Story-Arc: Bride or Burglar.
Writer(s): Tom King.
Illustrator(s): Mikel Janín & Joëlle Jones.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Paperback (Read in Single Issues).
Release Date: July 31st 2018.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
My Overall Rating: ★★★★☆.
Previously on DC Universe Rebirth’s Batman:
Batman (Vol. 1) I Am Gotham by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 1.5.) Night of the Monster Men by Steve Orlando
Batman (Vol. 2) I Am Suicide by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 3) I Am Bane by Tom King
Batman/The Flash (Vol. 3.5) The Button by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 4) The War of Jokes and Riddles by Tom King
Batman (Vol. 5) Rules of Engagement by Tom King
Here we are. If there’s one big event currently being built up in the DC Universe, it’s the wedding between two of the most iconic characters: Batman and Catwoman. Their conflict-full relationship has always been a highlight of their cat and bat game, and it is something that has made their encounters so tantalizingly beautiful. Tim Burton’s 1992 Batman Returns movie is one of the main example of that special bond between both characters, and it is truly a special time for DC that Tom King has decided to make their union so memorable and possible. In the hands of anyone else, this could have easily turned out to be a huge mess, but Tom King’s approach to both these character’s personalities and interactions has made this truly admirable and beautiful.
Batman: Bride or Burglar is the 6th volume in the main Batman series and should be seen as the transitive collection to the main event to come. In this volume there are 3 different stories packed together and each don’t really follow each other, but they do deepen the complexity of both Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle’s character. The first stand-alone story is the origin of Bruce Wayne, it is then followed by a two-part story arc called Superfriends. This story arc follows the same idea as the previous Superfriends story arc by Tom King where he magnificently highlighted the relationship between Superman and Batman. This time around we get to see the relationship between Batman and Wonder Woman. The story then jumps into a two-part Poison Ivy-centered arc and concludes on a stand-alone story featuring Catwoman and her wild ride down memory lane, but also through a bunch of wedding dresses.
If there’s one thing that merits recognition, it’s Mikel Janín and Joëlle Jones artwork. What they bring to the table is magnificent and intensely intimate. With Tom King’s minimalist writing style and the heavy focus on facial reaction and subtle movements, the story always finds ways to land a heavy blow into the reader’s emotions. Mikel Janín’s artwork in particular is also incredibly stunning. The colouring is different from what you usually see, but easily elevates the game to a whole new level. Just take a look at his two-page full-scale panels. These moments easily put emphasis on the epic scale of the action scenes and the importance of it all. If anything, Tom King is always surrounded by fantastic artists that knows how to give his ideas the tone and gravitas they need.
The best thing about Tom King is that he has incredibly grown as a writer when it comes to Batman and his playground. His understand of several villains is easily noticeable in this volume, especially with characters like Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn. The complexity he conveys regarding every character is astonishing, and it is something that I truly adore in his work nowadays. The story arc featuring Poison Ivy also shows the insane scope of King’s ideas and the near-impossible-to-guess nature of his stories. It’s stories like those that makes you realize how much of a genius he can be if given the liberty to do what he wants.
However, the main attraction of this volume remains Batman and Catwoman. Their understanding of each other is both stunning and chilling. How Tom King develops their relationship is beyond my understanding. It is not only iconic, but also as authentic as it could ever be. And so, here we are. The big moment is within sight, and love is in the air. Expect to see more wedding-talk in the DC Universe.