This review contains spoilers.
Ever since Batman proposed to Catwoman about a year ago, writer Tom King has probably added more depth to one of the most complicated relationships in all of comics than many scribes to have preceded him. In short, it’s been exciting to see Selina Kyle fighting alongside the Dark Knight in ways normally reserved for Robins and the like – not to mention the whole situation opening up storytelling possibilities like never before. To be honest, their double date with Superman and Lois Lane still makes me smile.
That said, all eyes are on Batman #50 this week, for it’s been built up as a wedding worthy of rivaling that of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s. Really, DC has gone all out to let readers know how to spend their money on Independence Day, as the social media campaign has been going full force.
Similar to how he has on many occasions in the past, King once again proves how great of a handle he has on these characters by getting across just how well they know each other. Between those pages, you’ll find a beautiful, perfect encapsulation of the rocky road that’s been Bruce and Selina’s relationship: Whether it be their early rivalry on the streets of Gotham, their eventual rooftop trysts, or the engagement itself, it’s all presented in the most wonderful of nutshells.
On top of that, artist Mikel Janin, who handles the bulk of the issue, is joined by top talent such as Frank Miller, Neal Adams, Tony Daniel, Jim Lee, Jason Fabok, David Finch, Tim Sale and several other greats who contribute cutaways paying tribute to the legacy shared by these two icons.
Now, here’s where it gets iffy.
You see, what we thought would be the Wedding of the Century never ended up happening because, in short, Selina walked out so that she wouldn’t deprive the world of Batman by giving Bruce a happy ending (double entendres aside, you know what I meant by that). There’s much more to it than that, sure, but I can’t get into specifics without completely reprinting entire pages of dialogue that could cause you to get choked up.
One thing I don’t want to spoil, however, is that of the surprise awaiting you on the final page. To be cryptic, there’s a puppetmaster at play in Gotham – and it’s not the Joker. Personally, I think King is planting the seed for what he’s got planned for the next fifty issues (something tells me he’s in this for the long haul), but I feel shortchanged while simultaneously excited for what’s to come.
By that, I mean I’m jaded after enduring a year of build-up leading to something that could have actually worked. Hey, if Superman can marry Lois and have a child, then Batman can take on a wife. Hell, he already has a kid of his own. I’m just wondering if DC editorial got cold feet, even if Bruce and Selina have tied the knot in various alternate universes. Maybe the Powers That Be just want the Masked Manhunter to remain a bachelor within main continuity, or this was actually part of King’s grand scheme all along. Till will tell, of course, but I’m compelled to keep on reading.
So, despite those spoilers that have been floating around for the past few days, I urge you to still lay down some cash on Batman #50, as it’ll remain among King’s standout efforts once his run ultimately concludes. Where he takes our hero from here is anybody’s guess, but we all would be fools not to ride shotgun with Scott Snyder’s worthy successor.
Tom King's latest contribution to the Batman mythos is worth every penny, spoilers be damned.