[World of Bats] Tom King Catch Up! Batman #39-40, 44-53 "Bride Or Burglar"

Hello and Welcome to the World of Bats, the Batman Book Club!

For the next two weeks, we’ll be heading back to the Tom King run of Batman and reading up to and the immediate aftermath of the infamous wedding of Batman and Catwoman, with guest stars like Wonder Woman (fitting, since King’s first issue of WW came out this past week), Booster Gold and more!

Of course, these are written by Tom King, with art by Joelle Jones, Tony Daniel, Lee Weeks, and…so, so, so many artists for issue 50.


Eternal Vow:

Batman #39
Batman #40

Bride or Burglar?:

Batman #44

The Gift:

Batman #45
Batman #46
Batman #47

The Best Man:

Batman #48
Batman #49

The Wedding:

Batman #50

Cold Days:

Batman #51
Batman #52
Batman #53

If you’re wondering why we’re not covering issues #41-43, it’s because we’ve previously covered those issues in a Poison Ivy Spotlight a while back. Here’s a link to that previous discussion, but if you want to talk about it here too, I won’t complain. :slight_smile:

Reading will last from 2023-09-23T05:00:00Z2023-10-06T05:00:00Z, but if you’re trapped in a horrible alternate timeline due to a…dubious present, you can always come back later!

Looking forward to discussing these issues with you all! :batparrot:

Click here to learn more about World of Bats.

Click here to join and get cool flair!


If you’re looking for our previous dicussions on the Tom King run, you can check out these following threads:


Ah, yes: when Bane took over as the editor of DC’s Bat-books and ruined everything. :stuck_out_tongue:


Best Batman book ever? You decide :laughing:


Yep. There’s a reason I love Tom King’s Batman.


The best part of this is that it looks like King is going to be bringing Jumpa back in his new run on Wonder Woman (which was a GREAT first issue, I must add), at least according to one of the awesome variant covers.


So with this I thought I’d try something a little different. Since this is a collection of smaller arcs, I thought I’d put my thoughts on these issues and then maybe throw out some questions. :smiley:

Batman #39-40, which I titled here “The Gentle Man,” or, as the book itself says, “Super Friends Parts 3 and 4.” I kinda forgot that this was considered part of the same story as the acclaimed “Double Date” issues. It makes sense narratively, since both arcs have an element of about Batman’s most important superhero friends reacting to and in some ways giving their blessings for Catwoman to marry him, but in some ways it does make sense that it’s less remembered.

Tom King will be the first to say that his previous takes on Wonder Woman weren’t all that great. There are definitely worse writers that have taken on the Amazon, but his portrayal does stick out in weird ways, from the way he writes her with what feels like a heavy accent (perhaps trying to emulate Gal Gadot) and some odd quips that, while a good thought (some writers have tended to write her as stiff or almost joyless), just didn’t land as well for me.

What’s funny is, to borrow a meme, if I had a nickel for every time Wonder Woman was in another character’s book fighting a horde of fantasy-like enemies for many, many years, and nearly making out with the book’s star, I’d have two nickels. Which isn’t a lot, but it’s weird that it’s happened twice. For those that don’t know, this happened in Action Comics #761, which King claims he never knew about until fans complained that this arc was just a carbon copy of that one-shot. I’m willing to believe him – while he’s shown to have an extensive knowledge of the DCU, we all have our blind spots – but it is funny how that worked out.

Outside of the Wonder Woman of it all, the subplot with Catwoman and the Gentle Man himself was interesting in how the story compares Bruce and Selina with the Gentle Man and his wife.

And love or hate the writing of these issues, the art by Joelle Jones is gorgeous.

So I guess the question I have for these issues is:

  • What do you feel about the Wonder Woman/Batman ship? Is it something that could benefit both characters, or would it harm them both?

I don’t like sticking Diana with any other superheroes. It’s as if they can’t find anything more interesting to do with her than make her a love interest.


I have some mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, I liked it when Dini and Co flirted with the idea in the animation Justice League and Bruce definitely seems drawn toward strong women with dark hair (Catwoman, Talia, Nocturna, and probably someone else I’m forgetting). Of all the men in the DC Universe (other than Steve Trevor) Batman and Superman seem like the best romantic fit for Wonder Woman (and Superman and Lois will never not be a thing). On the other hand, I sorta agree with @AlexanderKnox that Wonder Woman shouldn’t be paired up with another superhero, ever. She is a superstar in her own right and it would feel wrong to have her play 2nd fiddle to Batman or anyone else. Wonder Woman already has her own love interest in Steve Trevor anyway.


I really enjoyed the Booster Gold arc. Alternate history and time travel shenanigans can be very enjoyable if done right. Booster Gold lives up to his name as the greatest hero you’ve never heard of when he

once again saves the world and no one else knows.


I can see that – I know when they’ve explored Batman and Wonder Woman in the comics, specifically in Joe Kelly’s JLA, it concluded with the idea that Diana could end up being absorbed into the Batman legacy which…while I don’t think would happen literally, it would certainly feel that way. Plus there was how the Superman/Wonder Woman was handled during the New 52, and while I wasn’t against it at the time, I think it’s fair to say it was never fully explored outside of Diana having appearances in a lot of Superman events (and there was a LOT of them at the time, SHEESH).

There were definitely some fun interactions in JL/JLU in the cartoons. They also were seeming to play into it a bit in the DCEU with Ben Affleck and Gal Gadot’s iterations of the characters.

What’s funny about that is that out of all those brunettes, Diana’s the only one who isn’t a “Bad Girl.” I think that might cut into the core of Bruce’s type more than anything. :rofl:

But yeah, while I think the Steve Trevor hasn’t always been the most compelling, DC through the different writers and interpretations have done some solid work in making Steve a compelling character in his own right (though let’s be honest, Steve Pine did most of the heavy lifting).

