No, Batman Does Not Ask Catwoman to Marry Him in Batman #24

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Batman Rebirth 24

You've read the news. You've seen the famous image. Heck, by now you should probably have read the issue. And like most people who have done all of that, you have walked away absolutely convinced that Batman -- Bruce Wayne, the Dark Knight of Gotham, the World's Greatest Detective -- has asked Catwoman to marry him.

If that is true, you need to read it again.

BATMAN #24, "Every Epilogue is a Prelude," is an interesting read. It's a back-and-forth timing kind of thing that makes you wonder at first when "now" is. For the majority of the issue, Tom King has us listening in on a conversation between Batman and Gotham Girl, now healed but having learned that using her powers will kill her. She's asking what she should do, whether she should continue being a hero and let her powers end her life early, or quit and go live a normal life. And she wants Batman to make that decision for her.

What she gets is a lot of introspective Bat-talk about what it means to be Batman -- the sacrifices that have been made, the motivations and the fears. It's a very vulnerable side of Batman that we do not see very often. And it evolves into a discussion of wants versus needs.

And Gotham Girl turns the conversation back on him, forcing him to analyze his wants versus his needs.

And what we learn Batman apparently needs... is Catwoman.

This takes us to the action with Batman and Catwoman, which has been happening in alternating pages as the conversation bleeds over it. And it shows just how long Batman has been carrying a torch for Selina Kyle, the Catwoman -- all the way back to when they first met, and he recovered from her a diamond she had stolen; a diamond he later bought, because he knew one day he would need it.

And then Batman does NOT ask Catwoman to marry him.

That's a period at the end of the words in that balloon.

He's Batman.

He tells her to marry him.

I wonder if we're going to have to wait through the flashback story "The War of Jokes and Riddles" before we learn -- not her answer -- but her response? And if she agrees to this merger of Bat and Cat, will it stick longer than it takes for Doctor Manhattan to stick his big, blue hand back into the creation of the universe and reorganize things again?

King does an amazing job revealing a side of Batman we don't get to see that often -- the human, vulnerable side. David Finch's pencils deliver a level of detail that elevates this issue from being just another story into being an iconic moment in Batman history.

4.5 / 5.0