What do you get for the man who has everything? That was the problem Booster Gold faced since he wanted to get Batman a wedding present. Since he has access to a time machine, Booster thought he could go back in time and prevent the deaths of Thomas and Martha Wayne. That would make for a pretty great gift, although it totally throws off the timeline. Now Bruce is a spoiled rich guy, Selina Kyle is a lunatic, and Dick Grayson is a gun-toting Batman. Stuck in this time, after Bruce destroyed the time machine, Booster seeks out Catwoman to try to talk some sense into the Caped Crusader. Did I mention she was a lunatic in this timeline?
Artist Tony S. Daniel does a tremendous job in Batman #46. I particularly love the facial expressions on these characters that we know so well. Although they’re in this twisted alternate timeline, their core essence shines through. This is especially true for Catwoman. She doesn’t speak aside from an occasional “meow” but she often has this signature mischievous grin that we’ve all come to know and love.
Speaking of the meows, it’s funny to see how much can be implied by each one. Although you can’t hear Selina say it, you get a perfect understanding of her tone and meaning. Her emotion comes through in the moment, whether that’s anger, curiosity, or surprise. Writer Tom King somehow adds the context to these sequences to great effect.
Booster is losing it a little after spending a full year in this timeline. He decides to create a Catwoman costume, sewing it himself, which he is very proud of. The result is an homage to Michelle Pfeiffer’s costume in Batman Returns, clad in leather and erratic stitching. It’s a nice touch to this alternate world.
Booster is fraying around the edges after this time. He’s stranded and getting desperate, which could be why he’s created such a crazy plan. I have to wonder what he’s been doing all this time, if he only now thought of this. He’s sporting a beard now, too, which makes him look a little older, replacing his youthful naivete with a gruff exterior. Booster spends a lot of time explaining the situation to Selina even though she can’t or won’t speak. It’s like he’s just happy to have someone else to talk to.
Since Booster Gold is one of my favorite DC characters, and I’m a sucker for alternate timeline stories, I naturally gravitated towards Batman #46. It helps that it serves as a lead-up to Bruce and Selina’s wedding, which looks to be a massive event. Booster is shown to be a little too dumb here because he knows how drastic changing solidified elements of the timeline can be. Some things were just meant to happen. His intentions were pure and his heart was in the right place, but his head was definitely not.
We’ve seen this kind of alternate timeline scenario play out before in Batman stories, but never quite like this. Obviously, if his parents were never killed, Bruce Wayne would never put on the cape and cowl. He wouldn’t need to wage a never-ending war on crime if he wasn’t personally affected by it. It’s amazing to see just how much the world around him would change if that didn’t happen. Gotham City is a war zone while Bruce and his family live in the lap of luxury. It’s kind of sad that it took his parents dying to teach him some humility.