Has it been a year already? 2017 has reached its end, but before we dive into 2018, we’d like to take a moment and look back. For DC fans, 2017 was a remarkable year in comics, film and TV. Our characters reached new milestones and audiences, our writers and artists achieved remarkable new heights and our universe continued to grow in surprising new ways. And yet, within it all, several moments stood out for their importance and relevance. Some of them were groundbreaking, others were a welcome return. All of them are worthy of acknowledgement and celebration. In a year in which fans had much to talk about, these are the moments we’ll continue to talk about well beyond the new year. These are DCComics.com’s “Ten Moments that Mattered in 2017.”
There are wedding bells ringing throughout the DC Universe, but they're for a couple that you probably wouldn't expect. It's not that Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle don't have an incredible and multifaceted relationship built on years and years of shared history—they've been in each other's orbit for almost eighty years, after all—but neither of them have been exactly what you might call the "marrying type." At least, not for the last couple of decades.
But change is the only constant, even for superheroes, and this year, Batman and Catwoman got engaged.
Now, don't panic. For as sudden as the decision might seem, it's actually been brewing between the two of them for quite some time. The romance between the Bat and the Cat has been one of those off-and-on constants in Gotham City for a long while. Bruce and Selina were a couple—one that actually did exchange vows! —all the way back in the late ’70s, over on Earth-2, where they even had a daughter named Helena Wayne who became one of Earth-2's heroes. Sure, it might not have been in main continuity, but the idea was still the same: Batman and Catwoman have some serious chemistry.
They've been back and forth as a couple in the modern era here on Earth Prime too, but neither of them have ever lead lives that have been conducive to long term romances. Bruce in particular doesn't have the greatest history when it comes to trying to keep up a work/life balance. And Selina? Well, she's never been too interested in slowing down.
But here's the thing, that's all still totally true. This year in BATMAN, writer Tom King and his collaborators, Mitch Gerads, Mikel Janin, Clay Mann and Joelle Jones, have been telling stories all about what make Bruce and Selina such an odd couple, and why, despite all their flaws, and despite all the risk, they're still perfect for one another. After all, isn't that what love is? Understanding and accepting another person despite all their shortcomings. In this case, the biggest “shortcoming” being that they spend every night dressed up as a bat or a cat, swinging from gargoyles and warring on (or perpetrating) crime?
There’s also the underlying reasons why they do that, but King and his team have done a pretty poignant job addressing that as well, as readers of this year’s excellent BATMAN ANNUAL can attest.
What’s more amazing still is that none of this was even hinted at by the start of King’s Batman run, which focused far more on Batman’s relevance in a world of heroes and his long-simmering showdown with Bane. It wasn’t until the interlude story “Rooftops,” back in BATMAN #14 and #15, and the standalone BATMAN #24, where Bruce actually popped the question, that we started discovering the importance King was bringing to Bruce and Selina’s relationship. But it took the entirety of “The War of Jokes and Riddles”—an arc where Bruce recounted what he considers the greatest shame of his past to her in an effort to be completely transparent for possibly the first time in his life—for Selina to give Bruce her answer.
In BATMAN #32, things became official. Selina said "yes."
Of course, things could never be as simple as just running out and getting a marriage license. They've got to tell their family and friends, a process which has been slowly unfolding through the rest of this year and has been anything but easy. After all, this isn't a decision that affects just the two of them. There are friends and family who need to be informed, and ghosts from the past that need to be dealt with before any next steps can be taken. From telling the Robins and Superman to confronting the mother of Bruce's child, Talia al Ghul, things in Gotham have gotten crazy in a whole new way.
But, it's all for the better. This is a side of Batman and Catwoman that we haven't seen in a very long time, and a status quo change that will echo out across the DCU for years to come, no matter what happens next. One thing is for certain, though—it's sure to be a wedding the likes of which we've never seen.