Writer: Tom King
Artist: Mikel Janin
Colorist: June Chung
Letterer: Clayton Cowles
Publisher: DC Comics
Review by Greg Brothers
Here we are at the wedding of the century. Ever since the engagement of the bat and the cat back in Batman #32, King’s run has focused on the upcoming nuptials of the duo. We are not talking about picking the flowers and making a guest list focus, but instead the waves that the engagement has indirectly caused and how it affects both the couple and others. It has lead to some of the most humanizing stories ever told in the history of the Dark Knight.
For some, Batman #50 was spoiled by a New York Times story that came out on Sunday. Even though it may have been spoiled for some I will not be discussing the actual events of the issue here. I will say that there is a rather big reveal at the end of the issue that has not been in any of the spoilers that I have seen. So, with that here is the rest of the review.
As I mentioned, much of King’s run has been some of the most humanizing stories in the history of Batman. Way back in the “I am Bane” arc we saw that Batman and Cat Woman have written letters to each other while she was locked away at Arkham. Since she was released, and their engagement started, they have not had much time to write to each other. Batman #50 resolves that. The couple has decided that they will write to each other one more time as an unmarried couple. The letter from each of them in intertwined with the current events leading up to the wedding ceremony. It allows for King to expose the emotions that each are feeling as the ceremony approaches. Each panel with the excerpts from the letter are splash pages from artist’s previous works of the couple. It serves as a great reminder at just how long and complicated the relationship between the two has been.
The dialogue within those letters feels real, and it’s true to what the characters have meant to each other over time. You can almost feel the love that they have for each other within those words that King so brilliantly weaves. It is not just the letters that create and build the emotion throughout. There are a few panels between Bruce and Alfred that will truly put a lump in your throat. There are parts where both Bruce and Selina question what it takes to be a hero and particularly what Bruce needs to be Batman. Once again, some of those panels in particular are a gut punch as the story continues.
The main art from Janin and Chung is done perfectly. The shift from happiness, to nervousness, to excitement helps to build the emotions throughout. The coloring and shadows highlight the important parts of the panels. The lines are sharp and defined. The full pages of art, done by a who’s who of artists, are executed effortlessly.
Verdict: Buy it.
Batman #50 brings a lot of the themes that have been present in King’s run to the forefront. Can Batman be happy? Is Catwoman a hero? These questions are all addressed here in a way that creates a truly affecting tale that will leave you emotionally drained, while also getting you excited for the next phase of King’s story telling. Grab a copy and prepare yourself for some brilliant storytelling.