Catwoman 2021 Annual #1
Written by Ram V
Art by Kyle Hotz, Fernando Blanco & Juan Ferreyra
Colors by David Baron
Letters by Tom Napolitano
The Rundown: Father Valley’s dark origins are revealed.
Father Valley waxes religious while performing a painful ritual. He then remembers a brutal mission in Morocco. Afterwards, Father Valley flashes back to his youth in Spain. There, he recalls his earliest mentor, and a betrayal that would shape the rest of his life. In later years, he has a run in with someone surprising in Italy. Finally, in the present, Father Valley creates havoc in Alleytown. Meanwhile, Catwoman rushes to the bedside of an injured friend. And two GCPD detectives worry over the fate of Gotham City.
The Story: Ram V has created a layered and complex narrative filled with twisted religious tones. The narration is beautifully written and flawlessly disturbing. There is so much to unpack in this story. I found myself reading this chapter more than once, and each time found something new to take in. Father Valley’s character is framed in such a way that I found both compassion and understanding in his endeavors. There is nothing better than having a story told from the point of view of a villain. It challenges the oftentimes black and white nature of storytelling and allows for a more nuanced and creative perspective. I can’t say enough good things about this edition.
The Art: This is a beautiful issue with art styles and coloration that change with the time period and perspective. The drawings are extremely detailed. And there is a focus on character expression and form that is very engaging. The action scenes are also very well done and interesting.