Batman writer Tom King is taking the Dark Knight on quite a ride, and for once, it has nothing to do with the villains he is facing. Back in the June issue of Batman, readers were left with one incredible cliffhanger: Batman proposing marriage to Catwoman.
Since Batman’s first appearance in 1939, he’s fought crime in Gotham. He’s always had friends and family by his side, whether it be Alfred Pennyworth, one of the Robins, or even his son Damian, but in the main continuity, Batman has never been married. That may change in the upcoming months as issue #24 ended with Batman on a single knee, proposing. However, before readers get the answer they’re waiting for, he tells Catwoman a story about his battle with Riddler and Joker from his past. Batman had to tell her something he’s never told anyone else. This leads to the current storyline “War of Jokes & Riddles.”
“It’s a flashback story, but it’s him confessing,” King told GameSpot. “It’s him saying, ‘Before you make your decision, you have to know sort of the softest part of me. You have to know where I’m most vulnerable because I want you to love me for who I am, not for who I pretend to be. And this is something I haven’t told anyone.’ And so at the end of ‘Jokes & Riddles,’ he’ll make this confession. He’ll say, ‘This is something I did.’ And Catwoman, for the first time almost in her life because she’s been through everything, will be shocked. It’s something genuinely that’s going to shake her to her core where she’s like, ‘You’re not the man I thought you were.’ And she has to make that decision. ‘Do I actually want to marry Batman?'”
While “War of Jokes & Riddles” may seem like a simplistic, stripped-down tale, King explained that there’s much more to the current storyline than meets the eye: “I like taking a simple story and making it into something interesting and deep,” King said. “And right now, with Batman, we have the simplest story ever; it’s Joker versus Riddler. Who will win? But then you start to think about it, and you start to think about the difference between a joke and a riddle. A joke is something that surprises you, right? Even like a simple joke like, ‘why did the chicken cross the road? To get to the other side.’ The joke part of that is you think a joke is coming, but something straight comes. Like there’s a surprise. A riddle is the exact opposite if you think about it. A riddle is, you propose a problem and you solve it. You come to be relaxed. A joke is tension. A riddle is relaxed. A joke is chaos. A riddle is order.
“[T]hen it becomes sort of like what the Joker wants in the world is anarchy. He just wants everyone to not care about what happens next and what the Riddler wants for the world is order. He’s a fascist. He wants everyone to conform to the best way they need to live their lives.”
What results from this battle is pure chaos in Gotham City and a Batman–who is relatively new to his job–trying to stop it. And while fans may be champing at the bit to know Catwoman’s answer, the “War of Jokes & Riddles” is an important element, as it has Batman truly opening up to another person, which could cause a rift between characters. Readers will get Catwoman’s answer, but not until October: “In issue #32–that’s coming up–that’s a huge issue because Catwoman will say yes or no. And then what comes is either Batman has his heart broken and has to deal with that, we’ve never seen that before where Batman made himself so vulnerable to get rejected. Or we have an acceptance and Batman has to prepare himself and his family for a wedding. So one of those two things is coming.”
DC Comics fans will learn whether or not Catwoman will marry Batman and just what Batman has to confess in Batman #32, which goes on sale October 4.