Monday, October 19, 2009

Bat-Month: Romancing the Bat

Meow!Weighing in on my own question, there's only one romantic interest I can see for Batman1: Catwoman. I suppose it's a bit pedestrian, but I think they belong together. In fact, about the only good thing to come out of "Hush" was the strengthening of their relationship and Selina learning Batman's identity. Hell, I was even able to swallow the most ridiculous aspects of "Heart of Hush"--including giving Hush a backstory that made him into Kenny Braverman--because of the Bat/Cat 'shipping.

But let me briefly run through my reasoning.
  • Vicky Vale, Jezebel Jet, Silver St. Fox: In other words, the normal people. I don't see any of these relationships working out, largely because they start with Bruce Wayne. I'm a firm believer in the school of Bat-thought that Batman is the real identity and Bruce Wayne is the disguise, so these relationships are all ultimately built on lies. Besides that, with any civilian, the basic problem is that they'll never really be part of his vigilante life, even if they discover his identity. They'll end up living the life of the cliché superhero spouse, the one always compared to police officer's and firefighters' wives and husbands, waiting up late hoping that he'll come home safe. Except with Batman, the stakes are a little higher (given the kind of scrapes he gets into) and the nights are far later (methinks Mrs. Bruce Wayne wouldn't sleep often. If at all). No, the only Bat-relationship that could work is one that incorporates both vigilantism and millionaire playboyism, with the focus on the former.
  • Talia al Ghul: Let's break this one down. Pros: mother of Batman's son, accepts Batman's double-life, no pesky civilian life to get in the way, intellect to match the World's Greatest Detective's. Cons: evil, willing and repeated accessory to genocide, crazy in-laws. Next.
  • Zatanna Zatara: I'll admit, Zatanna is tough for me. I love the B:TAS episode she appears in, and I've enjoyed all their back-and-forth in Dini's "Detective" issues. My only real problem with the two of them is Batman's frequently-avowed dislike and distrust of magic. While it would be interesting, I don't think the world's most rational2, self-driven person would be able to stand being with a woman so steeped in magic and the supernatural.
  • Catwoman: Another driven vigilante, another person who can mix in high society (though also as a disguise), another strong personality with particular obsessive tendencies...about the only dissonance I really see between Batman and Catwoman is her dalliances on the wrong side of the law and her more flexible sense of morality (e.g., killing when necessary, such as with Black Mask) causing friction, and that's certainly a concern. Whether or not Batman's crushing loneliness and quest for family would permit forgiveness somewhat depends on the writer.

1. For the comic continuity, anyway. If we're talking about the Animated Universe, I'd say Wonder Woman--I thought their relationship (much like John and Shayera's) developed really well and really naturally.
2. Presupposing a world where "dressing up as a bat to fight crime as a way of coping with death" is a rational decision.

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