The one thing that people often think about Batman whenever they look at him is that he is incapable of loving anyone because he is too brooding and aloof to actually find love in another person. But that wasn’t the case when he met Selina Kyle, who we all know as Catwoman. That’s because Batman was attracted to Catwoman in a way we’ve never seen before. So, are Batman and Catwoman in love?
Batman and Catwoman are certainly in love. But that wasn’t always the case because they both had trust issues and were from opposite sides of Gotham’s dark underworld. However, Batman and Catwoman eventually find common ground and start a romantic relationship wherein they work together to fight crime.
The thing about the relationship between Batman and Catwoman is that it was largely seen as a story between two star-crossed lovers that were from opposite sides. Of course, they both found comfort in one another, especially regarding their emotional needs. So, with that said, let’s look at the relationship between Batman and Catwoman to understand what they truly feel for one another.
Batman and Catwoman keep small circles
If we were to look at some of the characters of the Batman storyline, it isn’t surprising to see characters with trust issues. That’s because the dark world of Gotham City can eat up anyone who would easily trust other people. And that holds true for both Batman and Catwoman.
Bruce Wayne’s trust issues can be traced all the way back to the death of his parents. That incident caused him to retreat into a dark corner of his life. Of course, the many different mentors that he has had in his career also contributed to his mindset as he learned that trusting people so easily can get him killed. He doesn’t like opening up about his feelings due to the childhood trauma he never tried to address or resolve.
On the other hand, Catwoman didn’t grow up as a rich and pampered young girl. Instead, she had to claw her way up the ladder. Selina Kyle understood from an early age that she needed to be strong and independent if she wanted to find a way to succeed in a tough and dirty city like Gotham. And when she became a thief called Catwoman, she learned the hard way that she had to choose who she trusted.
In that regard, both of these characters have trust issues stemming from their own life experiences. That is why it was incredibly tough for either of them to form relationships with others as they struggled to trust others with their feelings. But their common experiences allowed them to gravitate towards one another as it was always clear that an instant connection bound Batman and Catwoman.
Catwoman is unlike any other criminal
We all know that Batman fights crime and would never go down to the level of a criminal. Of course, it is safe to say that Catwoman is a known criminal that strikes the rich people of Gotham City. But the difference here is that Catwoman was never similar to the likes of the Joker, the Riddler, or Bane. That’s because she was never a cold-blooded killer that murdered innocent people and stole countless fortunes for the sake of power and control.
Instead, Catwoman always stole to make ends meet, as she hardly ever took a life in the Batman storyline. There were times when Catwoman killed not because she wanted to but because she had to. And in her own perspective, she needed to steal because this was the only way for her to survive in the harsh city of Gotham.
As such, there was a clear sexual tension between the two characters from the very start, as this was something that was often promoted in the 1966 live-action ‘Batman’ TV series where Batman and Catwoman were portrayed as star-crossed lovers that came from opposite sides of Gotham’s dark underworld. Batman was never agreeable with the fact that Catwoman stole, but he was attracted to her strong will and independence. And Catwoman loved Bruce’s strong-willed and assertive nature as well.
Selina’s evolution helped spark the romance
Of course, Catwoman wasn’t always involved with Batman as a romantic partner throughout her career as a character. In fact, Batman was almost always a solo act that only worked with the members of the Bat Family. But Catwoman’s evolution as a character allowed people to love her well enough for the writers to incorporate her more into Bruce’s story. And while they often clashed with one another, the point is that Selina was still Batman’s greatest love.
During the 90s, Selina Kyle was portrayed less as a villain and more as an anti-hero who did things her own way, including killing other criminals if she needed to do so. We saw this in the 1993 ‘Catwoman’ series, which allowed us to get to know Catwoman deeper as she established her own sense of identity outside the storylines that included Batman.
The success of the comic book series allowed DC to establish Catwoman as an understandable character that many people can relate to due to how she only did what she did because she had to.
In ‘Batman: Year One,’ Selina’s story was given more attention when she was established as a character with an origin story related to Bruce’s own story. Then, in ‘The Long Halloween,’ her story was expanded from the foundations that ‘Year One’ built. We also got to see a lot more layers in the Batman and Catwoman relationship without necessarily making the relationship all mushy and cringe.
In ‘Batman: Hush,’ certain circumstances allowed Batman and Catwoman to work together once more, as that was when Bruce finally revealed himself to Selina. He wanted to build a romantic relationship with her after spending years repeatedly dodging the obvious sexual tension building up between the two characters. Selina even started living with Bruce, although the relationship didn’t last long because they had different ways of viewing things.
Despite that, it was clear that Batman’s decision to reveal his identity to Catwoman was a turning point that allowed the two to forge a closer bond. And Selina was trustworthy enough to keep her mouth shut regarding Bruce’s identity, as she still cared about him despite how their relationship ended.
After years of flirting with one another on the rooftops of Gotham, Bruce finally proposed to Selina. Readers were surprised that Batman was now looking to forge a domestic partnership with Catwoman. And some readers were confused because Batman was married to the city of Gotham.
Nevertheless, some readers believed that he deserved a happy life. Bruce never saw her on the altar a year after proposing to Selina. That’s because Catwoman believed that a happier Batman would weaken his resolve as the only person reliable enough to keep the criminals of Gotham in check. Catwoman loved Batman but understood that Gotham needed the Dark Knight more than she did.
The two eventually reconciled and reconnected without the benefit of marriage. Despite not being married, they started working more with one another as a duo of vigilantes. And Catwoman’s evolution had gone full circle from a thief to a crime-fighting hero.
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