Comics Review: ‘Batman’ #50

The Bat and the Cat are ready to make their vows… 

Batman #50.jpg

Mikel Janin’s cover art for the milestone ‘Batman’ #50 (image belongs: DC, used for illustrative purposes only).

Spoiler-free review

Written by:  Tom King / art by:  Mikel Janin (plus guest contributors) / colours by:  June Chung

What’s it about?

“The Wedding” : the day has arrived and the venue is set as Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle prepare to tie the knot…

In review

Batman #50 is significant for more reasons than one, not only is it the fiftieth issue of the current volume of Batman it also marks the half-way point of Tom King’s proposed 100-issue run on the book and the culmination of a storyline the writer has been building for some time, but it’s also a celebration of two iconic characters whose lives have been intertwined for what seems like forever.

Any issue of Batman by Tom King is never less than interesting and more often than not inventive and gripping, so whilst this extra-sized anniversary issue may not completely live up to the set-up of the lead in of #’s 48 & 49 (the superb two-parter “The Best Man”) or hit the emotional heights of Batman Annual #2, it’s still a skilfully constructed and deftly executed comic.  In a similar vein to his earlier “Superfriends” arc, King splits the majority of the narrative between Batman and Catwoman as they both go about their respective ‘tasks’ with the ever-excellent Mikel Janin pencilling these main sequences, we see Selina hook-up with old friend Holly Robinson (who first appeared in Frank Miller’s seminal Batman: Year One) and Bruce enlist the support of Alfred as the Bride and Groom make final preparations.

What’s interesting is that between those regular pages are single page spreads by a number of past and present Batman artists including Tony S. Daniel, Frank Miller, Jason Fabok, Neal Adams, Clay Mann, Tim Sale and Andy Kubert (to name just a few) that are almost like snapshots that highlight the history of the Bat and the Cat’s relationship.  King laces these pages with some deep and poetic dialogue in the form of letters the couple have written to one another which ponders the big questions – can Catwoman be truly good?  Will this marriage make Bruce happy?  Can Bruce’s mission as the Batman continue?  These are things that readers have not doubt been asking themselves and King delves deeply into these themes.

Aside from the roster of guest artists, King pays tribute to some of the many great Batman writers by weaving their names into Gotham itself – from Kane Plaza and Finger Tower to O’Neil Ave and the Englehart and Conway Bedrooms of Wayne Manor, it’s a pleasing complement to the rich creative history of a titanic figure of pop culture.

As for the conclusion of the story, despite the release of spoilers prior to the issue’s publication, this review will not delve into the specifics and readers should check it out for themselves.  Needless to say, if you haven’t been reading Tom King’s run on Batman you’re definitely missing out on some great comics.

The bottom line:  A fitting culmination of one of Tom King’s biggest Batman stories, Batman #50 is a satisfying celebration of two iconic comic book characters and their legacy.

Batman #50 is published by DC Comics and is available in print and digital formats now

8 thoughts on “Comics Review: ‘Batman’ #50

  1. I’m not a big fan of Tom King’s Batman, but this sounds like a good issue overall. Nice cover as well. Such a shame there were spoilers published prior to the issue’s publication though, never a good thing for comics, or retailers.

    • Yeah, I know you King’s run hasn’t really grabbed you Paul. Everyone’s tastes are different, I similarly feel that the Snyder/Capullo run was highly overrated although I did really like the Court of Owls stuff. I’m excited to see how the second half of King’s tenure pans out.

      • I really tried to like King’s run, but its just not been for me. I really like Snyder Capullo’s Court of Owls storyline as well, funny you mention it, I was actually reading the trade collection of that a couple of weeks ago. I wasn’t that sold on the Cat / Bat wedding thing tbh, but will be interesting to see how the fallout from issue #50 plays out across the rest of King’s run.

      • No worries Paul, it’s not for everyone – same as everything else we all have different tastes! The Court of Owls has certainly been influential, it was partly adapted in the Batman Vs Robin animated movie and Gotham did an arc in season 3 that utilised it

  2. I heard so many negative things about this issue and yes I was spoiled unexpectedly! 😣
    Still this seems like a worthwhile event issue to pick up, thanks for your thoughts in it.

  3. I honestly didn’t know that he only wanted to do 100 issues for his Batman run. Is that something he stated will be the end of his run or is it the end of the Rebirth era? I’m currently reading #43 (close to the end of volume 6: bride or burgler) and am truly getting a nice feel for Tom King’s style. He’s starting to become extra creative and highly unpredictable in his story-telling. And Mikel Janin’s art is also getting super addictive. His full two-page art is stunning! I’m pumped to get around to #50 and see all these references for myself. It sounds like volume 7 might turn out to be the best one by King so far. Great review, sir.

    • Thank you my friend! To my knowledge, Tom King has only recently made it known that he had 100 issues planned which with the twice monthly releases is about another two years on the book. I can’t wait to see what he might have up his sleeve for Batman’s 80th anniversary next year!

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