Subway Shorts – Batman 50

The biggest issue of Batman in years is out! We’ve been counting down the days to the wedding of the Caped Crusader and Catwoman! But things never go as planned in Gotham.

Batman 50
Written by Tom King
Main Story Art by Mikel Janin 
Guest Art by… pretty much everyone

Despite the spoilers in the New York Times and everyone discussing the spoilers in the New York Times on Twitter, I somehow managed to avoid finding out how this issue ended. But as I got through the book today, I can’t say that I was surprised by the result.

King has been building up to this story for months, but the real giveaway as to where it was going came in the LAST ISSUE, which had Catwoman battling Joker and Joker planting some seeds of doubt in Catwoman’s head. That carries over here, though it’s not just Selina Kyle wondering if allowing Bruce Wayne to be happy will cause problems for Batman. Bruce clearly has some doubts, too.

For all his doubts, though, Bruce has Alfred, who wants nothing more than for his charge to be happy. Selina Kyle, though, doesn’t necessarily have the same encouragement from her maid of honor, Holly. Holly, who Selina brought into Wayne Manor as the couple prepared for their ceremony, sows that seed of doubt that Joker planted in the last issue. And it seems to be too much for Selina, who leaves Bruce at the altar… well, the rooftop where they planned to get married with a drunk kidnapped judge.

Holly had her own agenda, and it seems to be aligned with the Joker’s. And someone else’s…

After the New York Times article came out that spoiled the ending (seriously, I didn’t read it), King took to Twitter to try and calm some fans down. He said that the story wasn’t spoiled, because his run is meant as a 100-issue examination of the love between Batman and Catwoman, which means we’ve only just gotten to the halfway point. The second half looks like it’s probably going to be pretty explosive if Bane organized a mental attack on Batman that rivals his plan that resulted in Batman’s broken back 25 years ago.

I didn’t mind the twist, even though there were special issues leading into the wedding where most of what was established was essentially ignored here. That collected edition is going to be kind of weird. With all the build-up over the last few months, this issue had no Nightwing or Batgirl, no Robin, no Superman. I bought each of those “Prelude to the Wedding” issues, even though I had a hunch they would be made apocryphal before the story was over. Thankfully, most of them were fun reads, just like this was. King’s next 50 issues – if he’s allowed to get there – should be pretty good, too.

Mikel Janin’s work is, again, top notch here, and we get a barrage of guest artists illustrating passages from the letters Batman and Catwoman wrote to each other. Pretty much all of them could be turned into posters. So many beautiful interpretations throughout this issue.

Will we eventually see Bruce and Selina get married? After this, I somehow doubt it. After months of DC Comics promoting this issue with a wedding that didn’t even come close to happening, it’s possible the writing is on the wall for Bruce Wayne’s marital status.