Review: Catwoman, Vol. 4: Gotham Underground (Catwoman Vol. IV #4) by Ann Nocenti,

Catwoman, Vol. 4: Gotham UndergroundCatwoman, Vol. 4: Gotham Underground by Ann Nocenti

My rating: 1 of 5 stars



Remember when Catwoman was The Shit?

And then this happened…

And eventually this

Well, Gotham Underground is sort of like that.
Volumes one and two rocked my socks off! They were fun, action-packed, clever, and sexy. Oh yeah!
And then Nocenti happened.
So why did I put myself through yet another one of her garbage titles? Mostly, because I love Catwoman.
But, also, because I kept thinking that she couldn’t possibly fuck up any worse that she did the last time. It had to be just a little bit better.
Here’s an example of what happens when Nocenti decides to use clever analogies:
They buried a bad seed. A two-time loser with a rap sheet like Route 66.
Was he an underused and abandoned piece of Americana?
Did he run along-side a bunch of kitchy landmarks that nobody cares about?
Oooooh. I get it. His rap sheet was loooong.
Then just fucking say that, you moron!
What? Were you trying to channel your inner Dennis Miller?


Not only was the writing worse, but apparently the folks over at DC just decided to send this thing to print without bothering to look it over beforehand.
Now, first, you’ve gotta realize that I’m not the kind of comic book reader who goes over the artwork panel by panel. I don’t catch little mistakes. Like, when an artist can’t draw feet or hands. Or is awful at keeping characters in proportion….that kind of thing.
That shit flies right over my head.
In other words, you have to have a glaringly bad fuck-up for me to notice it.
And this was a glaringly bad fuck-up.
Let me set this up for you:
Selina is in Arkham Asylum.
I’ll get to the why later…not that it matters.
So, naturally, she’s in a straitjacket. Hey, it’s a nuthouse. You gotta put ’em in a mummy blazer!
And then she pulls her arm out, and proceeds to cut a hole in the glass wall of her cell, using her diamond-tipped claw.
Then, she kicks the glass out, because her arms are trapped in a straitjacket.
Well, maybe this is some ploy to fool the guards, right?

Holy shit the guards are coming!

Annnnd…she’s fighting them with her arms trapped.
‘Cause she’s a baaaaaadassssss!
Or maybe because she forgot that she could use her arms?
Hang on! Her arms are loose! She must have wiggled free!
Woot-Woot! Here comes a splash page!
Wait. What the hell?!
Her fucking arms are back in the straitjacket!
Note to the editors:
It would behoove you to flip through the panels IN ORDER before signing off on it.
Just sayin’.

Ok, that happened within the first few pages, so my ThisDoesNotBodeWell radar was clanging pretty loudly, right off the bat.
But I’m a brave little reader, so I decided to see if it was just a fluke.

So how did Selina end up in Arkham?
Well, A.R.G.U.S set it up to look like their guys captured her, and sent her in with the intention that she poke around and find out…something.
*insert Big Fight scene mentioned above*
Selina gets loose inside Arkham. And then promptly leaves.
Sooooo. What was she looking for? What did she find out?

Pardon the interruption, but we’ll be dropping this storyline completely. Without any explanation. We’re sure you don’t mind.
You may now return to your regularly scheduled programming.

Instead of sticking with that relatively interesting plotline, the story jumps into an incoherent story about Selina fighting with the Penguin.
Included in this part is a rather useless story about a man possessed by a demon…that Selina let loose in the last volume.

The absolute best thing about the whole Penguin/Catwoman skirmish was the introduction to the most phenomenal gang name EVAH.

The Rat Tails!


Yes. I’m deadly serious.
Not only do all the members have rat tails, but their leader’s name is also Rat Tail.
There are soooo many things wrong with that whole sentence that I can’t even begin…

Tonight’s Top Story:
The war between two rival gangs, the Rat Tails and the Mullets, spilled out into the streets last night. The police finally managed to quell the fighting, after a special unit from Great Clips was sent into the fray. The elite squad was able to corral the miscreants by threatening to pull out their scissors. We have no official conformation, but witnesses report electric clippers were also used to subdue some of the more violent gang members.
More on this story at 11:00…

Ok, Rat Tail (the guy, not the gang) falls into a giant hole in the earth. I’m going to pretend like you care why, and explain it.
See, Penguin discovers that Selina has feelings for Rat Tail, and…well, blows a giant hole in the earth so that he’ll fall in.
*cough, cough*
And this brings us to the Underground portion of Gotham Underground.
Did you know there were all kinds of crazy tribes/mutants/militias living right under Gotham?
Hey! That’s another thing we’ve got in common!

