How Catwoman’s Villa Hermosa finale impacts the series (Issue 21 Review)

With the conclusion to Catwoman’s long running arc wrapped up this week, the series looks to return her to Gotham, but she’s not going alone.

Having Saved Villa Hermosa from Creel, in what was a long running fight, we see Catwoman get relieved by not having to take a life. Instead, Creel’s son, who she turned into a zombie, killed his own mom within the last moments.

Leading up to that instance we get a large amount of fighting panels with wide shots of zombies going after Catwoman and her struggling to take out the mob.

These scenes are followed by a fun few panels with the zombies climbing over, both the panel and bannister, before Catwoman beats them.

What really stands out in this issue though was the flashback moment with Catwoman explaining her past to Creel. Within those panels, we get an art and color that is unique to the series. It gives way to a more impactful look to the whole series. This change of style works well because the audience can tell more clearly that we’re seeing something else, but it also uses colors that add a different depth and tone compared to the darker palette that the series uses.

What worked less for this issue and finale, was the minimal impact of the rabbit’s foot on the series. Through the Year of the Villain arcs, Catwoman was given a map, which in turn leads her to Zatanna and a fun issue. Then we get a rabbit’s foot that played no role in the finale, because its sole purpose was for Catwoman to rediscover her modern suit. This added nothing to the series, whereas I held out hope that we’d get something more substantial from the interaction.

Another concern with this finale is the impact of the Lazarus water on those affected. In other series, the water has affected characters differently, and yet it’s treated as a cure all and then Catwoman gives her bittersweet goodbyes and leaves. Going forward, I’m hoping that we get more impactful, long running content from Jones, and she can recreate the magic that was this Villa Hermosa arc.

Since Catwoman returns to Gotham with her sister, it makes sense that the next arc could have her sister come into harms way and give Catwoman something more to look after and protect during situations. Having her sister could also impact other Batman stories, should writers decide to connect Catwoman to Batman or Detective comics. This new addition for Catwoman is going to be the biggest impact to ongoing fights, whereas the friends she left behind in Hermosa shouldn’t impact anything, unless Jones decides to return there again. We’ve already seen Penguin go to Villa Hermosa before, so it wouldn’t be a stretch for a filler arc where Catwoman returns because a Gotham villain has taken over the town.

With the 80th special for Catwoman coming out soon, I look forward to seeing where the story goes next, in the hopes that the magic is recaptured and Jones can continue to breathe more life into the classic DC villain.

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