Previously in BATMAN, Booster Gold attempted to get his good pal Bruce Wayne the ultimate, albeit most unconventional, wedding gift. The superhero went back and time to save Bruce’s parents so that they could attend their son’s weddings, but that simple act caused great changes to time. Now, in BATMAN #46, Booster Gold has to fix all the damage he has caused before it is too late!

The wedding of the century is upon us, but new forces continue to threaten the union of Batman and Catwoman. So, will Booster Gold restore the reality we once knew?

Well, find out, right here!

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BATMAN #46 cover. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment. Catwoman’s costume on this cover is meant to bear a resemblance to Michelle Pfeiffer’s costume in the 1992 film, BATMAN RETURNS.

When There’s No Plan B

One year after the events of the last issue, Booster Gold breaks Catwoman out of Arkham Asylum.

His plan?

To have Catwoman and Bruce Wayne meet and fall in love in an effort to restore the original reality Booster Gold vastly altered when he went back in time to save Bruce’s parents. Unsurprisingly though, restoring the former reality is not as easy as Gold initially planned. We come to learn that the Catwoman in this new reality is actually a vicious serial killer who does not have that big of a vocabulary beyond the phrase, “Meow.”

In the meantime, Bruce’s father, Thomas, has been sent to the hospital in critical condition after he suddenly collapsed. Following this tragic event, we witness Bruce engage in prayer, begging for his dad’s life. This sequence sheds light on a rarely-seen facet of Bruce Wayne’s character: desperation.

BATMAN #45 Reminds Us Why You Should Always Stick to the Registry

Thankfully though, Thomas makes a breakthrough and returns home.

There, Booster Gold finally fulfills his plan to have Catwoman and Bruce meet so that they may fall in love and recover the universe.

This doesn’t go according to plan.

Catwoman begins a slaughter, viciously killing Bruce’s parents and perhaps Booster Gold. Even the “Dick Grayson Batman” comes onto the scene and meets his demise! As a result, the final page of BATMAN #46 depicts an eery parallel to the original murder of Bruce’s parents, leaving Bruce alone, screaming amidst the carnage.

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BATMAN #46 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The End of Our World

Writer Tom King renders BATMAN #46 a vast improvement upon its predecessor. As the story’s narrator, Booster Gold leads us to believe that this narrative will have an optimistic ending. Though, I can’t help but wonder if the issue’s gory conclusion was all a part of his plan. Sure, he continuously states that he believes love will conquer all if Catwoman and Bruce were to meet and is clearly shocked when she begins her killing.

However, what if he knew that romance wasn’t enough? What if he knew that the necessary catalyst to restore the original universe was the event that created Batman in the first place? BATMAN #46 also contains plenty of enjoyable ironies including the fact that Jason Todd is the CEO of Todd-Tire-Taze in this reality and that he is represented by The Dent Firm. I also enjoy the bit where Bruce’s mother tells him that he has never been the world’s greatest detective.

So, ultimately, this issue maintains great balance. Booster Gold brings plenty of light-hearted quips, deterring readers from the overarching ominous tone of the issue. Of course, though, this issue wouldn’t be so successful if it weren’t for its brutal, disturbing conclusion. For me, it was unexpected and certainly raises the stakes of Booster Gold’s catastrophic wedding gift.

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BATMAN #46 page 3. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of BATMAN #46

Similar to the narrative, the imagery of BATMAN #46 is also a vast improvement upon its predecessor. Firstly, I absolutely love Tony S. Daniel’s design of Catwoman’s costume. I love its epic introduction, as well as its parallels to the iconic Catwoman costume donned by Michelle Pfeiffer in BATMAN RETURNS.

Additionally, Daniel does an impeccable job in implementing emotional poignancy to each and every panel. For example, in the page above, we see Bruce and his father observing the chaos of their beloved city from above. Sure, they are a part of the most powerful family in Gotham City. Yet, their power does not change the hopelessness of the city as it burns right before their eyes.

Finally, the final sequence in which Catwoman slaughters Bruce’s parents must be mentioned. It is gory and exceedingly disturbing in nature, therefore establishing itself as a memorable sequence you only wish you’d forget.

What Lies Beyond

BATMAN #46 is shocking and awesome. It raises the stakes and will leave readers anticipating what’s to come. The wedding of the century was upon us. Now, a new reality threatens to eliminate that event from existence. So, what will become of this reality? We’ll just have to wait and see.

BATMAN #46 by Tom King, Tony S. Daniel, Sandu Florea, Tomeu Morey, & Clayton Cowles
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Characterization
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Summary
BATMAN #46 engages its readers with its thrilling action sequences and total immersion into this new reality. However, the issue's true success lies in its shocking final pages.
93 %
Bloody, Brave, and Bold
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