SPOILER ZONE! WARNING! WARNING! WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS MASSIVE SPOILERS FOR BATMAN #50! YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
If you're still reading I'm going to assume you don't care about spoilers, or you've read the issues in question.
Well. That was a bit of a kerfuffle, wasn't it?
DC have been building up to Batman and Catwoman's big day for some time now. There's been much discussion in the shop about whether the wedding would really happen, how being married would change the way Batman interacted with the world, and whether they'd just end up "fridging" Selina.
Well, now we know. Selina was convinced not to go through with it, because she's seen what the consequences of a happy Bruce Wayne are for everyone else. (Something I don't quite buy, but does make sense of the "The Gift" storyline...)
Lots of people are angry about this - writer Tom King's Twitter is on fire right now with people accusing him of cheap tricks, lying to the readers and all manner of other nefarious antics. And there is no doubt that readers were indeed lied too. They told us Batman and Catwoman were getting married. They told us a LOT.
And now Selina has jilted Bruce at the alter (well, the rooftop...) and gone off to star in her own book. But you know what? I don't care.
We got a beautiful story about a wedding. True, it was a wedding where no marriage took place, but it was still wonderful. There was much exploration of the history of the Bat/Cat relationship, courtesy of a veritable gallery of great Bat Artists dropping in pages (although I confess being very sad that Darwyn Cooke is no longer around to add his unique style to the festivities), there was genuinely moving interaction between Bruce and Alfred, and then THAT reveal at the end, showing us just where the betrayal really came from. (Not spoilering that - if you wanna know, check out the book...)
Now, I confess, this turn of events has caused me some annoyance. Just last week a couple came in the shop looking for a comic or a graphic novel they could give a friend of theirs as part of a wedding present.
I suggested they wait until today and then pick up a copy of Batman #50 - a comic about a wedding would make a great wedding present, surely?
Now I've read the damn thing a comic where the bride calls it all off because she genuinely believes the groom would be better left single seems a little less appropriate...
All is not lost though. I switched my recommendation to Batman Annual #2, and the story "Date Nights, Last Rites" which charts the relationship between Bruce and Selina from first meetings to old age. It's romantic as all heck, huge fun and pretty much perfect for two people setting out on a life together.
And that sort of makes my point. This wasn't the wedding I expected, and it wasn't the wedding I wanted. But on reflection we already had the wedding story I wanted - they just didn't get married in it. Why do the same thing again?
And there's a hint there. There's a future that has already been written in which Bruce and Selina grow old together. Tom King has been clear - we are fifty issues in to a one hundred issue mega arc exploring the Bat/Cat relationship. This story is far from over. But even if he hadn't been, it's obvious from the narrative that there is more of this to come.
So. Here's to Tom King. I've said many times that he's writing some of my favourite Batman stories in my thirty plus years of loving this character. I'm trusting him to do it right.