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Review: "Batman" #50 Has (and Should) Upset Batman Fans


This article will contain major spoilers for Batman #50 by Tom King, Mikel Janin, June Chung and Clayton Cowles.

Yeah, I didn't want to hate this book. In fact, I thought the hate was overrated. Surely it couldn't be as bad as everyone said. It is.

In this book, the long engagement between Batman and Catwoman was finally supposed to end. Well, that did happen.

First, the good. The writing is good, very emotional without getting overly sentimental. Watching them plan this spontaneous wedding was fun. IF a wedding was going to take place between Batman and Catwoman, this is how it might go. I wondered how these two could get married without losing their anonymity, and they solved it by getting a judge so drunk he wouldn't remember it. They also decided to get married on a rooftop, a fitting symbol of their relationship. The artwork is really beautiful, especially in the pinups that make up most of the book from famous artists like Frank Miller, Neal Adams, and many more.

Now the bad, which is pretty much everything else.

Since DC and the New York Times didn't mind doing it, I'll spoil it: Batman and Catwoman do NOT get married in this issue. Since the cover is labeled "The Wedding," this is pretty much false advertising from jump street. The real twist in the end (which I won't spoil) is a good one, and I won't even say it's out of character since a happy Batman would fundamentally alter his character, and Catwoman should and would know that. At the same time, it's hard not to feel cheated.

The wedding of Batman has been hyped bigger than any recent comic event since Hydra-Captain America. Maybe even since the death of Superman. The wedding was set up over a year ago when Batman proposed in Batman #24, and DC put out spin-offs and one-shots leading up to the "happy day" by the ton. Comic shops were encouraged to stay open late, and some of them even had wedding parties complete with cake.

With that much hype, like the death of Superman, you can't cop out. If the "Death of Superman" issue had ended with Superman falling down after the death of Doomsday, then popping back up and saying, "I'm okay," this angry reaction is what you would get.

It's not that I don't understand why they stopped the wedding. Superheroes getting married rarely works. One of the few exceptions that proved the rule is Peter Parker and MJ. But for other heroes like Batman and Superman, their isolation and desperate longing for another is part of their heroism. They sacrifice their happiness for the greater good. Again, a happily married Batman isn't Batman.

But leaving Batman at the altar was not the solution. They could have gotten married, and then Catwoman abandoned him, setting up a "where is Catwoman" storyline where she eventually divorced him. They could have gotten married and then have Catwoman get killed by Bane, setting up a "death of Catwoman" event. I'm not saying these would have been good, mind you. My point is that there are so many ways they could have copped out, and this was the absolute worst. If they knew they weren't going to do a wedding, they shouldn't have hyped it so much. This was just a "gotcha" cash grab because the only reason anyone who wasn't a longtime reader would buy it is to see Batman get married. To not have a wedding shows DC just wanted people to buy this issue without having to follow through.

I also thought the comic itself was flawed. While the pinups were nice and romantic, they felt more like a way to pad out the page count than necessary. If you took out the pinups and put them at the back of the book, you'd probably get ten pages of actual story.

Another minor point is that the cover and promos for the issue said friends and enemies would be at the wedding. I expected a big church wedding for one of the richest and most powerful heroes. But there's just Alfred and Selina's friend standing on a roof. No Superman, no Wonder Woman, no Joker, not even Robin.

Another minor point is that Catwoman and Batman spent a LOT of time talking about how they first noticed each other's eyes, completely ignoring the fact that both Batman and Catwoman wear lenses to hide their eyes in most versions of their costumes.

It's a shame that DC decided to cheat its fans by overly promoting the wedding at all, because this could have been a very good book for Batman fans with good art and a nice twist. I hope DC suffers major backlash to teach them and other publishers the consequences of lying to their fans.

Did you read it? What do you think about Batman's wedding?

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