My issue with the Bat and the Kitty
By RainEffect 58 Comments
It is pretty well know around these parts that I don’t like the pairing of Catwoman and Bruce, and I’ve never really taken the time to justify why that is. I’ve always been a supporter of Talia and Bruce, and many could speculate that as merely bias, but I wanted to take the time to actually get into detail behind my beliefs. You’ve probably seen me go at it with CitizenBane about the two couples, and it is hilarious when we do so, but for now, I wanted to turn a serious face and underline some important details.
I’ll do my best not to blatantly attack the character of Catwoman, as you might be surprised the find I actually like the character – more on that shortly.
First and foremost, the biggest issue I have with the Catwoman/Bruce relationship is that it breaks tradition. Catwoman, in my eyes, is a villain. Her entire schtick revolves around the idea of a cat-burglar. Catwoman is not an anti-hero, she is not a shade of grey – she is, at roots, a villain. The reason I say this is, my view of Catwoman ultimately boils down to the performance that Julie Newmar gave in the 1960s Batman television series.
That was the true Catwoman. She wasn’t trying to earn the acceptance or trust of Batman, she was doing what she wanted, when she wanted and if Batman got in the way, well, the games would begin. I liked that. It brought the ideal of a Femme Fatale back to its glorious roots. What do we have now? Someone who is trying to earn, or at the very least, stay close to Bruce. I don’t like that, not a single bit. Catwoman is a thief, a villain and she should stay as one. I loved her ‘purple suit’ days. They were the glory days, stealing and flirting her way around Gotham City. What happened? Writers tried to pursue a romantic option with Batman, and that was where it all went downhill. To be fair, I haven’t read Brubaker’s Catwoman series (and it should be stated he is my favourite writer of all time), so I can’t comment on her change in those days. But, in my eyes and from what I’ve read, she’s gone down a path she should have never gone down.
Square one, a romantic relationship is built on the foundations of trust. Batman does not trust Catwoman. He will never forget that her past was a criminal and a thief, the two very things he hates. I understand the counter argument to that would be ‘well, Bruce revealed his identity to Selina during Hush’ – true, but don’t forget, throughout the entire story, he was second guessing his relationship with Selina. Constantly he was saying to himself ‘she is a distraction, does my enemy want this?’ Even at the end of the story, he tried to be a detective about their relationship and talked about Scarecrow’s gas and Ivy’s pheromones. He did not think that his relationship with Selina was genuine. Compare that to Talia al Ghul; he didn’t know she was the daughter of Ra’s, so he was able to fully trust her from square one.
Therefore, he was able to expose himself and then learn about her connections – dangerous, yes, but look where it got him. He was fully prepared to settle down and have a happy family with Talia (see scan). He trusted Talia, because Talia consistently proved that she would put him and their child’s safety before anything. I can name you a number of instances where Talia chose Bruce over Ra’s – love over heritage. This brings me to my next point.
Square two, Catwoman doesn’t like being at the mercy of Bruce’s crusade. She hated being followed, she hated being rescued, she hates the idea of ending up like Huntress and becoming an accomplice, or an associate, to the crusade of the Dark Knight.
Talia, on the other hand, is more than willing to play second fiddle to Bruce’s devotion. She understands why he does what he does, and it was her who convinced him to return to Gotham during No Man’s Land. In fact, their relationship broke apart because Bruce almost killed himself trying to save Talia’s life, and Talia did not want the Batman to die before his legacy had been fully realised. In short, she didn’t want him to die protecting her because the world needed Batman (this all occurred in Son of the Demon).
I could go on further, but I’ll save some in case some readers want to debate. In summary, I will forever support ‘Team Talia’ because Talia al Ghul is loyal to Bruce. Ignoring Grant Morrison’s retcon (which he personally corrected, see Talia’s page), Talia loves Bruce and loves Damian. Hush, The Lost Days, Gotham City Sirens, Resurrection of Ra’s al Ghul, Batman R.I.P, you name an arc with Talia appearing, and she has supported Batman or done whatever is necessary to protect him. That is why I love their relationship.
Catwoman should return to her rightful place; as a villain. Julie Newmar, please come back.
This has been a blog entry by Lucas aka RainEffect. Thank you for taking the time to read it, and I encourage any and all feedback, be it positive or negative.