Subway Shorts – Batman 49

On the eve of her wedding to Batman, Catwoman tries to save her man from the Joker and has a nice trip down memory lane.

Batman 49
Written by Tom King 
Pencils and Inks by Mikel Janin 
Colors by June Chung 

On the heels of the confrontation between Joker and Batman LAST ISSUE, Selina Kyle jumps in to the church where Joker murdered an entire wedding and tries to save her husband-to-be. She battles the Joker briefly. He shoots her, she slits his throat, and neither can continue the fight, lying amongst the rubble trying not to die.

And that’s where the real story begins.

King spends the rest of the issue scripting a conversation between two of Batman’s most notable rogues, as they reminisce about the old days and gossip about their friends. Catwoman and Joker have a long history with each other, and KIng’s story makes it clear that they have just as much interaction as either of them do with the Caped Crusader. And while Catwoman is the one about to marry him, Joker shows her how much he cares about Batman, too. He wants to disrupt the wedding not to cause chaos or bring pain to Batman, but to ensure that Batman goes on. Because if Batman gets even a little bit of happiness, the Clown Prince of Crime posits, he’s no longer Batman.

It’s a little selfish, sure, but it’s the Joker. His motives aren’t necessarily ever altruistic.

There’s a reason King’s writing has been celebrated during his run on Batman, but he particularly shines in issues like this one, where he can get inside the heads of his characters and really show the readers what makes them tick. For all the stories told about Catwoman over the years, her appearances in King’s Batman is probably the most in-depth into her psyche readers have ever been. It’ll be interesting to see if there are any ramifications from her confrontation with Joker here, especially with the wedding coming up in two weeks.

Either way, this was another standout issue from King, and should be discussed as a classic in the years to come.