Run by Jen
This is an intersectional feminist space.
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.
Hi, I asked fenrispenris if she knew any great batcat blogs, and she put me into yours. I was wondering if you had any other recommendations? Thank you 😊
Hi there! Thanks for following!
Other BatCat Tumblrs I recommend:
Sorry to see a few are inactive at the moment, but hopefully this will change!
You mean, Batman Adventures #34-36? They certainly brought new meaning to partners in crime. I will have to do a proper feature of this story arc – it’s wonderful, funny, heartbreaking stuff. I especially love the body language – you can see the conflicting emotions of Selina’s guilt and pleasure in just a few panels here already.
Thanks for the question, anon. :)
Have you read Batman/Superman #13 yet? Did you spot a certain Easter egg? :)
Catwoman breaking into cars, since, well ... the beginning.
From Batman (v1) #397 & Detective Comics (v1) #845
Hi! I love your site I go on it almost everyday. But there's something that I want to know. I feel sometimes I'm the only person who liked having catwoman in the JLA. I know the comic wasn't the best ever written and I felt the story line was rushed, but I liked the team. DC could have had done more with it. So am I crazy for liking catwoman in the JLA?
Thank you, I am so glad you enjoy the site!
No, you are not “crazy” for liking Catwoman in JLA. It is OK to like a work of art, so long as you consider/acknowledge your own or other people’s concerns with it and/or its creator. That was my main gripe with the last anon: the correlation that if you like something that’s perceived to be problematic/oppressive/harmful it means you are stupid/crazy/wrong, and how dare you like it!
This is something we should think about with all media we consume though – why do I like this book/film/TV show/art/person? And what does that say about me? How will this new self-awareness change the way I consume other media? I think reflection is the way to go rather than defence; sometimes afterwards you’ll find that you don’t like the work as much as you did, or that despite its flaws you still like it; at least you’ve reflected on it and recognised its faults and its merits – that is more important.
We all have “that line” we can’t cross where you just cannot read/watch something for its oppressive crap no matter how much value/entertainment you get out it, but that line is always different, depending on our backgrounds, life experiences or standards. We all have different triggers and sensitivities. In an ideal world we’d be able to consume bigotry-/marginalisation-free media, but there is so little of THAT in our society that we have to compromise. It’s something many of us grapple with daily, yet just as many remain oblivious to that struggle. So it’s important that we talk about it candidly but meaningfully, that we listen to other people’s viewpoints, and that we don’t derail/gaslight them, especially when they call us out on something. It takes work.
(On the subject of JLA, I actually enjoyed the first couple of issues, marvelled at how even Geoff Johns got more of a semblance of Selina’s voice in a few sentences than the writers of her actual title could in an entire story arc, but then lost interest in the plot AND David Finch’s art got weirder. The unusual team-up is definitely the best highlight of JLA!)
Are people like you really unaware that The Wydening Gyre was written to hurt Batman-Catwoman shippers and drive you from the fandom? It's part of a bunch of stuff from that period like Helena Kyle and Damian and Gotham Sirens and Arkham City. What is wrong with you that you don't know when somebody sucked you in to spit on you, and you turn around and celebrate it.?
No, “people like me” are not “unaware”, but that doesn’t mean this blog just celebrates BatCat; it freely critiques and/or highlights the problematic elements as well, at my own discretion.
I think it was several months ago – maybe a year? – but someone asked about identifying a particular scene I wasn’t sure about, until someone correctly named it, so I posted it for reference. Obviously someone’s just dug it up again recently.
I am fully aware of The Widening Gyre’s depiction of misogyny, relationships, and violence – it is ridiculous, contrived nonsense, but at least it doesn’t at all pretend to be serious, and I still enjoy some parts of it (except that last issue though, IIRC that was truly horrific tripe). It certainly wasn’t as insulting as the current proportion of rubbish in the New 52 (and who’d have thought we’d be saying that – incidentally, I still prefer “that period” to what’s going on now). So to me it’s a lesser of two evils. Of course that’s entirely a subjective POV – you certainly don’t have to agree, and I am sorry if you are hurt by the post/s.
However, I deeply take issue with your implication that people cannot like problematic or controversial media (and let’s face it, ALL media is full of bullshit in varying quantities), and that if people like said media it inherently means there is something “wrong” with them. Because that kind of thinking is grossly naive, not to mention offensive. I was furious with and disgusted by the sex scene in the New 52 Catwoman, among many other things, but I have never gone around shaming people for liking it or posting graphics of it. I have even had amiable discussions with BatCat fans who did enjoy that particular Catwoman run. I don’t generally highlight it on the blog, nor do I support it, but who am I to police the media that other people consume and enjoy?
Pop culture is full of harmful and disrespectful ideologies, attitudes, and themes, and it can be the hardest to acknowledge those problems when it’s something we enjoy from our particular vantage of privilege. But to demonise and bully someone for their interpretation rather than engaging with them and opening a dialogue for discourse – I’m going to have to wonder what’s wrong with you.
And on that note, here’s a great article on how to be a fan of problematic things!
—Batman #62 (1950) cover by Win Mortimer