SPOILER WARNING: The following story contains spoilers for Batman #24, on sale now.
Catwoman and Batman’s love affair has filled decades of comic book pages with both romance and butt-kicking. No matter what DC timeline the two have tangled in, they always end up teaming- up in cowl and claws to overcome the enemies of Gotham City. The two haven’t always seen eye to eye over the years, but Catwoman has consistently been one of the most important and reliable members of the Bat-Family. Despite the majority of their time together spent hiding behind masks as they flirt and fight across Gotham’s rooftops, Selina Kyle is one of the few people who truly understands Bruce Wayne and vice versa.
After Catwoman first clawed her way into Batman’s life in 1940’s Batman #1, their relationship has been a vehicle in which to discover new and surprising elements of both Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle’s character. On the surface, the crusading vigilante and the thrill-seeking burglar couldn’t be more different. But as their feelings grew through countless adventures, the Bat and the Cat learned how perfect for one another they actually were. Writer Tom King has been exploring still newer facets of their complex relationship throughout Batman “Rebirth.” In honor of Batman finally popping “the question” to Catwoman in Batman #24, CBR has collected some of the very best Catwoman/Batman team-ups!
Catwoman has been a major player in Tom King’s “Rebirth” Batman title since 2016. In “I Am Suicide,” Batman assembles a crack suicide squad of his own, including Catwoman, to break into Santa Prisca prison and steal the Psycho Pirate from Bane in order to help heal Gotham Girl’s damaged psyche.
Catwoman, who is on death row for killing 237 people, pretends to betray Batman for Bane, but that ploy turns out to be a double blind and the Cat breaks Bane’s back just as Bane is about to crush Batman. When Bane returns to Gotham for revenge in “I Am Bane,” Catwoman once again proves herself to be Batman’s most unpredictable ally, as she pretends to be kidnapped by Bane only to escape and free Bane’s other Bat-Family hostages.
In Batman #14’s “Rooftops” arc, Batman reveals to Catwoman as they smooch it out along Gotham’s harbor that due to Bruce’s deal with Amanda Waller, Catwoman will only receive a lifetime sentence without parole instead of the death penalty. How romantic! Batman needs to take Catwoman, in but instead, Selina convinces him to let them have one more night together. The two lovers take down a sling of minor villains like Clock King and Kite Man before passionately making love and fondly reminiscing of the first time they met one another. In a quaint and emotional callback to their storied history, Bruce references Batman #1 while Selina recalls their encounter in Frank Miller’s “Year One.”
Catwoman being Catwoman, she tells Bruce to chase her one last time and escapes in the early morning hours. She later saves Batman’s life and the ensuing events help clear Catwoman’s name as she actually took the fall for her friend and fellow orphan, Holly.
2002’s “Hush” written by Jeph Loeb saw a mysterious enemy from Bruce Wayne’s past return to haunt the Dark Knight while also featuring an onslaught of classic Batman villains. Batman and Catwoman get hot and heavy pretty quickly after Bruce frees Selina from Poison Ivy’s control. Bruce finally decides he should fully trust Selina and even reveals his secret identity to Catwoman in Batman #615!
The two would team-up to fight not only Ivy, but also Harley Quinn, the Joker, and Superman as well throughout “Hush.” After defeating a faux Jason Todd reveals the arc’s true mastermind, Bruce’s childhood friend, Hush (a.k.a. Thomas Eliot) Batman’s trust in himself is shaken. Was their love just a form of Ivy’s control? Scarecrow’s fear toxin? Can Bruce keep Selina safe? The Bat and the Cat end things. For now.
12. THE LONG HALLOWEEN
Jeph Loeb and Tim Sale’s iconic noir masterpiece “The Long Halloween” tells the story of Harvey Dent’s fall as Batman, Gordon, and Dent attempt to take down the Falcone crime family early in Batman’s career. Catwoman has her own reasons for wanting to bring down Falcone and her information leads to the destruction of the mob’s secret stash of dough worth tens of millions of dollars. Throughout the story, Batman attempts to not only end Falcone, but also to understand Catwoman’s seemingly personal connection to the crime family.
Two-Face, a.k.a. Harvey Dent, finally murders Falcone at his estate flanked by the “freaks” and villains of Gotham, including Catwoman. The Cat attempts to fend off his daughter Sofia, but the enraged mob heiress is horribly injured after she plummets out the window. “The Long Halloween” and its sequels also imply that Selina is Carmine’s illegitimate child.
