Marvel and DC’s Big Wedding Twists: Who Did it Better?
WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Batman #50 by Tom King, Mikel Janín, June Chung, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Trish Mulvihill, Becky Cloonan, Jason Fabok, Brad Anderson, Frank Miller, Alex Sinclair, Lee Bermejo, Neal Adams, Hi-Fi, Tony S. Daniel, Tomeu Morey, Amanda Conner, Paul Mounts, Rafael Albuquerque, Andy Kubert, Tom Sale, Jose Villarrubia, Paul Pope, Mitch Gerads, Clay Mann, Jordie Bellaire, Ty Templeton, Keiren Smith, Joëlle Jones, David Finch, Jim Lee, Scott Williams, Greg Capullo, FCO Plascencia, Lee Weeks and Clayton Cowles; and X-Men Gold #30 by Marc Guggenheim, David Marquez, Matthew Wilson and Cory Petit, Both issues are in stores now.
Throughout the decades, Marvel and DC have been known to publish similar event stories around the same time — for example, DC’s 2015 event Convergence was just like Marvel’s Secret Wars event, or the New 52 and Marvel NOW! relaunches. Just recently, both the Justice League as well as the Avengers battled ancient giant space gods that had come to destroy the Earth in No Justice and Avengers respectively.
But that’s not all the big summer events that both companies have been building up to for a while now. For Marvel and DC, this year wasn’t just about death and destruction — it was also about love and celebration. Both publishers surprised their respective fans a while back by announcing the upcoming weddings of the X-Men’s Kitty Pryde and Colossus on the Marvel side, and Batman and Catwoman for DC.
Both have been dancing around committing to each other for decades, meaning that their readiness to settle down and finally embrace their love for each other had been a long time coming. Fans were excited for both weddings, and the publishers appropriately built a solid marketing campaign around each event. Marvel and DC both wanted us excited for the announced nuptials, and all manner of promotional material and variant covers helped solidify the importance of these momentous events.
For a brief time, all seemed right for the love lives of superheroes — until the other shoe dropped. X-Men Gold #30 arrived first, a little over two weeks ago, and the highly-anticipated Batman #50 finally arrived just this week.
Both issues featured their similar twists, in that the characters who were set to marry each other didn’t go through with the wedding. In fact, both female characters ended up leaving the men at the altar. They had their different reasons, but the result was the same — the hyped-up weddings didn’t take place, and fans were left shocked, if not outright angry. But who did it better? Which twist felt logical, and which felt forced?
A Decoy Wedding
The backing out of her wedding by Kitty Pryde left fans (and Colossus) perplexed because there wasn’t a ring of truth to it. Just before the two mutants were about to tie the knot, Kitty changed her mind and left. Later on, she would tell Colossus that their shared history was too rocky, that they didn’t have a foundation strong enough to build a marriage on. While they ended the night on good terms, a secondary surprise came at the wedding reception, where Rogue and Gambit ended up getting married instead.
Kitty and Colossus were actually just a decoy in order to keep the real surprise of Gambit and Rogue getting married a secret. But some fans felt lied to, and justifiably so. Making matters worse is that Gambit and Rogue are equally — if not more — popular an X-Men couple. Had the buildup to the marriage of both these two characters been advertised from the start, fan reception would have been just as strong, and the actual issue simply a joyous occasion that wouldn’t be marred by failed relationships and broken hearts. As best we can tell, this issue put a final nail in the coffin of the love story between Kitty Pryde and Colossus, for better or for worse.
A Devious Plan
The wedding in Batman #50 is a much different affair. Both Batman and Catwoman realize that their history is rocky, but they’re both willing to build something new together. Selina Kyle didn’t end up going through with the wedding, but for entirely different, and completely non-selfish reasons.
When her friend and maid of honor Holly Robison casually wonders if a happy Batman can remain the Batman Gotham City and the rest of the world needs, Selina realizes that her making Bruce Wayne happy may ultimately end up killing the Batman — and dooming the world by default. For that reason, she makes the ultimate sacrifice, out of both love and altruism. She doesn’t go through with the wedding, not because she doesn’t want to, but because, in that moment, she put the needs of everyone else before her own. In that moment, she is the DC Universe’s most heroic character.
However, the real twist comes in the final page of the book, where we learn that Holly was actually acting on orders from Bane. The Batman supervillain is the one who made sure Holly would plant the seeds of doubt into Catwoman and, by doing so, he manages to break the Bat once again. The wedding doesn’t take place, but it doesn’t appear to be the end of the story between the Bat and the Cat. This feels more like a temporary setback, a reminder that the worst villains can strike from anywhere and at anytime. Even the writer behind Batman #50 himself, Tom King, recently stated that this is only the halfway mark in a 100 issue-long love story between Batman and Catwoman, which makes us believe that there is much more story left to tell in this saga — perhaps even a story that does end with wedding bells ringing after all.
Where one story featured what appears to be a definitive end of a long-standing comic book relationship, the other gave us the latest setback in an ongoing story. Marvel’s X-Men: Gold was a diversion, a ploy to get us to look left while the real wedding took place on the right, but DC’s Batman #50 told a human story of love and sacrifice that has been properly built up — and one that will continued to be built upon as the series progresses.
Wedding season may be over, but, if we’ve learned anything about weddings, it’s that they never go according to plan. But that doesn’t mean they won’t ever take place. It just means the story isn’t over yet.