Batman #44 / Written by Tom King / Artist: Mikel Janin, Joëlle Jones/ Colorist: June Chung/ Letterer: Clayton Cowles/ Published by DC Comics/ April 4, 2018
Batman #44 marks the first time readers see Selina’s wedding dress. However, dress shopping for Selina is anything but orthodox. She wakes in her bed with Bruce at 2:37 am and decides to cure her insomnia by taking a stroll on the Gotham rooftops. Later on she finds herself breaking into a wedding dress boutique, popping some champagne and having one of the best shopping montages in comic book history.
This issue also gives us a few glimpses to Batman and Catwoman’s former costumed looks. These looks offer a clear metaphor. As Catwoman says:
“Because we are always…looking. But if we are always looking, then we’re not always changing.”
Batman and Catwoman are looking for something that fits perfectly; in this case, a wedding dress.
Selina has grown as a character throughout Tom King’s run. She still has insecurities about settling down, but this issue shows that she is comfortable with the idea of marrying Bruce. While Selina is still stealing and will always be Catwoman her heart in a lot of ways now belongs to the Bat. The flashbacks help us understand that Selina has always felt this pull to Bruce; however, she now is willing to accept him for who he is and for how he fits into her life.
As someone who watches “Say Yes to the Dress” as a guilty pleasure, this issue was made for me. Selina’s dress is the perfect fit, but what’s even more fitting is how she gets it. Joëlle Jones’ modified mermaid design of Selina’s dress, the black and white color palette and the inclusion of cat ears on the veil makes the perfect homage to Selina being Catwoman.
The panels of Selina trying on dresses were colored in an indigo blue to reflect the early morning moon and mixed with the stark white of the dresses. It was a stark contrast to the bright colors featured in the flashbacks. I adored seeing Janin, Jones and Chung’s interpretations and coloring on the older costumes. My one complaint is on some panels Cowles’ lettering seems crowded, but that is most likely because the script on this issue was very heavy for certain pages. The time stamps though were very well done.
Throughout his run on Batman, King has kept Selina’s personality the same. King understands this couple’s flaws but also the deep respect they have for each other better than a lot of writers. This issue was a Selina-centric story. In the future, I would love to see more solo journeys for her even if they are small like this.
Verdict: 4 out of 5 Wedding Dresses
In addition to writing and tweeting into the void, Elizabeth Garcia enjoys applying ethical and political theory to modern comics while wearing leggings and drinking wine with her cat on her beat-up couch.