"War Games: Act 2 Part 7, Betrayal"
Writer: Ed Brubaker
Artists: Paul Gulacy (p), Jimmy Palmiotti (i)
With Gotham City embroiled in a full scale gang war we see all of Catwoman's energies are centred on keeping the chaos from intruding of the East End. However, while her efforts are partially successful, we see Gotham City is coming apart and this forces Batman to take a more direct hand in the efforts to regain control. Meanwhile the severely beaten Stephanie makes her escape, and she has an important piece of information that Batman needs to have.
Truth be told I have nothing against crossovers as they are a great way of developing a feeling that these characters are all part of a bigger universe. However, the Batman titles have an annoying habit of dragging the satellite titles into these crossovers without bothering to come up with a convincing reason why the title in question had to be an active part of the story. I mean this isn't an issue of Catwoman, but rather it's another chapter of a story that one can only really enjoy if you've decided to pick up seven extra titles in each of the three months that this crossover has taken over the book. Now I can understand why DC is fond of doing these crossovers as it gives a sales boost to the lower selling titles, but frankly they are also alienating readers like myself who have no intention of picking up the other chapters. Now I can see Ed Brubaker pointing out that Catwoman does play a role in this issue, as she's involved in an after school special style moment with a group of looters, and then she battles a pair of generic thugs in a battle that manages to set a sizeable chunk of the East End on fire. However, the entertainment value of this Catwoman action is questionable, as it feels like a writer going through the motions by offering up threats that are easily dealt with, and the only real moment of interest in this issue is seeing Catwoman interacting with Oracle. I also continue to find the premise of War Games to be a bit goofy, and the scene where Batman takes control of the airways struck me a downright silly.
Paul Gulacy turns in a solid enough issue, as the opening shot of the issue is an undeniably powerful image to kick off the issue, and Stephanie's escape manages to project a real sense of her pain. The issue also turns in some nice work of its main action sequence as we see Catwoman dealing with a pair of female gunslingers, and the art manages to convey the sense of non-stop motion that is needed to sell the idea that she could avoid the continued efforts to shoot her dead. I also have to say I rather enjoyed the amazed expression on the faces of the two killers as Catwoman performs her big back flip. The credit page shot of Catwoman inside the book is also a nice visual introduction to the character. I also want to make mention of this issue's cover as it's a clever image that displays a nice sense of imagination when it comes to how the visuals are laid out of the page.
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