11. FOREVER EVIL
The 2013 DC crossover event “Forever Evil” saw the heroes and villains of Earth Prime attacked and brought low by the machinations of the Crime Syndicate and their allies. After the Justice League gets thoroughly owned by the Syndicate and imprisoned by Deathstorm within the Firestorm Matrix, Batman takes Catwoman to the Batcave as they prepare a counterattack in Forever Evil #4.
Catwoman and Batman soon find themselves in for the fight of their lives after running into Lex Luthor’s own team of villains as well as Power Ring’s gang of baddies. Luthor teams-up with the Cat and the Bat and this new “Injustice League” confronts the Syndicate and the “Mazahs”-shouting Alexander Luthor at the Watchtower in a bloody final battle, defeating the Crime Syndicate for the time being.
10. HEART OF HUSH
Written by Paul Dini and illustrated by Dustin Nguyen, Hush makes a horrific return in “Heart of Hush” by kidnapping Catwoman and surgically removing her heart. Selina Kyle is kept alive on a series of machines while Batman pursues Hush to defeat his childhood friend and secure Catwoman’s heart.
Their battle spills over to the Batcave and, in a shocking twist, Elliot reveals that he’s performed plastic surgery on his face in order to resemble Bruce Wayne. Fortunately, Batman, Robin, and Nightwing overcome Hush and are able to save Selina’s life. In Detective Comics #850, Bruce visits Selina in the hospital and tells her that he’ll always love her. Catwoman takes her revenge on Hush by stealing his entire fortune and enjoys a well-deserved vacation on Thomas Elliot’s dime.
9. BATMAN: PREY
“Prey,” which consisted of Legends of the Dark Knight #11 through #15, explored more of the characters’ early history. At the story’s start, Batman is still a very controversial figure in Gotham and is distrusted by the police force and the public. Dr. Hugo Strange becomes a G.C.P.D. consultant and begins to unravel the mystery behind Batman’s identity. However, while chatting with a female mannequin, Strange quickly reveals that he’s actually a highly intelligent, but extremely weird, wacko who is obsessed with Batman.
Meanwhile, Catwoman is accused by the media of being Batman’s partner in crime, so the two do not meet on the best of terms. Catwoman bashes Batman with a pipe after being attacked by Strange’s hypnotized, faux-Batman replacement. That’s what qualifies as a fun date on the streets of Gotham.
8. BATMAN: TERROR
A sequel to “Prey,” Legends of the Dark Knight #137 begins the “Terror” arc which sees Hugo Strange return from the dead to torment Batman with the help of Scarecrow. It also tries really, really hard to make every single part of the story burst with sex appeal.
Strange becomes the chief psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum and breaks Jonathan Crane, a.k.a. the Scarecrow, out while Batman is thoroughly schooled by Catwoman after attempting to bring her in for robbery. When Bruce returns home, he finds Alfred taken hostage by Strange and that the good doctor believes Bruce Wayne is Batman! Unfortunately, the reinvigorated Scarecrow has other plans and blackmails Selina into luring Bruce back to the place it all began: the Monarch Theater. Catwoman decides she’d rather bet on Batman to take Scarecrow down and her carefully placed homing device leads the Dark Knight to the fear-mongering psychopath.
7. ONLY TAKES A NIGHT
Writer Ed Brubaker’s Catwoman #32 opens with Selina Kyle’s return to Gotham City. Almost immediately upon her arrival Batman shows up to once again confess his feelings for her. Selina convinces Bruce to take a “night off” and they share dinner and a movie like a normal couple for once. Bruce is so happy to find Selina alive after all this time that he actually almost breaks down in tears.
#32 focuses on exploring a time when Bruce and Selina are able to have a healthy and happy relationship. It shows how their feelings for one another help to mitigate the pain from the challenges from the war against crime in Gotham City. Selina has, for a moment at least, balance and fulfillment in her life and relationship with Bruce, both in and out of the mask.
6. A TOWN ON THE NIGHT
After the conclusion of “Crisis on Infinite Earths,” Batman #392 opens with Catwoman and Batman teaming-up to stop some run-of-the-mill baddies as Selina is still convincing the G.C.P.D. that she’s reformed since her jewel-snatching days. To celebrate, Batman takes Catwoman for a bite at his favorite late-night spot: the back alley of an Italian restaurant.
