To be honest, I didn’t think I’d be publicly talking this much about Batman #50 until after the issue saw release, but since an article published by the New York Times spoiled it over the weekend, it’s become the hot topic in the comic book community.
Though DC themselves did have their own justification for going through with this, the decision to do so has been met with much consternation online, with fans lashing out at the publisher as a whole, not to mention George Gene Gustines, who wrote the now infamous piece for NYT. From the sound of it, the majority of people want surprises preserved for their reading experience.
In the process, there emerged this erroneous assumption that Gustines somehow got his hands on an advance copy and took it upon himself to leak the information – and that’s not the case. When it comes to comics set to be released each Wednesday, most media outlets – us included – are given embargo dates to which we must adhere. But sometimes, one making up the pack gets the green light to discuss certain details ahead of time.
Laying it out in an explanation provided to Vulture was Gustines himself, who detailed how this all came about:
“I’ve been passionate about covering comics for the paper for nearly 20 years and this story has been a roller coaster. I think Tom King, Mikel Janín and everyone involved in the comic did a stellar job on this milestone issue. But if I had a Legion time bubble, I would handle it differently.
“I was aware of the marriage storyline for a while – I’ve been following King’s Batman since the beginning – but I was not sure how to approach covering it, if at all. DC reached out to me about whether the event could be featured in our wedding pages. I thought it was a fun idea and pitched my editors.”
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As the writer continued, he touched on how the story took shape:
“I approached it like a typical ‘Vows’ column – write about the story of the couple and what their big day is like, which is what I tried to capture in the piece, which quotes only dialogue from the comic and not the creative team, which is more typical of my reporting.
“After I pitched the story, I learned the wedding would not happen. It seemed disingenuous to write the story without revealing the ending, which is why I included the reveal. But I should’ve asked for a non-spoiler headline. We should have given more thought so that the casual reader, flipping or scrolling through the Style section, would not know the twist by reading the headline.”
Furthermore, DC knew he “would reveal the twist,” so it is indeed unfair to aim all of your complaints at Gustines.
Call me crazy, but I believe the book in question shouldn’t have been spoiled at all because retailers are now reporting of customers cancelling their orders due to Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle not going through with their nuptials. Based on that, it seems this strategy’s backfired.
Regardless, it’s highly recommended that you still pick up a copy of Batman #50 when it arrives in comic shops this Wednesday, July 4th. And afterwards, be sure to come back here to check out our review.