By Cat Wyatt
It’s the time we’ve all been waiting for: Batman the Wedding is finally here. Finally, we get to see what they’ve been building up to for the past few months. For those unaware; Batman and Catwoman are planning to get married, and yes you read that right. The marriage is between Batman and Catwoman, not Bruce Wayne and Selena Kyle.
This issue is longer than normal, coming in at 43 pages in total. This is partially to do with the major event occurring, and partially a combination of this being the 50th issue as well as an anniversary issue. Pretty clever that they planned to have the Wedding occur at the same time.
The Wedding is told in a different storytelling style than usual. It switches back and forth between full-page images, some of which are overlaid with text, and pages showing us the current continuity. Most of the full page images are pulls from older Batman comics, showing us the history of Batman and Catwoman.
This issue begins with Batman and Catwoman fighting a villain together. To be honest, they probably didn’t need to team up against Kite Man, but it’s more romantic this way or something. They’ve decided that enough is enough; it’s time to get married. No more waiting around, just grab a judge and two witnesses and be done with it. It doesn’t sound terribly romantic, but this is Batman and Catwoman we’re talking about. It works for them, as does the idea of a rooftop wedding.
So it’s settled. They’re going to have a rooftop wedding. Batman will track down the judge, and they’ll both provide a witness to the quiet event. They could invite the rest of their superhero friends, but realistically the more time they spend trying to arrange this the more likely an interruption will come up. Plus we know that Joker is actively looking to interfere with the wedding…so it’s probably a good call.
It doesn’t take long for Batman to find a judge. Admittedly that’s probably an accurate point; if anybody has memorized the night habits of judges, it’s Batman. How else can he stop by and make sure they’re not being bribed on the side or something nefarious like that?
Meanwhile Catwoman is at Arkham. Don’t worry, it isn’t what you think. She hasn’t been arrested again. She’s merely arranging a temporary breakout for her lovely witness. Fans of Catwoman were probably not even remotely surprised by Holly’s appearance here; after all she is Selena’s oldest friend.
Batman would probably be mad if he knew what Selena was doing here…but he’d also be furious if he knew about the wedding dress. So what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him, right? After all, if they’re going to make this work they both have to allow each other their outlets.
The next couple of pages are interesting. They’re both older images pulled from the comics, but more importantly they’re talking about the first time they met. Interestingly enough each of them remembers a different tale. Could it be they remember the first time they made note of the other, as opposed to their actual meeting? Or is something else going on here?
Back to the present, as we theorized even this little bit of time spent gathering people has caused some distractions. Batman is hunting down Tweedle Dee while Catwoman is in the sewers taking care of Tweedle Dum. It’s interesting that one of them managed to get arrested without the other – you don’t see that happening often. But at least they’re both together now.
The monologues over the old images keep going back to the same point. They keep taking about their eyes. How Batman’s eyes spoke to Catwoman, and vice versa. It’s a true love story in the making, if you read it the right way.
While Catwoman is getting ready for the wedding, which admittedly was probably taking longer for her, Batman is also settling in for his preparations. He hasn’t collected his witness yet, but he got the judge. Speaking of the judge, apparently he’s an alcoholic and can be counted on to not remember what he did in the morning. Romanic. Also makes you wonder why they’re bothering. If they’re not going to submit the paperwork for it, or have a judge do that for them, then there’s no need to worry about the appearance of it being legal. At least in theory. Presumably it mattered to one of them. Probably Batman.
Selena looks striking in her gown – there’s no point in denying it. Meanwhile Batman looks dashing in his tux. Alfred looks ready to cry. Speaking of Alfred, would you like to take a guess at who will be Batman’s witness? There are plenty of people he could have chosen from, such as Superman, his supposed Best Man. But he chose Alfred. It fits, when you stop and think about it. It was a nice personal touch too, and it has the added bonus of keeping all of the characters as ones from the Batman series.
While it’s traditional for the bridge and groom not to see each other before the wedding, it’s obvious that Batman and Catwoman are not traditional people. After all, they’re getting married on a rooftop with minimal witnesses, a drunk judge, and don’t forget they’re not even using their legal names for this thing. So yeah, it holds up that they’d see each other beforehand. At least they got to see each other in a well-lit area first.
There’s a lot more to the monologue going on in between the main continuity pages here. Our characters are wondering about their quality as people, their rights to happiness, or more accurately, their ability to be happy. These are common subjects and musings, especially for Batman. It’s no surprise they got brought up now, right before what should be the happiest moment of Batman’s life.
As it turns out, it wasn’t. There was a mix up. They had agreed to meet on the very same rooftop that they both met that first time. But remember earlier, when we were talking about how they had different first memories of each other?
It’s hard to believe that something so little would derail a wedding like this; that they wouldn’t go and seek each other out, demanding an explanation. But no, they both accepted it for what they thought it was. That or there’s something bigger going on here. More likely it’s the former, and since neither have high self-esteem it was far too easy for them to assume the other bailed on them.
For an issue that they’ve been building up to for the better part of a year...this was only okay. If they hadn’t been pushing out so many issues focused on it things might have felt differently, but in truth this really ends up feeling like a copout. They didn’t go through with the big event they were promising us, and while skeptics were expecting that anyway, it was still disappointing. Worse, the reason for the wedding not happening felt very weak, childish almost. It’s hard not to feel disappointed here.
On the bright side it was wonderful getting a chance to see a collection of Batman and Catwoman artwork from throughout the ages. While it would only take a google search to see a dozen of them, there’s something oddly satisfying seeing them setup in this format. Plus they did help to tell the story here, which is a huge bonus.