A little more than a year ago, in the pages of Batman #24, Batman proposed to Catwoman. She eventually said yes, and one of the most anticipated superhero weddings ever dreamed up by comics creators was set. This month, the wedding is set to take place in the pages of Batman #50, but DC Comics is letting some spoilers slip a few days early with a little help from The New York Times.
**Spoiler Warning: The are spoilers for Batman #50 below**
The anticipation for Batman #50, from writer Tom King, penciller Mikel Janin, and a host of guest artists along for the special issue has been building for months, with the main series story barreling forward while special wedding prelude issues pitting various heroes and villains against one another also arrived. The full issue arrives in comic shops July 4, with some even hosting midnight release events for eager readers. Even with all that buildup, though, DC's PR team dropped a bombshell over the weekend in the Times' Weddings section.
Seriously, we're about to reveal some big stuff, so if you're trying to wait until the issue hits Wednesday, now's the time to click away. Here, have a look at the issue's cover if you need a moment to think about it.
Much of the issue, as could be expected, is spent on a build-up to the big moment as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle each prepare for the ceremony as the comic revisits key moments in their relationship. Then it's revealed that each has written a letter to the other. Bruce's letter to Selina promises that he will be “more than a boy whose parents are dead,” and that he will focus on being “the man who loves you. Who will always try to love you better.” Selina's letter takes a different tone.
In her letter to Bruce, Selina tells him that he's still "a hurt child," and lays out her realization that marrying him would bring about the death of Batman, which would in turn leave many, many lives in jeopardy.
“How can I do that,” she writes. “To save the world, heroes make sacrifices.”
So Selina makes her sacrifice: “My sacrifice is my life. It’s you.”
After months of anticipation and prelude, Batman #50 ends with Selina Kyle leaving Bruce Wayne at the altar, and the two taking leaps off different buildings in different directions, as they have countless times before. For some readers, particularly those who've only peeked in to see the nuptials, this might come as a shock. For others, it might be a foregone conclusion, particularly after Batman #49. In that issue, a wounded Selina has a conversation with a dying Joker about their respective relationships with Batman, and the Joker comes to the same conclusion: That Bruce Wayne cannot be truly happy and be Batman. The wedding will end Batman, and while the Joker realizes it first, Selina seems to have realized it eventually with his help.
So, what happens next? We obviously don't know, but we know that King is a storyteller with a plan. There are details lurking in Batman #50 that will likely point the way for careful readers, and it's hard to imagine there won't come a day when Bruce and Selina sit down and talk all of this out. It's also hard to imagine their romance is over for good, because it's always felt like something that will never really go away. In this scenario, the most shocking decision isn't even calling off the wedding. The most shocking decision might be DC dropping this spoiler on fans just three days before the issue is out, when pre-orders and dozens of variant covers are all already paid for. Perhaps telegraphing the punch like this softens the blow? The wedding of Batman and Catwoman was divisive from the beginning. Now, at least, readers have a few extra days to process the fallout.