The wedding we have all been waiting for is upon us as Batman and Catwoman are finally tying the knot! BATMAN #44 features the introduction to that highly-anticipated event as we witness Selina Kyle reminisce about her complex history with Bruce Wayne.

In this issue, writer Tom King brings a stripped down work to the table that ultimately provides a refreshing transition from the intensity of the recent “Everyone Loves Ivy” story arc. As a result, BATMAN #44 might not be what you’re expecting. It moves at a slow-pace and primarily focuses on the narrative through Selina Kyle’s perspective. However, it is without a doubt an engaging and unexpectedly emotional issue that traverses the notable saga between two comic book icons.

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BATMAN #44 Cover. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Cat and the Bat

BATMAN #44 takes place through the lens of Catwoman’s own psyche. At the beginning of the issue, she’s having some trouble sleeping, seemingly due to the apprehension of her upcoming wedding. So, to ease her inability to sleep, Selina goes exploring, specifically for wedding dresses. As she does so, we witness a juxtaposition of her search for the perfect dress with a retrospection of her past experiences with Batman.

Now, these memories exemplify the complex history between the two characters. However, they also affirm the pull Catwoman and Batman have always had towards each other. They have fought as enemies and as allies. However, their paths have always been tied despite their alliances. So, it’s satisfying to finally see the two lives finally merge since they have always been intertwined anyway.

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BATMAN #44 concludes on a particularly uplifting note. After considering several dress options, Selina finally picks the dress for her: a black and white ensemble that perfectly exemplifies her persona. Following her selection, she sneaks back into bed with Bruce in the early hours of the morning, finally falling asleep.

In regard to the conclusion, I love the way King exemplifies the idea that these two opposite people bring solace to each other. They have had different experiences and personas, but the inevitable pull they have to each other also serves as the peace that subsides the chaos in themselves.

So, yes, BATMAN #44 is a simple issue that doesn’t necessarily impact the overarching plot. However, it’s without a doubt full of heart.

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BATMAN #44 Variant Cover. Image courtesy of DC Entertainment.

The Many Hues of BATMAN #44

The artwork of this issue is by far the most impressive aspect of BATMAN #44. Mikel Janin and Joelle Jones’ imagery serves as BATMAN #44’s narration. In regard to the narrative taking place in the present, Selina never speaks. Rather, we follow her actions and expressions. So, thanks to Janin and Jones’ artistic skill, we understand every emotion Selina experiences. We engage with her apprehension as well as her satisfaction in finding a dress and, ultimately, sleep.

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Janin and Jones implement abundant detail to each and every panel of this issue. Additionally, colorists Jordie Bellaire and June Chung exhibit a gorgeous balance between light and dark tones that parallel Catwoman’s emotions throughout the work. I particularly enjoy the warmer tones exhibited in the final page of BATMAN #44 that offset the darker hues in the beginning when Selina is having trouble sleeping.

Thus, to accompany the narrative, the imagery of BATMAN #44 bolsters the cohesive nature of this installment in the BATMAN mythos.

What Lies Beyond for the Bat and the Cat

So, overall, BATMAN #44 is a solid work. It moves at a slower pace than some of the recent BATMAN issues. However, it’s refreshing and necessary. King allows us to take a step back and reflect on the journeys of the iconic Batman and Catwoman. Their road to marriage has not been particularly easy. However, they have been able to make it to this point.

Thus, this issue feels quite celebratory in nature. Mostly though, it’s an uplifting issue that reminds us that these iconic vigilantes are indeed human.

BATMAN #44 by Tom King, Mikel Janin, Joelle Jones, June Chung, Jordie Bellaire
Art
Characterization
Plot
Summary
Through some impeccable art and poignant characterization, BATMAN #44 brings us into Catwoman's psyche as we take one step closer to one of the most highly-anticipated weddings in comic book history.
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