Ever since we got our first look at Catwoman’s wedding dress, I’ve had one burning question in my mind: How, exactly, does a world-class thief go shopping for a wedding dress? Does she bring her girlfriends (also arch-criminals)? Does she get a personal shopper? Is there a brunch afterward?
Batman #44 thankfully answers all of those questions, and more.
[Warning: This post contains spoilers for Batman #44.]
The beginning of the issue features Selina Kyle rising in the middle of the night, swimming through a sewer and using explosives to blow her way through the floor of a mysterious building that turns out to be a dress shop. This is how a world-class thief goes dress shopping: She breaks into a shop and absconds with the garment of her choosing.
Tom King’s Batman run has focused primarily on Batman’s emotional arc, which makes sense — it’s his name on the cover, after all. But this issue gives Selina some welcome time in the emotional spotlight. In alternating pages, it contrasts Selina’s search for just the right dress, illustrated by Joëlle Jones, with flashbacks to her 78-year history with Batman. Those flashbacks are nearly verbatim translations of Catwoman appearances from all eras and styles, transformed through Mikel Janin’s modern, pseudo-3D art.
For example, here’s Catwoman’s first appearance from 1940’s Batman #1:
And here’s its reinterpretation in Batman #44:
The title of this one issue story gives you Selina’s dilemma: “Bride or Burglar”? Can one of the world’s greatest thieves marry one of the world’s greatest superheroes and still follow her calling?
To be honest, when I wasn’t wondering about the dress shopping, I’ve been wondering that myself. In the end, when Selina returns to Wayne Manor, hangs the dress in her closet, and shares a conspiratorial look with Alfred, Tom King, Joëlle Jones and Mikel Janin have given us an answer.
In her own catlike way, Selina has decided that she doesn’t have to choose.