WARNING: The following contains spoilers for New Super-Man & the Justice League of China #20 by Gene Luen Yang, Brent Peeples, and Matt Santorelli.
Batman and Wonder Woman. Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince. This has been a relationship a n number of fans have wanted to be canon for a long time now. Ever since the Princess of Themyscira and the Dark Knight first began to become a thing on the Justice League cartoon, the WonderBat ‘ship has been in high demand, though not always delivered beyond the cartoon.
It’s most definitely not a thing in the two characters’ solo comics, or the video games, though it is up in the air for the movies. But if you’re reading New Super-Man & the Justice League of China, your ship desires may be satiated, because the two characters are finally getting a chance to be a couple.
See, in New Super-Man, the Chinese Ministry of Self Reliance had Chinese versions of Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman under their employ: Wang Baixi, who trained at the Academy of the Bat, and Peng Deilan, a Green Snake who became human centuries ago. Before Kong Kenan showed up as the Chinese Man of Steel, it fell to Baixi and Deilan to defend their nation, and they did so quite well.
Given that they worked so well together, the two of them would eventually develop a romantic interest in one another. He took her to meet his family during the team’s downtime, and the two of them finally admitted their feelings with a kiss (while she was part snake, much to Kenan’s digust). They’ve been busy with work since then, having to fight Chinese demons, the Suicide Squad, and the original Emperor Super-Man the Ministry created, but they at least knew where they stood with each other.
Flash forward to New Super-Man’s latest issue, and that has definitely changed. The Justice League of China — that is to say, Baixi, Deilan, Kenan, Robinbot, and their Flash, Avery Ho — have broken off from the Ministry of Self Reliance. In the months since their split, Baixi and Deilan have become a full blown couple. Since the four heroes (and Robinbot) are technically on the run from the Ministry and live together, the couple’s romantic behavior can sometimes be a bit much for the still single Avery and Kenan. So much so that Avery would rather hang out with Kenan, who she thinks is “boring” for meditating all the time, as opposed to being a third wheel on Baixi and Deilan’s snowboarding date. Unfortunately for this WonderBat pairing, their date is soon interrupted by the desire-eating Sleez, which requires them to call in their friends for help.
Love isn’t just in the air for Bat-Man and Wonder-Woman. Sleez has the ability to not just draw energy from human emotions, but also to enhance the desires of humans, something that Super-Man and Flash learn when they lock lips in the middle of a brawl between the JLC and the Green Lantern Corps of China. Avery very clearly wants to pretend the kiss didn’t happen, even though she’s clearly crushing on Super-Man, but before they can talk about the matter any further, the team has to deal with a much bigger problem: the Aqua-Man of Korea, which very clearly takes priority over dating problems…usually.
Kenan and Avery will have their problems to work out before they’re on their way to becoming a couple, if they want to be, but it looks like smooth sailing for Baixi and Deilan. While some may point out that the WonderBat pairing here doesn’t count because these two aren’t Bruce and Diana, one could argue that the relationship can work exactly because they aren’t Bruce and Diana. There’s no Chinese equivalent of Catwoman or Steve Trevor for the two to be tangled up in, and lacking the troubled emotional issues their American counterparts have, Baixi and Deilan have a shot of actually working out long term. Who knows, they could even eventually become one of DC’s biggest power couples.
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