Personally, at this point I think if DC is going to pair Diana with someone else instead of Steve, they should let her date a damn lady already. It’s been 80 years! Let this suffering sappho finally kiss a girl!

I’m a little mixed on that arc. On one hand, the alternate universe created had some interesting elements – I really wanna hear @AlexanderKnox’s thoughts on Jason’s…business venture at that time. On the other, as someone who’s read a decent bit of Booster Gold comics before, his characterization felt…really off, at least in comparison to where he was after 52 in his most recent ongoing.

Like, yeah, he’s the Greatest Hero You Never Heard Of, but that’s because he was constantly putting the timeline back in order while making sure no one knew or even suspected because he acted like a jackass most of the time. So to see Michael make such a big, obvious blunder with the timestream never fully sat right with me.

The fact that it also ended up becoming a stepping stone to Heroes In Crisis also didn’t help matters.


You’re right. I wasn’t quite sure how to say it this morning. I think Booster is best when he’s pretending to be the fool so no one suspects what he actually knows. Here, except for the very end, King makes him a fool

1 Like

My two favorite arcs of Tom King’s Batman.


Dare I say that it’s a tired joke?



Anyway, here’s some thoughts on issue 44:

This is an interesting issue, because it’s less of a story and more of a…mood, or theme. Basically, Catwoman steals her awesome wedding dress, and that’s it, but it’s interesting seeing it contrast with all the ups and downs of Batman and Catwoman’s relationship over the nearly 80 years at that point.

If anyone’s curious, here are the issues that are referenced in the, erm, issue that are here on DCUI:

Batman #1:

Batman #197:

Batman #355

Surprisingly Batman #62 (the bit where Catwoman saves Batman from a falling building), and Detective Comics #203 (with Selina talking to Batman while holding a cat) aren’t on the service.

There’s also the last flashback sequence that technically isn’t on here, but that’s because it was actually published in Wizard magazine (man, that takes me back…). That sequence does show up in most print/digital collections of the Hush storyline.

But I think there’s more to this than just King flexing his Batman history knowledge. This point is solidified in the end when Bruce and Selina are running around the rooftops and Bruce asks what I think we all were asking around this time: “What if this doesn’t work?” Even if the marriage was to happen – we’ll get to that soon – what’s to stop it from falling apart again? I think the point this issue makes is that the characters have always felt something for each other from the start, and while story/editorial/corporate mandates have split them apart, they always seem to find each other again. I think it’s a good note to put on things, not just for what’s to come from this issue, but with what we’re currently seeing in the comics now.

Here’s a fun fact – Joelle Jones was asked to draw issues of Batman leading up to the wedding and she agreed with one condition: she would get to design the dress. In an interview with I believe Word Balloon, she said that she was tired of seeing plain white dresses during superhero weddings. Needless to say, I think she definitely pulled it off, as that wedding dress might become as iconic as some of Selina’s classic costumes:

An aside – I’ve recently been reading more into the manga side of comics, and because of it, this certain panel stood out to me way more than before:

For those who don’t know, in shojo manga – as in manga for young girls – a lot of series would use flowers surrounding the characters to signify different ideas and emotions, using the “language of flowers” as a guide. I don’t know if Jones was into those kind of comics and was purposefully invoking that, but it’s interesting seeing those tricks and moves from other venue of comics to express things differently, if that makes sense.

Anyway, a question!

  • Are there any stories/moments that you would want to see adapted with modern art? And if so, who would you want to see draw it?

Good question. You had me reflecting on different Batman stories I’ve read. And this is no slight to the original artist, but I think it would be really cool to see golden age Batman drawn with a modern style. I don’t know comic artists very well, but maybe Ivan Reiss


Don’t get too upset over slighting Bob Kane. He slighted his collaborators. :stuck_out_tongue:


Did anyone else find themselves disappointed with how the whole wedding arc ended? I knew better to think it would last, but to have Selina leave Bruce standing at the altar (more or less) felt pretty hollow to me. And what does Bane have to do with this? Are we to believe he arranged the whole courtship and engagement from prison just to mess with Batman?

Bruce Wayne doing a “12 Angry Men” was a pretty neat idea. It definitely feels right that he doesn’t want Gotham’s citizens to view the Batman as an infallible detective. I do wish that the book gave more clarity as to whether or not Freeze did it.

On a side note, I wonder how long Bruce normally waits before telling someone he just met about his parents. It seems like he must bring it up almost immediately


Yeah, the wedding is…weird. I always thought just the way they were going to get married never felt right – I get that they’re not regular people, but getting a drunk public official to officiate it on a rooftop with only Alfred and Holly in attendence? Never felt right. I do think they did it better in the Batman/Catwoman series that King does later.

As for your spoiler, Bane didn’t arrange the courtship and engagement, but he used Holly to stop the marriage from happening. As for what he has to do with all of this? We’ll see later…

Yeah, Cold Days was a great arc. The “12 Angry Men” thing is apt, and I think this is the first instance of King swiping from an old movie to make a great story – probably the most famous now being his Supergirl: Woman of Tomorrow being True Grit with Kara playing the role of Rooster Cogburn.

Fun fact about that arc – apparently there was going to be some pages that were drawn by Dan Panosian that would show Dick in the Batman suit (so people wouldn’t notice that Batman isn’t around) and was flirting with Barbara in her Batgirl suit. But apparently those pages were released early and people went NUTS thinking that DC might be forcing a Batman/Batgirl romance so the pages were scrapped entirely. I guess that Killing Joke movie really left a scar on the fandom. :sweat_smile: