“Batman: Prelude to the Wedding” Foreshadows Ra’s/Joker Battles

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The day of Batman and Catwoman’s wedding is getting closer, and in case you were wondering, yes, it looks like it’s going to be crashed by a bunch of supervillains.

Though the big day will not actually come until July 4, DC Comics is getting ready with its miniseries Batman: Prelude to the Wedding. Each entry is billed as a #1, focusing on one member of the Bat-Family (broadly defined, as Harley Quinn is included) facing off against one villain. The first issue, Robin vs. Ra’s al-Ghul, was released on Wednesday, May 30.

As Bat-fans know, the current Robin is Damian Wayne, the only biological son of Batman. As we see, he is determined to perform his part in this wedding with “stoic pride, grace and dignity,” but clearly has some mixed feelings about it. Damian has always had a jealous streak about people whom he cares about, and apparently he’s concerned about the possibility of Bruce and Selina eventually “replacing” him with another child. He also asks Selina if she wants him to call her “Mother,” recalling his difficulties with his own mom, the villainess Talia al-Ghul.

But as the title reveals, in this issue it’s his grandfather, Ra’s al-Ghul, who gets the focus. He wants to find out where the wedding is being held, presumably to pull a dramatic “speak now or forever hold your peace” moment, or just kill Selina for “stealing” Bruce from his daughter. After a tense confrontation with her and Damian, however, he goes back to the League of Assassins to find that the Joker has attacked his men, because of course, the Clown Prince of Crime wants to attend the festivities more than anybody. As such, it looks like a three-way battle between the Bat-Family, al-Ghul and the Joker could mar the big day.

Supervillains attacking heroes’ nuptials is a well-known cliché; a fair number of heroes have subverted it (Superman and Spider-Man, for example), but it looks like the Kyle-Wayne wedding won’t be so lucky. And things could get worse, since Prelude issues about the Riddler, Hush and Anarky are yet to come out.

Foreshadowing aside, this issue also does a good job of demonstrating Damian’s character growth and maturity, while also showing that he is still a teenager struggling with some heavy emotions. Hopefully the rest of the series will keep up this high standard.

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