Cat Fight, the fun new book from writer Andrew Wheeler and artist Ilias Kyriazis, is a clever new spin on the crime comic.
I should state right up front that I am an absolute sucker for heist stories, stories about gentleman (or gentlewoman) thieves, capers, and criminal families. If there’s a “getting the team together” sequence, I’m in. And this is hitting all the sweet spots for me.
The story centers on Felix, a suave and debonair gentleman thief who, after a series of bad breaks and failed heists, is in serious debt to the mob. He’s been dodging calls from his wealthy grandmother, Nana Kitty. After his last caper goes awry, he is rudely summoned to his Grandmother’s by her rather large majordomo (summoned here meaning “drugged and kidnapped.”). Nana has some very important news to share with him.
For years, Felix assumed Kitty had kicked him out because he was stealing, but that’s only partially correct. She kicked him out because she caught him stealing. He was too sloppy, but now it’s time to reveal some family history. Long ago, Kitty was better known as the notorious Kitty Midnight, the best thief in the world, until she retired to get married and raise a family, leaving the actual crime to her crew. Now, someone has put a target on her back, and she needs Felix’s help. Unfortunately for Felix, things get very complicated very quickly.
The story is very compelling, offering some great twists on old tropes — the reluctant recruit, the call of family, debts being called in — and sets up what promises to be an exciting series. The action scenes look great so far, with a distinctive style and some kinetic fight sequences. Plus there are plenty of crosses and double crosses to keep the plot moving.
The book is full of fun little flourishes. There’s a running theme where Felix scans his surroundings, pricing all of the artifacts and jewelry he sees. This pays off nicely when he’s at his Grandmother’s place. “Vintage pitcher: $120. Marble sculpture: $1600. Family Photographs: Worthless.” And the giant wicker chair that the caftan-clad Kitty perches in seems pulled right out of a 70’s Pam Grier movie.
It’s all very well done and I look forward to more. I’d recommend this for anyone with a sweet tooth for crime and caper stories.
Rating 4 out of 5