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Batman gets serious in major edict-changing shake up

WARNING: This article contains bat-spoilers for Tom King's Batman #24 comic

As a reader who's kept up-to-date with comic book creator Tom King's current Batman run, the following news isn't so much a surprise as it is a well-earned and sweetly-timed payoff to tender moments laid bare over the past several months of readership. Hitting the stands this Wednesday is writer Tom King and artists Danny Miki and David Finch's Batman #24, an issue in which The Dark Knight gets down on bended knee, removes his cowl, and proposes to a purrfectly good woman, Selina Kyle aka Catwoman.

The proposal comes after a 75-year courtship, which has now culminating "into one unprecedented moment," says King. The current Batman writer then continued to explain his motivations for the significant reveal by saying, "I want people to go home and be like, ‘Should she marry him? Should she say yes?’ There’s a whole conversation that could come out of this.” From what I've read, Batman has been keeping a diamond ring in his utility belt for decades, while waiting for the purrfect moment to pop the question to one of Gotham's most notorious bad girls. King's hope is that the gesture will be marked as a lean away from the character's usual brood-laden anger, and instead show that the Caped Crusader is capable of exposing his vulnerability.

In talking about the decision to have Batman propose, King stated, "Everyone’s done vengeance, everyone’s done ‘The night is so dark. Giving Batman more pain doesn’t reveal anything about his character because he’s taken as much pain as he can. But giving him love and joy, that combines with the tragedy of his past into something new and never done before.” Now, it's a given that old Bats has had his share of relationships in the past, including rendezvous with characters like Vicki Vale, Wonder Woman, and Talia al Ghul, but any bat-fan worth their salt will tell you that it's always been Selina Kyle that had truly stolen Bruce's heart. The two characters share an undeniable connection and history that other comic book couples could only hope to achieve.

King continued explaining away the Bat-proposal by saying, “Catwoman is someone who’s seen his pain and has been through stuff as bad as he has been through. She says, ‘Look, both of us are broken, but we can be broken together.’ ” King ultimately chose to go with the phrase "Marry me" because he believed that it implied ambiguity on Bruce's part, and could be read as either an order or the desperation of a man finally willing to submit to his desires for Selina's companionship in marriage. "Was this a moment of vulnerability or a moment of arrogance? That’s almost the cliffhanger,” King says. “Is Batman making the greatest decision of his life or the greatest mistake? It’s like, ‘You think you know me, but you don’t know me until this,’ ” King says. “The actual answer will come after he reveals something he’s never revealed to anyone, and she has to decide whether that’s good or bad.”

While some might not see Batman and Catwoman's union as that big of a deal, I feel the need to remind everyone of what Co-Publisher Dan DiDio stated about the DCU as a whole back in September of 2013:

Heroes shouldn’t have happy personal lives. They are committed to being that person and committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal interests.

That’s very important and something we reinforced. People in the Bat family their personal lives basically suck. Dick Grayson, rest in peace—oops shouldn’t have said that,—Bruce Wayne, Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon and Kathy Kane. It’s wonderful that they try to establish personal lives, but it’s equally important that they set them aside. That is our mandate, that is our edict and that is our stand.

Now, this was some time ago, so perhaps DiDio and others in charge have since had a change of heart? I guess we'll find out when Catwoman responds to Bruce's proposal in the issues of Batman to come. 

What do you think about this news? Are you cool with comic book characters entering into meaningful relationships? Let us know in the comments section below!

Also, you can catch Batman when he appears beside his crime fighting crew in Zack Snyder & Joss Whedon's JUSTICE LEAGUE opening in theaters on November 16. 2017.

Extra Tidbit: When the writer was working on how he would have Batman propose, King would get advice from his 7-year-old daughter, who’s obsessed with both superheroes and romance.
Source: USA Today

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