The Bride and the Bold

cover to the issue: Wonder Woman and Batman figurines on the top of a wedding cake while red eyes and a held dagger appear from a black background behind it.The All-New Batman: the Brave and the Bold #4, Apr. 2011. Sholly Fisch—writer; Rick Burchett—penciller; Dan Davis—inker; Scott Peterson and Jim Chadwick—editors. Cover: Burchett and Davis, with colorist Gabe Eltaeb also signing.

What an entertaining issue! The story is great for both kids and adults. It's witty with lots of guest stars and old WW villains, as well as a few from other mythoses. Mithoi. Whatever.

Giganta begins the issue trying to pound Diana into the ground, but Diana KOs her. Meanwhile, Mouseman uses a flash drive for industrial espionage, but is grabbed (by the tail) by Batman.

The nymph Harmony and god Eros watch from afar. Eros is peeved that while Diana was sent to Man's World to spread his mother's message of love, instead she wastes time fighting crime. He shoots his arrows at Batman and Diana, and they kiss. Batman proposes; Diana accepts.

On the way to Gotham City Hall (in the Invisible Jet) where they can be married "within the HOUR!" (yeek!) they pass a statue of Justice, and for a moment Batman seems to come out of his love daze. Instead, he suggests that they should have a fancy royal wedding, deserving of Diana.

Talia says that Batman should be her beloved, and not "some Amazon in a bathing suit!"TV, including a tearful Vicki Vale, spreads the news, and Talia al Ghul becomes incensed. She imagines the "domestic bliss" of the couple, first with Diana cooking and asking newspaper-reading Batman to mind the kids (Damian and Bruce Jr.) while she fights crime, to the same scene but with the two adults' positions switched.

Then she calls up as many villains as she can to make sure the wedding will never be completed.

Next we see is a wedding tent in an idyllic park. Hippolyta stands ready to officiate. They've made a compromise between Silver Age and Modern Age Hippy in that her hair has no shadows but is colored blue. Still, she wears the ice cream cone Silver Age crown. Steve and Etta await Diana's arrival on the bride's side, and Superman and Robin (I think it's Dick) stand on Batman's side of the dais. Robin whispers that he expects it all to be "a HOAX or a DREAM!," which was the classic Silver Age cover blurb to describe shocking developments in a story (as in: "Not a Hoax or a Dream! It's the real thing!"). The flower girl and boy are Sugar and Spike, and if you don't know who they are, Google 'em.

Diana arrives looking quite splendid in a simple sheath split up to her hip. Batman of course wears a tux and his cowl. As the ceremony begins, so does the attack. We have Egg Fu, Joker, Riddler, Penguin, Two-Face, Cheetah, Angle Man, Gentleman Ghost, Kite-Man, Harley Quinn, Firefly, Paper Man, Fireworks Man, Amoeba Man, Crimson Centipede, Solomon Grundy, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Dr. Cyber (?), Multiple Man, and lord knows who else.

Working for the good guys are: a pack of assorted Amazons, Donna Troy (dressed in her red Cardy outfit!), Black Canary, Green Lantern, Flash, Huntress, Plastic Man, Atom, Aquaman, Wildcat, Dr. Fate, Red Tornado, Blue Beetle, Catman, Creeper, Vixen, Beast Boy (or is it Changeling?), Martian Manhunter, Aquaman, Green Lanterns John Stewart and Hal Jordan, Spectre, Doll Man, Capt. Marvel, and and and...

As the villains are defeated, Eros pops in, followed by a towering Aphrodite, who berates him. She points out that love cannot be forced on people, but must be inspired by them. She shows him how Diana is inspiring: as she protects the helpless and saves people from harm. Aphrodite apologizes for the incident and all godly personnel leave the area.

Now Diana and Batman reveal that they weren't under the spell for long. Remember the statue of Justice? That's Batman's true love (stop choking out there!), and seeing "her" snapped him out of it. He was able to use Diana's lasso to release her from the spell. They figured a wedding would lure villains out of hiding.

The story ends with Mouseman escaping "by a whisker," only to be accused by Catwoman as having almost been responsible for getting Batman married to another. As she reaches for him, she says, "Let's TALK..."

 

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