Catwoman Volume 2: Dollhouse

Catwoman Volume 2: Dollhouse
Catwoman Dollhouse review
  • North American Publisher / ISBN: DC - 978-1-4012-3839-1
  • Volume No.: 2
  • Release date: 2013
  • UPC: 9781401238391
  • Contains adult content?: no
  • Does this pass the Bechdel test?: yes
  • Positive minority portrayal?: yes
  • CATEGORIES: Superhero

Judd Winick’s take on Catwoman is of Selina Kyle being a thrillseeker and a risk taker, with those risks perhaps not as unconscious as they first seemed. It’s a lifestyle that’s proved fatal for her friends, yet she persists. It was well laid out in The Game, in which she barely escaped alive from corrupt Gotham police, and she shows no indication of slowing down her activities here, especially with an obliging new partner.

More so than the previous volume, Gotham is an essential background to Dollhouse. The police wanting her is carried over, but the Court of Owls and their enforcer Talon put in an appearance, and the Penguin is a target. More personally, there’s someone abducting prostitutes, and being taken away with no hope of rescue awakens the fears of Selina’s youth.

While Guillem March draws a couple of chapters they’re not as polished as his work on The Game, although as he’s a good artist overall, this comes over in exaggerated expressions and less detail than before. Adriana Melo is the primary artist, and strikes the right balance between Catwoman presenting herself as alluring without dipping down into same territory as March’s earliest chapters. Her style brings people and places to life

Winick creates another new villain connected with the title, a peculiar gothic horror and an unsettling step away from what’s otherwise relatively grounded crime action. It’s about the only foot he puts wrong though, even when using a hardly underused theme of betrayal, which is well disguised and a surprise when dropped. There are some clever placements of Selina’s narrative captions once that’s revealed, and they’re generally insightful, written with a light touch supllying someone basically likeable despite her reputation.

The major threat is dealt with, but before bequeathing the series to Ann Nocenti with Death in the Family, Winick has one more surprise to drop, one that should complicate Catwoman’s life immensely.

While the villain is too over the top, and ultimately silly, everything else Winick has going on is intriguing, entertaining and unpredictable.