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Lorendiac

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xx Timeline of Batman/Catwoman Romances (2nd Draft)
« Thread started on: Nov 8th, 2006, 7:17pm »

[Note for the Second Draft: Just over a year ago, I wrote and posted the First Draft of this. Now I'm offering the Second, with some of the old stuff expanded and revised, as well as some new entries at the bottom of the Timeline to try to outline some recent changes in Selina's life. Also, many of the stories on this Timeline have been reprinted in one TPB or another over the years, and I've added comments on which TPBs those would be in particular cases, in order to make it easier for you to track down copies if you're really interested.]

On one forum or another, I often see people asking questions such as the following:

"Have Batman and Catwoman ever dated before the last couple of years?"

"When did she first learn his secret identity?"

"Has Bruce ever proposed marriage to her?"

"Didn't I hear somewhere that they used to have a kid?"

"Didn't she used to be a prostitute?"

And so on, and so forth.

Those questions are much easier to ask than to answer. Several of them look as if they should only require a very simple, straightforward answer such as "Yes" or "No" or "it all began in such-and-such an issue." But appearances are deceiving: With all the retcons DC has done over the years, it is never that simple! : )

Any fair answer to those questions would have to start out with all sorts of nitpicking counterquestions and qualifiers, along the following lines.

"That depends. Are you asking about Pre-Crisis or Post-Crisis? If Pre-Crisis, is it the Earth-2 Batman/Catwoman romance you want to know about, or the Earth-1 version? If you're asking about the Post-Crisis continuity, then do you want to know about the Immediately Post-Crisis continuity on such subjects as a possible history of prostitution and whether or not Bruce and Selina's Pre-Crisis romantic moments were still in canon, or would you rather skip ahead to hearing about the later Post-Post-Crisis continuity on those same subjects, or the Post-Crisis-But-Probably-Out-Of-Continuity version that contradicted all previous material and probably only happened in Jeph Loeb's own little world? And you do understand that anything and everything that you vividly remember seeing in the movie with Michael Keaton and Michelle Pfeiffer means absolutely nothing as regards the comic book continuity . . . er, don't you?"

So: in keeping with my habit of trying to organize a complicated mess into a Timeline that shows crucial stories arranged by publication dates, I offer this Timeline of key moments in the various Batman/Catwoman Romances since they first met 66 years ago! I have no intention of trying to list every single issue that showed them flirting, fighting, hugging, kissing, or whatever . . . but I do want to hit enough of the highlights to show you how their various romances have progressed, sometimes being retconned to make room for the next one! (And I'm going easy on you! I won't even mention any of the Elseworlds stories that have fooled around with the idea of a Batman/Catwoman romance!) : )


THE TIMELINE OF THE VARIOUS BATMAN/CATWOMAN ROMANCES

1940. Batman #1. Written by Bill Finger. (Reprinted in the TPB "The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told, Volume 2.")

First appearance of a female thief known as "The Cat," although she does not actually wear a cat-costume. She is, however, an expert in disguising herself, and is also quite flirtatious with Batman. She is detected and apprehended - but at the very end of the story, she gets away from the custody of the Dynamic Duo. Robin (Dick Grayson) indignantly accuses Batman of having deliberately given her the opportunity. Batman's quasi-denial is less than convincing. Bear in mind that for roughly the next 15 years or more, at a guess, all references to Batman and Catwoman in comics published at the time will by definition refer to the Earth-2, or Golden Age (GA) versions of those characters.

1940. Batman #2. Written by Bill Finger.

She's back! Now she starts calling herself the Cat-Woman. (The hyphen later vanished, as did the hyphen in "The Bat-Man" that was present in the earliest days of his career.) Over the years she will wear many different costumes, some of which have very little, if anything, in the way of a feline motif.

1950. Batman #62. Written by Bill Finger.

Catwoman takes a nasty bump on the head and claims that it knocked some sense into her. Years earlier, she was a honest young airline stewardess, and then she took a previous head injury that apparently blanked out her previous memories of her law-abiding, ethical life and turned her into the laughing thief, The Cat (later Catwoman). Now the subsequent blow to the head has essentially hit a "reset" button and she remembers her days as a stewardess but nothing about any subsequent criminal career as The Cat, later Catwoman. When Batman explains her own recent biography to her, she feels just terrible about it.

