Writer: Tim Seeley
Artists: Travis Moore/Otto Schmidt
Colors: Tamra Bonvillain
Letters: Dave Sharpe
Cover: Rafael Albuquerque & Dave McCaig
Published by: DC Comics
I’m adoring the Prelude to the Wedding series. Actually, I’m adoring this entire new run of Batman, that has been dealing with the characters in a very tactful and human manner without losing all the fun of the action and almost over the top violence Batman is known for.
The second issue starts with some wholesome fun, with Superman and Nightwing throwing a bachelor party for the Caped Crusader. After some burgers eaten while in full superhero regalia, the plans for an impromptu fishing trip inside a pocket universe are ruined by the interruption of the supervillain Hush.
While Superman is distracted by Hush’s diversion, Batman and Nightwing face off against the villain. Trying to defend his disciple from and oncoming threat to his life, Batman accidentally sends both Nightwing and Hush through the pocket universe’s door, and they end in an alternate reality Gotham, where only the dangerous, faceless echoes of its citizens inhabit.
Hush’s resentment towards Nightwing then shows up fully fledged. Bruce Wayne’s former best friend struggles to understand why Dick Grayson has Bruce’s full trust when for he has been completely forgotten, proof being that he was not invited to be one of Bruce’s groomsmen.
With the help of an interdimensional figure that very closely resemble The Dude, from The Big Lebowsky, the duo of rivals search for a place where their individuality and identity resonates stronger so they can fight against the echoes, and guided by Nightwing, they end up in Wayne Manor.
It’s there the the difference between Tommy and Dick’s relationship with Bruce is made clear. While Dick was always there for Bruce and has in the Manor a huge part of what made him who he is, Tommy did nothing but to envy Bruce’s life, and has in the Manor and the time he spent there his biggest weakness of character, instead of a strength.
Once again, we have an ending that’s sweet without being sappy, with Dick coming to terms with not being Bruce’s best man, but estating that he never wanted to distance himself from him when moving to Bludhaven. He only wanted space to be himself, but still wanted to be there for his friend.
One more time I’m left with a warm fuzzy feeling inside, mixed with the apprehension of the clear party poopers that are going to crash the wedding, as shown in the epilogue. Seeing the relationships between the Bat-family and adjacent members towards the bride and groom to be is fanservice enough to last me a lifetime, and all the action peppered in between it’s just as awesome and enough to satiate my “thirst for blood.”