After over a year's worth of build-up, the ending to Tom King's Bat-Cat wedding saga has arrived. Or is it just the beginning?
The issue released to huge fanfare this Wednesday, and while a backlash to its ending threatens to boil over, there's a lot to unpack. One thing that fans should most certainly be able to agree on is the fact that the issue is a pure, unadulterated celebration of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle's relationship, with artists from Batman's past, present and potentially his future all coming together to show the couple at various points throughout their history.
The ending, however, has been criticised as an anticlimax of sorts. The Bat and the Cat don't get their fabled wedding; instead, Selina recounts a familiar monologue of Batman having to be miserable in order to be the hero that he is. It's a song King has made great efforts to protest against throughout his run, with Batman's marriage to Catwoman meant to crystallise these themes in holy matrimony, but it looks as though it wasn't meant to be.
For the time being.
Because, at its core, Batman #50 isn't the antithesis of King's Batman, or even a climb down. It actually doubles down on what he's been saying along, that Bruce Wayne can be happy and be Batman - and not just be the Bat, but become a better one altogether. It's a fact that Bane himself has alerted to, conspiring to destroy Bruce's wedding, his happy life and thus, in essence, break the Bat once more.
But how did Bane mastermind such an intricate attack on his greatest enemy? What exactly are the implications of the issue's final page? And will Bruce and Selina ever get their happy ending?