Catwoman 2 (February 2002)

Catwoman #2

Cooke mixes a lot of styles in this issue. Selina lives her non-costumed life in a more angular city, one with more art deco designs than when she’s got the costume on at night. But Cooke also finds this mixed style for Selina herself. She’s got the modern look, but he also goes for Silver Ago influences to make her more sympathetic.

And then there’s what Brubaker’s narration does for her character. This series of Catwoman integrates whatever history the character had since Batman: Year One, so the Jim Balent stuff and whatever else, with a continuation of the character from Year One. Or at least something closer to that characterization. Including the history of prostitution.

The prostitution angle–with Holly, Selina’s sidekick from her Year One days–figures into the story, with Gotham’s dirty cops ignoring a serial killer preying on girls on the street. Selina ends up investigating it. There’s no humor in the comic. Not a moment. Not even when Cooke and Brubaker take the time and care to show Selina’s pure joy in running around the rooftops. It’s serious stuff; Brubaker’s very deliberate in how he works through Selina’s thoughts in the narration too.

Again, it’s noir. It’s a noir comic masquerading as a superhero comic (masquerading as a noir comic). Brubaker juggles the mainstream and more artistically ambitious beautifully. What Cooke does is just as important, but it only works because of how well Brubaker does his bit.

CREDITS

Anodyne, Part Two of Four; writer, Ed Brubaker; penciller, Darwyn Cooke; inker, Mike Allred; colorist, Matt Hollingsworth; letterer, Sean Konot; editor, Nachie Castro and Matt Idelson; publisher, DC Comics.

Copperhead 10 (October 2015)

Copperhead #10

Faerber plays loose with the pacing in this issue of Copperhead. He’s going for reader pleasure, not being tied to the characters. The sheriff is out to rescue Deputy Boo from some outlaws; Faerber shows her determination, but it isn’t the story. He’s all about the storytelling mechanics and how they relate to the reader’s experience.

It doesn’t hurt Godlewski gets in a bunch of background detail. Even though there’s nary a subplot seen in this issue–until the end, setting up the cliffhanger–and the supporting cast really doesn’t do much but tag along, Godlewski gives them visual weight. There’s a lot of visual repetition too; Godlewski doesn’t want anyone getting lost.

This issue is also one of the most “Western.” Besides the aliens and laser guns, it’s just a Western. Faerber uses Copperhead’s revisionism (the female sheriff, the context of bigotry against alien species) to provide a large stage for a small story. It’s incredibly assured, incredibly controlled and an entirely awesome read.

CREDITS

Writer, Jay Faerber; artist, Scott Godlewski; colorist, Ron Riley; letterer, Thomas Mauer; publisher, Image Comics.

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