1954. Detective Comics #203. Written by Edmond Hamilton.

Catwoman reverts back to her criminal self. [NOTE: Even before Crisis, this particular development had been implicitly retconned away into oblivion by things we later learned about how the romance between Earth-2's Bruce and Selina had progressed.]

Somewhere around this time, we have:

The Transition from Earth-2 to Earth-1 Continuity in the regular monthly titles

Sometime around the mid-to-late 1950s (I think), the Golden Age versions of Batman and Robin cease to appear in the regular titles being published each month. Instead, we are now seeing the Earth-1 versions (although we only learn this later, after the 1961 story "Flash of Two Worlds" in Flash #123, which introduced the distinction between Earth-1 and Earth-2 continuity when the JLA Flash of Earth-1 came face to face with the JSA Flash of Earth-2. This story was followed by lots of other stuff in the next several years that further developed the idea and sometimes made it a bit clearer which things had happened in one or the other of the Earths instead of on both. To complicate the issue, many of the stories that had happened to Batman and Robin on Earth-2 in the Golden Age also seem to have happened, almost exactly the same way, to their younger Earth-1 counterparts and were occasionally referred to in later comics.

For instance, when Steve Englehart was doing a brief run on "Detective Comics" (with Marshall Rogers illustrating) in the 1970s, in stories collected in the TPB "Batman: Strange Apparitions," he dusted off two villains who had only previously appeared in stories way back in the 1940s - a decade which was definitely "Golden Age, Earth-2" material by anyone's standards. But Englehart wanted to revive the names of Hugo Strange and Deadshot, so he did. Apparently, therefore, Earth-1 Batman had tangled with the Earth-1 counterparts of those Golden Age characters in stories which had been remarkably identical to the events experienced by their Earth-2 equivalents in the comics of the 1940s.

In the meantime, stories published about Batman and/or Catwoman from this era until around late 1986 presumably depict the adventures of the Earth-1, Silver Age (SA), Pre-Crisis versions of those characters except when we are specifically told it's the Earth-2 versions in a particular story. And until 1979, their relationship will be much as it had been in the 1940s - Batman the good guy trying to arrest her; Catwoman the bad girl trying to pull off various crimes, but also sometimes showing a flirtatious interest in Batman.

1977. DC Super-Stars #17. Written by Paul Levitz. (Scheduled to be reprinted soon in the TPB "Huntress: The Darknight Daughter," release date December 6, 2006, according to Amazon.com.)

First appearance of Helena Wayne, also known as the Huntress of Earth-2. Helena is the daughter of Bruce Wayne and his wife, Selina. As far as I know, this story was the one that first informed us that way back in the 1950s, the GA versions of Batman and Catwoman had finally admitted they were crazy about each other, and had gotten married. Unfortunately, this is also the story that establishes that the Earth-2 Selina died.

1979. Adventure Comics #462. Written by Paul Levitz.

Bruce Wayne, the Golden Age/Earth-2 "original version" of Batman, dies in the line of duty.

1979. Batman #308. Written by Len Wein.

Selina Kyle, as herself, no costume, meets Bruce Wayne and assures him she has reformed. I don't know how she avoided going to prison (or had she in fact served time already, behind the scenes or something?). In other stories over the next several years, she will sometimes put on the costume again, but usually for laudable purposes such as helping Batman apprehend vicious criminals - or even capturing a few on her own in stories without his help.

For a while after this, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle date occasionally. She knows that he knows she used to be Catwoman (it was a matter of public record), but he probably thinks she doesn't know that he is Batman.
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Lorendiac

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xx Re: Timeline of Batman/Catwoman Romances (2nd Draf
« Reply #1 on: Nov 8th, 2006, 7:18pm »

1982. Brave and the Bold #197. Written by Alan Brennert. (Reprinted in the TPB "The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told.")

This story is rather extravagantly titled "The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne." Set in the Earth-2 universe. It is not supposed to be a complete life story; it is merely an autobiographical account of a single case which the Earth-2 Batman worked on back in the 1950s. Narrated by the hero; he describes how he finally ended up admitting he had fallen in love with the Catwoman of Earth-2, with the result that they married after she got out of prison. They apparently had roughly two decades of marital bliss before she died (and he had also already died in a previous story, not long after the framing sequence of this story is set), and they had raised one child, Helena Wayne, who became the Earth-2 Huntress (this had already been established "in continuity" in the 1970s, but Helena's superhero career was never mentioned in this story).

