By: Jen van Menter (writer), Javier Pulido & Javier Rodriguez (art), Matt Hollingsworth (colors) & Joe Caramanga (letters)

The Story: The stakes are raised as an attendant of the Kravinoff family kidnaps Black Cat’s mother to force her to steal precious items that used to belong to the Kravinoff family.

What’s Good: I really like Javier Pulido’s art in this issue.  After a little bit of an uncertain style in Black Cat #1, his art really sings in this issue.  For starters, I love the whimsical style that Pulido is using.  It is perfect for a character like Black Cat.  Working nicely with this style are the white panel borders he leaves between panels.  I wish more artists would do this.  Panels do not always need to touch!  Nor do panels all need to be rectangular or of uniform size; Pulido really mixes it up with his panel designs and layouts.  Finally, I really enjoy the flat colors that Hollingsworth is using here.  It’s a perfect fit with the art.  All in all, this is a striking book from a visual standpoint.

Now that I’ve gushed over the art, what about the story?  The story is pretty good.  It isn’t anything spectacular, but it works pretty well.  The whole thing is pretty standard fare as Black Cat is being forced to steal old heirlooms of the Kravinoff family.

What’s Not So Good: I’ve kinda had enough of the Kravinoffs after The Grim Hunt over in Amazing Spider-Man.  I do understand the desire to create a spin off series ($$$) and also understand the idea that the spin-off series might sell better with a link to a big ASM storyline.   But, in this case, The Grim Hunt was so dark and emotionally draining that I really don’t need to see those bad guys again for a while and especially not in a light-hearted story about art theft.  I think they could have omitted the Kravinoffs from this story and not hurt things one bit.

Conclusion: GREAT art and definitely worth picking up if you enjoy Black Cat.

Grade: B

– Dean Stell