REALLY, READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!
Okay by now if you’re a DC Comics/Batman fan, you might have either already read the issue in question (Batman#24) or have seen the news spoiled all over the internet. But if you haven’t, the big news is our beloved Caped Crusader has asked Selina Kyle, the Catwoman, to marry him.
You can read some facts and comments from writer Tom King about it here, and check out my review of the excellent issue here. But right now I just want to give you my opinion about the very specific proposal moment at the end. Now, I’m a Batman from way back and I am well aware of his many different alternate Earth incarnations, some of which do have him marrying Selina Kyle (in fact one of The Huntress’ origins is as their daughter!). But THIS event is happening in the main DCU, and that, especially in the Rebirth era, is a first. I for one think it’s a ‘brave and bold’ move. Tom King has shown that he fundamentally understands Batman/Bruce Wayne on many levels. He has shown us the bad-ass, the wise-ass, the word’s greatest detective, and even the father figure. Now he is showing us the lover. And by that, I mean not just in the physical sense, though he has shown us a quite sensuous rooftop encounter between Bruce and Selina before. No, what he is showing us now is a Bruce Wayne who is willing to explore areas of his life previously ignored. Perhaps urged by the advice of his father (the Flashpoint Batman) to find happiness, and not be ‘Batman’, Bruce has taken the first tentative steps in finding a happiness that doesn’t involve the self-destructive behavior of putting on a costume to risk his life on a nightly basis. This only adds depth to an already deep well of a character.
Catwoman has also been a consistent emotional and story point presence since King started on this title, so the moment does not feel out of place or out of character for either Batman or Catwoman. It works as the natural progression of a story. People are going to scream about it being a publicity stunt, but I don’t see it that way. The news wasn’t hyped up like so much “game changing” comic book stories are these days and most of us really only heard about a day before it happened (which is about the best we can ask for in this age of the internet). So I for one can get behind it. At the very least it’s going to take the title into an interesting direction and continues the work that Tom King is doing; exploring one of comics’ most complex characters from as many angles as he can.
So please, comment and discuss. Keep it civil but passionate. After all, talking comics is half the fun of reading them!