I finally got caught up on the Scott Snyder interview for the Gender Through Comic Books class, and naturally this was the one question that interested me the most.
What’s ironic about this question and Snyder’s subsequent answer is that the idea of Batman having a daughter who became Robin was already explored in the new Earth-2 universe with the New 52 version of Helena Wayne (aka The Huntress).
Even though the Earth-2 version of Bruce Wayne is a slightly different character from the mainstream one in that he was the version of Batman who actually made the decision to marry and have children, I don’t feel the mainstream Batman would’ve reacted that much differently to having a daughter as Robin. I feel that Scott Snyder was spot on in stating that Bruce is an equal-opportunity ‘Robin-finder’ (for lack of a better term) and as such, I feel he’s just as likely to accept a female Robin as his sidekick as any of the male Robins.
Interestingly enough, he was just as equally spot on in stating that in having a female offspring he would’ve ‘surveillanced’ any dates she went out on, which is something that Helena Wayne herself confirmed in Worlds’ Finest #1 as the reason she never dated on Earth-2. (There will be more discussion on that later).
What has yet to be explored, however, is why Earth-2 Bruce chose to raise his daughter to essentially become the next Batman. Obviously the Apokolips war wasn’t going on all her life, so it would be interesting to see what went on in Bruce (and even Selina’s) mind that ultimately led to that decision when Helena was born.
James Robinson stated in earlier interviews last year that Bruce was simply passing his love for his daughter by teaching her everything he knows, which would be in character for Bruce, but why specifically to be a crime-fighter? This was definitely a significant change from the pre-Crisis continuity where Bruce did not want his daughter to follow in his footsteps and actually lead a normal life.
Another thing that hasn’t been touched upon yet was who decided that Helena should become Robin? Did either Bruce or Selina pick out the name and costume, or did Helena herself decide on the Robin identity? I do feel a lot of these key details about Helena’s past need to be addressed eventually in order to get a more complete feel for her character.
Going back to Scott Snyder’s territory, I think a better question would’ve been ‘how would mainstream Bruce personally react to the idea of having an adult daughter from a parallel universe as a potential partner?’
I would have definitely loved to hear Scott’s thoughts on that.
An anti-gun agenda in Batman being controversial.
These people do realise they’re reading a book about a man who hates guns because his mum and dad were killed with a gun, right?
Details from Robinson’s podcast with ComicVine that are of particular interest:
- Helena Wayne will eventually meet the new Earth-2 Batman, though not for a while. (Admittedly I don’t see this ending well).
- We also won’t learn the new Earth-2 Batman’s identity for a while, so don’t count on the Earth-2 Annual to reveal any details just yet.
- Big Barda and Mister Miracle are residents of Earth-2, they’re not just visiting.
- Fury is NOT Donna Troy because she doesn’t work with Earth-2 continuity.
- No plans for a new Earth-2 Catwoman.
All in all, I still feel that having an Earth-2 Batman defeats the whole purpose of why Helena Wayne exists and I can’t say I’ll blame Helena if she gets rightfully pissed to learn that someone else took her place on Earth-2.
I am, however, excited to see Barda and Mister Miracle be a part of Earth-2 continuity and can’t wait to see where this development goes.
I also hope there will be some plot twist with Fury later and I hope it turns out that she joined Steppenwolf with the intention of learning his craft to use it against him later on. At the moment, I’m still not behind the idea of turning Wonder Woman’s daughter into a villainous character that completely strips her of her Amazon upbringing.
It was already bad enough that Wonder Woman got ruined on the main DCU Earth and was really hoping Earth-2 would be the saving grace for this character.
BATMAN AND CATWOMAN #22
- Written by PETER J. TOMASI
- Art by PATRICK GLEASON, MICK GRAY and J. CALAFIORE
- Cover by PATRICK GLEASON and MICK GRAY
- On sale JULY 17 • 32 pg, FC, $2.99 US • RATED T
- Bruce Wayne continues to grind through his grief over the death of Damian—but is Catwoman here to help Batman or take advantage of his vulnerable state?