There’s a Fire-Mutant-King and his idiot daughter, the princess of Lava Land. There’s a doomsday cult, made up of scientists/zealots that think the End of the World is nigh. And last, but not least, there’s a group of freaks/losers who have all gathered together to share in their freakish misery.
Pay attention now, because I’m only gonna hit the highlights of this ginormous waste of trees.
We get a gratuitous Spanking Scene between Catwoman and the idiot princess. Yep. Catwoman spanks her.
Because the story needed that ‘special something’.
Thanks you, Nocenti! It’s like you knew I didn’t quite despise you enough, and decided to remedy that situation.
Doomsday Cult?
They’ve been perfecting a vaccine that will allow humans to remain unaffected in the event of global germ warfare, but Catwoman decides it’s a bad thing to do…and takes it away from them.
Good call, retard! It’s too bad you weren’t around to stop that pesky Polio vaccine!
The Freaks?
Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse, we’re introduced to the New 52’s Duela.
She makes her way underground to the Freaky People when she’s (what appears to be) a tweenager. And guess what she finds floating in the water?
The Joker’s nasty scalped face!
That rotten flap of skin has been flitting around the DCU for how long now?
For those of you who don’t’ know, here’s (basically) the timeline for this gross hunk of dermis:
1)At the Joker’s request, Dollmaker cuts the skin off of his face.
2)It gets stored at Gotham PD as evidence for a while.
3)Later…Harley Quinn steals it, so she can snuggle with it.
4)Even Later…Joker reunites with it, and tapes it back on.
5)Still Later…It falls into the water after a fight with Batman.
6)And now…Duela fishes it out of the water, and (I guess because it’s good and gummy at this point) sticks it on her mug.
Is this a MAGICAL pelt?
Did someone just forget to mention that it had been given a nice little soak in formaldehyde, or something?
I would absolutely love it if they would just graft it back on to the original owner, so I don’t have to wonder where this grody lump of skin is going to pop up next.
Silly, Anne. That’s just crazy talk!
Anyhoo, with the help of Joker’s magical floppy face, Duela takes over the Freak Tribe, at the ripe old age of (maybe?) 15.
She tells the female Freaks to withhold sex.
And after a grand total of 10 minutes without nookie, all the men burn Joker smiles into their lips with a hot poker.
Which makes total sense, because men who live underground like moles need stinky muff to survive.
Don’t argue. It’s a scientific fact.

There’s more, but I’m not going to go into it.
After all, I somehow talked Mike into doing this one as a Buddy-Read, so I’ve gotta leave him with a few things to complain about.
Ha! Kidding! There’s no way I even came close to highlighting all the shit in this thing!
*snort, snort*

I mean, sorry Mike. Still friends?

Final verdict?

Avoid this sucktastic heap of garbage!

View all my reviews


4 thoughts on “Review: Catwoman, Vol. 4: Gotham Underground (Catwoman Vol. IV #4) by Ann Nocenti,

  1. Ann Nocenti has got to be producing this shit on purpose. I think she has been possessed by the spirit of Fredric Wertham and, in an attempt to rot the comic industry from the inside-out, she continues plague comic fans everywhere by oozing this infection upon us like a raging bacterial vaginosis . She should be shot into space. The only down side would be no more of your hysterical reviews. šŸ˜‰

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne, you’re gonna have to escalate this kind of punishment hard to kill off our friendship. But don’t think I’m not keeping score, and looking for ways to get you back.

    Lono, do you really think there’s any sign in her writing that she’s that self-aware, or that she’s having fun shovelling this stank our way? I feel like her writing takes itself way too seriously, and that’s a sign she thinks she’s doing The Right Thing.

    Check out this interview with her from that era:

    It’s so bad I caught myself skimming – couldn’t bear to hear how much she believes in her own creations.

    Liked by 2 people

    • She comes off as one of those types that SO self-confident that she is incapable of self-reflection. That interview reads like she genuinely believes the stuff is good. How can she not recognize her work for what it is when she sees it on the stands next to the many good books being produced these days. There has got to be someone at DC that’s like “why are we paying her?” Then again, maybe not.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. She must have some pretty nasty stuff on whoever is signing the checks…or at least that’s the only way I can wrap my mind around the fact that she still has a job.


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