As a side note on a retcon: It is established in this story that Selina ultimately admitted to Batman that her double case of amnesia ("I became Catwoman because I had amnesia, and now I'm quitting because I've got amnesia about all the stunts I pulled when I was Catwoman!") had been a total sham. She had simply gotten sick and tired of wasting several years of her life being on the wrong side in a game of cops-and-robbers and decided to turn herself in and let the legal system do whatever seemed necessary so she could "rehabilitate" herself. The amnesia was a cover story that seemed like a good idea at the time, or words to that effect. (Batman, for his part, had evidently suspected as much all along, but had decided that if she was willing to give up a life of crime and throw herself on the mercy of the court and take whatever a judge said she had coming, then Batman would be a gentleman and not further humiliate her by publicly calling her a liar about the whole "amnesia" defense.)

1983. Batman #355. Written by Gerry Conway. (Reprinted in the TPB "The Greatest Batman Stories Ever Told, Volume 2.")

Catwoman has temporarily gone a bit insane because (as established in one or two previous stories) her relationship with Bruce had broken up some time earlier, but recently she came back to Gotham thinking of renewing it - and found he was dating Vicki Vale nowadays. Catwoman ends up fighting Batman and saying she hates him, but after stunning him with a knee to the jaw and pondering a fatal attack on the throat, she blinks and says in horror, “Bruce . . . I almost killed you. I was that close.”

Batman responds manfully, “Not so close. You’ve got a strong knee – but I’ve got a stronger jaw.”

Then they talk a bit more and he suggests this has been a “catharsis” for her. They end up hugging each other as he apologizes for past mistakes, but it’s not a particularly romantic hug; the narrative caption makes it clear that they’re just saying goodbye.

Comments in a later letter column in the "Batman" title, reacting to this story, told me that this was the first time "in continuity" that the Earth-1 Catwoman had ever explicitly demonstrated that she knew darn well who Batman really was under that mask. There had never been any previous scene onstage, in any comic set on Earth-1, where they had ever discussed it, not even after she reformed and their civilian identities started dating -- so apparently she had just figured it out on her own, somewhere along the line. I don't believe we ever found out just how long she had known.

1983. Detective Comics #526. Written by Gerry Conway.

The 500th consecutive appearance of Batman in the "Detective Comics" title since his debut in Detective Comics #27 in 1939. Many of his "classic" enemies (and also some deservedly obscure ones!) get involved one way or another. The story begins with a scene where the Joker has invited all sorts of old Batman villains to come to a deserted theater for a strategy conference. Joker apparently was way behind the times regarding Catwoman's current attitude toward the law (and toward Batman particularly); he had invited her too. She sneaks in, eavesdrops on the rest of them long enough to get the gist - they'll gang up on Batman and hopefully kill him - and then quietly slides out to go to the Batcave and warn him. Talia, daughter of Ra's al Ghul, also received an invitation and also leaves in a hurry when she sees which way the wind is blowing. Selina and Talia both end up fighting as Bruce's allies throughout the remainder of the story, and then Selina Kyle basically vanishes into comic book limbo for awhile.

1985. Detective Comics #557. Written by Doug Moench.

Batman is hovering by Selina’s hospital bed, where she is bandaged and unconscious after being struck by lightning in a previous story. After she wakes up, he claims he’s finally realized how in love with her he is. He’s also realized (he says) that he didn’t really “love” Nocturna at all. (I am not going to recap the history of the turbulent love triangle of Nocturna, Batman, and the Thief of Night for you. It would be a very long story! Just take it for granted that Batman felt fascinated by Nocturna, despite the fact that he first met her when she was an unabashed thief, and even at this point she wasn’t nearly as “reformed” as Catwoman sincerely was.)

Selina seems to barely have the strength to talk, but she expresses skepticism, saying, “You loved me when I was dangerous, Batman . . . and you think you love me now . . . only because you know it’s wrong to love someone still as dangerous as Nocturna.”

Despite which, later on they started dating again for awhile. (Not in this issue, though.)

1985. Crisis on Infinite Earths #12. Written by Marv Wolfman. (Collected in the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" TPB.)

Helena Wayne, the Huntress, daughter of the Earth-2 versions of Bruce and Selina, dies in battle. (At the same time as the Earth-2 Robin and a young hero named Kole, who had just recently become associated with the New Teen Titans of Earth-1.)