Sincerely hoping it’s the former instead of the latter. Getting tired of seeing Selina depicted as a ‘damaged’ person who ‘gets what she wants’ regardless of whether consent is present or not. That is not Selina at all.
I still hesitate, setting down these words, even knowing that they will not be read for years, perhaps decades to come…
But lately I’ve had this feeling that time is somehow running short, that endings are not so very far away—and I feel the need to share with posterity the many good people I have been blessed with in my life.
In previous chapters I’ve written of why I chose to take up the mantle of the Batman…and of the orphaned Dick Grayson, who became like a son to me.
I’ve written, too, of the others who have shared my quest for justice…brave and decent souls I have been proud to fight beside.
Now I turn to someone who, quite literally, changed my life.
She was first an adversary…then an ally…and became my wife.
(The Brave and the Bold #197)
Hi! Thank you for your question and comments! :)
Since their very first incarnations in the 1940s comics and throughout various media, Batman and Catwoman have always been about sexual tension. They’ve always been a pair that literally plays on the idea of ‘the unrelenting crime fighter wanting and desiring the femme fatale whom he can never have’ that’s very common in many film noir narratives. The difference, of course, is that Selina has never been entirely villainous, often crossing the line between fighting on the side of crime and fighting against it. This is also one of the things that has always been a primary source of conflict between the two characters. Batman is all about law and order, while Catwoman respects the law but also enjoys the thrill of committing a theft and getting away with it, and even acknowledges when exceptions need to be made in ways that Batman does not.
Throughout the course of their history, they always start out as adversaries, often engaging in ‘cat-n-mouse’ (or in this case ‘cat-n-bat’) style chases after Catwoman has (typically) stolen a valuable item. Sometimes her thefts are deliberate as a way of getting Batman’s attention, other times they’re not. Over a period of time Selina eventually starts to lean more towards heroic crime-fighting, though still enjoys a good theft. This development often allows the two to grow closer together to the point of even having an actual romantic relationship, and in the case of the Earth-2 universe, results in marriage and a young daughter.
The consistent pattern is that Bruce and Selina’s relationship is about two people who share the same values but respond to situations differently. Yet, despite those differences, they have a mutual love and respect for one another and over a period of time build a trusting relationship. Even when they can’t be a couple for whatever reason, they still manage to be very close friends who can depend on each other when they need each other the most. When they are depicted making love, it’s always handled gracefully and never in ways that are objectifying of both characters like the way it was depicted at the end of Catwoman #1.
That being said, when Judd Winick depicted Bruce and Selina as the epitome of two damaged individuals who engage in violent costumed sex regardless of whether or not there’s consent present, he got both of those characters completely wrong. When Ann Nocenti depicted Bruce and Selina in both the Young Romance and Catwoman #18, she got the ‘cat-n-mouse’ aspect of their early relationship right at least, but completely missed the mark on everything else. Bruce would never use violence on Selina neither as a way of making a point to her nor as a way of coping with the loss of his son, Damian, like he did in the latest Catwoman.
I love Catwoman’s costumes in the 1960’s tv show.
Damian help you sister and put the damn mask.
I still dream of the day Helena Wayne puts on her mum’s costume. Just once. It’s all I ask for.
I just read part of Catwoman #18—thankfully I had fair warning from helenawaynehuntress too as I am absolutely appalled by how Ann Nocenti has written Bruce and Selina for the Requiem arc. Like helenawaynehuntress told me, you just have to see the whole thing for yourself.
Now see these three pages above, from Detective Comics #800?
That’s how I picture them going through grief together. Not this horrid caricature of the very worst of both Batman and Catwoman.
The Real Bruce and Selina.
Yeah mum and dad can play a little rough sometimes, but they actually show mutual love and respect for each other.
Ann Nocenti, love, please take notes.