This week from DC Comics we get Catwoman 30. Last issue Selina escaped with Edward Nygma, but only after he’d been purposefully wounded by Father Valley. Of course where the Riddler is concerned questions and riddles are bound to ensue. Oddly, the biggest riddles do not come from Riddler in this issue. Riddle me this – Who has the questions for these answers?

The story for Catwoman 30 boils down to a very simple narrative. Selina talks to Nygma, who then tells Selina Pamela Isley is somehow the source of the new drug running rampant through Gotham. Selina looks into the corporation Nygma traced the drug too in the hopes of finding Ivy. A stranger appears and gives her an invitation to a party that will lead her to the answers she seeks. The nice thing about this issue comes between the pages. The importance of this issue comes not from the story per se, but the little things dropped between the lines as it unfolds.

Riddle Me This – When Is Progress Not Progress?

I really like the opening of this issue. There may be graffiti on the walls, but its bright, positive and speaks of love. Selina strolls down the street without much a care in the world it would seem, A kid hold the split in the chain link fence open for her as she walks to her building. This is Alleytown. In the few pages since Selina set out to clean up Alleytown and make it a better, safer place for these kids, it seems her actions achieved a great deal of success in a short amount of time. It may still be the slums, but it is a safer slum with no drugs, no gangs and no guns.

So why is this not progress? Nygma spins his tale of discovery involving the drug and its source, but it scares Selina in ways it shouldn’t. She wanted a simpler life. Her one year hiatus from Bruce was meant to reconnect her with her roots and get her away from him. She looks at her current situation with drug tracking, corporate cover ups, assassins, and tracing clues to their source is Bruce’s world, everything she wanted to steer clear of, but now she finds herself neck deep in it once more.

Leo tells her she can walk away and not get involved in any of this, but that would not be our Selina. Our Selina, despite her thieving, manipulating, track record carries a heart of gold where it counts. Alleytown is hers. These kids are now her responsibility, and she will be damned if she’s gonna walk away from them for any reason. Like it or not, Bruce will never be far away.

Riddle Me This – When Does a Gun Control the Owner?

Some people say a gun doesn’t kill people, the person behind it does, but unfortunately for Oswald Cobblepot, he tried wielding a gun named Father Valley. Even though he set up the contract, Oswald doesn’t control Valley. Valley controls Valley….or in his case, his twisted concept of God.

Valley popped up some time ago in Catwoman 26 when Penguin hired him to kill Selina, but to this date we have seen little of him. we know he quotes scripture in a twisted attempt to justify his insanity. He’s an expert marksman and seems to control the most uncontrollable situations. He will kill Selina as promised, but he insists on breaking her first. To do this properly, he even save her life the first time they meet. Let’s not forget he borders on the insane side of creepy too.

Finally, we see Valley show off his true powers when Penguin tries to show him who’s in charge – not you Cobblepot! Valley always stays calm, cool and collected, even when half a dozen guns are mere feet away from his face. In a single moves he takes out Penguin and his lackeys in a move that would make Batman jealous. Of course he quotes scripture as well (correctly I might add), but as he leaves Penguin on the concrete with a broken hand, Father Valley warns him to “beware the storm”.

The display and manner in which he did so, really freaked me out. Father Valley is no joke. In fact I would highly suggest Selina find reinforcements, even if it has to be Batman. The cold, calculating, nature of Valley is bad enough, but the lengths he goes to to ensure his success are scary. He will kill whoever he needs too and will save who he needs too, just to kill them later when it suits him. Valley might even be able to give Joker a run for his money.

Riddle Me This – Who Was That? Was That Him?!

Selina tracks down the trucks that might carry Ivy away from the Warehouse Nygma spoke of, but they turn up empty. Leo confirms Ivy never showed up at the incinerator, so they appear to be at a dead end. When things reach a dead end, count on a mysterious stranger to turn up and point the way. The stranger gives Selina the lead she needs to save Ivy, and the party invitation needed to get in the front door. The stranger gives Catwoman the intel she needs, and then does two puzzling things. He calls Catwoman ‘Selina Kyle’ and then when she looks down, disappears in the instant it takes to look back up.

Wait….what just happened?! Only one person uses the signature ‘look down, look back up and gone’ trick. He would also be one of the few who would help Selina and know her by her real name. Did Bruce Wayne just help Selina out despite their one-year trial separation? Given what Bruce has been up too in his titles, I’d say no, but then again he did just break out his old “Matches” identity again. Then again could Bruce pull off the hidden identity trick without Selina knowing its him? The two know each other well enough she should, but then again he is ‘Batman’. Hopefully we find out in the issues ahead. Like I said, Selina will need all the help she can get.

Riddle Me This – Final Thoughts

I really loved Catwoman 30. All the little details added so much to not only Alleytown, but Selina’s state of mind. The scene where she questions everything going on because its ‘his’ world shows that she still can’t get away from his shadow. They may not see each other for a year, but he still can’t quit thinking about him. Add in the ruthless efficiency of Father Valley and this title looks to have a very interesting future ahead of it. Of course I cannot conclude a review without mentioning Selina’s dress in that final shot. Dear lord that is one smoking hot outfit!

What did you think of Catwoman 30? Can she find Ivy and deal with Father Valley? Head over to DC Fanatics on Facebook and tell us what you think of Selina’s future.