After the Crisis winds down, the Earth-2 versions of the Batman Family characters no longer exist and never did exist in the revised history of the Post-Crisis Earth of the DCU. Although at first a bunch of the heroes who had participated in these events were supposed to have the option of remembering things about the Pre-Crisis Multiverse that the run-of-the-mill citizens of the DCU didn't (but that idea, too, eventually faded away into limbo).

This erasure naturally includes the Golden Age Batman (who was already dead), the Golden Age Catwoman (who was already dead), and their daughter, the Huntress of the late 70s and early 80s.

However: not until late 1986 do the regular Batman titles get severely affected by any fallout from "Crisis on Infinite Earths," apparently because someone decided it would be a nice gesture to let Doug Moench finish a long run on both "Batman" and "Detective Comics" with a grand finale in the nice round number of "Batman #400," around late 1986, after he had been the sole writer on both titles for about three and a half years. (Mathematically, if he had written exactly the same stories as consecutive monthly installments of a single series, it would have been a very respectable seven-year run.) Toward the end of Moench's run, he had Batman and Catwoman getting together again - with her helping out in his crimefighting endeavors, since she was still reformed at the time - after she had previously spent a few years largely out of sight and out of mind in the Bat-titles.
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Lorendiac

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xx Re: Timeline of Batman/Catwoman Romances (2nd Draf
« Reply #2 on: Nov 8th, 2006, 7:19pm »

1986. Detective Comics #'s 569-570. Written by Mike W. Barr.

In this two-part story, the Joker somehow persuades Dr. Moon to use brain-altering devices to "restore" Catwoman to her previous unscrupulous criminal self. Batman is unable to save her from that fate, and she leaves in a hurry while he is pleading with her to come back and let him help her recover her own, more law-abiding, modern memories and personality.

Best guess on my part: This story was written as a "bridge" to move the long-reformed, in-love-with-Bruce Catwoman -- as she had been portrayed in his titles, off and on over the last several years -- over into a grimmer-and-grittier "unrepentant Bad Girl" mode for the Post-Crisis era, but without doing anything so awkward as totally "rebooting" her by throwing away all of the old Catwoman continuity from stories set on the Pre-Crisis Earth-1. What I once called a "Reverse-Change" in my discussion of all the different types of Retcons. In the Reverse-Change, you don't actually "erase" an old story or set of stories that made changes in a character's lifestyle . . . you just push all the pawns on the chessboard back more-or-less to where everything was before, as if those "Changes" that had seemed so "Significant and Permanent" at the time they happened were really just a very shallow and temporary thing that made absolutely no lasting impact on the key character's lifestyle in the long run. New fans coming along may never know that those previous "changes" had ever happened.

I don't know if Barr came up with the idea for this Reverse-Change story on his own, and then sold it to an editor, or if an editor decided it was time to find a way to "turn back the clock" on Catwoman and shove her right back into her classic "shameless thief who doesn't date Bruce Wayne" frame of mind and ordered Barr to find a way to make it semi-plausible that this huge psychological shift had happened in the proverbial blink of an eye. Either way, however, this seems to have become the Post-Crisis version of the Batman/Catwoman relationship for awhile. "Sure, they used to date seriously, just as longtime fans remember from the late 70s and early-to-mid 80s in the Pre-Crisis, Earth-1 stories - but it doesn't matter anymore! Ancient history! She's reverted back to her criminal lifestyle!" However, eventually there must have been another big shift in editorial policy, as we shall see later on.

1986. Batman #404. Written by Frank Miller. Collected in the "Batman: Year One" TPB.

The beginning of the four-part "Year One" story arc. As we first meet her, this version of the Post-Crisis Selina Kyle is working as a prostitute in the red-light district of Gotham and she briefly fights a heavily disguised Bruce Wayne who is making his first reconnaissance of one of the worst neighborhoods in Gotham, just to get a better grasp of what he'll be up against later. (At this moment he had not yet decided to dress up like a bat - he had just recently returned to Gotham after years of training; he was still trying to feel his way into his proposed "war on crime.")

NOTE: Several of the writers who worked on Catwoman in the 1990s emphatically rejected the idea that Selina had ever made her living as a prostitute, no matter what "Year One" suggested. Jo Duffy was the first writer to work on the first regular Catwoman title that started in 1993, and in an interview I read around the time the first issue came out, she said in plain English that Frank Miller might have liked the prostitution idea, but she didn't. As far as she was concerned, it had never happened because Selina had far too much self-respect for that. Duffy conceded, reasonably enough, that it was not out of the question for Selina to disguise herself and briefly pose as a prostitute, if that seemed the best way to infiltrate a target area during a mission to steal something special. I believe that Chuck Dixon and Doug Moench went along with that general interpretation of her character and background in their own stories in the 1990s; on the other hand, I have heard that more recently Ed Brubaker has dropped in references in the newer "Catwoman" title to the sordid days of professional prostitution.

