thrill-seeking, anti-establishment ego trip, rather than because she's been mind-wiped to be a hero? Cooke and Brubaker carved out a tiny little world in which Catwoman could run wild, but I guess it's not too terribly surprising that it couldn't last long against the dictates of its corporate master. Paperback It was alright. Nothing spectacular. Holly, with her learning to walk in Catwoman's heels, feels more interesting than Selina adjusting to motherhood. I thought I'd be more excited about Zatanna showing up but there wasn't much chemistry between her and Selina. The Replacements isn't something you need to fully focus on when reading. It's interesting enough to read through once, but not to read again. Paperback An interesting twist on the Catwoman story for certain. Paperback

Selina Kyle has prowled the skyline of Gotham City as Catwoman, the protector of the East End, for years. But one year ago, she became pregnant and decided to leave the costumed world behind. Now, a new inexperienced Catwoman continues Selina's trade cloaked in the shadows and tries to restore order in the streets, while the original feline fatale has her hands full with the baby who's become the most important person in her life. Will it be too late for Selina to return when she questions her decision to step away from her crimefighting life?

collecting CATWOMAN #53-58 Catwoman, Vol. 5: The Replacements


As good as this book series has been, this was a huge misstep on the author's and editor's part. Paperback Find this book at Hillingdon Libraries Paperback Read it in comic book format and there was something missing from the story that just couldn't get me past issue 60. Maybe if the paternal link had been someone else or if the replacement hadn't been inept things would have felt less like a dramatic television comedy. Paperback Not as good as the earlier ones in the series by Ed Brubaker Paperback De eerste van one year later series. Paperback