Spoiler alert: The following story contains significant details from the comic book Batman No. 24 (out Wednesday).
Save the date: Batman is popping the question — in maybe the most Batman way ever.
In DC Comics’ Batman issue 24, an unmasked Dark Knight gets down on one knee, diamond in hand, during a rooftop rendezvous in Gotham City, with two important words for his longtime love Catwoman: “Marry me.”
It’s the culmination of their 75-year relationship “into one unprecedented moment,” says Batman writer Tom King. “I want people to go home and be like, ‘Should she marry him? Should she say yes?’ There’s a whole conversation that could come out of this.”
In the new issue, Batman presents her with a diamond that he’s secretly kept for decades, tells her he loves and needs her, and then goes for the ultimate romantic gesture.
King wanted to lean away from the character's usual anger and surprise fans with a new level of vulnerability.
“Everyone’s done vengeance, everyone’s done ‘The night is so dark,’ ” King says. “Giving Batman more pain doesn’t reveal anything about his character because he’s taken as much pain as he can. But giving him love and joy, that combines with the tragedy of his past into something new and never done before.”
Batman had had a slew of love interests over the years, from reporter Vicki Vale to supervillainess Talia al Ghul — he even shared a kiss once with Wonder Woman (sorry, Steve Trevor). But what makes Catwoman, aka Selina Kyle, the closest thing to a soulmate is her ability to bring down Batman’s emotional shield and find a connection.
When the writer was working on how he would have Batman propose, King would get advice from his 7-year-old daughter, who’s obsessed with both superheroes and romance.
King ultimately went with more of a statement than a question, because there was some ambiguity in it: “Marry me” could be read as an order or the desperation of a man finally ready to take the plunge.
“Was this a moment of vulnerability or a moment of arrogance? That’s almost the cliffhanger,” King says. “Is Batman making the greatest decision of his life or the greatest mistake?”
So what will Catwoman’s answer be? Don’t order wedding gifts from the Gotham Target registry just yet: In Batman No. 25 (out June 21) Batman tells Catwoman that before she marries him, he needs to tell her about his darkest moment.
“It’s like, ‘You think you know me, but you don’t know me until this,’ ” King says. “The actual answer will come after he reveals something he’s never revealed to anyone, and she has to decide whether that’s good or bad.”