1992. The movie "Batman Returns" is released. Selina Kyle (played by Michelle Pfeiffer) becomes Catwoman after her boss shoves her out a window (it is implied that a head injury may be partially responsible for her erratic behavior afterwards), and a sort of double romance ensues - Selina with Bruce, while simultaneously Catwoman is flirting more outrageously with Batman (and fighting him at the same time). By the end of the movie they've both figured out the whole thing, but Catwoman conveniently "dies" before Bruce can a) try to get her some psychiatric help, or b) actually have to face the terrible risk of possibly making something resembling a serious and long-term commitmentin a romantic relationship! (The horror! The horror! You wouldn't want him to do a crazy thing like that, would you?)

Naturally, the movie has nothing to do with the "regular continuity" of the comic books, but I figured it deserved to be acknowledged here. I'm still waiting for a sequel to this movie - not just any old Batman movie, but a Batman movie that would actually follow up on the Batman/Catwoman romance as it began in this one. (It's only been 14 years! Why should I give up hope just yet? I had to go 16 years between the third and fourth Star Wars movies, after all!)

1993. Batman #499. (Part 17 of "Knightfall.") (Collected in the TPB "Batman: Knightfall, Part Two: Who Rules the Night.")

Selina Kyle is in a rush to get to Santa Prisca, and Gotham's richest man, Bruce Wayne, recently left stuck in a wheelchair as the result of an "accident," is about to leave Gotham for Santa Prisca on a chartered flight. Selina stows away on board and -- after they're airborne and it's a little late to turn around and go back to drop her off -- gives a lame story about having just ducked into the onboard restroom to answer a call of nature and then she accidentally dozed off and fell asleep.

Dialogue between Bruce and Selina (and Alfred, who came along to nursemaid his injured employer) in this sequence makes it clear that we are supposed to accept this as the very first time that Bruce and Selina have ever met face to face as Bruce and Selina, no costumes involved. Bruce apparently does not recognize the name "Selina Kyle" from anywhere, and has no clue that she is also Catwoman; Selina has no clue that he is also Batman - although she does recognize the name and face of "Bruce Wayne" from his media coverage as the richest man in Gotham.

As far as I can tell, this sequence in "Knightfall" where Bruce and Selina meet in their civilian identities "for the very first time" pretty well trashes the old story by Mike W. Barr that seems to have been meant, at the time, to serve as a "bridge" to move "reasonably nice, law-abiding, reformed, crimefighting Selina Kyle who dotes on Bruce Wayne" over to "bad girl Selina Kyle, the shameless thief known as Catwoman who no longer dotes on Bruce Wayne."

It also tends to damage the credibility of the scene in "Year One" where Bruce Wayne sparred with Selina Kyle for a minute after he had beaten up her pimp. Bruce was disguised as what appeared to be an African-American, scar-faced Vietnam veteran in an old Army jacket, so it's not terribly surprising that Selina wouldn't recognize his face nine or ten years later. But Bruce is supposed to have a well-trained memory and there's no sign in "Year One" that Selina was heavily disguised the way he was (although her complexion looked darker in the Year One scenes than it has ever looked in any other Catwoman story that I can think of, before or since, which has caused a lot of confusion over the years, with many fans wondering if Miller wanted us to think Selina was black, or half-black, or something other than a fair-skinned Caucasian. (I don't know the answer for sure - possibly he did want to plant such an impression as part of the general effect he was going for in "Year One," but if so, no one else at DC has ever shown much interest in following suit, to the best of my knowledge.)

A note: Sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s, I read a letter column in one of the Batman or Catwoman titles in which an editor responded to a fan's question by stating for the record that in the modern continuity, the official policy was that any romantic attraction between Batman and Catwoman had never progressed beyond some "heavy flirting." (I believe that was the exact phrase that was used.) I'm sorry I can't pin it down to an exact issue.
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Lorendiac

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xx Re: Timeline of Batman/Catwoman Romances (2nd Draf
« Reply #3 on: Nov 8th, 2006, 7:20pm »

1996. The Long Halloween #1. Written by Jeph Loeb. (Collected in the TPB "Batman: The Long Halloween.")

A 13-part miniseries, basically one huge graphic novel first published in monthly installments and then later collected in book form, written by Jeph Loeb and pencilled by Tim Sale. It is set shortly after the events of "Year One" by Frank Miller, using some of the same supporting characters he had created for that story arc.

