Friday 6 July 2018

The Comics Ramble: Batman #50 and spoilers

[The following is basically a massive rant about spoilers so be aware that if you have managed to avoid the massive fucking spoiler going around for Batman #50/Catwoman #1 and haven't read them yet do avoid this post because I can't vent about the thing and how it affected my reading without mentioning what the thing is.]

So I managed to avoid the Batman #50 spoiler until literally one hour before the package turned up on my doorstep. Ye gods, but I hate spoiler culture. It sucks. I despise the idea, now practically supported by the companies it harms, that telling people the big reveal long before the actual event somehow enhances the experience or encourages people to tune in / read / experience the thing.

Ugh... anyway...

What even was spoiling it meant to advertise? We knew the new Catwoman series was launching the same day and that is literally the only thing, other than the ongoing plot of Batman, that spins out of that story.

I mean, look what else came out this week: Man of Steel #6 and I am pretty sure that was allowed to stand on its own. That issue sets up Bendis' Superman and Action Comics as well as the new run of Supergirl and has one hell of a cliffhanger for whichever Superman series is going to handle the serial arson storyline Bendis has been setting up for the last six weeks.

But the very possibility that Bruce and Selina's marriage could go off as planned? Oh no, better spoil that just to confirm that the obvious, tragic ending everyone saw coming was not going to be subverted.

You monsters!

Let's face it: what else was anyone expecting? I admit I hoped for a happy ending, I thought that Tom King might have convinced DC editorial to let him do something brave and psychologically healthy for the Batman character given that he's gone deeper than pretty much anyone else into Bruce's trauma and how he copes with it. King, as it happens, responded to the leak or the spoiler or bad bit of advertising or whatever it was by saying this wasn't the end of the Bruce/Selina story he was telling.

Whether or not that's true Batman #50 is a great issue. As I've said before, King has probably the best grasp of single issue storytelling at DC today. The narration of this issue plays out two letters Bruce and Selina are writing each other to explain their feelings as the ceremony looms. Interestingly, once again King returns to that thing he keeps bringing about how Catwoman remembers their first meeting as the Batman: Year One version whilst Bruce remembers their first published meeting from 1940.

Given what's going on with Flash War and other hints here and there, this might be more than a cute nod.

I really do hope this isn't the end. The Bruce/Selina relationship has been pretty consistently the best part of this series for a while now.

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