Comparing Two Weddings (SPOILERS)
In the past month there have been two comic book weddings that were touted a little bit. One moreso than the other. In X-Men Gold #30, We had the wedding of Colossus and Kitty Pryde. In Batman #50, we had the wedding of Batman and Catwoman. I’m going to compare the two, as they are very similar tales. In doing so, there will be spoilers.
That being said, both issues are similar in that the characters actually having the wedding do not get married. In drama, not just comics, its a trope to have someone change their mind at the last minute. Batman #50 was spoiled by DC Comics. It angered a lot of people. X-Men Gold #30 was likewise spoiled. A lot of that spoiler potential comes from the way comics are shipped to stores. The big difference is that Batman #50 has an aborted wedding to maintain a status quo and X-Men Gold #30 has it to progress the story of two other characters.
For me, this seems to be the crux of the difference between the two companies. DC maintains their characters in a bizarre status quo where, for the most part, nothing ever changes. Of course, there are exceptions over the years. Even though Dick Grayson became Nightwing, Robin has always been, as Marv Wolfman had Dick Grayson say, “Robin will always be the back half of ‘Batman and.'”Even after he was exposed as Nightwing, it was just a matter of time before he was Nightwing once again. We have a married Superman, but only after so much fan outrage. Clark and Lois’s marriage was broken up over a new DC continuity that looked a lot like the old status quo, including a single Clark Kent.
Marvel is notorious for doing the same, notoriously breaking up Spider-Man and Mary Jane in one of the most egregious manners possible. Also, it was for the reason that it was felt that the character had strayed to what audiences wanted from the character. The same has happened lately with the return of the original characters to hold certain names and the vanishing of the ones that were carrying on the legacies of Thor, Falcon, Iron Man and the Hulk. However, if you look at where the “All-New, All-Different X-Men” were at following the Death of Phoenix, and where they are today, it looks a little different. If you look at where Batman was at almost the very same time, it’s painfully apparent that we are looking at two separate philosophies at what can be done with the characters.
X-Men Gold #30
We’ll start with X-Men Gold #30 since it came out first. Colossus and Kitty Pryde have had an on-off relationship forever. The issue even starts flashing back to a scene that is the first time they broke up. Colossus telling Kitty that he fell in love with someone else during the Secret Wars. The heart of Kitty’s decision not to get married is this hot and cold nature of their relationship. Kitty also was just engaged to Star-Lord. The escalation of their renewed relationship is a little fast. I’m not against fast courtships, just that based on their history, this was a little odd.
But like I said, the point of the issue is for Gambit and Rogue to get married. While I’ve never cared for this pairing, I understand that there a strong fan base for them as a couple. They’ve also not really had any strong relationships get in the way, but their indecisiveness, probably from their checkered pasts. To be honest, I’ve been only a casual reader of the X-Men for the past twenty years. As such, the interpersonal relationships here confuse me.
However, all things being said, I would prefer this resolution to the “left at the alter” trope over what Tom King gave us in Batman #50.
There are a lot of pin-up pages in this issue, with text from Batman and Catwoman’s letters meant to help define the relationship to new readers. It also builds up to Catwoman not showing up. That’s essentially it. Of course, there is the acknowledgement that Catwoman has always known that Bruce Wayne is Batman. There is also confusion as to how the Batman/Catwoman marriage was going to mesh with a very public Bruce Wayne marrying a confirmed criminal. It’s mentioned that the marriage would be secret, but how does that work?
There is talk that Catwoman has been shown that Batman being happy will doom many people. I don’t buy that premise. I think it perpetuates a horrible status quo. It also emotionally keeps Batman as that scarred little boy who watched his parents die. Batman is that little boy grown up, and being happy or married doesn’t have to change his dedication to his cause. Catwoman could be the perfect partner for him. She understands it all, as depicted in this letter. Catwoman balks at the idea of being a hero, but from the beginning, there was an heroic element to what she did.
Finally, there is the possibility that the breakup is orchestrated by Bane and/or other Batman villains. It couldn’t just be cold feet, like in X-Men Gold. There had to be a costumed element to it all. In case you’re missing my point, I didn’t care for it.
I think X-Men Gold #30 was more successful because it was going someplace. The Batman/Catwoman wedding went nowhere but back to the beginning. It made it feel like all of the build up was for naught. That any money readers had spent on this storyline was wasted. Ultimately, as a reader, I want to feel like I’m more than an ATM to the comics industry. Batman #50 made me feel like no one cared about what I felt like. X-Men Gold #30 made me feel like someone thought about what I might want. I don’t particularly care about Gambit and Rogue, but someone does, and somewhere at Marvel, someone else cares about that.