The Bat and the Cat: Why Romance is Important to Batman's Character

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Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

The stories we read in comic books encompass more than super heroes fighting crime, solving mysteries and flying through outer space in action filled panels. While all of these things contribute to the excitement, there is one element in comics that some people might have some difficulty in admitting that they enjoy -- the romance.

Many readers may not confess to enjoying the romantic aspect of comics even though sometimes the romance is what drives the story and makes it interesting. I don't mind raising my hand and being the first to admit that it's the romance that has piqued my interest sometimes, and I'm not alone either. In an interview about her recent books, X-23 writer and romance novelist Marjorie Liu delved into the importance of romance to a story.

== TEASER ==

."..As a writer, I'm not afraid of playing with intimacy. There are many different ways to express intimacy -- a look, a touch -- and I think it enriches the characters and stories when you create those moments, and then build on them.

She's right. So often the romance between characters plays out in unsuspecting ways and makes the reader feel more invested in the story. Romance can often become the driving force behind the stories and the characters, giving the characters a purpose for their actions. So now that I've just spent way too much time trying to defend the fact that I like mushy/kissy stuff in comics, I should probably go into why I decided to write about mushy/kissy stuff in the first place.

Early Monday DC revealed all of the upcoming covers and solicitations to the second issues of their Batman books, which if you haven't already seen you can check out here. What I noticed was that some of these stories contradict one another. Namely the solicits for Tony Daniel's Batman Detective #2 and Judd Winick's Catwoman #2.

In the upcoming revamped Batman: Detective Comics series Bruce is set to explore a "budding relationship with television reporter Charlotte Rivers who is in Gotham City" investigating the Gotham Ripper murders. Meanwhile, in Catwoman, "[Batman and Catwoman] ...should keep each other at arm's length, but...they just can't seem to help themselves!" Okay, Bruce, which one is it going to be? The wannabe Vicki Vale (I know, I shouldn't judge her until I read it) or master cat burglar Selina Kyle? I guess since he's Batman he can have his cake and eat it too, right?

The possibility of introducing a new romantic love interest for Bruce makes sense. Bruce Wayne is supposed to be a playboy, he's supposed to attract the ladies by day and crime fight by night (even if these romantic rendesvous tend not to leave a lasting impression). However, if there's anything that tops my list of things I hope to see carry over into this new DC Universe come September it has to be that spark between Batman and Catwoman. What makes their involvement so interesting is that it's so fleeting. It's spontaneous, dangerous and exciting -- because that's what both of these characters are. Not only is the dynamic of their relationship interesting but Batman and Catwoman also have a very long history together, so to throw that out the window would be a damn shame.

Catwoman first appeared in Batman #1 in July of 1940 and she has ever since been a staple in the Batman universe. After first seeing Batman injured, Selina decided that if Batman can put on a costume and fight crime, then she can don on a costume and become a criminal. Thus, Catwoman was born and she has ever since posed a challenge to Bruce Wayne. Catwoman's history since her inception has evolved and varied over the years. At one point Selina even married Bruce Wayne -- but that version of herself (Golden Age Selina) was eventually moved to DC's Earth Two and a new version was set in place. She's been an orphan, a flight attendant, a prostitute and the daughter of the infamous Falcone crime family (or at least that's been implied). However, if there is one thing that has remained constant is that she has been in love with Batman, and he's sort of had a thing for her too.

In the recent Heart of Hush story arc Batman confessed that he did indeed love Selina, and while I am glad that we got to see that before September's big DC revamp, I still hold hope that these two characters will continue to entertain their affections for one another. What do you think? Do you want to see the Batman and Catwoman relationship continue? Is there something you want to see carry over into the new DC Universe from our current continuity?

#1 Edited by Jordanstine (907 posts) - - Show Bio
Talia Al Ghul, I mean he already knocked her up, and they both had a little adorable bebe whose name has some devilish qualities!
 
What a happy and hor*y nuclear family!
#2 Posted by Amegashita (3601 posts) - - Show Bio

  Guess we'll have to wait and see what happens to their romance after the reboot, huh?

#3 Posted by NightFang (9810 posts) - - Show Bio

Great article!!!

