For the past year of Catwoman, writer (and A.V. Club contributor) Genevieve Valentine has done remarkable work building a new status quo and supporting cast for Selina Kyle, who has been caught between her roles as crime boss and vigilante for the majority of the run. Giving Selina a new position of power within the Gotham underworld allowed Valentine to explore different sides of the character, and Valentine firmly established Selina’s bisexuality by introducing a romantic relationship between Selina and Eiko Hasigawa, the daughter of a crime lord who served as Catwoman when Selina briefly hung up her mask and cat suit. Eiko is thirsty for vengeance against Gotham’s crime families following the assassination of her father, and this week’s Catwoman #46 has Selina and her allies teaming up to stop Eiko from crossing a line and committing mass murder.
Valentine’s Catwoman is full of complex women with their own distinct personalities, strengths, and weaknesses, and this preview highlights the personal dynamics between Eiko, her student Stephanie “Spoiler” Brown, and Selina’s cousin Antonia Calabrese. The artwork by penciller David Messina, inker Gaetano Carlucci, and colorist Lee Loughridge captures the tension in these interactions with clear emotional storytelling and a color palette dominated by a contrast of warm and cool shades. While it’s disappointing that Valentine’s run is ending after only a year, she was able to tell a complete, satisfying story working with art teams that reflected the maturity of her scripts in their visuals, and fans of her work in Gotham can catch her on future issues of the weekly Batman & Robin Eternal series.