BATMAN #50 brings the event of the summer to life, the wedding everyone has been awaiting. The marriage between Batman and Catwoman is here at last!

Now, this issue isn’t another ordinary work. This issue is a giant-sized one, abundant with an extensive guest list of notable artists. Unfortunately though, it also features an ending most people saw coming: a wedding that fails to take place. Yes, the most anticipated comic book event of the summer doesn’t happen.

Catwoman makes the ultimate, tragic decision to not wed her love and though it is a predictable decision, it is one that makes sense.

Here’s why.

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BATMAN #50 page 24 & 25. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

Love is Never Enough

So, BATMAN #50 kicks off with Batman and Catwoman fighting Kite Man on a rooftop. Despite the chaotic events of the last issue, Tom King does not reference them in this issue at all. I found this exclusion to be a tad disappointing, but I digress. At the end of the fight, the couple spontaneously decides to wed that very night at dawn on a classic Gotham City rooftop.

Now, the primary narrative of the wedding preparation intersects with letters Bruce and Selina wrote each other. Bruce’s letter is full of hope, hope that his marriage to the Cat will render him more than a man in pain. He believes that he may actually be able to attain complete happiness for once in his life. This is an interesting development to witness since Batman and happiness have historically struggled to coexist.

Though this would seem to be a positive development of Batman’s character, it is one that strikes an uneasy chord with his fiancée. As Selina talks to Holly Robinson, her witness of choice, Holly points out that she’s astonished to see Batman so happy. She never believed that he could exist without the misery within him, the misery that made him who he is.

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Bred By Misery

In that moment of revelation, Selina makes a decision. She realizes she cannot marry Bruce because Batman cannot be with anyone. She must sacrifice her love for him so that he can continue being loyal to his beloved city. To her, Batman cannot truly exist without the pain that birthed him. He cannot prioritize the needs of his city when he has to consider the needs of another.

Thus, Catwoman makes the ultimate sacrifice so that she can save Batman in the long-run. As a result of this sacrifice, we come to realize that Catwoman does indeed know Bruce inside and out. She understands the complexities of his identity in addition to the sacrifices required to maintain it.

This moment, though tragic and predictable, is the strongest aspect of this narrative. It will not necessarily contribute to a totally memorable turn of events that the anticipation to BATMAN #50 led us to believe. However, it is still a poignant moment that reveals a tragic truth of Batman we have always known: he is destined to be alone.

Now, there are other moments that contribute to the pros of BATMAN #50. The special moment between Alfred and Bruce where Bruce acknowledges how loyal Alfred has been as a father figure and friend is particularly heartwarming. Also, the final panel featuring Bane planning an attack on a weakened Batman sets up an intriguing plot line that we will witness soon.

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BATMAN #50 Variant Cover by Joe Jusko. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of BATMAN #50

Now, the most memorable aspect of BATMAN #50 is undoubtedly the artwork. Per usual, Mikel Janin and June Chung are exceptional in their work throughout. However, the stand out panels lies in those of the contributing artists. From Tim Sale to Hi-Fi, a multitude of memorable artists who have once contributed to the Batman mythos served as guests to this big event.

Together, they created the perfect wedding gift by honoring Batman and Catwoman’s complicated legacy in the form of art. Their work provides a gorgeous juxtaposition to the letters Batman and Catwoman write to each other in the issue. They also exemplify the uniqueness of each and every artist.

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Thus, the decision to include so many artists in one issue showcases the overarching beauty of comic book art. It comes in so many different forms from so many different kinds of individuals. Thus, I feel as though BATMAN #50 celebrates comic book art and the way it encapsulates the history of such iconic characters.

Also, the many variant covers to this issue were magnificent. My personal favorite is the one featured in this very article from the iconic Jim Lee. The image captures the tragedy of BATMAN #50 as well as the darkness Catwoman is not willing to take from Batman through their marriage.

What Lies Beyond

So, did the big event of BATMAN #50 live up to the hype? I honestly don’t know. Part of me hates how predictable this issue was while the other part loves Catwoman’s role in the work. Her sacrifice is a tragic one, but it is one that will save Batman himself.

Ultimately though, I feel as though this issue isn’t as memorable as it was made to seem in its anticipation. I found its predecessor to be more impactful. Also, the upcoming issues will cast a shadow over BATMAN #50 as it stems off of this issue to commence their own narrative.

So, if you want to remember some of the happier times between the now-former couple, be sure to revisit our reviews for issues such as BATMAN #49 and BATMAN #44 along with others, right here!

It will be interesting to see how the consequences of Batman and Catwoman’s breakup radiate in each of their lives. What we can be sure of though is that neither of them is at their best right now.

BATMAN #50 by Various
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Summary
BATMAN #50 doesn't necessarily live up to the hype, but it does have its moments, particularly through its exceptional collection of artwork.
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misery prevails
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One Comment

  1. […] This particular sequence is actually quite melancholy, one that provides The Penguin with an unexpected level of emotional gravity that proves to be the issue’s best aspect. Now, The Penguin’s resurgence into Gotham City is accompanied by his latest alliance with Bane. Of course, Bane was revealed to be the ultimate conspirator against Batman throughout this run back in BATMAN #50. […]

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