#4 Posted by Duo_forbidden (1160 posts) - - Show Bio

Oh, yes, Batman and Catwoman should continue their relationship. Like you wrote Babs, "It's spontaneous, dangerous and exciting" and that's why I love this couple. Their relationship improved a lot in the Hush storyline when Bruce revealed his identity to her.
And I also agree on the fact that Bruce does need play the playboy role more often and date other people. However, out of all the people Bruce have dated or fell in love with, I think he truly belongs with Selina.

#5 Posted by batman_is_god (1185 posts) - - Show Bio

Silver St. Cloud was THE ONE.
#6 Posted by Samimista (20569 posts) - - Show Bio

Bruce and Selina is one of comic's iconic couples in my opinion and one of the best.

#7 Edited by cosmo111687 (1489 posts) - - Show Bio

The Batman/Catwoman relationship is one of my favourite things about Batman. I just found Jeph Loeb's stories (From The Long Halloween to Hush) and Heart of Hush to be very romantic. And, more importantly, compelling. I mean, it's not just some tacked-on, one-dimensional portrayal of romance. There's real depth to it.

#8 Posted by shiftplusone (16 posts) - - Show Bio

I could have sworn when catwoman#1 was released they said that she won't have any romance with batman. And you considered this a positive because so many times when there is a romance the women become terrible backgrounds characters to the male (like harley in gotham city sirens) Change of heart, then? Or is catwoman and batman an exception to the rule?

#9 Posted by difficlus (10679 posts) - - Show Bio
@Jordanstine said:
Talia Al Ghul, I mean he already knocked her up, and they both had a little adorable bebe whose name has some devilish qualities!  What a happy and hor*y nuclear family!
lmao
#10 Posted by Feliciano2040 (654 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't know, I like Catwoman, but she never convinces me as The One.
 
I think Bruce is a much more interesting character when he is with larger personalities like Talia Al Ghul or Wonder Woman.

#11 Posted by Burnstar1230 (207 posts) - - Show Bio

I guess, at the end of the day, out of all the women that Bruce has been involved with, which one will stick with him through thick and thin, till the day he dies or the day that he simply can't be Batman anymore. Selina seems like the closest choice for me, but then I think about what would happen if 'the thrill' that came from being a costumed hero or villain just ended. Would she still have an interest in Bruce?

#12 Edited by battyfan1 (203 posts) - - Show Bio

 
 
 
 
every woman that bruce dated can't even compare to selina.........he even admitted to that......i honestly find selina the most interesting female in the DC universe.....i really hope that they continue.... 
 
great article by the way :)

#13 Posted by ScarlettLynn (160 posts) - - Show Bio

Catwoman and Batman have always been THE couple for me. I've enjoyed their flirtations with others and I do like other potential pairings and relationships... but, in the end, it's Batman & Catwoman that have the connection and relationship I gravitate towards.

#14 Edited by okayla (102 posts) - - Show Bio

I just want Bruce and Talia to have hot, hanging from the roof fixture rough sex (on panel, of course) - is that too much to ask?

#15 Posted by B'Town (2336 posts) - - Show Bio
if there's anything that tops my list of things I hope to see carry over into this new DC Universe come September it has to be that spark between Batman and Catwoman. What makes their involvement so interesting is that it's so fleeting. It's spontaneous, dangerous and exciting -- because that's what both of these characters are. Not only is the dynamic of their relationship interesting but Batman and Catwoman also have a very long history together, so to throw that out the window would be a damn shame.

Absolutely I hope this relationship is built upon in September. After all these years, there is no woman I'd rather see with Batman than Catwoman. I just hope if DC makes this happen that they do not make Selina too tame, she has to remain a bad girl.

I also, hope DC finds a way to bring Scandal Savage and Knockout together to stay... even if it isn't with the Six. Breaking up and/or tragically tearing the gay couples apart, gets old for me.

#16 Posted by chipsnopotatoes (328 posts) - - Show Bio
@B'Town said:
if there's anything that tops my list of things I hope to see carry over into this new DC Universe come September it has to be that spark between Batman and Catwoman. What makes their involvement so interesting is that it's so fleeting. It's spontaneous, dangerous and exciting -- because that's what both of these characters are. Not only is the dynamic of their relationship interesting but Batman and Catwoman also have a very long history together, so to throw that out the window would be a damn shame.

Absolutely I hope this relationship is built upon in September. After all these years, there is no woman I'd rather see with Batman than Catwoman. I just hope if DC makes this happen that they do not make Selina too tame, she has to remain a bad girl.

