Catwoman #83

One of the more clever ideas for "Blackest Night" spin-offs is the month of resurrecting not just dead characters, but dead and cancelled books. "Catwoman" was one such book, brought back for a single issue look at her own past coming back to haunt her. Most of the "Blackest Night" tie-ins fall under similar premises. Some long forgotten and mourned figure from a protagonists' past is resurrected and tortures the hero for a little while.

In "Catwoman," it's Black Mask, who happened to have been murdered by Catwoman and who also tortured her sister and murdered her brother-in-law in front of her sister. And fed her the dude's eyeballs. Kind of a messed up guy. So he decides to mess with her and then, when that doesn't get him very far, decides to go after her crazy and pretty much comatose sister.

While it's hard to tell just who is responsible for what (I was surprised myself when I saw no less than four artists listed, especially when there was no trace of even a single line of inkwork), it's pretty clear that none of the pencillers' work is all that suited to "digital inking" (which in this case looks like little more than just a slight darkening).

Also suspect is the all too hurried resolution of the main thread of the issue, that of Selina's concern (or lack thereof) for her sister. It's her impending danger that drives Catwoman to race off to the asylum she's currently being held at. But in the span of just a single page, Catwoman is first desperately concerned for her whereabouts after confronting the Black Mask Black Lantern and then satisfactorily convinced that she's probably fine by Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn as they bounce off to adjacent swamplands to dispose of Black Mask's imprisoned corpse. It's all pretty abrupt, but most likely the result of having to tell such an encapsulated story.

So this issue, in the tapestry of all the "Blackest Night" tie-ins, is a fairly interesting look at the state of several characters whose threads were cut when the book was cancelled. It suffers from both a constrained narrative space and what looks like a very constrained art schedule, but isn't a total wash. It's simply a book that's a bit too tied down by circumstance, much like any cancelled book, when you stop to think about it.

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