As this story starts, Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle are "already" dating - going to social events together, for instance. We don't know how they first met in Loeb's continuity. Meanwhile, Batman and Catwoman occasionally bump into each other on the rooftops. Neither one shows any signs of realizing the other one's secret identity.

I have a vague suspicion that as much as anything, this "romance between Bruce and Selina, beginning early in Batman's career" stuff may have been motivated by a desire on Jeph Loeb's part to reflect the way the "Batman Returns" movie had handled similar material. Which is not a bad motive, in my opinion! smiley

The Long Halloween was later followed by the Dark Victory miniseries/graphic novel, which followed the same pattern regarding the Bruce/Selina relationship.

Of course, I couldn't help noticing that the way Bruce and Selina were going to parties together as Bruce and Selina in The Long Halloween was a wild contradiction of the way they could bump into each other "for the very first time" in their civilian identities in "Knightfall," set several years later in more "modern" times. (Admittedly, Selina "knew" who Bruce was in "Knightfall," but only in the same sense that I "know" who Bill Gates is - from media coverage! I'm reasonably certain he's never heard of me!)

In a piece posted as a Bob Rozakis column, but actually written by John Wells, regarding The Canon of the Bat, we were told:

The Jeph Loeb/Tim Sale LONG HALLOWEEN/DARK VICTORY opus wasn't tied to mainstream continuity, allowing them the leeway to kill Year One-era characters (like Lieutenant Flass, who survived into the present in the core series' wedding of Jim Gordon and Sarah Essen) and portray a romantic relationship between Selina Kyle and Bruce Wayne that post-Crisis continuity had prohibited. The revised history had declared that Catwoman had never been captured and that Selina had never met Bruce or Alfred (BATMAN #499 and others). That said, the aforementioned Ed Brubaker has included the Bruce-Selina romance as canon, anyway (in places like BATMAN #600, CATWOMAN (current) #10 and CATWOMAN SECRET FILES #1).

I tend to agree with the idea that Loeb's TLH/DV stories are set in their own little world that has no solid connection to any other Batman writer's work. I don't know exactly what John Wells's sources were, however.

2003. Batman # 615. Written by Jeph Loeb. (Collected in the TPB "Batman: Hush, Vol. 2.")

Part 8 of the 12-part "Hush" story arc. Writer Jeph Loeb has Batman confront Catwoman and pull off his mask to reveal himself as Bruce Wayne as a sign of trust and affection. She simply says, as the issue ends, "Bruce." (Which leaves it up in the air whether she was the least bit surprised to see who he was under the mask - or only startled that he now trusted her enough to officially tell her what she already darn well knew! You may pick whichever interpretation suits your personal taste on this subject!)

Previous to this moment - I'm not sure if we explicitly saw it happen onstage, nor in what comic book if we did - Catwoman had somehow convinced Batman that she had undergone a major psychological shift in her attitude toward law and order, and he had agreed not to arrest her and turn her over to the GCPD if she quit committing burglaries. (Generously ignoring the zillion outstandanding warrants various jurisdictions must have for her, because of all her previous burglaries and other crimes!)

2003. Batman # 619. Written by Jeph Loeb. (Part 12 of 12 of "Hush.") (Collected in the TPB "Batman: Hush, Vol. 2.")

The romance appears to be over when it was just getting started up again. Batman is suddenly afraid that his recent feelings for Selina might have something to do with the way he had been the victim of "subliminal conditioning" throughout the events of "Hush," as he has just recently learned. Catwoman is understandably offended by his standoffish, suspicious attitude.

2004. Catwoman #32. Written by Ed Brubaker.

Bruce and Selina go on a date together as themselves, no costumes, and apparently end up in bed together. (I have not read this story, so I'm working from hearsay.)