Agreed. I think the pairing has a ton of potential that DC hasn't fully explored because there's always some wet blanket in editorial declaring they shouldn't be together or sabotaging the relationship on purpose for the sake of their own pet characters.

I'd like the relationship to be one of equals. Not her pining away for him. As long as they don't water down Selina just so she can be with Bruce, I think they can keep it interesting.
#17 Posted by FesteringNeon (86 posts) - - Show Bio

This might sound like philosophical one-liners, but IMO:
 
If anyone's ever loved and lost, the ever elusive romance might be easier to relate to. It takes heart not to let anything stand in your way, even if it leads to disappointment. (HA! cheeseball marathon, coming u..p...) 
 
I believe a true hero / villain are at their most powerful when they show affection, and a human-like quality even if their motives aren't always on track. People might hate what a villian does, but can sometimes completely understand once they understand why they react the way they do. 
 
 Fighting for something seemingly unattainable happens in many facets other than a love interest, (money, and fame which are also not foreign to comics) 
 
Would I like to see what would happen if Catwoman and Batman gave it a good honest go? Of course. Based on what I know, I can't say I could see it working, but then again their history would lend itself well to a story maybe driven by the loss of one another. The yin to the yang shall we say.
 
.....You might call me soft, and for that I don't blame you.. just understand that once Batman decides to hang up his boots, he may be inadvertently hanging up Catwomans also....and who wants a one dimensional dynamic? Mr. and Mrs.Smith made it work! haha.. now they have kids from 405930 countries.

#18 Posted by Superguy0009e (2265 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman is a tragic character, him being in love is the best thing to happen to him. He's always dark and grimy and sad, but whenever he has someone in his life, the world seems like a better place for him and the Batfamily. Him falling in love is what can take Bruce away from his life as Batman, and it has. In a tragic, sad, dark world for Batman, love makes him human and show human emotions. Batman may be able to beat up the Joker, but when it come to love, he's as confused as anyone else

#19 Posted by Grimoire (528 posts) - - Show Bio

Out of every pairing in comic-hood in its entirety do I believe that Batman and Catwoman are the best match for each other. lol

#20 Posted by guardiandevil801 (272 posts) - - Show Bio

I want to see Batman and Catwoman together because they have a good connection and chemistry.
#21 Posted by CellphoneGirl (18791 posts) - - Show Bio

I really like their relationship.

#22 Posted by danhimself (22207 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't think the relationship is changing...
 
CATWOMAN #2
Written by JUDD WINICK
Art and cover by GUILLEM MARCH
On sale OCTOBER 19 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T+
She’s a thief who lives to steal just for the thrill of breaking the law. He’s The Dark Knight, obsessively driven to battle evil with every ounce of his strength. They should keep each other at arm’s length, but...they just can’t seem to help themselves! Don’t miss this issue – things are gonna get messy!

#23 Posted by carnivalofsins00 (938 posts) - - Show Bio

Bruce and Selina is my favorite paring, ever. And after Heart of Hush, I don't think there's going back. At least not for me as a reader.

#24 Posted by maxicere (936 posts) - - Show Bio

Without love relationship Batman is just a obsesive maniac crime fighter

#25 Posted by Migz13 (169 posts) - - Show Bio

The Bat has always been destined to be with the Cat. Nuff said.

#26 Posted by mbembet (219 posts) - - Show Bio

i really hate catwoman that stupid whore

#27 Edited by Cervantes (634 posts) - - Show Bio
#28 Posted by Rhi (58 posts) - - Show Bio

I want Batman and Catwoman together, badly! I always have and I always will. Batman's relationship with Catwoman is one of the things that as a kid sucked me into the 90s cartoon and the 60s tv series, and it's always kept me interested in Batman.  
 
A crime fighter and crimal in love? What's not love about that!
#29 Edited by Brillow (7 posts) - - Show Bio

In fiction like comics, the writers have to establish sexual attraction between two characters but they also can never allow them to actually be together. This keeps up the sexual tension between the two and keeps people buying more books about them
 
Bob Kane and writer Bill Finger created a "friendly foe who committed crimes but was also a romantic interest in Batman's rather sterile life." She was meant to be a love interest and to engage Batman in a chess game with him trying to reform her. At the same time, this character was meant to be different from other Batman villains like the Joker in that she was never a killer or evil."

