Saturday, 28 May 2016

Catwoman: Selina’s Big Score Review (Darwyn Cooke, Matt Hollingsworth)


Selina Kyle/Catwoman is living the high life abroad until a failed robbery leaves her tapped out - she needs money and that means going back to Gotham City. She just needs one big score to get her liquid again but that means hitting up the Falcone crime family for $24 million. Mee-yow - for that kinda cash, someone’s gonna get hurt, and not everyone’s lucky enough to have nine lives!

Selina’s Big Score is like a warm-up for Darwyn Cooke’s later Parker adaptations for IDW. Sure, Selina gets in costume once or twice, there’s a brief Batman flashback, and we’re in Gotham for a little while, but this one’s not really your usual DC superhero comic. Also, Selina teams up with a tough guy character called Stark for a train heist who’s Parker in all but name and who I’m certain is named after Richard Stark, Donald Westlake’s pseudonym and the author of the Parker books. 

The Golden Age DC private eye character Slam Bradley also throws his fedora in the ring, completing the collection of hard-boiled crime story tropes: the femme fatale, a world-weary private dick, a career criminal/gun-for-hire, a fence, and the mobster and his moll. It’s even got a classic flavour to it with the train heist - no fancy schmancy vaults with lasers to break into! That’s something I’ve noticed with a lot of Darwyn Cooke comics: he’s great at working within the bounds of a genre but he doesn’t really add anything new or provide a fresh angle to it. 

Maybe it’s because I’ve read Cooke’s Parker books but I wasn’t that impressed with Selina’s Big Score - Cooke’s done better heist comics elsewhere. But if the story was so-so, the artwork was the cat’s pyjamas! Turn to any page in this book - isn’t it gorgeous? Vintage Cooke, only this time with thicker lines and heavier inks for that brooding, stylized noir look. 

Matt Hollingsworth’s colours are amazing too. I was heavily reminded of David Aja’s Hawkeye when reading this one - maybe it’s Hollingsworth’s colours (he worked with both artists and purple is prominent for both Selina and Clint) or maybe Aja’s style is more like Cooke’s than I realised, but I think if you enjoyed Aja’s work on Hawkeye, you’ll really appreciate Cooke’s art in this one. 

The story is pretty unoriginal and feels a little played out to be that exciting but it’s definitely a readable comic and the artwork is glorious - Selina’s Mediocre Score!

Catwoman: Selina's Big Score

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