The final page of the latest issue of Batman has been all over the place this week. Bruce Wayne got down on one knee and proposed to Catwoman. Will this be the big event wedding of the Rebirth era?
Written by Tom King
Art by David Finch, Clay Mann, Seth Mann, Danny Miki and Jordie Bellaire
One of the things I love about Tom King’s run on Batman is how smoothly everything has run over the last 24 issues. He’s had a cohesive story arc going and it has built moment-to-moment and issue-to-issue in a very natural way. And everything Batman has dealt with in King’s book since Rebirth began comes to a head in this epilogue issue. From Gotham and Gotham Girl to Bane to seeing the Flashpoint version of his father, it’s a lot to deal with, enough to make even a Batman bend a bit.
Gotham Girl, the new hero that Batman set out to save when he angered and then defeated Bane, is the catalyst for a potential new direction in Batman’s life. She’s looking for her own path and asking the advice of the man who saved her. But Batman doesn’t want to tell her how to live her life for some very important reasons.
How much of this unhappiness has to do with meeting Thomas Wayne, his father, during THE BUTTON crossover, where Thomas told him to let the Batman die, so that he can find the peace he’s never really been able to attain? It’s probably weighing on his mind, much like the encounter with Swamp Thing in the previous issue.
So maybe Batman needs to have someone in his life to quell his darkness and help him see the light the way Lois does for Clark. Given the context of King’s story since Rebirth began, there really is only one person around for Bruce to turn to – an on-again, off-again paramour who may understand him better than anyone because of her experiences.
I get it, I do. Bruce and Selina Kyle – Catwoman – have a long history and have frequently been portrayed as star-crossed lovers who related to each other. On Earth-2, Bruce and Selina were married and had a daughter.
On Earth-1, though, they were never able to find that kind of peace, especially since Selina never fully reformed her criminal ways. She’s been shown to be a jewelry thief looking for shiny objects, a crime boss looking for power in Gotham’s underworld and a killer. In fact, she’s still on the run from the Gotham Police after her last encounter with Batman where she promised Bruce she would let him take her in and then bolted. She’s wanted for the death of more than 200 people.
Clearly, Bruce is emotionally destroyed from the fight with Bane and the trip to Flashpoint, because – unless it’s all a ruse to bring Catwoman in – this is a pretty dumb thing to do. Although it is a pretty typical action for someone going through the level of trauma Bruce must be experiencing, to latch on to someone regardless of how toxic that person would be.
You have to wonder how cool his fellow members of the Justice League would be with Batman marrying someone wanted for murder. I can’t see that conversation going over well. And how would Batman react if Barry Allen wanted to marry Golden Glider? Or if Clark Kent proposed to Silver Banshee?
We’ll have to wait and see where this development goes. I can’t honestly see DC Comics throwing a big wedding for Bruce and Selina, or returning to the BATMAN NO MORE trope that’s been trampled on over the last decade, so I can’t imagine it ends well for Batman. The next arc, THE WAR OF JOKES AND RIDDLES, is supposed to be more of a flashback story, so it might be a while before we see a true resolution to the proposal.