But since it’s Gotham City and no one can get through a meal without a crime being committed, Catwoman and Batman apprehend an assassin who whacks someone at the restaurant. A pattern begins to form after this, as everywhere they go there’s crime to be stopped! Finally, they show up at Jim Gordon’s office and present the apprehended criminals — and a mountain of pizza — as a gift to the police commissioner.
5. THE BRAVE AND THE BOLD
“The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne!” tells the tale of when Bruce first fell in love with Selina Kyle back in The Brave and the Bold #197. In Bruce’s memoirs, he even refers to Selina as “his wife!” Plagued by the haunting memories of all the loves lost in his crusade as Batman and unable to contact any of his crime-fighting allies in a pinch, Bruce seeks out the help of Catwoman in order to apprehend Scarecrow.
Batman and Catwoman prove themselves a spectacular crime-fighting duo as they overcome a series of challenges set forth by Scarecrow all the while realizing how powerful their connection really is, and how they can escape their pain and loneliness together. After suffering a blast of fear toxin that causes Batman to be afraid of cats and Catwoman of bats, Selina breaks the poison’s grip by revealing her face, which prompts Bruce to do the same.
4. SECRET ORIGINS
DC Superstars #17 threw some new secret origins at readers including the Huntress, daughter of Earth-2’s Batman and Catwoman! In this universe, Catwoman had willingly surrendered to the G.C.P.D. and served out a prison sentence as punishment for her crimes. When she was finally freed and totally not scarred by prison, Bruce Wayne was waiting with open arms.
Bruce’s marriage to Selina was a happy and fulfilling one and his crusade as the Batman even took a backseat once their daughter, Helena, was born. The fairy tale ends when a criminal from Selina’s past blackmails her after revealing evidence that she murdered someone as Catwoman. Knowing that Bruce would never forgive her, she agrees to take on one last job. Selina’s accidental death during Bruce’s fight with the criminal inspires Helena to become the Huntress.
A cat-costumed serial killer with Wolverine-like claws stalks the streets of Gotham during a heat wave in Legends of the Dark Knight #46, so Batman reluctantly teams up with Catwoman to stop him. Selina springs into action once she hears that the media is suggesting a connection to her own alter-ego, and soon the cat-killer begins targeting young women. If that isn’t enough, Jim Gordon punches the racist mayor in the face and race riots start to rage across the city because of the serial killer.
Selina, wearing revealing civilian clothes, lures the killer to attack her in the park where she and Batman send him scampering to the Gotham City Zoo and finally take him down at the Miss Gotham Beauty Pageant. Afterwards, Batman makes a big to-do about their partnership officially being over forever, but everyone knows how serious he was about that!
2. BATMAN INC.
After Batman and Catwoman steal a weapon called Project X from a Leviathan compound they travel to Japan (Selina under a pseudonym) to train Mr. Unknown as a Japanese Batman. But after finding Mr. Unknown murdered, Bruce takes on Unknown’s protege to stop Lord Death Man from killing his way through Japan’s superhero population.
Catwoman is instrumental in Lord Death Man’s defeat…by running him over in a truck. Thanks to their teamwork, Bruce’s mission to spread his vision of Batman Inc. to Japan in issues #1 and #2 is a success. Selina’s side mission in Japan — stealing the Crown Jewels of Poseidon — is foiled when Bruce reveals that the jewels have liquefied, as they cannot survive above a pressure of 1,000 atmospheres. Sure. Makes sense, Brucie.
1. DETECTIVE COMICS
In Detective Comics #569 Catwoman is still trying to convince Batman that she’s reformed, even turning in the members of her former gang when they continue to commit crimes. The Joker lures Batman, Catwoman, and Jason Todd, a.k.a. Robin, into a trap before capturing and torturing Selina Kyle.
She’s no damsel in distress, however. “Recalibrated” and suffering from amnesia due to the Joker’s torture device, Catwoman attacks Batman. This “new” Selina turns on the Joker too and seems to have completely forgotten her feelings for the Dark Knight. Joker gets a few nasty cracks to the jaw from Batman for that, as the infuriated Bruce laments about how the likes of the Joker have cost him every woman he’s ever loved. Doubtful, Dark Knight, because although Selina returns to her criminal ways, she won’t be out of your love-life for long!
Let us know in the comments which Batman and Catwoman pairing is your favorite!
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