Whenever a costumed crusader comes to a new city, it causes trouble for the established criminal element. Selina Kyle’s presence in Villa Hermosa is especially tricky for these gangs because she operates on both sides of the law, making her an X-factor that poses all sorts of complications if she’s left unchecked. After writing an excellent one-shot focusing on Selina setting up and executing a heist, Ram V returns to Catwoman this week to delve deeper in the Villa Hermosa underworld as Selina becomes a target for the city’s rival gangs. Teaming with artist Mirka Andolfo, colorist Arif Prianto, and letterer Saida Temofonte, Ram V puts Selina in the middle of a deadly free-for-all featuring an eclectic group of supervillains, with V digging through DC history to bring back baddies like Lock-Up, Nobody, and the Gentleman Ghost.
This exclusive preview of Catwoman #14 opens with Selina drowning after taking a bullet, setting the stakes high for the story to come. Andolfo and Prianto’s artwork shifts from intense drama to casual conversation without missing a beat, and Andolfo’s animated linework brings a lot of energy and personality to the page. The two-page title spread highlights how Villa Hermosa differs from Selina’s old Gotham City setting, with Prianto coloring the city with a fiery palette that reinforces the story’s name: “Hermosa Heat.” This week’s issue also features a stunning variant from Stanley “Artgerm” Lau, who outdoes himself with his portrait of Catwoman’s Batman: The Animated Series iteration, using a cel-shaded rendering style that is very different than his usual painting. It’s a fitting variant given that this storyline features Lock-Up, a villain who originally debuted on B:TAS, and this creative team has a clear appreciation for the Dark Knight’s classic cartoon.