Writer: Tom King
Artists: Joelle Jones & Mikel Janin
Colors: June Chung & Jordie Bellaire
Letters: Clayton Cowles
Batman #44 is a lovely little tale. As every bride to be knows picking out the perfect dress is vital for a successful wedding. It’s a difficult decision and can sometimes take months to find a dress that defines everything you want that perfect day to be. Batman #44 reveals how Batman’s future bride, Catwoman, chooses her dress and as you can imagine, the excursion and the dress are anything but ordinary. Juxtaposed with the search for the purrfect (sorry, couldn’t help myself) dress is also a beautiful walk down memory lane as Selina reminisces about how she and Bruce came to this moment in time.
Tom King is at his absolute best with his run on Batman. Each issue seems to get better and better and I am highly anticipating when the wedding of the century finally arrives. Yet what I love most is that King has embraced the entirety of Batman & Detective Comics, going all the way back to Detective Comics #27 and treating it all as canon. This is comic books, its supposed to be muddled and we as readers are smart enough to figure out that longevity has allowed for some incredible stories and we should embrace them all. Batman #44 does just this.
Batman #44 is told in two parts, the present day story is the hunt for the perfect dress (and it is perfect), and when you’re Catwoman that search will also include a little B & E (breaking & entering for all you law abiding citizens). This part of the tale is beautifully illustrated by the great Joelle Jones (who it was just announced would be writing and drawing a new Catwoman series premiering this summer!). From the artwork it felt like Jones had a lot of fun with her portion of the tale as Selina makes herself at home in a bridal boutique after a classic Catwoman entrance. Jones told so much of the tale through her artwork as there was no dialogue but the reader never missed a beat as to what was going through Selina’s mind from the amazing visuals. The second part of the tale is a walk down memory lane, as weaved throughout the issue are famous Batman and Catwoman confrontations going back to the Golden Age. Mikel Janin did his homework as every Catwoman costume makes an appearance in these pages. Janin goes back to the days she was simply the Cat and wore a green dress, then through her silver age wardrobe including her green leather suit and also when she sported her red mask. Janin also included the famous ‘80s purple dress with bullwhip phase, then her ‘90s purple unitard days and up to her current black leather suit incarnation. Each page was a blast from the past and every one of these pages was absolutely gorgeous. I had so much fun recalling the era that was represented and loved that its all here, it’s all included in Batman and Catwoman’s contemporary tale. Do yourself a favor, read this issue then go explore the original material as it will only reinforce that Batman and Catwoman are meant to be.
Verdict: Batman is an absolute treat to read right now. I look forward to each issue and am continually blown away and Batman #44 is no different. I can’t wait to see what comes next and in the capable hands of Tom King and his A list artistic collaborators I know I won’t be disappointed.