Batman: The Wedding by Tom King

details
Title: Batman.
Story-Arc: The Wedding.
Volume: 7.
Writer(s): Tom King.
Illustrator(s): Tony S. Daniel & Mikel Janín.
Publisher: DC Comics.
Format: Paperback (Read in Single Issues).
Release Date: October 30th 2018.
Pages: 176.
Genre(s): Comics, Science-Fiction.
ISBN13: 9781401283384.
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
Batman (Vol. 6) Bride or Burglar by Tom King

thoughts

The moment has come. Marking the halfway mark in Tom King’s legacy as a Batman writer, he brings on some of the most riskiest moves ever pulled by a writer, but also reveals the big (or maybe not so big) wedding between Batman and Catwoman. While this run has been bumpy, it has always been a progressive improvement with which volume. His style is easy to identify, especially with his way of approaching character development, but also his needs in terms of artwork. In fact, it’s a bit hard to mention Tom King without thinking of his iconic 9 panel grids. But his writing style is also heavy on repetition, but it’s how he plays with this method that makes it stand out the most. Although it might not work all the time, his now better grasp of the DC universe and its characters has made the style far more powerful over time.

Batman: The Wedding is the 7th volume in this canon Batman series and collects issues #45-50. The wedding in itself is the last oversized issue in the volume and is particular in its structure, but also in the number of artists involved in that special project. Before the grand event, there are two story arcs featured within this volume, and they are both innovative in their own way, but also extremely risky by the nature of the ideas themselves. The first story is a three-part arc called “The Gift” and brings into play a rarely seen hero known as Booster Gold. The second story is a two-part arc called “The Best Man” and follows right where DC Nation #0’s Joker one-short story “Your Big Day” left off and puts Joker first up against Batman and then against Catwoman. And of course, the volume ends with a cliffhanger presented in the special #50 issue called “The Wedding”.

batmanvol7_quote1

This volume is definitely not one that will garner the praise of every reader and fan. The ideas explored by Tom King have always been unconventional, and often breaks away from everything that is easy to absorb and appreciate. “The Gift”, for example, is one of those ideas, and at first, I was completely void of words to explain what I had just read. The story is essentially an alternative reality in which Booster Gold is featured as the main character. The world in which we are dropped in is almost impossible to believe in as chaos and lunacy reigns in it. If you thought Gotham was already bad, you haven’t seen this world. But once you reach the ending of this arc, the very last panel, you’ll understand how insanely powerful Tom King’s idea was. It might be extravagant, but this gift by Booster Gold for Bruce Wayne was still very introspective of Batman’s character.

And then we find ourselves in front of “The Best Man”. With the excellent arc that Tom King gave us in volume 5, “The War of Jokes and Riddles”, and the original take on Joker, it was no surprise that the villain shines again right before the big event. There are some very awkward moments that were almost impossible to comprehend as a fan of Batman, especially in regards to Batman’s behaviour, but the more you think about, the more you find yourself convinced that the rational behind it all lies in Batman’s perspective of Joker. Batman doesn’t treat the Joker like any normal human being. He acknowledges his insanity and tackles (literally) the target with peculiar strategies, like playing along with Joker’s vision of the world. However, the highlight of this arc is in the second part of the arc where Catwoman confronts the Joker. This is where Tom King brings into play the baggage that both these characters have accumulated over the years, but have rarely ever been explored by any writer. The dialogue between the two is amazing, and at times, difficult to accept, but still very plausible.

The last oversized issue is the dreaded “The Wedding”. The accumulation of almost 50 issues that has led to this big moment between the two iconic characters. The story is interspersed with full page portraits of Catwoman, Batman or the both of them with a powerful and simple monologue on the depth of each others eyes and how they are mirrors to the soul of each of these characters. If anything, this is the closest I’ve ever been to reading romance, and it was wonderfully written and conveyed. Each page is however done by different artists, some incredibly more impressive than others, but each with their own style. The last pages however end on a cliffhanger that notably highlights an epiphany-like moment for Selena Kyle and Bruce Wayne, and reminds us that fans can look forward to great things in the series.

Batman: The Wedding is definitely the best volume so far in the series, passing The War of Jokes and Riddles by an inch. The risks taken by Tom King in this story arc were a lot more impressive in my books, and actually felt logical and original to me. There are however things that didn’t work as well, even in the artwork department (I’m thinking about some of the symmetry moves pulled off in the final issue), but everything else makes this volume very special, it simply makes this a wedding to remember.


EXHIBITA

 

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17 comments

    • Yep, especially in that last issue with the whole monologue about eyes and all. Tom King really went into some deep romance stuff. Some might even call cheesy to some extent hahah I’m a believer that there’s definitely a graphic novel for everyone, you just have to find the right one. Hopefully some day you’ll find it and it’ll give you hope in the medium! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

    • If it’s just those pages with the crow winged Batman, then it’s Tony S. Daniel’s artwork we’re talking about, and I can assure that his stuff has ALWAYS been stellar. I’ve never been disappointed by his style, it’s sooooo beautiful! If you like the art in the other pictures, like those full-blown pages of batman/catwoman, then I’d recommend checking out my next Batman review. 😉

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, sir! Batman comics are what started my love for comic books/graphic novels too, and he is my all-time favourite hero since the animated series back in my childhood! I’ll probably always share my reviews, even if it’s not everyone who reads them. And when there are folks who do read them or enjoy these, I’m always extremely happy! 😛 Thanks for reading, Paul!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Tammy! Definitely a double-edged sword on that regard. Some might actually find these risks incomprehensible and hate the whole volume, but I personally loved it. He has taken risks almost as crazy as these in the past and those didn’t work out that well (his earlier volumes, for example).

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  • I’ve been looking forward to your thoughts on this sir and as always it’s a wonderfully insightful review! I think you’re right in that this passes Jokes and Riddles by an inch, a slim inch as that particular story was so good. The Booster Gold arc was a bit on the bonkers side, but (together with his team-up with Superman in Dan Jurgen’s final Action Comics run) it did have me invested in a character I’ve never really been all that interested in.

    But the highlight is undoubtedly “The Best Man”, just a perfectly executed lead-in to the special issue itself. Tom King does a great job of really diving into the tiniest of character nuances in a way that celebrates their history whilst gently adding new layers.

    I do get what you mean about the artwork in #50, in one sense it works but it also jumbles the visuals a little with so many different styles – inevitably (and subjectively) some of it looks better than the rest. My one hope is that King does move things on from the Bat/Cat saga eventually though but I like the way he’s dealing with the fallout so far and how it’s shaping the future of both characters.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same here. Booster Gold is too rarely used at his full potential. Sort of laughed at that moment where he explains how he could time-travel, fly and have a force-field. I actually thought those were his powers!

      Yep.. It’s really the only downside. Some of the artwork also made no sense within a wedding context. Would’ve been nice if they all have a similar theme going on. Yep, I’ve read other reviews out there about the ending in #50 and a lot of people were disappointed about it. Let’s see what Tom King will do with it all during the second half of his run.

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