Catwoman #18 (1995)

Catwoman #18 (February, 1995)
“Catfile, Four: Here Comes the Bride”
Writer – Chuck Dixon
Penciller – Jim Balent
Inker – Bob Smith
Colorist – Buzz Setzer
Letterer – Albert DeGuzman
Assistant Editor – Jordan B. Gorfinkel
Editor – Denny O’Neil
Cover Price: $1.50

Whattaya mean “Wrong Wedding Issue”?  Has there been another?

Yeah, yeah, yeah… just a little (very little) “funny, ha-ha” to start off today’s piece.

I actually have read the Wedding Issue, and actually guested on the MCDC Podcast last week to discuss my thoughts about it.  Long story short… didn’t love it, didn’t hate it… didn’t really have strong feelings about it either way.  Listening back, the only thing I really seem to feel strongly about is the rather unfortunate “10/10 Reviewer Culture” the comics industry is currently suffering through.  Remember folks, if everything’s a 10 outta 10… then, nothing really is!

Anyhoo… check out the podcast if you’re interested.  Had a good time chatting up pals Joey and Bill Bere.  For now, let’s take a look at another time Selina Kyle was someone’s betrothed.

We pick up with Selina’s reaction to Prince Willem’s marriage proposal.  A little (very little) background on the Prince… Willem Kapreallian is a self-appointed Prince of the European island nation Daumount located in the Mediterranean.  Catwoman was sent over by her federal “employers” to steal his prized “Swan Crown”.  She ain’t exactly diggin’ the idea of becoming a Princess anytime soon.

Willem’s bodyguards swarm, but stand down on his orders.  He tells Selina that she really doesn’t have much of a choice.  She will indeed marry him, and what’s more, she’ll also steal back his Swan Crown.  He sics his two beefy female assistants on her… and they toss her into the bathtub to scrub up.  Selina begins to play along, and asks for a moment of privacy.

Nearby, two interested parties approach the castle.  It’s Selina’s employer Galiant and his crew… as well as Tito and the Corsican Mafia, both groups have a vested interest in what’s going down.  Galiant’s gang has, as mentioned, ties to Selina… while the Corsicans are rather ticked that Willem killed their brothers.  Either way, it looks like we’ve got some wedding crashers.

Inside the castle, Willem thanks a fella named Dreyfuss for the use of his castle for the ceremony.  Outside the castle, Catwoman waits in hiding for the “Schwarzenegger Sisters” to return so she might dropkick them into the bath.

It’s not her most effective plan to date.

We shuffle on ahead to the wedding ceremony… and I can’t help but wonder if my copy is missing a page or two.  As you can see, the last we saw of Selina, she was being held underwater by Hildi and Whatsherface.  Anyhoo, she does the wedding march, leaving a trail of wetness behind her.  At the altar, Willem removes her veil, revealing… well, Catwoman.  What’s more, she’s packin’ heat!

But then… the wedding is crashed!  Twice… at the same time, even!

Catwoman uses this opportunity to ska-doo.  Meanwhile, Galiant’s goons… well, slaughter pretty much everyone.  They then chat up the Prince… and let him know that they plan to kill Catwoman as well!

As Catwoman continues her poorly-planned escape… I mean, really it was just A. Jump out really high window, B. Hope not to die… Willem stabs Galiant in the shoulder with his epee, then he and his men prove not to be total pushovers when they start blasting away at the goons.

As Galiant lay bleeding out, he calls in a final airstrike to take everybody out.  Meanwhile, on the ground… Catwoman steals Dreyfuss’ car and proceeds to speed away from the castle.  Unfortunately, that airstrike chopper is hot on her tail.

Lucky for her, Prince Willem is a crack-shot with his Jaeger rifle… also lucky, that he had it at hand… ya see, he was planning on spending their honeymoon on safari.  Anyhoo, Willem shoots the chopper out of the sky, and Catwoman is able to get away.

We wrap up with Selina having some fun in the Sun… somewhere.

Having absolutely no context for the hows and whys of this story… I still had a heckuva good time checking it out!  Chuck Dixon does a great job at just giving us fun and wild action here.  While I think context would help… and greatly add to ones enjoyment of the issue, it might not be a requirement.

It’s been a long while since I’ve read any solo Catwoman story, much less one from the mid-90’s.  I don’t think I started buying this title until they’d already announced its cancellation several years later… so, this whole era is new to me.  I might have to check out some more… I mean, I have most of the run sitting not a few feet away, if more of the stories are this much fun, I might finally have a reason to start flipping through ’em.

This book, at least this issue, kinda straddles the line between serious and silly.  I mean, look at our Prince Willem.  He’s kind of a goofball… he literally called Galiant a “cad” and runs him through with a fencing foil.  On the face of it, that’s kinda silly.  Then, just a couple of pages later, dude shoots down a helicopter with a single shot from a rifle!  We’ve got Selina wrestling underwater with a pair of overgrown gals… then later, leaping from a high window in a wedding dress.  I mean, c’mon… this is just straight-up fun.

The only place where I’m kinda left wanting is between the underwater wrestling and the actual wedding ceremony.  Feels like we missed a step of story there, doesn’t it?  It’s also like the lifting of the veil was supposed to be a “reveal” to the reader, but really… who else was it going to be, Hildi?  I just feel like that beat could’ve went a bit more smoothly.

The art was… a bit iffy now and again, and… no, I’m not talking about the boobies.  What I’m talking about is that some of the faces… looked a little squished.  I mean, look at the introduction of the Schwarzenegger Sisters… they look pretty horrid, and not in the way I’d assume they were intended to!  Definitely a few “candle-faces” here.  The action and movement, however, is pretty nicely “fluid”.  Also, some really fun attention to detail on a soaking wet Selina, where, when outside… it looks as though the bathwater is starting to freeze.  I mean, she’s got little icicles hanging off her!  Not sure if that was to add to the titillation, but I thought it was neat regardless! 

Overall… had more fun than I was expecting (which I seem to be saying a lot), and I’d say it’s worth a shot.  This bugger’s available digitally (currently priced at a buck!)… it’s also been collected as part of the Catwoman: The Catfile trade paperback.

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