After leaving behind Gotham City and her former fiancée, Bruce Wayne, Selina Kyle established a new base of operations in the town of Villa Hermosa, surrounding herself with new allies and enemies. This week’s issue of Catwoman devotes some extra time to how Selina interacts with the criminal element in her city, taking a break from Joëlle Jones’ ongoing plot with a self-contained heist story by writer Ram V, artist John Timms, and letterer Josh Reed. Ram V has gained a lot of acclaim with creator-owned titles like Paradiso and These Savage Shores, revealing a confident point of view and sharp understanding of comic-book storytelling. His short story in last year’s Batman: Secret Files showed how his skills enrich the superhero genre, and he packs a lot of character and ingenuity into his Catwoman #9 script, bringing out the most formidable elements of Selina’s character as she gathers a team to help her rob a Chinatown pawn broker trafficking in stolen goods.
This exclusive preview of Catwoman #9 introduces The Broker while reinforcing Selina’s swagger and sultriness. She’s been in a sad state for much of this series as she regretfully ponders why she abandoned her true love on their wedding day, but she’s able to temporarily escape her problems by getting back to what she does best: robbing people. John Timms’ artwork fully captures Selina’s alluring attitude, and there’s a playful quality to the visuals that adds energy to Ram V’s story. That’s especially evident in the final page of this excerpt, which takes the name of Selina’s operation, “a two-step cha-cha-cha,” and incorporates it into the art by replicating the rhythm of the dance move in the panel layout and capping off each row with “cha cha cha” written in big white letters against a red background. It’s a great example of how lettering can set the tone and add extra visual impact to a page, and Ram V’s script gives his collaborators multiple moments where they can stretch their artistic muscles to bring a sense of cool fun to the issue.