WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Batman #48
Joker's getting ready for Batman and Catwoman's wedding the only way he knows how: by launching a uniquely twisted killing spree in Bruce Wayne's name. The idea that the long-awaited marriage between Batman and Catwoman would send Joker off the deep end like never before came earlier this year, when writer Tom King promised big things once the Clown Prince of Crime heard the news.
What followed was DC Nation #0, in which Joker chose a random house in Gotham City to wait for his invitation (along with its actual owner). Claiming he had finally received his invite to the happy day - using any letter at all - Joker set off in search of the perfect wedding gift. In our exclusive preview of Batman #48, Joker finally gets to show off his one of a kind present. Hint: it's murder.
Along with these first pages comes a look at the variant cover from Frank Cho, but Mikel Janín's cover art of Joker smashing chess pieces of the entire Batman Family is what's really going to worry fans. This is the Joker we're talking about, after all. And as DC has already started to reveal, the main members of the Batman Family will be facing villains in standalone comics.
Damian Wayne got the first Prelude to the Wedding, doing battle with Ra's al Ghul. The issue concluded with the Demon's Head glimpsing the havoc Joker is unleashing as the wedding day approaches... and in our preview, Batman finally arrives to stop him.
Take a look at the preview pages below:
By this point, the unforgettable sight of Joker singing the theme to the 1960s Batman TV show is what fans have come to expect from Tom King. Equal parts sinister, self-aware, and above all reverence for the long legacy of the Bat, it would almost be the kind of twist guaranteed to put a smile on readers' faces. That is, if the scene itself wasn't absolutely horrifying.
The preview doesn't reveal why Joker chose this wedding to destroy, seeming to execute all members of the wedding party (or if there's some clue to be gleaned from Mikel Janín's depiction of the church as New York's Trinity after a serious dose of Venom). All we know is that the story's title, "The Best Man," will never sound like so innocent an honorific ever again.
Check out a full synopsis for the issue below:
Batman (2018) #48
Published: June 6, 2018
Writer: Tom King
Art: Mikel Janín
Cover Artist: Mikel Janín
“THE BEST MAN” part one! Batman and Catwoman decide it might be better to elope rather than go through some big, stodgy wedding ceremony, but no sooner do they put their marriage on the fast track than The Joker appears! And when The Joker kidnaps the Caped Crusader, will he give his old foe a piece of his mind or bash in his brains?
Batman #5 will be available from DC Comics on June 6, 2018.