If you’ve been following the ongoing adventures of Batman throughout his eponymous title this year, then you’re well aware of how game-changing Tom King’s run has been. After hitting his stride, the series’ writer can seemingly do no wrong now, churning out one modern classic after another. Really, not only was The War of Jokes and Riddles one of the better arcs featuring the Caped Crusader to be published in this decade, but our hero has seen some significant changes be made to his personal life.
We are, of course, talking about how the Dark Knight is now engaged to Catwoman. And since she accepted his proposal, they’ve started embarking on adventures together, much to the surprise of the rest of the Bat Family. But what really came as unexpected delight was what was offered in this week’s Batman Annual #2.
Now, we don’t mean to naysay annuals, but, let’s be honest, those who regularly collect comics know that they’re often self-contained stories that may or may not have any bearing on the ongoing narrative. Actually, the reunion of King and artist Lee Weeks (the very creative team that brought us the critically acclaimed Batman/Elmer Fudd Special) can absolutely be read as a standalone, but does weave into King’s larger tapestry. Well, there’s that and the reality it may very well be one of the best – if not the best – Batman-Catwoman stories ever told.
In short, it takes us back to what some might call the pair’s “first date,” but what it does afterward is what’s really worth your attention. Basically, King shows us their life as a couple in a nutshell, right up to their twilight years. Quite frankly, whether those final pages will be regarded as Rebirth canon will spark much debate, but it was quite thrilling to see a new spin on their progeny, Helena Wayne, who was looking a bit Batwoman-ish, if I may say.
Admittedly, I’m not much of a “shipper,” but the Bruce Wayne-Selina Kyle dynamic has long bled over into various forms of media, and I’ve always been a lover of it. Somehow, these creators have managed to capture lightning in a bottle – and word seemingly got out because the issue was said to be in such high demand that retailers were projected to sell out before it even hit stands. And just wait until you read that touching final page, because one could say that it’s the cat’s meow.
Batman Annual #2 is now available in comic shops.