Judd Winick has certainly captured the true spirit and fundamentals of Catwoman in volume 2: Dollhouse.
The Selina Kyle of volume one seemed fixated on her “intimacies” with Batman, which led to a lot of her self-thought to be focused on him, what he’s thinking, or how a relationship between them would ever work. This is not what Selina Kyle should be all about.
If Catwoman is to ever have any real success in her own series, then Batman must not be involved. Sure, her stories take place in Gotham City, and certain events (Death of the Family, Requiem) can have impact on her story, but it should not be up to Batman to be the deciding factor in a “Catwoman” book. Now, Dollhouse is a much better collection of issues then The Game. Winick puts the focus on Selina and her personal life, as well as her cat-burglar career, both of which experience highs and lows, but mature and grow more complex and detailed. This is what readers want in comics.
Winick gives Selina a new partner in crime, one with superpowers too, and sets them both on a series of various criminal activity from stealing priceless artifacts, to getting themselves mixed up with The Penguin and even a Talon from the Court of Owls. What makes this volume so much better is the interlocking stories. When I read it, I really felt as though this series was finally beginning to develop its own world, full of new supporting characters and new environments, tailored to Catwoman’s persona and lifestyle.
The interlocking stories finally come together by the end of the final issue: the secret agenda of Catwoman’s new partner, the doubts that Selina’s old friend has about her, the detective who inches closer to the mystery of Catwoman with each issue, and the volume’s main villain, who has a sinister connection to Catwoman’s past. Volume two is not just “easy on the eyes” (like its predecessor), but is a story worthy of a second look. Speaking of “easy on the eyes”, Guillem March provides cover art for every issue and is accompanied by artist Adrianna Melo who does the pencils for the majority of the issues. March certainly perfected the look of the book in volume one, but Melo does a great job filling those shoes, with animated faces and good positioning of figures. If there was ever an artist who could do as good a job on Catwoman as March, it’s Melo. A solid storyline, combined with fantastic art, accompanied by beautiful color work makes Catwoman Volume Two a wonder to read, and an even better visual.
Whether you’re a Catwoman fan or not, this volume is worth the read and has proven that Catwoman deserves her own series. It has also proven that the series can bounce back after a disappointing start, with more good stories to come.
I give Catwoman Vol.2: Dollhouse:
8.7 / 10
Don’t change anything about the artwork, its one of the best in the New 52, but tighten up the story, which will solidify Catwoman as a successful character on her own and you’ll have a truly memorable series in the future.