What am I talking about this time: Batman #50, The Wedding
Written by: Tom King
Art by: Joëlle Jones, David Finch, Mikel Janin, Various, Lee Bermejo, Frank Miller, José Luis García-López, Ty Templeton, Becky Cloonan, Andy Kubert, Neal Adams, Rafael Albuquerque, Mitch Gerads
Cover by: Mikel Janin
Variant cover by: Scott Williams, Jim Lee, Olivier Coipel
Overall Review: 5 out of 5 Bat-bells
Is it worth a $4.99? A fiver for all this glorious art and story… As Kite-Man Would Say, HELL YEAH!!!
Spoiler Free Review:
Well, after the New York Times spoiled the main plot point for this issue to the world, this section will be kinda short. Let’s focus on the amazing art. The majority of the comic is two intertwined; poetic letters the betrothed have writing to each other, over some incredible poster art. About every two pages of this, the story of the bat/cat continues on the way to their nuptials. Every splash page is fuckoing gorgeous and deserves it’s own full sized poster so I can frame it and put it on my walls or gift to my wife so I can put it on my walls. Not only is every page an artistic achievement, but almost every panel has allusions to the great names from Batman’s history hidden in street signs, room names, and anywhere else they can be inserted; The final sequence taking place on Kane Plaza and Finger Tower, in homage to Batman co-creators Bob Kane and Bill Finger. The emotional beats play out with 100% authenticity and result in some serious heart skips and string pulls.
The story is simple and the end result is what it had to be.
Now, let’s get into this!
The comic kicks off with Batman and Catwoman fighting Kite-man (Hell Yeah) on a rooftop and deciding to just elope of sorts. They will marry on the rooftops at dawn with a just a judge and 2 witnesses. And they each go about preparing in their own way. As mentioned, this story is interspersed with two beautifully written letters from the bride and groom to each other. These letters cover some amazing art and really bring home who these people are and why they love each other, coveing their (various) first meeting(s) to what they mean to each other, all with deep focus on their masks and eyes. Catwoman shows her eyes through her mask as a mark of defiance, daring people to see her- While Batman’s mask allows only white to show in front of his eyes, hiding behind the myth of the shadow he pretends to be.
Catwoman breaks out her best friend Holly Robinson from jail to be her maid of honor and Batman finds a drunk Judge Wolfman to officiate. As they prepare, we dive even deeper into their personas in these intimate moments. Alfred tells Bruce he looks just like his dad in the tux as Holly puts the finishing touches on her fantastically designed wedding dress. For real, I will die if anyone pulls that cosplay dress off at SDCC.
In one of the greatest moment in the comic, Bruce casually asks Alfred to be his best man over Dick and Superman saying, “It’s been the two of us since the beginning. I can’t do anything without you, really. I never could or will.” They hug in a long panel, and I cry staining my issue (damnit, stupid emotions ruining my Near Mint condition!)
Then the moment comes, proving that even spoilers can’t spoil everything. Both Batman and Catwoman begin to realize that the happiness this evening will bring might ruin everything the Batman is. By nature, his anger and pain fuel him. Catwoman nails it in her letter, saying, “You are an engine that turns pain into hope… to save the world heroes make sacrifices… I wish I could give my life, but I can’t I have to give more…. My sacrifice is my love… It’s you.” She than asks her friend Holly is she is a hero.
In the end, Catwoman essentially stands Batman up as they both mirror each other, shedding their wedding clothes, diving back into the lives that define them.
In a final Coda, Holly is returned to the prison, confessing that Catwoman is devastated, but unsure of Batman’s reaction. That’s when Bane, surrounded by all the villains from Tom King’s run so far, proclaims, “The Bat is… Broken”.