Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester #1 review

Hubble bubble, toil and trouble… a conclave of witches are having a night out. And a bit of a disagreement.

What does best flavour the witches’ brew? A fat cat or a basted bird? To settle the matter, a representative of each creature category is sent to the Earth realm. The pussy drops in on Catwoman Selina Kyle, who’s just made a big score.

As for the bird, he’s homed in on Black Canary Dinah Lance, who’s trying to put a new spin on her shortlived career as a singer.

Neither super-woman is thrilled to have a talking animal with attitude invade their life, but one push from Witch Hazel and the weird sisters, Mordred, Mildred & Cynthia, and Selina and Dinah have taken sides. It’s Tweety vs Sylvester and the stakes are very high.

img_4680Can Tweety Pie win the bet by surviving until dawn or will Sylvester gobble him down in a sandwich? Will their seconds tear one another apart first? And which DC bird and cat-themed characters will also be dragged into the battle (hint: all of them)?

Pure comics catnip, that’s what this DC/Looney Tunes team-up is. From the unexpected opening with the stars of long-gone DC anthology The Witching Hour to the climax with dozens of disparate heroes and villains fighting on behalf of cartoon critters, this is a delight. Writer Gail Simone returns to her Birds of Prey stomping grounds as if she’s never been away, with the dynamic between Dinah and Selina a plot engine all its own. Add in the nuttiness of a DCU-ified Tweety and Sylvester, with a never-so-creepy Witch Hazel behind the scenes, and we have the best comic I never knew I wanted. I was aware Simone has the voices of DC’s finest femmes down pat, but who knew she’d have Sylvester down cat? Or that the song of her Tweety Bird would be pitch perfect? A Fine Fit of Feather or Fur is just right for an autumn night. Or any night.

How do you pick highlights when every page has you smiling broadly? Well, there’s Black Canary trying to start a new career as a torch singer, in an outfit that’s either ridiculous or the sexiest thing ever, I go back and forth. Dinah seldom has the Mickey taken out of her, but Simone pokes fun with the affection of an old friend.

Then there’s Starfire – in the fight thanks to a long-ago, rarely referenced bit of New Teen Titans continuity – described thus.

‘A flying tank made out of chainsaws and lightning.’ Insight becomes eloquence – that’s the type of line that gets a character a series. Gail Simone is simply a brilliant writer, as strong on character as she is on plot – and her plotting is magnificent, as this does-in-one demonstrates.

I’ve not seen a lot of Spanish artist Inaki Miranda’s work at DC, which is a shame as it’s always a treat. And never more so than here, as he illustrates a sizeable chunk of the company’s cast as if he’s been drawing them every month for years. I’ve seen his superhero work in the likes of a Batgirl Annual and Doctor Fate, and it’s just as strong here, while his work on the opening pages is a revelation – if Wytches writer Scott Snyder isn’t eyeing him up for a horror project he’s missing a trick. Miranda has funny bones too, as shown by the way he animates the more realistic versions of our Looney Tunes pair.

The colours Eva De La Cruz lays down are pure porridge – not too hot, not too cold, just right; the mood lighting of the club Dinah sings at, the nighttime tones of Gotham, everything supports and adds to the story. Taylor Esposito, meanwhile, gets the dialogue across with cheery lettering that gets excited along with the characters.

Emanuela Lupacchino‘s cover, coloured by Tomeu Morey, nicely conveys the frustration Selina (and Dinah) rightly feel, while the variant by Sandy Jarrell, with Tweety and Sylvester in classic mode, is a beaut. A shout-out, too, to editors Liz Erickson and Jim Chadwick for their animal wrangling skills.

But wait, that’s not all folks! There’s also a back-up short by writer Shea Fontana, artist Walter Carzon, inker Horacio Ottolini, colourist Silvana Rhys and letterer Wes Abbott. This time we’re in Tweety Pie and Sylvester’s DayGlo world, with Catwoman fitting in nicely as she’s in TV animation mode. It’s a fun ride as cat burglar Selina teams up with Sylvester, to the annoyance of Tweety. Best of all, Granny’s in there too! It opens with a Rear Window-style scene-setter and just gets better.

29B3402E-4826-4802-8077-28F7E2B7BB9AThe only bad thing about this comic is that it’s a one-off… I’d love Simone, Miranda and friends to revive Birds of Prey and go wild. And if the door is open for Tweety & Sylvester to occasionally drop by, so much the better.

5 thoughts on “Catwoman/Tweety and Sylvester #1 review

  1. This one is just a dream come true. I haven’t read the Lex/Porky one yet (other than the backup), and I enjoyed the Harley Quinn/Gossamer one a lot (especially since I’ve been to Coney Island since the last issue of Harley’s book I’ve read, and WOW is the setting accurate) — but right now Catwoman/Sylvester is the one to beat.

    Man, when Sylvester took the time to put salt on Tweety, I just about died. Of COURSE he would… he does that in the cartoon all along.

    One thing I wonder is if the Witch Hazel part might have originally been intended for Granny herself, but Gail didn’t have the pages to get her to the coven (and doing so would have thrown off the pacing). Hazel doesn’t have the same connection to Sylvester & Tweety, and then it could have been a more Job-like bet, with Granny on the side of the angels (and Tweety) while the three witches would be taking Sylvester’s side.

    No matter… what a fun issue!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m intrigued by your Granny idea, the good vs evil bit makes sense but did she ever show a witch side? I can’t see Gail inserting a character where she wouldn’t traditionally fit. Maybe ask her on Twitter?

      Like

      1. No, she never showed a witch side, to the best of my knowledge. Which is why it would take more pages than available to get her to the coven. It’s a story layer that doesn’t need to be there, and would get us in the way of the REAL start of the story, which is the bet. But the germ of the idea might have started with Granny, before she revised and streamlined as part of the pre-writing/brainstorming process; You’re right, I should ask Gail!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Thus one was brilliant. Totally laughing as Simone includes classic Sylvester and Tweety lines and action with pure DC fun. All the guest stars, the tally growing as the book proceeds, made me smile.

    But most of all, I loved the recent Canary series where she as a rock star so seeing *that* Dinah made me so happy. Heck, we saw Streaky and Dove.

    Love love love.

    Liked by 1 person

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