Prelude to a Kiss-the-Bride: Batman 44 Bittersweet Set of Memories

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Batman 44

The countdown continues to the wedding of the century between Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle. With BATMAN 44, "Bride or Burglar," things slow down just a bit in order for Selina to do some woolgathering while trying on dresses.

But it can't be as simple as that.

Writer Tom King (Critical Blast's Best Comics Writer of 2018) spins a quiet yarn with ticks of the clock as Selina quietly slips out in the wee hours of the morning to bust into a high-end bridal gallery and try on dresses (while availing herself to their wine fridge). I'm not sure what about this action confuses me the most -- the fact that she had to illegally break into a place to try things out in private, or the fact that such an accomplished catburglar would leave such damning evidence as a blown-up floor, puddles of sewage water, and a busted open fridge. As all this is going on, Selina is recalling her prior encounters with Batman, beginning with the first one when she was simply the non-costumed "The Cat." These encounters show the build up of this relationship we've watched over the decades, with all the costume and personality changes the characters have gone through.

Artistically, "Bride or Burglar" is a mixed bag. The credits go to Mikel Jann and Joelle Jones, and it's obvious that one did the scenes of the current story while the other did the flashbacks, but it's not evident which did which. Therefore, I don't know who to credit for the finely crafted scenes of yesteryear, or who to blame for the sketchy scenes of the framework and the god-awful foreshortening attempt in panel 2 of page 7 ("9:21 a.m.").

The story asks the question, "Bride or Burglar?" I think by the end of the tale, right down to the knowing wink from Alfred, that the answer is obvious: She is both.

3.0 / 5.0