#30 Posted by Obsurity (263 posts) - - Show Bio

My guess- 
 
Batman: Catwoman 
 
Bruce: That new reporter 
#31 Posted by dragorith (18 posts) - - Show Bio

I really dislike the Batman/Catwoman pairing.

#32 Posted by Psykhophear (251 posts) - - Show Bio
Batman and Catwoman are made for each other. It is their destiny to be together, forever and ever. Catwoman loves danger and digs playboys.  Batman is a playboy and danger comes to him so there you go. Perfect!
 
Mr. and Mrs. Batman
#33 Posted by SammyGabryl (84 posts) - - Show Bio

I think that Batman like Punisher, Daredevil, Hellboy, Ghost Rider or Wolverine. Is a character that is destined to be alone. I think that it is important to the characters mission that he stay invested in his cause without distraction. As many flirts and flings Bruce has had over the years he has always ended up alone and it has made his character stronger for it. (but I suppose he can't stay a bachelor forever)

#34 Posted by Multiverse (276 posts) - - Show Bio
1. I completely agree with Babs on liking the romantic stories in comic books 
 
@chipsnopotatoes
said:
 I'd like the relationship to be one of equals.
2. I think you've hit upon one of the main problems in comic book relationships and on one of the main reasons why a Bruce Selina relationship could work. Often the, usually female, love interest doesn't have anything to do other than be rescued by the, usually male, hero. There are many more exceptions to this pattern than there were in the past but it can still crop up. The main example, in my opinion, would be Superman and Lois Lane. Incidentally, I think that Lois would work best as something like Superman's version of Oracle. 
#35 Posted by JonesDeini (3619 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm definitely a fan of character interaction, relationship, and exploration of intimacy over fisticuffs. However, when it comes to Batman I couldn't care a less about romance. Bruce's only love is the cape and cowl, his only mistress is Gotham. Bruce's girlfriend matters about as much as Frank Castle's to me. 

#36 Posted by okayla (102 posts) - - Show Bio
@dragorith: Me too, it's just so -- vanilla and typical. It doesn't do a thing for me. :\
#37 Posted by darkcloakx (788 posts) - - Show Bio

batman works best alone. just like wolverine  & blade they are on a mission.  

#38 Posted by Mbecks14 (2068 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman and Catwoman are like Superman and Lois Lane. There is no other lover. I mean Batman more than Superman has had dozens of love interests, but it should always come back to Catwoman. I think its perfectly acceptable/reasonable that BRUCE WAYNE may be dating this woman. But BATMAN is not. 
 
Bat/Cat 

#39 Edited by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

Batman works best when Catwoman doesn't know his identity. If Batman isn't keeping love at arms length in some way, it doesn't feel true to his character. Bruce learned at a young age that everyone he loves will get killed and he won't be able to save them. It plays out with Bruce Wayne casually dating trust fund floozies and models, and Batman loving women and ruining things when they find out his identity.
 
I think any guy who says he doesn't like a good bit of romance in a comic is lying or hasn't finished puberty. The only time i don't like it is (like everything else i don't like in comics) when it is poorly written or out of character (Deadpool and Siryn?! Deadpool and Outlaw?! Deadpool and Black Widow?!)

#40 Posted by Golden Cod (412 posts) - - Show Bio
@bukkookkub said:
This might sound like philosophical one-liners, but IMO:  If anyone's ever loved and lost, the ever elusive romance might be easier to relate to. It takes heart not to let anything stand in your way, even if it leads to disappointment. (HA! cheeseball marathon, coming u..p...)   I believe a true hero / villain are at their most powerful when they show affection, and a human-like quality even if their motives aren't always on track. People might hate what a villian does, but can sometimes completely understand once they understand why they react the way they do.    Fighting for something seemingly unattainable happens in many facets other than a love interest, (money, and fame which are also not foreign to comics)   Would I like to see what would happen if Catwoman and Batman gave it a good honest go? Of course. Based on what I know, I can't say I could see it working, but then again their history would lend itself well to a story maybe driven by the loss of one another. The yin to the yang shall we say.  .....You might call me soft, and for that I don't blame you.. just understand that once Batman decides to hang up his boots, he may be inadvertently hanging up Catwomans also....and who wants a one dimensional dynamic? Mr. and Mrs.Smith made it work! haha.. now they have kids from 405930 countries.
 
