After months and months of anticipation, the wedding between Batman and Catwoman is almost here! However, when you spend your life as a costumed crimefighter, wedding planning doesn’t exactly come easy. BATMAN #48 proves why — as The Joker torments a newlywed couple in a church — causing Batman to come and save the day.

Unsurprisingly though, this latest act of crime from The Joker is more than an act to terrorize a couple, it comes with an ulterior motive. Now, that just happens to be a plea to serve as Batman’s best man. Thus, BATMAN #48 presents readers with a tale that dives into the psyche of The Clown Prince of Crime himself, traversing his perception of the complicated relationship he has always had with The Dark Knight.

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BATMAN #48 page 2. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Clown, The Bat, and The Cat

BATMAN #48 kicks off with The Joker taking a newlywed couple hostage. As the groom fervently prays for salvation, Joker shoots him without hesitation. Suddenly, Batman crashes into the church as The Joker threatens to kill the bride as well, which he immediately does.

A fistfight ensues between the two, one narrated by The Joker. He gives a convoluted monologue about Batman’s impending wedding and the tale of how he allegedly murdered his mother. Ultimately, his tale seems to affirm his belief in everything being a product of chaos.

Additionally, he asks to be Batman’s best man right before one of his bomb blows off. The bomb renders Batman unconscious and at the mercy of The Joker. Though, Batman is not alone. The final page depicts Catwoman observing the carnage, preparing to make her entrance.

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Overall, BATMAN #48 is not a bad work. The Joker’s commentary on chaos is somewhat interesting. Though, it can be lost in the chaos of his own narration. Writer Tom King also implements some subtle humor into the work, most prominent at the moment when Batman and The Joker pray together.

In general, though, the issue doesn’t bring anything new to the table just as many of the last few BATMAN issues leading up to the wedding have. Joker’s narration can be engaging at times, but its overarching convolution makes it redundant. So, due to the state of the last few BATMAN installments, we can expect BATMAN #49 to parallel the filler nature of this issue.

Hopefully, though, these unfortunately uninspiring works are leading towards something magnificent in the highly-anticipated BATMAN #50.

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BATMAN #48 page 4. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of BATMAN #48

BATMAN #48’s strongest aspect lies in its artwork from artist Mikel Janin and colorist June Chung. Chung’s palette is simple, usually implementing neutral tones that contrast’s The Joker’s dominant purple hue. Now, the artistic decision to make The Joker stand out in his purple tuxedo truly renders him the centerpiece of this issue.

This technique parallels the simplicity of King’s narrative. Also, it emphasizes the issue’s reliance on dialogue, albeit one-sided dialogue, rather than action. Interestingly though, the moments that interrupt those sequences of dialogue are depicted in a grand, colorful manner that juxtaposes the neutrality of the issue. This is most exemplified in the explosion that takes place at the end of the issue and unexpectedly leaves Batman at The Joker’s mercy.

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So, though the narrative falters throughout, the artistic depiction of that narrative makes for a more engaging story. Janin and Chung never falter in their attention to detail. Most importantly though, they capture the intimacy of the narrative that focuses on the relationship between The Bat and the Clown through the lens of The Joker himself.

What Lies Beyond

BATMAN #48 is unfortunately quite a forgettable issue within the BATMAN run. It moves at a slow pace and seems to present a predictable outcome that will reveal itself in the upcoming installment. Now, these faults seem to be a product of the overarching anticipation for BATMAN #50.

With the big day on the horizon, writers may not want any preceding issues to overshadow the grand event. As a result, readers are presented with a few installments of filler that make for unsatisfying works. So, hopefully, the anticipation and issues leading to the wedding of the century are worth it.

BATMAN #48 by Tom King, Mikel Janin, June Chung, & Clayton Cowles
Art
Characterization
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Summary
BATMAN #48 feels like another addition of filler to the BATMAN run since nothing new is instilled in its primary characters or plot.
70 %
just chugging along
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