The Joker War is over. So far many of the DC Comic titles revolve around the characters needing to redefine themselves and figure out who the new person will be. Catwoman 26 doesn’t quite go that far, but Selina definitely returns to her roots in more ways than one. Not only did she grow up in Alleytown, but now she returns to rule it and rescue it from the worst scum. In the process Catwoman remembers what made her the super villain she used to be.
Catwoman 26 basically has two themes. 1 – Catwoman’s plan to take control of Alley town and restore it to a place without the drug rings and murder (just the occasional thievery). And 2 – The one person determined to take her down (because of the bounty of course). When one steps on the toes of every major criminal in Gotham, one tends to make some enemies.
Catwoman 26 – A Better Type of Criminal
Catwoman grew up a thief. Even though her moral standards give her lines she will not cross when others will, she is still a criminal. Her ways might have changed due to a certain vigilante, but in her heart she belongs on the other side of the law. The problem right now comes from what controls Alleytown’s streets. Gun runners and drug dealers do not care who gets hurt as long as they get what they want.
Selina’s first plan revolves around taking out the first of two bosses, Vilos Nahigian of the Khadym mob. The Khadym control the meth in Alleytown. Meth generates the biggest threat to the kids Selina protects, so she starts there. Catwoman possesses many skills, but I love how she resorts to what Catwoman does best – stealing! What do you steal from a gang when the cops are on the cartel’s payroll? Information! Then you steal the drugs.
Selina begins to work on one of Nahigian’s henchmen, Pit. I really like this interaction as it shows how low Selina is willing to go to get what she wants. Pit kills an employee for skimming her right as Catwoman drops in, and Catwoman doesn’t even acknowledge it. Then again when the evil runs as deep as it does in Alleytown, you won’t find many upstart, law-abiding allies.
Catwoman 26 – The Problem Unseen
In stealing back the Wayne fortune to help Bruce, Selina pissed off nearly the entire underworld in Gotham, and one thing these guys know little of is forgiveness. Penguin hires a bounty hunter named Father Valley. This guy gives me the creeps. He twists scriptures to justify his killings as part of his cover, but Penguin also gives Valley a warning. Penguin knows Catwoman and that she will not be easy to defeat.
Penguin correctly identifies and shares perhaps Catwoman’s biggest weakness. Catwoman cares. Friends, family, or her cohorts, Selina protects those in her inner circle. Father Valley can go after the street kids, but who else does Selina care about? Well there is….
There is one person in Selina’s life she cares about more than anyone. Someone who cannot defend herself – Maggie. The final pages of Catwoman 26 touch on this, but it also adds a wonderful touch. Selina laments her current predicament when Mags does the one thing Selina does not expect – she speaks! Maggie apparently recovered from whatever state she was in and can communicate once more. Too bad Father Valley watches the whole thing.
Then we have one more loose end that flows into this issue. It seems a part of Villa Hermosa will not go away. Detective Hadley apparently refuses to let go of Catwoman and follows her to Gotham. While following Catwoman’s trail, the FBI shares with Hadley a very important piece of information. They tip him off about Father Valley. Catwoman may have an ally she did not count on and may need. Then again, does Hadley pose a threat to the Bruce/Selina relationship while it’s on hold? Guess we find out in Catwoman 27.