WARNING: This article contains major spoilers for Batman #50, on sale July 4 from DC.
It is not much of an understatement to note that DC Comics revealing the ending of this week’s Batman #50 in The New York Times on Sunday, days before the release of the actual issue, has sent shockwaves throughout the world of comic books, with fans, retailers and even other comic book writers expressing their frustration and disappointment over the newspaper story.
Now, even the writer of the Times article himself is admitting that he would have handled things differently if he had another chance to write the controversial article.
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Speaking with Vulture about the controversy, longtime New York Times correspondent George Gene Gustines (who has been on staff at the Times since 1991 and has been their main comics correspondent for years) admitted that he would probably change some aspects of the coverage if he could do it all over again (he cleverly noted that “if he had a Legion time bubble” he would have used it).
Gustines originally planned on covering the wedding of Batman and Catwoman as if it were an actual wedding, giving it a “Vows” section just like any other famous wedding covered by the Times. This was actually an angle that DC pitched themselves and Gustines agreed would be a fun approach to the article.
The problem came when Gustines learned of the actual twist in the issue, explaining, “After I pitched the story, I learned the wedding would not happen. It seemed disingenuous to write the story without revealing the ending, which is why I included the reveal. But I should’ve asked for a non-spoiler headline. We should have given more thought so that the casual reader, flipping or scrolling through the Style section, would not know the twist by reading the headline.”
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Gustines noted that he did not tell DC that the Times would be spoiling the twist in the headline itself, but they knew that the article would be spoiling it. The casual nature of the spoiler has led to some disappointment from many comic book fans. Even the writer of Batman #50, Tom King, conceded that he was disappointed (and a little “pissed”) that the spoilers were so readily available to fans on Sunday.
Ultimately, though, DC clearly believes that the events of Batman #50 are still notable enough that, spoiler or not, the Times article will still draw fans to read how everything went down and how this leads to the next stage in Tom King’s acclaimed run on the series.
Batman #50 goes on sale Wednesday from DC. Unless you have a Legion time bubble yourself, in which case, you could probably get a copy today.