By Cat Wyatt
In the last issue of Batman, we saw the first half of the Best Man plot. Batman #49 continues the plot, and here we’ll have Selena coming to the rescue of Batman. This is uncommon enough to be interesting, so it’s something that many fans have likely been looking forward to.
Unsurprisingly, this issue picks up almost exactly where the last one left off. The Joker is hanging around in the church he’s been messing around with, half of the place having been blown to hell, Batman is unconscious somewhere, and there’s a ton of dead bodies all over the place. Oh, and Selena has just dramatically walked in. Somehow despite all of the chaos, the stained glass windows have survived – an interesting point, all things considered. Obviously, Selena probably isn’t terribly happy about what she’s walked in on. After all, her fiancé is lying unconscious or worse. You’d think this would immediately result in a fight, no room for chatting allowed. And you’d be wrong.
Its times like these we’re forced to remember that Catwoman and the Joker have a past, and not one like he and Batman share. After all, Catwoman isn’t exactly a hero. Still, it’s easy to forget that these two have worked together, even if they didn’t exactly enjoy doing so. Therefore their reminiscing here may be jarring to some – an uncomfortable reminder that our gray-scale character played with darker elements in her past.
On the bright side, once they’re done talking about the past, the fight finally begins. It’s pretty short and brutal, but let’s be honest here – can we expect anything less from a fight between the Joker and Catwoman?
Before you know it, the fight is over, and it doesn’t end in any way one would guess. Joker is lying on the ground with his throat cut, courtesy of Catwoman’s claws. He’s alive, but only as long as he can keep the pressure on his throat. Meanwhile, Catwoman has taken a gunshot to her gut. So she’s down and out as well. She’s okay, for the moment, but she also needs to keep the pressure on her wound.
Of course, we all know that keeping pressure to these wounds will only buy so much time. In fact, its borderline difficult to believe how long these two held on without medical help. But let’s suspend the disbelief for a few minutes so we can enjoy the issue.
Let’s be clear on the situation right now. Joker is injured and can’t make any moves towards Catwoman. He still has his gun, but it’s empty and reloading it takes two hands. So in order to load it, he’d have to let go of his throat, allowing the blood to start freely flowing again. From there it’s anyone’s guess how long he’d last before passing out.
Meanwhile, Catwoman’s best weapons are her whips and her claws. No idea where her whip went during the fight and at least one hand is occupied by her wound. She’s close enough where she could claw Joker some more if she felt so inclined, but realistically it’d take more energy than she’d be willing to expend, and it’d be for minimal gain anyway.
So really all there’s left to do at this point is talk. It’s that or wait for death and/or help in silence. Finally, they have an opportunity to ask the questions they’ve always wanted, like why Penguin always carries an umbrella and other very important things like that.
There’s also time to talk about other important things, like the fact that Harvey was the glue to their little gang, oh so long ago. It seems like Joker hasn’t been in communication with Harvey lately, which actually makes sense. He’s been a bit busy lately, after all.
There’s also a conversation to be had about Catwoman’s marriage to Batman. Obviously, the Joker has issues admitting that anyone is more important to Batman than himself. To Joker Batman is his whole world, and vice versa. So this wedding has really been messing with his head, hence this whole situation.
He did make some good points, despite his insane rambling. He truly believes that if Batman were to be happy, then he would no longer be Batman. There’s logic to this argument, as Batman would never have become what he is without the tragedy in his past. So in Joker’s mind, he has to keep Batman from being happy in order to keep him being Batman. In a sense, he’s preserving the essence of Batman, at least in his own mind.
Unfortunately, that requires him to stop Catwoman from marrying him, even if that means killing her. Thankfully there’s that whole situation we talked about earlier, where the Joker has to let go of his injury in order to reload. So that’s something at least.
The ending of this issue is mildly worrying. Likely it’s nothing, but considering the Joker’s tendency to use his toxin on others to make them laugh… it’s hard not to be concerned whenever we see a character laughing out of context. Fingers crossed that it’s nothing here…
This is an odd issue, to be sure. In some ways it’s better than the first part of this, in that at least they’re not having Batman act out of character. Unless you count him being knocked out for being so long as out of character…and you’d have a pretty solid argument for that. It’s likely that anybody with any sort of medical training will be screaming at the pages for this one, but besides that, it was somewhat interesting. It’s not every day we get to see Catwoman and Joker interact anymore, so it’s sort of refreshing in its own way, even if they are trying to kill each other here.
Publisher: DC Comics