One source sent me an email offering some comments on odd things that appeared to be going on in the kinda-sorta "relationship" of Bruce and Selina during this era; the couple of years between "Hush" (which ended in late 2003) and "Infinite Crisis" (the miniseries began in late 2005). He claims that Dan DiDio said, in a convention appearance during this era, that Batman absolutely was not tied down in any ongoing romantic relationship at this time, or words to that effect. Apparently DiDio either didn't know or didn't care that Ed Brubaker was pretty much contradicting that "official policy" within the pages of the Catwoman title.

Assuming that my source's report is accurate, then it seems as if DiDio (and various people writing and editing the core Batman titles around 2003-2005) were taking the position that "Hush" had included both the beginning and the ending of the latest doomed Bruce/Selina romance; whereas Brubaker, over on the Catwoman title, felt the concept still had potential for further use and that Batman's temporary silly suspicions of Selina at the end of "Hush" had just been a typical lover's quarrel that was probably patched up again later, after they both calmed down. (I admit I'm speculating to some degree on all this.)

Note: When I was asking for feedback on this subject in a couple of forums a few weeks ago, someone argued that just because Bruce and Selina had sex in a post-Hush story didn't prove they were actually committed to any sort of "romantic relationship" at the time -- or words to that effect. Silly me; I'd been trying to find out what issue this happened in because I was working on the idea that "sex" between Bruce and Selina would inherently include "romance" between Bruce and Selina.

(But then, what do I know? I'm such a hopeless prude that I still believe the ideal sequence is to fall in love, then get married, then have mad passionate sex; in that order. You aren't supposed to skip the "falling in love" part or the "marriage" part on your way to the bedroom. I'd rather believe that Bruce and Selina skipped one of those prerequisites than that they skipped both.)

At any rate, by the time of the "One Year Later" jump that began in the regular monthly titles in March 2003, Bruce and Selina definitely no longer regarded themselves as romantically involved here and now, no matter what had gone before.

2006. Catwoman #53. Written by Will Pfeifer.

Published in March 2006, this is the first "One Year Later" issue of the title; set in the DCU 12 months after the events in the final issue of "Infinite Crisis." (Even though the final issue, “Infinite Crisis #7”, was only published two months later, in May 2006. Don’t ask why; it doesn’t really matter now!)

We quickly learn that, sometime in the last 12 months, Selina has abandoned the role of Catwoman (which was taken over by her friend Holly) and is just now completing a pregnancy and giving birth to a baby girl, whom she names Helena. We are not immediately told who Helena's daddy is. Selina shows no signs of being married to anyone. Bruce Wayne does insist that he will make certain to set up a trust fund to guarantee the kid's college education.

Given that the Golden Age versions of Batman and Catwoman had eventually married and produced a daughter named Helena Wayne, as noted in previous entries on this timeline, and given that this new version of "Catwoman's daughter" is also named Helena, some fans naturally start speculating wildly as to just what might have gone on between the Modern versions of Bruce and Selina during that missing year! (Which, I am sure, is exactly the reaction DC was aiming for!)

2006. Catwoman #59. Written by Will Pfeifer.

Published in September 2006, this is the issue that finally nails down the answer to the paternity of Selina's baby. We learn that the biological father (who is not married to her, in case you were wondering) is Sam Bradley, the son of tough old private detective Slam Bradley (who is an old friend -- and apparently himself a former lover -- of Selina's).
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Lorendiac

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xx Re: Timeline of Batman/Catwoman Romances (2nd Draf
« Reply #4 on: Nov 8th, 2006, 7:21pm »



VERY BRIEF SUMMARY

So as I see it, there have been three major Batman/Catwoman romances over the years.

The Earth-2 Romance: They used to be enemies in the 1940s; in the mid-50s they got married, raised a daughter named Helena; then they both died in the 1970s (a few years apart); then all that retroactively got wiped out by Crisis.

The Earth-1 Romance: They used to be enemies; then they dated for awhile; then they broke up; then they dated again until, around the time the "Post-Crisis" stories starting being published, Catwoman was brainwashed to go back to her evil ways. Then the entire Earth-1 romance was retconned out of existence, later.

The Modern Era Romance: Bruce has revealed his identity to Selina and they had an affair for a little while, but it's now over and done with. I do not know if they ever even talked about the remote possibility of marriage, or not.

As always, I am receptive to constructive criticism. If I made a mistake in my summaries of any of the "key moments" in Batman/Catwoman relationships, or completely omitted a story you think belongs on this Timeline, please say so! I may not take all your suggestions, but I do want to see them, because I know I'm not likely to have done everything perfectly on the first pass! smiley
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