Title: Batman: Prelude to the Wedding: Batgirl vs. Riddler (2018-) #1
Publisher: DC Comics
Writer: Tim Seeley
Artist: Minkyu Jung
Cover: Rafael Albuquerque
Publication Date: June 13, 2018
Publisher’s Summary: “On the eve of Batman’s wedding to Catwoman, two of Gotham City’s finest minds clash. In her role as Oracle, Barbara Gordon wired all of her allies together. But when The Riddler takes on Batgirl, will he tear everything asunder? “
Love is in the air this issue of Batman Prelude to the Wedding: Batgirl vs. The Riddler, but it’s from an unlikely source. Provoked by Batman and Catwoman’s incoming nuptials, The Riddler takes stock of his life. Coming to the conclusion that his equal must be out there, The Riddler sets out to woo this lucky lady. Of course nothing is simple with The Riddler, and he creates a series of kidnappings/riddles to entice the lucky lady, A.K.A Batgirl.
Nobody does bizarre love interests better than this DC in this issue. The inspired choice to pair The Riddle with Batgirl is only elevated by the fact that Batgirl is already interested in Nightwing. Tim Seeley creates a dynamite storyline, featuring classic Riddler shenanigans, but it’s Batgirl that really shines as she unravels The Riddlers diabolical date, and saves his kidnapped victims. As Batman and Catwoman’s wedding draws nearer, the heroes and villains of Gotham City are being drawn together in the most intriguing and perplexing manners. What will be next for The Riddler? It appears Harley Quinn has a few questions for him about her own lover, The Joker. As for Batgirl, Seeley brings the issue to a close with a potential date between her and Nightwing.
Minkyu Jung seems to understand that love is complicated, messy, and crafts the artwork in this issue around the less romantic stereotypes. Instead, Jung hones in on Gotham’s criminal underbelly, highlighting the darker aspects to this strange and mildly disturbing unrequited love story. As Batgirl is drawn into The Riddler’s game, the Jung draws a Gotham City that is true to the DC tone. Readers will be hard pressed to find hearts and shades of pink in this issue. Nothing about the art reflects a romantic tone; rather, the art reflects the disturbing infatuation The Riddler develops for Batgirl. The colors are duller, on the more realistic side, grounding the reader in the bizarreness of Batgirl’s dilemma.
Honestly, if you’re looking to have a few laughs, while also watching a top DC villain get his butt kicked, this is the issue for you. Seeley has a way of playing with the prelude theme to create a fresh storyline. The pairing of the hero/villain is also well executed as Batgirl beats The Riddler in a game of wits and fits.
The Bottom Line:
With Batman and Catwoman finally tying the knot, Seeley and Jung play with the idea of other hero/villain romantic relationships. Overall, the issue highlights Batgirls’ total badassery, as she serves The Riddler the ultimate rejection: a crushing defeat.