Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle’s to-be-marriage in Batman #50 took the internet by storm. But readers were upset when they found out that it wouldn’t be happening. Internet reactions ranged from disappointment to threatening bodily harm to the writer Tom King. But as we have seen in the subsequent issues, absence does make the heart grow fonder. In their time apart they have realized that Batman’s life has only got tougher since then. In Tom King and Clay Mann’s Batman #78, it’s time for Batman to be happy again. But it could very well change what it means to be the Dark Knight.
Why Did Selina Leave Bruce?
Readers will know that during the engagement, Selina had an encounter with The Joker. There she had a revelation – the Joker put a notion in her head that a happy Batman would mean no Batman at all. It meant that he would lose his drive to fight crime. Selina wrestled with the thought of depriving the world of one of its greatest heroes. Her friend Holly Robinson only worked to affirm her doubts. Although she did it at the behest of Bane, but all of it ultimately led to Selina leaving Bruce.
Bruce too had largely convinced himself of the same thing. The pain of his parents’ death is what spurred him on to fight crime and love or happiness would dilute that drive. This isn’t new, Bruce Wayne has rarely had any form of lasting relationships since he became Batman.
Hope Of A Happy Ending For Batman?
But Batman #78 begins to challenge the assumption of Bruce being happy equals no Batman. At Matches Malone, Bruce and Selina aren’t enjoying a romantic vacation. As Bane tightens his chokehold on Gotham, Bruce recovers from his encounter with his alternate reality father. He is also training with Selina for an eventual confrontation with Bane and his allies. But there Bruce and Selina are also rediscovering their feelings for one another. Selina doesn’t feel heroic for what she did. She feels like instead of giving Gotham its Batman, she simply killed their future together. Bruce admits that he was broken because Selina left him. So the world kept its Batman, but it was a Batman driven to the depths of despair. He wasn’t the same Batman Selina thought she was preserving.
Now, Bruce is realizing that perhaps his vow to fight crime and happiness are not mutually exclusive to each other. This is a revelation because he is realizing that he can fight crime but feel content in his own life doing so. This and being reunited with Selina has arguably made him whole again and maybe it has made him a better hero.
“City of Bane” continues in Batman #79, on sale September 18.