Considering how Bats' personality will never allow him to truly hang up his boots (like in Batman Beyond) and how DC will want to avoid portraying Bruce outside of his prime, Bruce and Selina will forever be trying to tempt each other to the other side of the fence.   It's like a romance movie don't you think?    Steady relationships end up boring readers and lead to awful things like One More Day :/
#41 Posted by KDP2 (30 posts) - - Show Bio

I would love to see Batman and Catwoman's relationship continue.  I've always loved reading about their escapades, but I've never read a story in which I was fully satisfied with how the relationship was portrayed.

#42 Posted by Wattup (648 posts) - - Show Bio

I'd like to see DC go all the way with Bruce and Selina. I think it would be interesting storytelling if the two got hitched!
 
That being said, I always liked his dynamic with Zatanna best. 8 )

#43 Posted by chalkshark (1180 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly, I believe Batman is, ultimately, destined to be alone. He may entertain the occasional dalliance, from time to time, but there's no place for a lasting romantic relationship in his obsessive war on crime. Batman has sacrificed his life, to prevent the suffering of innocents at the hands of criminals. He doesn't really have anything to give to a woman. He can profess love. He can even feel that he has given his heart to someone, like Silver St. Cloud or Vicki Vale. At the end of the day, though, he belongs to the citizens of Gotham City, & he's always going to be there, first, for them. Any potential love interest that thinks otherwise is holding onto an illusion.

#44 Posted by FoxxFireArt (3545 posts) - - Show Bio
@Babs said:

" Many readers may not confess to enjoying the romantic aspect of comics even though sometimes the romance is what drives the story and makes it interesting. "

I am certainly not one of them. I am a man, and I will fully admit that I enjoy good romance in my stories.  I don't like it when a story becomes just blind action with no passion or drama.
I just feel that comics get sloppy with it. The comic and movie versions of Batman has too many love interests. Bruce is a very moody guy who is seriously goal oriented. He's famous for not being a very happy person. He's still a man who can fall in love, but I don't see him as someone who trusts easily or lets people into his world.

That's why I hate the way the movies treat it. Every movie there is another love interest that he shows his identity to. Though, they are gone by the next film. I think you diminish the meaning of his love interests by making so many. It should stop at Talia and Selina. I see Talia as being more into Bruce than he is into her. My preference is to Selina. It's a very Nior story of the detective and the thief. She's not evil but not all that good either. Selina may do some bad things, but she wont kill. Talia on the other hand is loyal to her terrorist father and will kill.
We have always known that Selina and Talia were into Bruce, but for the longest time we never knew where he stood on the matter. That's why the Heart of Hush was so groundbreaking. The problem came when they broke that ground with no plans on what to build there. Why make such a bold move if they never had any plans for it?

I get why "Bruce Wayne" has flings. It's as Sara says. He's a playboy, but ironically that life is his real mask. Bruce's heart is in crime fighting and in Batman. If it wasn't I don't think he could do it for so long. They just keep building up these flings to try and be bigger than they really deserve to be. I think it's the influence of the movies leaking in to the comics.
#45 Posted by Darkmount1 (1267 posts) - - Show Bio

.............All right, I admit it--I'm a sucker for wedding issues. I have the Superman: The Wedding Album special, New Avengers Annual #1 (the wedding of Luke and Jessica), and Black Panther #18 (the wedding of Black Panther and Storm).
#46 Posted by Emperormeister734 (803 posts) - - Show Bio

It's a mystery to me, in my way of seeing the romance is used to connect each other for what they  stand in the past when they were enemies,  it seemed like their fights were more like dates. They began to team up which represented that they were going out 
, they even know each other outside the costume

#47 Posted by blackkitty (312 posts) - - Show Bio

This is one of the things which turned me off the Cat Woman comic was the article saying there would be no Batman. I love the character but the playful nature of their relationship is what makes it truly fun. Without it, I'm just not sure I'm interested in reading the comic. 
 
I like Talia, I hate Damon. Sorry.

#48 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

I wanna see the romance spill over into the revamp myself...but if what Judd Winick is telling us is true, he's trying real hard to make sure that it WON'T happen so...yikes on that score! Oh well at least I can always read Heart of Hush...

#49 Posted by okayla (102 posts) - - Show Bio
@blackkitty: Who the hell is Damon? That's the most creative spelling I've seen as of yet lol
#50 Posted by Utandi (218 posts) - - Show Bio

I totally agree. Romance is an important part in story telling. 
 
Good article.

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