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Catwoman #16

Posted: Thursday, March 6, 2003
By: Jason Cornwell



Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artist: Cameron Stewart

Publisher: DC

Plot:
As Selina arrives at the headquarters of the Black Mask we see her discover the horrors that have been inflicted upon her sister & her husband, and in a riveting display of anger, Catwoman shows she is not someone you want as an enemy.

Comments:
This issue is arguably the weakest chapter of the arc, and given this is the big climactic finish I have to say that I was a bit disappointed. On one hand I have to give Ed Brubaker full marks for making the Black Mask into a truly nightmarish figure, as I don't think I've ever come across a scene that evoked a sense of horror quite as well as the page where Selina gets a good look at what her sister has been put through. However, when the big rooftop encounter arrives, I have to say that I was a bit disappointed by the Black Mask's rather poor performance. I understand that the appeal of this scene is for the readers to live vicariously through Selina as she tears into the Black Mask, and this scene accomplishes this goal splendidly, but on the other hand there's very little excitement to be found in a battle where the villain's entire role is to play the punching bag that the hero can take their frustrations out upon. Still I will applaud the finish to this encounter, as we see Selina allows something to occur that clearly defines the idea that she is still capable of villainous actions.

As for the art Cameron Stewart delivers the slam bang fighting scenes with such high degree of raw energy & motion, that he's quickly becoming one of my favorite artists. His art also does a great job conveying the sheer horror of the Black Mask's torture chamber.

Final Word:
This book is still one of the best titles coming out of DC, but this final chapter isn't quite as strong as the issues that preceded it, as the action draws to a close a little quicker than I would've preferred, and the final battle wasn't nearly as riveting as it needed to be. I mean after developing the Black Mask into a truly frightening figure, Ed Brubaker almost looks to back off completely, as he has Catwoman unleash her full fury on the villain, and the Black Mask looks completely ineffectual when it comes to mounting any semblance of a counterattack. Still, we do get a fairly exciting tussle between Selina & Sylvia, and the book does a wonderful job of showing Selina's anger fully unleashed, as it is rather refreshing to see a hero actually crossing the line drawn in the sand. The aftermath from this arc also looks quite promising.



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