Batman/Catwoman #12 review

Batman/Catwoman #12 delivers a satisfying conclusion for readers of this series as well as Tom King’s actual Batman run. It will not win over new readers or those who weren’t fans of King’s Batman to begin with, but for those still reading this often delayed series the final moments should prove heartwarming.

Right off the bat, it’s evident this issue operates more as an epilogue to the storyline, rather than adding any new angles to King’s often unwieldy narrative. In the past, Bruce and Selina discuss her relationship with Joker and why Selina has broken her ties with the villain. This has been the area of the book I’ve found the hardest to track, especially since Selina herself is filled with doubts and self-loathing about her relationships with both Bruce and Joker. However, King’s script is more clear headed than normal here, which makes sense given this issue is the culmination of his Bat/Cat love story. Joker has asked Selina whether she is Catwoman or Batman, essentially forcing her to either change herself for Bruce or remain who she is and stay friendly with Joker. Selina finally comes to the conclusion that she doesn’t have to change for anyone and she can be Catwoman and still be with Batman and “make that work”. The other sequence set in the past doesn’t do much else to examine the intricacies of Selina and Bruce’s relationship. Instead, King elects to deliver a brief fight with Killer Croc, wherein Bruce tells Selina that he loves her. There’s nothing too special in these sequences, but the payoffs are there even if they felt obligatory given we know how this love story ends. I do really like Clay Mann’s rendition of Selina upon hearing Bruce expressing his love. In previous panels, Mann draws Selina forever with a mischievous grin or pose, but he softens her facade and makes her look just a tad more vulnerable in her body language and facial expression. It’s also fitting that this sequence takes place in a sewer with Tomeu Morey’s sickly green color palette lending good juxtaposition to the scene’s romantic nature.

Credit: Clay Mann, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles

The “present day” storyline also doesn’t offer many surprises, but it does deliver the wedding that Bat/Cat fans have been waiting for. While King’s fake out back in his Batman #50 left a bad taste in most fan’s mouths, this sequence is nice to see play out for fans who have stuck around til now. The fallout of Phantasm’s apparent death looms over the two as they struggle to carry on with their lives after all the losses they’ve suffered (including Alfred). King’s dialogue veers into some of his questionable tendencies when Bruce claims he doesn’t need to be cheered up as he says “I’m Batman. Vengeance is the night. I’m fine”. The self-aware dialogue sometimes works, but in quieter moments like this King has more success when he plays it straight, without a wink and a nod. Nonetheless, Selina’s speech about how they are two wounded animals who found each other is genuine enough to deliver the appropriate emotional resonance of this bedside talk. The actual wedding (done in a Vegas style, Gotham themed chapel) plays it mostly for laughs and serves as an extension of the “Double Date” arc from King’s Batman. Bruce merely saying out loud that he’s getting married is enough for Clark to hear and fly himself and Lois over to join the ceremony is a good laugh. While this wedding is a far cry from the prestige promised in King’s Batman, there is a charm to two of DC’s biggest characters getting married in a quickie ceremony with only Lois and Clark in attendance.

Credit: Clay Mann, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles

Before talking about the final plotline, Clay Mann’s, Tomeu Morey’s, and Clayton Cowles’ work deserves a general shoutout for the entire series. I don’t think the script gives the art team too many opportunities to show off, but the work here is pristine and precise. A panel where Selina examines a Christmas gift while Alfred stands in the background with a duster is elegant without trying, with a fireplace’s warm glow creating a cozy color palette. Mann’s composition also places Selina at the forefront, with her calm demeanor giving the impression that Selina feels at ease, which is a rare occurrence. However, many sequences feel built around splash pages where Bat/Cat stand together to demonstrate their relationship in a powerful, art portfolio-ready manner. Mann is a showy artist who sometimes goes for drama over nuance, letting what should be tender moments come off more like action poses.

Credit: Clay Mann, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles

However, while the first two storylines are solid without offering any real surprises, the future set storyline with an older Selina and Helena is some of the best writing King has done. Selina and Helena have another chilly conversation at opposite ends of a large dining table. Selina wants to give Helena a gift, which she refuses despite Selina’s attempts to guilt her. Helena thinks the gift is her mother’s wedding ring, to which Selina angrily retorts that the ring is forever hers and she will be buried with it. Helena’s distrust of her own mother makes her think this is all a ruse, similar to a Riddler trap. It’s a nice touch to have them make casual references to Batman’s rogue’s gallery, given how prevalent they are in their lives. This sequence works since Selina and Helena’s relationship was one of the strengths of the series and this argument feels natural, like it can happen between any mother and daughter. The twist that Selina’s gift to Helena is the last remaining piece of evidence that can tie her to Joker’s murder is excellent. While Selina might mean it as a peace offering, Helena sees it as a test of trust between the two of them. The tragedy of the moment is that Helena knows deep down she wouldn’t turn her own mother in, despite her previous attempts to bring her to justice. While the scene ends with Helena angry, King’s script nails the nuance of their relationship. Even though they are at odds with one another, you get the sense that Helena and Selina love each other without needing to draw a splash page of the two standing together to visualize it. While the issue mostly resolves every hanging thread, King wisely leaves this one open, empowering the reader to draw their own conclusions.

Credit: Clay Mann, Tomeu Morey, Clayton Cowles

The last thread King addresses is Andrea Beaumont’s real fate. Her apparent “death” last issue bothered me in that it felt like the easy way out for the series to wrap up Phantasm’s storyline. Not only would it have been unsatisfying, it arguably disempowered Andrea’s character by basing all of her emotions around her lost child. A woman wanting revenge for her murdered child isn’t a bad thing, but it has become a noticeable trope lately to create a woman character so hellbent on revenge that they have no interior essence outside of their motherly connections. The reveal that Andrea is alive was a breath of fresh air and was one of the few moments of optimism in the series outside of Selina’s and Bruce’s love story. Clayface being behind the fake death is lazy, but King does his best to justify it by having Selina ponder about how some criminals have an inherent good side to them as well.

Recommended if…

  • It’s been four years since Batman #50 and you want to see the Bat/Cat marriage finally happen.
  • You’re curious about the fate of Andrea Beaumont.
  • If you’ve followed the series til now….are you really gonna skip this one?


Batman/Catwoman #12 suffers a little bit from Tom King’s “play the hits” script, but the few surprises within the issue are among some of his best. The art team turns in a handsome issue, but the real meat of the story lies with the long gestating marriage between Bruce and Selina. While a victory lap at its core, fans of King’s Batman will get what I consider to be a better ending than his final Batman issue, which makes this series vital for those readers. For everyone else, this final chapter will likely not win over any converts to the Bat/Cat love story.

Score: 8/10

Disclaimer: DC Comics provided Batman News with a copy of this comic for the purpose of this review.