Review: Catwoman 2021 Annual
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Writer: Ram V.
Letters: Tom Napolitano
Colors: Jordie Bellaire
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
“If our paths should cross again old man. I will kill you!” – Father Valley.
I should have been more keen as I read Catwoman and was provided the story all along that Father Valley had something to do with the Order of St Dumas.
I was NOT a fan of Azrael when he assumed the Mantle of the Bat in the early 1990s. To have Father Valley associated with the Order and Azrael makes perfect sense now. I feel like Ram V has been playing Poker with the readers and he now delicately places down four Aces and smiles! There was always something bizarre about the order and Ram V adds a deep origin story that rivals Scott Snyder’s work when he began the Court of Owls. The story is clever and really displays why Selina should be worried about this assassin. Ram V’s peppering of Biblical verses and themes is comforting and haunting at the same time. It is scary how the lens interprets the scripture. “I walked then…through the valley of the shadow of death. Where was your staff, my Lord? Where was your comfort?” Father Valley is scary – more so than the Batman Who Laughs. More so than Punchline. Maybe more than Joker!
Selina is always drawn beautifully, and even in a fit of rage in the hospital scenes, she is arguably the most beautiful person in the DC arena. Father Valley is drawn in an iconic fashion…those glasses…that hair…and that hat! I love the touches the art team put on Ram V’s words as the acquisition of the hat is perfect!
None here, as Ram V gives us the origin and motivation of Father Valley. He has created a great new villain for the DC Universe. I don’t want to see Batman swoop in here, but I do want to see an eventual face-off between the two. Here’s hoping Selina can survive this guy!
Father Valley has been the surprise of the past few years. Sure, the early incarnations of The Batman Who Laughs, Robin King and The Grim Knight were great. But this guy…he’s on another level. Ram V obviously is a Stephen King fan as Father Valley is straight inspired from some of King’s works. This story line is “crescendoing” up!