Batman #50 – Tom King, Writer; Mikel Janin, Jose Garcia-Lopez, Becky Cloonan, Jason Fabok, Frank Miller, Lee Bermejo, Neal Adams, Tony Daniel, Amanda Conner, Rafael Albuquerque, Andy Kubert, Tim Sale, Paul Pope, Mitch Gerads, Clay Mann, Ty Templeton, Joelle Jones, David Finch, Jim Lee, Greg Capullo, Lee Weeks, Artists; Scott Williams, Inker; June Chung, Trish Mulvihill, Brad Anderson, Alex Sinclair, Hi-Fi, Tomeu Morey, Paul Mounts, Jose Villarrubia, Jordie Bellaire, Kieren Smith, FCO Plascencia, Colorists
Ray – 9/10
Ray: MAJOR SPOILERS WITHIN FOR THE ENDING OF BATMAN #50
After a year-plus engagement and a lot of hype and tie-ins, Tom King has finally assembled all the relevant parties for the biggest DC Wedding since Lois and Clark back in 1998. Or has he? With Batman, nothing is ever simple, and this issue is no exception. Part lead-up to the wedding, part retrospective of Batman and Catwoman’s wedding, this is a surprisingly tense and moody issue with a lot of complications. Not the least among them is the fact that the happy couple has decided not to get married as Bruce and Selina, but with a clandestine wedding as Batman and Catwoman with a drunk judge who won’t remember what he signed. That’s the most Batman thing ever. The decision to elope is done while beating up Kite-Man, making one of his trademark appearances, but it also makes the big lead-up to the wedding in all the one-shots feel sillier – so they were having bachelor/bachelorette parties without even knowing when the wedding was happening?
The lead-up to the wedding and the big events that ensue is one part of the issue, but the other is a jam issue of pin-up shots by some of the most iconic artists to ever put their spin on the Bat and the Cat (as you can see by the credits, which are longer than even your DC holiday anthologies). King does a good job of working these scenes into the issue as part of the story – in between the wedding prep scenes, these splash pages are accompanied by alternating inner monologues of Batman and Catwoman, depicting the way they see each other at different stages of their lives. There are a lot of unique visuals here, and it’s great to see names like Tim Sale and Ty Templeton again, but my personal favorite has to be Amanda Conner and Paul Mounts depicting Batman and Catwoman on a very unique date at the zoo.
Of course, the issue can’t be discussed without talking about the twist, which gives me very complicated feelings about this issue. The beginning I absolutely love. The second is a brilliantly written tragedy that makes me very unhappy. Long story short, Catwoman wants her closest, oldest friend Holly Robinson to be at the wedding with her. Holly is, of course, currently in prison awaiting trial for the countless (semi-justified) murders that Selina took the fall for in this series’ second big arc. So Selina arranges Holly’s temporary release, and then Holly puts the emotional screws to Selina, compounding all the doubts Selina had placed in her head by Joker last issue that she’s going to destroy Batman by making Bruce happy. And so, Selina just…leaves, leaving Bruce at the altar (or the rooftop, in this case) – and Holly returns to a coalition of Bane, Joker, Riddler, Psycho-Pirate, Ventriloquist, Hugo Strange, and…Gotham Girl and a new evil Batman? – to reveal that she’s accomplished her goal of breaking Batman down. Am I intrigued by this development? Sure. But after over a year of hype, having the wedding turn out to be a non-event feels like a bit of a cheat. Could this be a feint to lead up to a proper Bruce/Selina wedding in Detective Comics #1000? Sure. However, for Catwoman’s role in this to be justified, we’re going to need to see a lot more of her story. That’ll be explored in Joelle Jones’ Catwoman series, so here’s hoping this is just the painful end of act two as we build towards a happy ending for the couple.
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GeekDad received this comic for review purposes.