Published on August 24th, 2018 | by The Riz0
Batman #50 (Spoiler-free!)
Proving he is a better reviewer than the NY Times, The Riz’s takes on the challenge of penning a NON-SPOILER FILLED review of Batman #50.
(The only “spoiler” detail has to do with weddings themselves. If you have never been to a wedding, and want a surprise, then you may want to skip paragraph five.)
When a comic story is being released that is tying up a story line that, could be argued, started over 50 years ago, there is bound to the natural mix of curiosity and criticism. Given the hype around current Batman writer Tom King as a comic writer extraordinaire, which he is definitely proving himself to be, the recently released Batman and Catwoman wedding issue Batman #50 is a story that cannot possibly live up to all readers’ expectations.
As we’ve seen with the new Star Wars releases and the Solo: A Star Wars Movie (which I liked, thank you very much), fandom, unfortunately, can turn on itself with readers or viewers unhappy with a story or storyline about characters they do not own, did not create, and have no say in the creative process. Yet somehow, they want all their expectations met instead of being happy the story is happening in the first place.
I digress…a little…
Given the majorly spoiler filled NY Times review released a week before the issue came out, King’s late night TV appearance on Seth Meyers, artist Joelle Jones’ iconic wedding dress, and the state of reinvention DC comics is currently embarking, Batman #50 had a huge hype before its release furthered with comic stores having “wedding receptions,” complete with wedding cake, and even DC comics creating a wedding playlist on Spotify.
Batman #50 is well-crafted story of two unnaturally lived lives trying to introduce an aspect of normalcy. The story is intimate and surprisingly soft-spoken, creating the mood of pre-wedding jitters while making last minute arrangements such as making sure the maid of honour can be released from Arkham Asylum in time for the wedding. (Wait, is that a spoiler? Not really…this is more difficult than I thought…).
King has a great sense of introducing the “everyday” into superheroes heightened realities like Mr. Miracle and Big Barda discussing home decoration ideas while breaking into Orion’s chamber on Apokolips. In Batman #50, readers see the bride and groom preparing for the wedding in separate, yet parallel, discussions and actions coalescing into a double page spread where the two stories combine and the respective couple see each other for the first time. It is as endearing and as sweet as any wedding should be.
By now, my newly minted Feedback Followers, many of you have either read the book, read the NY Times review, or heard other spoilers. As a friendly reminder, there is the choice to NOT read spoiler filled reviews or ignore your know-it-all friends that want the inside scope then revel in attempts to ruin it for you. Yes, it is increasingly difficult, but preserver; it is possible to enjoy pop culture on your own terms without other informational insistence.
Batman #50 is a story that can be reread and reexamined, much like viewing Fight Club for the first time to see if the story holds up knowing what happens and the style of the story. And that is exactly what I am planning on doing.
The story itself has an epic feel to it with 21 artists including Frank Miller, Amanda Conner, and Adam Hughes, drawing their versions of the iconic anti-couple in varying styles and time periods. Much like memories themselves, the events of the day can be quiet while the emotional backstory is immense.
For my money, time, and attention span, the previous issue, Batman #49, is one of the greatest single comic issues ever written. The majority of the story takes place with the two lead characters, Catwoman and the Joker, unable to move, talking, trying to figure out who will kill who first. It’s the comic adaptation of a Quentin Tarantino / Kevin Smith version of Saw written for live theatre. Someone needs to produce a live version play based on Batman #49. Ok, I’ll do it…
King has set things in motion that are going to create a continuation of groundbreaking stories. Despite the spoilers, and your annoying know-it-all friends, check out Batman #50.
Can’t wait to see what King has in store for our Cowled Crimefighter couple!