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Why do you think Bat & Cat have held up as being one of the top 3 or top ten superhero couple of all time
While I’d love to write a whole essay on this, I’ll narrow it down to a few factors: they are one of the most iconic, oldest, and romantic couples in comicdom.
Firstly, Batman and Catwoman have been around since the 1940s (Batman first debuting in 1939, Catwoman a year later), more than enough time to enter the cultural consciousness of the world to become household names today. In countless forms of media and collateral their relationship has been explored (for better or worse) – comics, live action film and television, animation, video games, toys, books, and so on. I don’t think I can actually name another superhero couple who has had this much exposure across media the way Bruce and Selina have (bar Lois Lane and Superman—even my uncultured dad knows them!).
No other romantic interest of Batman’s is more iconic or talked about than his relationship with Catwoman. In fact, his character arc is very much centred by that relationship, right on the same tier as Alfred, Robin, Commissioner Gordon, and the Joker. Selina is essentially Bruce’s equal in every aspect.
It’s such a unique yet classic love story, with all the elements and motifs that make it timeless and engaging: Forbidden love. Cultural / class differences. The attraction of opposites. The thrill of the chase. Friendship and camaraderie. The burden of loss and loneliness. Hope for redemption and happiness.
Sure, on the surface, the brooding hero seeking to tame and reform the bad girl/femme fatale is the stuff of unhealthy tropefest legend. And yet Bruce and Selina manifest many of the classic ingredients for a great romance. They can be madly in love with each other, and it feels like they’re soulmates, it’s unexplainable but it’s so right – it’s destiny. Conversely, they might be “meant to be”, but other forces will drive them apart; lifelong passions may be repressed, yet still burn intensely, and create great tension. Their polarising “careers” and personalities also add nuance and complexity to their relationship, and when they do overcome said differences it makes their union that much more meaningful. Selina can make Bruce relax, laugh, and flirt, while Bruce sees the goodness in Selina. Just like how Jonah Nolan illustrated this dynamic through the ‘yin/yang” concept, Bruce and Selina balance each other out – they are more interesting and better people for being together. The fact they try so hard not to become vulnerable to love and joy makes them so human, and that is fundamentally what makes them so appealing to us.
In short, there’s a BatCat for every season.
Do you like the idea of Bruce being Jewish?
Mmmm… I guess? Maybe?
See, here’s the thing: Bruce will never, ever be written as culturally Jewish in any way. Even small ways. Even like that one issue where Kate lit a Chanukah menorah or whatever. It’s not gonna happen. I don’t even mean any kind of religious observance, I’m talking any kind of observable Jewish identity. Bruce might be Jewish ethnically, but culturally he comes across as the WASP-iest of WASPs. And frankly, after 75 years of history, it’s too late to write him any other way. If Bruce started talking about what his Jewish identity meant to him at this point in the game, it would come across as tacked-on and fake to me.
Maybe I’m wrong there. Maybe there’s actually a writer out there who could write a story exploring Bruce being Jewish in a way that would feel organic and natural to the character. And maybe it would be fantastic. But even if there was, I don’t think DC would let them tell that story.
I think it’s quite likely, especially in light of the New 52 canon that Bruce and Kate are cousins, that Martha Kane was Jewish, and therefore Bruce is too. But I don’t think DC would ever let him be visibly Jewish, so as far as representation goes he’s kind of meaningless.
That’s just how I feel about it, though. I’m sure there are a lot of Jews out there who would be delighted for Bruce to be canonically Jewish, even if nothing was ever really done with it.
Bruce Wayne has made a lot of stupid decisions in his life, but adopting and training Dick Grayson isn’t one of them
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