SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for Batman #49 by Tom King and Mikel Janín, on sale now.
In the first part of Tom King and Mikel Janín's "The Best Man" arc last issue, The Joker audaciously expressed interest in standing up at Batman and Catwoman's wedding as yes, his best man. That is, before Joker got the best of Batman, so to speak, requiring his bride-to-be to swoop in to save him.
In Batman #49, the arc's conclusion, Selina's confrontation with The Joker paints the idea of another potential and even more surprising role for The Clown Prince in the couple's upcoming nuptials.
Batman's Best Man? What A Joke.
While Batman lies unconscious at the feet of his arch-foe, Selina's arrival ushers in a battle of the Bat-villains that results in the two critically wounding each other. Proving that there's nothing like a near-death experience to bond two people – even if they just tried to kill one another – Joker and Catwoman engage in some rather insightful discussions. Their insight, though, isn't necessarily the kind you'd expect between two villains who had little in common, other than their mutual foe.
Oh, sure – the two talk about their multiple defeats at the hands of Batman, and even how to conclude their own deadly confrontation. It's not the shop talk that stands out, though, it's their other discussions. Like, gossiping about their mutual "friends" such as Penguin, Riddler and Two-Face. They touch upon the logistics of the wedding. They even take a moment to talk about Selina's wedding dress.
And then, it gets even deeper than that. The Joker expresses his concern regarding the impact the wedding will have on his "friend's" state of mind. That friend isn't Catwoman, of course, but rather Batman. Citing his personal need for Batman to exist in his life as his moral opposite, Joker is concerned that a happy Batman will result in no Batman at all. And with no Batman, there is no place in the world for a Joker.
Always a Bridesmaid, Never a Bride
"Don't marry him – you'll be miserable," is a concern often cited by one friend when another plans to marry, and The Joker's allegory to that – "Don't marry him – he'll be happy" – is the kind of twist on that apprehension only The Joker could muster up. The Joker's plea to Selina isn't unlike the kind a woman would make to her best friend. And it isn't uncommon for two such friends to gossip and talk about wedding dresses, either.
While Catwoman and The Joker's historic bond has largely been built on their commonality as members of Batman's rogues gallery, they demonstrate a far closer bond here. The two aren't talking as much as supervillains as they are two girlfriends on the eve of one of them getting married. And despite thinking that their friend shouldn't be wed in holy "Batrimony," they would have it no other way than to stand up at their wedding.
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The Joker wanted to be best man, but in truth he would seem more at home as one of Selina's bridesmaids. Maybe even her maid of honor. The idea might seem crazy, but then, so is The Joker. He did just ask to be his arch-enemy's best man. And this is a superhero/supervillain wedding, after all, so any idea of normalcy was kind of a longshot to start with.
Whether The Joker likes it or not, Batman and Catwoman are getting married. The big day takes place in Batman #50, on sale July 4.