- The Gotham War intensifies as Batman and Catwoman clash over their conflicting approaches to crime, ultimately putting their relationship at risk.
- Catwoman argues that Gotham needs her more than Batman, as her new criminal empire has dramatically reduced violent crime rates.
- The ideological confrontation between Batman and Catwoman, exacerbated by personal issues, threatens to permanently break their relationship and even divide the entire Bat-Family.
Warning: Contains spoilers for Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Battle Lines #1 and Batman #137
The Gotham War has begun, and with Batman and Catwoman, standing firmly on opposite sides, the conflict is already deeply personal. As Catwoman raises an empire to give Gotham a new class of crime, Batman strongly opposes her plans, saying all criminals must be brought to justice. As the two meet to discuss Gotham’s new normal, Catwoman’s shockingly personal blow proves the Bat/Cat relationship may be broken beyond repair.
Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Battle Lines #1 by Tini Howard, Chip Zdarsky and Mike Hawthorne shows Catwoman host a meeting with the Bat-Family where she can explain her criminal enterprise.
When Bruce pushes back against Selina’s new methods, she points out that violent crime in Gotham is down 75%. Selina says she’s proven that Gotham needs Catwoman, not Batman – and that Bruce’s zealous life’s mission kept them from getting married.
Catwoman Says She and Batman Should’ve Gotten Married
Batman and Catwoman were initially set to get married during Tom King’s run on the flagship Batman title in DC’s Rebirth era. Sadly, the wedding was never meant to be, as Catwoman left Batman at the altar in Batman #50. This was revealed to be part of Bane’s plan to “break the Bat,” as he manipulated Selina into thinking there would be no Batman if Bruce was happy. The two eventually reconciled, but they later decided to go on a break while they determined if they can ever be happy together. Now, as Selina says that Gotham needs Catwoman instead of Batman, she asks “Should we head to the church now?!“
The Gotham War Could End The Bat/Cat Relationship For Good
The reason they split up in the first place, Catwoman implies, has been proven bankrupt by her new criminal empire. With Catwoman’s new rules, Gotham needs no Batman. Since going to prison for killing Valmont to save Batman’s life, Selina has raised a criminal army meant to emulate her own cat burglary skills. Rather than allowing goons to work for Gotham’s more dangerous criminals, Catwoman wants them to be like her, choosing only non-violent thefts against the rich, much to Batman’s chagrin. It’s a plan Bruce cannot abide, immediately causing a rift between the two, setting the stage for as fierce an ideological confrontation as the two characters have ever had.
As Catwoman’s dig about the wedding shows, the lines between their alter egos are already blurring, as personal issues between the two gets mixed into their vigilante war. By asking if they should simply go to the church, Selina takes an incredibly personal shot at Bruce, using their shared history to essentially call his life’s mission a failure. It’s a line that shows how much bad blood there is between the two, as their relationship problems have largely remained unspoken since they decided to take a break. Worse still, Catwoman is not the only one who has separated herself from Bruce during the Gotham War.
In fact, all of the major Bat-Family members, except for Damian, have sided with Catwoman, leaving an enraged Batman to fight alone. Bruce, in classic Batman fashion, has only retreated further into himself, with his recent personal failures giving the recently caged Batman of Zur-En-Arrh a chance to reassert control over the Dark Knight. It’s a dangerous spiral for Bruce, who has only gotten more violent and stubborn in his fight against Gotham’s criminals since his meeting with Selina went poorly. It’s unclear what Batman’s next move against Catwoman will be, but one thing seems increasingly certain: the Bat/Cat relationship could the Gotham War’s greatest casualties.
Batman/Catwoman: The Gotham War – Battle Lines #1 and Batman #137 are available now from DC Comics.