Monday, November 8, 2010

COMIC: Top of the Stack - Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money #1 (Review)

Written by Howard Chaykin
Pencils by Howard Chaykin
Cover by Howard Chaykin

Publisher: DC Comics
Price: $4.99

There was one book that stood out amongst the others this week and it happened to be the extra-sized, slightly pricier, Batman/Catwoman: Follow the Money one-shot written and drawn by longtime creative maestro Howard Chaykin. With the ever changing world of creative teams, sometimes it is nice to find a title that the creative duties are handled mainly by one person and see the results of having art interpreted perfectly with the story.

I would have welcomed the book to be split into a three issue mini-series because of the consistent pace to the story that kept it a thoroughly entertaining read would most likely translate well over several issues but the all-in-one packaging definitely made the book stand out even more for all the right reasons.

What kind of story could carry fifty-six pages of content? How about a story featuring the Cavalier as the villain? His characterization as a villain is the first proof that this tale is outside of DC's continuity where Cavalier aka Mortimer Drake is acting as a bodyguard for Dr. Leslie Thompkins.

Here, Mortimer Drake is the mastermind of a business theft scheme involving Bruce Wayne's money and left clues that would put the blame on Catwoman. And that's where the book really took off as it was a story of Bruce and Selina coming together to stop the Cavalier, clear Catwoman's name and save Bruce's money. Rarely these days do writers bring Bruce and Selina together in a story and it was a very welcome turn of events that kept a smile on my face while I read the pages.

Chaykin's art on the cover really set the fun tone of the book right from the start and the interiors followed suit in really displaying the colorful adventure to the reader. He drew a strong Bruce/Batman, a stylish stunning Selina/Catwoman and even made sure to include a tidying-up Alfred amongst the adventure.

There are several things I am hopeful for after reading this book. First off that more of these fun, free of the current state of the DCU, expanded stories can be written not only for Batman but other DC characters. With the reemergence of the Elseworlds brand I expect the quantity of stories outside of current continuity to grow and optimistically the quality will be as good as this issue.

Secondly, Howard Chaykin should not become a stranger to these characters or these type of stories. Too many times writers forget about the opposite sex dynamic when it comes to superheroes but the chemistry between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle was jumping off the page and it was a sight for sore eyes. It is one of the reasons why I have been looking forward to Bruce Wayne's return to the current DCU because the Bat/Cat dynamic is legendary.

Check out Geek Plate's Tumblr for today's Batman & Catwoman themed picspam.

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