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“Catfight” #1

By | June 2nd, 2023
Posted in Reviews | % Comments

The thief with a code of honor is one of the most popular character archetypes in the history of modern storytelling. Characters like Robin Hood have been entertaining people for centuries, while more modern characters like Catwoman and Black Cat offer quite a bit of moral complexity and anti-hero potential while injecting the opportunity for humor into the story while mitigating the need for excessive amounts of blood and gore.

The point I’m making here is that this particular type of character has been used a lot in the history of popular culture, so a book about a gentleman thief like “Catfight” is going to have to do a lot to stand out from the crowd. Let’s see how it holds up.

Cover by: Ilias Kyriazis
Written by Andrew Wheeler
Illustrated by Ilias Kyriazis
Inked by Auguste
Colored by Dennis Yatras
Lettered by Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou

John Wick meets Kill Bill, meets CATS?! Felix lives a life of high fashion and indulgence. Sure, he steals to get it, but he gets it on his own, nonetheless. When a mysterious character by the name of Schrodinger threatens Felix’s only surviving family member in an attempt to recruit him into a crime syndicate, Felix is sent on a globetrotting game of cat and mouse in a heightened world of colorful criminal masterminds.

Felix is a cat burglar who has not been having a good couple of weeks. For starters, he owes a rather large amount of money to the kinds of people who get rather violent when the bill is late, although Felix has a plan to pay off his debts with one big (and at the start of the comic successful) heist. On top of that, his crime lord grandma wants him to take over the family business and run the crew of master thieves she’s assembled over her lifetime, although Felix isn’t interested in family matters.

Unfortunately, it seems that a new player known only as Schrodinger (ha!) has been keeping an eye on Felix lately and wants to recruit him and seize control of grandma’s criminal empire, and Schrodinger isn’t afraid to get violent and pit people against each other to get what they want.

“Catfight” #1 is written by Andrew Wheeler, who has been working in comics as an editor and writer for quite some time. His experience with comics as a medium is put to full use here and Wheeler shows that he knows how to craft a great first issue. The comic grabs the reader’s attention with a well crafted action sequence and keeps the story moving from location to location at a very brisk pace. The reader learns everything about Felix from some well crafted monologues, and there’s even a fun little mechanic where we see the world from Felix’ point of view, where we learn that he is literally appraising the value of all the things around him with a practiced and greedy eye. On top of that, the mysterious Schrodinger is well established as a faceless and extremely capable threat that knows how to make Felix hurt and promises to be quite the threat. In short, Wheeler does a great job of establishing the main character, his dilemma, and sets the stakes for the future conflict in a quick, efficient, and well written manner that is enjoyable and fun to read.

Unfortunately, while Felix is a great character and a lot of fun to read, the character of the grandmother has some pretty noticeable problems. She’s not a bad character–she has an interesting past and introduces the reader to a rather fascinating world of professional thieves–but she does suffer from the burden of clunky and borderline unnecessary exposition. Now, that’s not to say that all exposition is bad, but it feels a bit egregious to take a legitimately fascinating and interesting person and give her nothing but facts and background information. Granted, it’s necessary facts and background information that had to be shared with the reader, but it feels like Wheeler just wrote her in the book to cast her aside.

The artwork for “Catfight” #1 is provided by Greek artist Ilias Kyraizis with inks by Auguste and colors by Dennis Yatras. The Greek roots of Kyraizis are on full display here because one of the most noticeable things about the comic is how well it portrays the gorgeous Mediterranean ocean views and sprawling villas of the very wealthy people that call it home. This is a very pretty comic, and the gorgeous sunsets and parties with expensive clothing do a great job of setting up an ambiance that feels like a James Bond film, which is perfect for a story about a super thief. The characters and action are a rather interesting blend of modern American comic book art that would be right at home in any of the books by the Big Two, but Kyraizis gives the characters just enough exaggeration in their facial features to make the book feel unique and different.

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However, the real highlight of the artwork on “Catfight” #1 is Kyraizis’ panel layouts. The art team demonstrates a clear understanding of how comics can be different and unique from other forms of media by playing around with the panels and how the characters and action is portrayed. There are some great double page spreads, panel breaks, and even some really clever ways of incorporating sound effects into the panels themselves that make this book feel unique and showcases how comics can be used and manipulated to tell a story.

“Catfight” #1 does show that it deserves to stand on its own in a world filled with stories about expert thieves robbing from the rich and giving to themselves (with some put aside for those less fortunate of course). It’s got a great character, a fascinating world, and a creative team that understands what makes comic books unique and how they can be used to tell a story.

Final Verdict: 8.4- Some of the exposition is a little clunky, but it’s still a fun book that uses the medium of comics to set up a fun and interesting story.

Matthew Blair

Matthew Blair hails from Portland, Oregon by way of Attleboro, Massachusetts. He loves everything comic related, and will talk about it for hours if asked. He also writes a web comic about a family of super villains which can be found here: