Warning: This post contains spoilers about Batman and Catwoman’s wedding from Batman #50. Read at your own risk!
The big day came and went without a wedding; however, it wasn’t the Joker’s fault. In fact, what happened was far more heartbreaking.
Batman #50, a beautiful and emotional issue written by Tom King — with art from Mikel Janín and a host of past Bat-artists — chronicled the hours leading up to Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle’s wedding. The Bat and Cat were supposed to get married on a rooftop in their civilian identities; however, Selina decided not to go through with it at the last minute because she believed that a happy Batman — a man who turns pain into hope — would no longer be Batman, the man she loves and the hero the world needs. So, she left Bruce waiting at the proverbial altar. But, that wasn’t the issue’s only twist.
The final page of the issue reveals that Bane somehow masterminded this latest tragedy in the Caped Crusader’s life in order to break him — again.
So what’s next for Batman after being left at the altar? Well, the next 50 issues of King’s planned 100-issue run will dig into whether or not Batman can come back from this heartbreak, says the writer. Luckily, he’ll have some help from Dick Grayson, the original Boy Wonder.
“My job as a Batman writer is to show you something you’ve never seen before. A Batman who has been left at the altar, who was that close to happiness, and then to have it yanked away from him, that’s something you haven’t seen before,” King tells EW. “The next bunch of issues are exploring that pain and exploring him trying to get back from that pain. That’s the emotional part of it. You’re gonna see the original Robin comes back, sort of like your best friend living on your couch when your girlfriend leaves you.”
Adds King: “The plot part of it is that it’s revealed at the end of the issue that this marriage and happiness that Batman had achieved was being manipulated by Bane, and it was all in some way a setup to break him. That’s going to play out over the next 50 issues. So we’re halfway through what I hope to be an epic story of the Batman’s heart being broken and perhaps rebuilt and perhaps broken again.”
Since the Rebirth relaunch, Batman has explored whether or not the Dark Knight can ever be happy, and that question will continue to drive the rest of King’s run.
“If you look back at the very first issue, it looks like Batman’s going to die and he asks Alfred, ‘Would my parents be proud of me?’ This sort of idea that he was living his life for his parents, for their pride, I liked to think that him finding happiness is him [learning] how to live his life for himself,” says King. “We’re halfway through that journey. It’s a long story, a long journey. It could have a happy ending or a sad ending. You’re halfway through the movie now. You’re in the middle of Empire Strikes Back and Vader just showed up and took Han’s gun.”
Furthermore, it’s safe to assume that we’re far from done with the Batman-Catwoman of it all. As King previously told EW, this entire run is centered on this relationship.
Said King last October: “If you look back in issue #1, Catwoman is not in the issue, but we do alternative covers, and you’ll see that a lot of the alternative covers feature Catwoman because when they first asked ‘What is your run going to be about?’ way before I wrote it, I said, ‘It’s going to be about Catwoman and Batman.'”
Batman #50 is available for purchase now.