SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Batman #50 by Tom King, Mikel Janín, June Chung and Clayton Cowles, on sale now.
The big day is here for Batman and Catwoman. Readers, too, have been anxiously waiting for the payoff of Bruce and Selina's bond of holy matrimony, or "Batrimony" as it's been called. Superhero weddings, though, are known to come with some surprises, and Tom King and Mikel Janin's Batman #50 is no exception.
Some surprises, though, are less expected than others.
Do You, Cat, Take This Bat?
After finalizing the essential details, Bruce and Selina arrange for a rooftop ceremony at dawn. As the moment draws near, though, Selina decides she should not marry Bruce, and doesn't even show up at the figurative altar, leaving a dejected Bruce to go home as a bachelor. But why did Selina change her mind, and what exactly led to her heartbreaking decision?
The answer to that question is more complicated than Selina simply losing her nerve to commit. Through her narrative spanning the issue, Selina reveals her feelings that echo a recurring theme throughout King's run. That theme is the notion that a Bruce Wayne who is happy cannot coexist with the emotionally driven Batman that the world needs.
Why Selina Doesn’t Marry Bruce
The deciding moment comes after Catwoman springs her longtime friend Holly Robinson from Arkham Asylum with the intent to have Holly stand as her witness for the ceremony. Selina, seeking last-minute relief from her doubts as they drive to the wedding, asks Holly if she is a hero. Holly's response – "Don't you have to be?" – is what cements Selina's decision to not go through with the wedding. In her narrative, citing that heroes make sacrifices, Selina decides that her sacrifice needs to be her love for Bruce, because that love is what would rob the world of its Batman.
This was essentially the same argument used by The Joker last issue, albeit from a more selfish perspective. Joker's motivation for killing Catwoman was to prevent Batman from living in a state of marital bliss – a scenario that Selina has now brought upon herself. Ironically, The Joker now gets his wish, although the lost-in-love Batman he will face next will probably be darker than he dared imagine.
Selina cites her encounter with The Joker in her narrative, as well as the preceding "Batpoint" arc inadvertently initiated by the well-meaning but blundering Booster Gold. In "Batpoint," a happy and content Bruce Wayne – albeit not one married to Selina – led to the creation of a dark and dangerous alternate reality thanks to the absence of the true Batman. And in the Batman/Flash crossover "The Button," Bruce's father from another alternate reality had urged him to give up his Batman career. Thomas Wayne's intent, of course, was for his son to be happy – an early indicator that Bruce would never live a happy life if Batman were a part of it.