Batman and Catwoman’s on-again-off-again romance is a tale not quite as old as time, but certainly one that’s lasted the better part of 75 years.
Their game of rooftop cat-and-mouse has gone from flirtatious to serious to estranged and back again more times than I can count, but it may finally be time for that story to move forward. That headline was as generously vague as possible, so beware massive spoilers for tomorrow’s issue of Batman if you continue reading!
This Wednesday sees the release of Batman #24, the latest issue in writer Tom King’s run, and it acts as the culmination of a few plot threads the writer has been working toward over the course of his Rebirth run. Catwoman, and her relationship with Batman, has been brought to the fore of King’s run, with a special two-part arc, and a prominent role in the “I am Suicide” storyline.
Batman also recently teamed up with the Flash in "The Button" story arc, during which he met his father in the world of Flashpoint, where Thomas Wayne was Batman instead of Bruce. He pleaded with his son to stop being Batman and find happiness before disappearing into nothingness. This did a number on Bruce’s psyche, as evidenced in the follow-up story where Batman has an emotional breakdown in front of Swamp Thing, demanding he explain the nature of death to him.
These themes of mortality, finality and the desire for happiness are now coming to a head tomorrow in Batman #24, wherein Bruce Wayne will take a knee and pop the big question to Selina Kyle. As revealed by USA Today, Batman will ask Catwoman to marry him in the final moments of the issue, which will in turn force readers to ask questions as well. According to Tom King, he wants fans to be wondering, “Was this a moment of vulnerability or a moment of arrogance? That’s almost the cliffhanger. Is Batman making the greatest decision of his life or the greatest mistake?”
We’ll have to wait for Catwoman’s answer, though, because before she can tell him, Batman must first tell her a story, “The War of Jokes and Riddles,” a flashback arc that will begin in issue #25.
While shocking, the moment is hardly unprecedented, as the pair’s Golden Age, Earth 2 counterparts were married, and even had a daughter, the original Huntress. However, as a mainstream, ongoing status quo, a married Batman would be breaking new ground. I’m very interested in the potential of a Batman who has some happiness again, and isn’t all darkness, all the time. But that’s assuming Catwoman says yes. What would her denying him do to the Dark Knight when he’s already in such a fragile state of mind?
Would you say yes to a marriage proposal from Batman? Do you think Catwoman should? Are you against interspecies romance? As always, let us know in the comments below!
Batman #24 is in stores June 7 from DC Comics. Art by David Finch, Danny Miki and Jordie Bellaire.