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What Will It Really Mean When Batman and Catwoman Are Married?

SPOILER WARNING: The following article contains major spoilers for events leading up to Batman and Catwoman's upcoming wedding.

Batman and Catwoman are getting married. Let the wedding bells ring for Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle, right?

Not so fast.

The Bat and The Cat are planning to wed, yes, but that doesn't necessarily mean that Bruce and Selina will be tying the knot. Readers learned of this little twist on the night of Bruce's – that is, Batman's – bachelor party in Tim Seeley and Travis Moore's Prelude to the Wedding: Nightwing vs. Hush. Batman himself confirmed as much in Seeley and Javier Fernandez' Prelude to the Wedding: Red Hood vs. Anarky. That's hardly a way for a couple to demonstrate their undying commitment to each other.

Nightwing first stated that Bruce and Selina weren't going to marry, adding the caveat of "not publicly, anyway." Batman later said, "The wedding of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle can't exist." A story that can't exist – even a love story – is the stuff of DC Comics' old "Elseworlds" volumes, and the very idea of a Bruce and Selina marriage was previously relegated to the alternate and now-retconned pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths Earth 2. No, it seems Bruce just can't be married to Selina, and if he is, it's got to be a secret.

Yep, maybe Batman and Catwoman can have a big fat superhero wedding, but Bruce and Selina are going to have to elope.

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That is, if they plan on making their marriage official. A Batman/Catwoman wedding would be purely ceremonial, of course – it wouldn't be legally binding, unless in Rebirth continuity the state of New York now awards marriage licenses to masked vigilantes and costumed criminals. There's a long precedent for masked characters having some difficulty trying to live a normal life like one of us – just ask Spider-Man what happened the first time he tried to cash a check made out to him.

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The idea of Bruce and Selina marrying publicly would undoubtedly be problematic for them, so the need for secrecy isn't much of a mystery. Most obviously, their identities could be compromised, as there might be an astute blogger or dedicated tabloid reporter who connects Batman and Catwoman's marriage with Bruce and Selina's sudden coziness. A famous billionaire hooking up with a mob boss who was once locked up in Arkham Asylum would probably bring the kind of scandal that wouldn't reflect well on Wayne Enterprises stock prices. And Bruce has long had a reputation as Gotham's most eligible bachelor – why break the hearts of potential investors?

So if they marry, it has to be on the sly – but does that mean that they intend to? After all, a marriage license is still a public document (unless that's also changed in Rebirth continuity), so at some point, the secret will be out regardless, and the above problems will remain. This would indicate a rather empty and unfortunate possibility: that the two will not legally wed as civilians, and that their marriage as Batman and Catwoman will have no real weight other than as a symbolic union.

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