Unholy matrimony! Who spoiled Batman's wedding?

Bat-fans are upset that the New York Times has leaked details of DC’s forthcoming marriage edition, but the paper may not be the villain here

It’s the wedding of the year, at least in the world of comics. This Wednesday, in the much anticipated 50th issue of Batman, the DC Universe’s most eligible bachelor is due to tie the knot with his longtime arch-enemy Catwoman.

Except, er, we already know how it goes. The wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle has been two years in the making, a storyline that has been building in fortnightly issues ever since the flagship Batman title was taken over by writer Tom King in 2016. However – and please insert your own Robin-punching-his-palm “Holy matrimony!” gag here – comics fans eagerly awaiting the landmark issue were shocked at the weekend, when the New York Times blew the whole issue’s plot, complete with a headline that spoiled the ending.

If you’re keen to know what happens on Batman’s big day, you can read here, but be warned: the NYT really did ruin the story. (And anyone repeating spoilers in the comments below is likely to be the subject of vigilante action by annoyed Bat-fans for which the Guardian cannot take responsibility.)

So why did the NYT run such a clanger? Presumably it was with the blessing of DC Comics, in a bid to drum up sales for the issue (DC has been approached for a comment to see if that’s the case or if the newspaper had obtained an advance copy and decided to blow the gaff off its own bat – pun entirely intended.) John Cunningham, DC’s senior vice president of sales, took to Facebook claiming it was a pre-emptive move to stop someone else spoiling the story by posting scans on the internet. “While the Times piece is more fulsome than some might like,” he wrote, “it does not spoil the shock ending of the book for fans.”

Comic studios are not generally averse to leaking big events to get a bit of news: the death of Superman in 1992 and Marvel’s Spider-Man in 2011 both became global news before anyone had even read them. Nobody was expecting a quiet marriage with Clark Kent bringing a toaster and the Teen Titans getting drunk on WKD – but it’s safe to say few were expecting the ending of the whole story to appear in the NYT days before its release.

Ugh. Batman 50 spoilers are now out there. Ignore/avoid them (or try to) and read the issue.

— Tom King (@TomKingTK) July 1, 2018

Whether this move translates into a boost in sales for DC remains to be seen. When the NYT piece went online, even King didn’t seem to anticipate the spoilers, asking readers to ignore them and imploring them to buy the comic regardless. When DC themselves promoted the NYT piece (suggesting some degree of cooperation), fans were quick to take umbrage, with many announcing they were going to take the issue off their “pull list” (the titles saved for them by their local comic shop).

“DC dropped the ball. Hard. The issue is already spoiled,” complained one. “What are people paying $3.99 for now? Comic stores will lose a lot of sales because of this,” raged another. A least one comic shop did report this effect: RJ Comics and Toys in Virginia told DC: “I have loyal Batman customers emailing me to take Batman off their pull. Thank you for this.” Perhaps this upset was the only way to trump the outcome of the couple’s not-so-happy day. All we’ll say here is that if you did buy Bruce and Selina that towel set, make sure you can find the receipt.


David Barnett

The GuardianTramp

Related Content

Article image
The Killing Joke at 30: what is the legacy of Alan Moore's shocking Batman comic?
Published three decades ago, Moore’s take on Batman has been polarising readers ever since, with the writer himself calling it a ‘regrettable misstep’ – but is there good to be found in this violent and troubling comic?

David Barnett

14, Mar, 2018 @2:00 PM

Article image
A Batman for the real world: is Casey Affleck's Villain the superhero we deserve?
Is the actor’s planned thriller Villain, about a vigilante superhero corrupted by power, a satire on brother Ben Affleck’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice?

Ben Child

01, Nov, 2016 @11:13 AM

Article image
2018 in comics: Wonder Woman, Poochytown and goodbye Alan Moore
For graphic novel fans, this year is full of treats: more Batman and Spider-Man, rumours of a Ta-Nehisi Coates take on Captain America, some fresh faces – and big farewells to some old ones

Sam Thielman

04, Jan, 2018 @7:00 AM

Article image
Marvel and DC face backlash over pay: ‘They sent a thank you note and $5,000 – the movie made $1bn’
As the comics giants make billions from their storylines and characters, writers and artists are speaking out about their struggles for fair payment

Sam Thielman

09, Aug, 2021 @2:32 PM

Article image
Holy backtrack, Batman! DC withdraws caped crusader's nude scene
After much online glee, the publisher has removed the first glimpse of the superhero’s genitals from its latest Batman issue – prompting fans to chase unaltered copies

Alison Flood

21, Sep, 2018 @4:47 PM

Article image
Batman’s sidekick, Robin, comes out as LGBTQ in new comic
DC’s latest issue of Batman: Urban Legends shows the superhero’s companion accepting a date invitation from another male character

Sian Cain

11, Aug, 2021 @10:50 AM

Article image
Unmasked: the Penguin saves world from Covid in Danny DeVito’s Batman story
The actor, who played him in Batman Returns, has written a storyline for an 80th anniversary edition of the DC comic which sees him vaccinate the planet

Alison Flood

01, Dec, 2021 @10:46 AM

Article image
80 years of Robin: the forgotten history of the most iconic sidekick
They were bold, badass – and brief. But Batman’s short-lived female sidekicks give us hope that women in comics are good for more than just sticking in a fridge

Julia Savoca Gibson

18, Mar, 2020 @6:32 AM

Article image
New Batman will be black, DC Comics announces
Character named Tim Fox will take up the cowl in new comic series written by 12 Years a Slave screenwriter John Ridley

Alison Flood

11, Dec, 2020 @2:51 PM

Article image
'I'm sucking up your IQ!': what 90s Batman tells us about Hollywood
The dialogue is corny, the heroes moody, the fights risible, but the Batman films of Tim Burton and Joel Schumacher paved the way for today’s blockbusters

Alex Hess

14, May, 2019 @11:10 AM