Thursday, February 14, 2008
14 Comic Book Couples I Love - Part 2
There's really no DC couple I love more than . . .
2. Batman and Catwoman
I love these two even if they're almost never together. Yes, they're rarely a canonical couple. In fact, they're messy, complicated and sometimes just flat-out opposed to one another's methods - all of which delights me. If ever there was a yin to another character's yang in a superhero romance, it's Selina Kyle to Bruce Wayne. Their chemistry is as undeniable as it is possibly untenable.
And when I judge this relationship as nearly being untenable, that's because it seems like for every ten of these moments of romance-
we've had to deal with one of these moments -
Of course, the fact that Batman's even shown having chemistry or wanting a romance with Selina Kyle is pretty damn notable. Batman is usual about as sexual as a Ken doll IMHO, but when writers put him in the same room with Catwoman, a whole new version of him emerges. This version is a version of Batman I actually like quite a bit better as a person - somebody who shows he can feel love, in his own emotionally stunted man-child way.
The best couples can bring out entirely new sides in the people they're with and I'd say that's pretty undeniable when it comes to these two. Of course, when these two flirt, it usually involves Batarangs, claws and a bullwhip. Not that I'm judging them negatively, mind you. Given that they both spend their nights wearing leather and running around rooftops, you just know they wouldn't be satisfied with anything less than love that's a bit on the rough and ready side.
Naughty costume fun aside, the real reason they're so good for each other is that they make one another question their lives and themselves. In the face of Catwoman, Batman's unyielding inner child is forced to realize that not all criminals are evil and not all answers are easy. Selina, on the other hand, has to deal with a man who is both someone she can trust and turn to but at the same time is the first person in her life to judge her when she missteps. It's a fascinating dynamic, frankly.
(Who else but Catwoman could make Batman take the night off and go to the movies?)
Now, I know there's happier couples out there but almost none that interest me half as much as these two. They fight, they make up, they come together and break apart - it'd be exhausting if it wasn't so damn interesting to read. They're a couple that easily respect and care for one other but are all too rarely able to admit that they might actually need one another. The very qualities that make them so compatible - each of them being painfully self-reliant, driven and cautious to trust others - also drive them apart. Both of them have to be in control and this is the tragic flaw that keeps them apart.
(just look at the Batman Returns pic and tell me that one of them having to be on top all the time isn't a problem :P)
Of course, they aren't always apart and emo. In fact, in current continuity, they've gone so far as to show that they're "Friends with benefits" with an emphasis on the Friendship. They've finally found a way to be together that involves mutual respect without demanding all the so-called baggage a "relationship" would force on them (I still say they're terrible commitment-phobes). "The Goddamn Batman" won't buy just anyone's daughter a teddy bear, after all. :D
They always seem to bring out each other's softer sides, whether they mean to or not, and I know I'm not alone in taking delight in that (thanks for the scans, Rachelle!).
In fact, so many people have loved Bats & Cats together that there's enough alternate futures with them getting together that you could almost throw a dart and hit two.
And way back in that wacky Silver Age, the two of them even overcome their fears of commitment (via Scarecrow's Fear Gas, naturally), fall in love and have a daughter named Helena Wayne - The Huntress.
So whether or not they end up being together in a happy future or stay together in a relaxed present, I still love these two. Let's hope that whatever happens that DC will keep putting out stories about this fascinating couple that make us smile.
BONUS VIDEO CONTENT!
Angsty-emo yet catchy as hell tribute video to these crazy kids that has just about every scan I've used and a few I missed -
And an animated short of DCAU Batman & Catwoman that speaks for itself, sans words -