Batman #50 chronicled the long-awaited wedding of Batman and Catwoman, and there were definitely some surprises along the way.
Warning: this article contains spoilers for Batman #50 and Catwoman #1!
The big day finally arrived in this issue. But rather than spend a small portion of is fortune on a lavish ceremony, Bruce elected to hold a very small, intimate ceremony on the rooftop where he and Selina shared so much time together. Only three others were chosen to attend - the officiant Judge Wolfman, Alfred and Selina's old partner, Holly Robinson.
Unfortunately, Selina found herself plagued by doubt as the wedding drew near. Her recent encounter with the Joker in Batman #49 didn't help, as Joker reminded her that Bruce Wayne can't be happy and still be Batman. Ultimately, Selina decided that she had to sacrifice her marriage in order to ensure that Gotham would always have its protector. She skipped town and left Bruce to brood at the altar.
That much of the story was revealed by The New York Times over the weekend. However, there's more to this dark new development. The final pages of this issue follow Holly as she returns to her cell in Arkham Asylum and ventures into the depths of the prison. There she pays a visit to Bane and a cabal of other Batman rogues, all of whom are gloating over Batman's latest misfortune.
All of these characters have played key roles in previous storylines. Bane himself recently clashed with Batman in "I Am Suicide" and "I Am Bane," even going so far as to end his self-enforced sobriety and start taking Venom again. No doubt he's still bitter about losing to the Dark Knight twice in a row.
Here's a quick breakdown of the other characters in this image and their respective grievances with Batman:
Joker and Riddler - Both villains were key players in "The War of Jokes and Riddles," a flashback story that culminated with Joker narrowly preventing Batman from murdering Riddler. Joker also recently resurfaced in the present, feeling jilted that he never received an invitation to Batman's wedding.
Psycho Pirate - This villain can control a person's emotions and was key to Bane's efforts to break his Venom addiction. Batman previously stole Psycho Pirate away from Bane in order to help Gotham Girl.
Gotham Girl - One of the more surprising members of Bane's team, Gotham Girl had until now been portrayed as an ally to the Bat-family. She and her late brother were given super-powers that drain their life the more they use them.
Skeets - This floating robot is Booster Gold's constant companion. A recent storyline involved Booster altering the DC timeline to prevent the deaths of the Waynes, resulting in an even darker Gotham City. Skeets was destroyed during the fallout, but he somehow survived and is apparently nursing a grudge.
Ventriloquist - Arnold Wesker was recruited as part of Batman's team "I Am Suicide." He appears to have relapsed and is now back under the control of his Scarface doll.
Flashpoint Batman - Another surprise inclusion, this is the Batman of the Flashpoint timeline, one where Thomas Wayne took up the mantle of Batman instead. Batman briefly met this version of his father in "The Button," but this reveal calls into question whether that encounter was genuine or somehow orchestrated by Bane.
Hugo Strange - This sinister psychiatrist previously struck up a bargain with Bane, trading Psycho Pirate for large quantities of Venom and using that Venom to create an army of Monster Men to terrorize Gotham City.
Clearly, Batman is going to have his hands full in the months to come. As for Catwoman, her adventures are immediately continued in the pages of Catwoman #1. The first issue reveals that she's set up shop in a new city and is dealing with a rash of murders committed by other women who have stolen the Catwoman identity. Good thing she has a fresh new costume.
The good news for those who hoped to see Batman and Catwoman marry is that this won't be the end of their journey together. Writer Tom King tweeted on Tuesday, "Batman 50 is not the end. This is a 100 issue story documenting and celebrating the love of Batman and Catwoman. Whatever happens, whatever anyone says, nothing’s going to spoil that."
Are you disappointed or relieved that Batman and Catwoman's marriage didn't come to pass? Let us know what you think in the comments below, and check out our review for Batman #50 to learn why we think it's a fitting conclusion to this phase opf the series.
Jesse is a mild-mannered writer for IGN. Allow him to lend a machete to your intellectual thicket by following @jschedeen on Twitter, or Kicksplode on MyIGN.