Spoilers ahead for this week's Batman #32.
In this week's Batman #32 by Tom King and Mikel Janin, Bruce Wayne finally got an answer to the marriage proposal he sprung on Selina Kyle back in Batman #24.
She said yes.
The proposal, which had Bruce getting down on one knee and using the same diamond she originally stole at their first meeting, was a significant moment for fans of the couple, but most didn't get up their hopes for an engagement.
Now, with a "yes" on the table, the next question for comic book fans is: Will the two characters really go through with a wedding?
Newsarama takes a look at the reasons why DC might go through with a marriage between the two characters, and the reasons they probably won't.
Why They Might Get Married
The marriage of Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle isn't exactly a brand new concept. It's actually been done before, although in a story that was shuttled off to an alternate world known as Earth-2. In that story, Bruce and Selina's marriage resulted in the birth of their daughter Helena, who became Huntress, a hero in her own right.
While pulling from those old, Earth-2 'Bat-Cat relationship' stories for the current Batman might seem overly nostalgic, King's run on the book has already referred to some of the characters' more nostalgic moments. Even regarding their history together, King's version incoporates both their 1940 meeting (when Selina stole the aforementioned diamond) and their other first meeting from "Year One" (before Bruce even became Batman).
So if older stories of Catwoman and Batman are being honored in the preset-day continuity, it's certainly possible that the couple's marriage could return.
The marriage also seems more likely because of the precedent set by the DC on Superman. After claiming that the marriage of Clark and Lois limited the character, DC did a 180-degree turn in recent years.
DC writers had been talking for years about possibly eliminating Clark's marriage, and in 2011, when DC rebooted its entire universe, the company finally gave single Clark and single Lois a try. At the time, DC Co-Publisher Dan DiDio said the change would make Superman "more accessible." With the baggage of continuity weighing him down, DiDio said "we've lost some of the character and the ability to tell stories with that character."
"If we had him married to Lois right now, he would always have a strong base to work from. We wanted to explore much bigger and wider stories with him," DiDio said, possibly referring to a storyline during that era that saw Superman dating Wonder Woman.
However, current DC continuity has Superman and Lois Lane married again. In fact, they're not only married, but they have a son named Jonathan and share a markedly happy home life.
Speaking of sons, that's another reason DC might throw caution to the wind and go through with a Batman-Catwoman marriage. They've already taken a risk by giving Batman a biological son. Although editorial originally intended to have the son die in-story (and he actually did, and stayed dead for a while), Batman's son Damian is now alive and well - and is an accepted part of DC continuity.
So if Superman can have a wife and son, and Batman can have a son, why can't Bruce Wayne have a wife?
Why They Might Never Get Married
But most fans question the commitment by DC to marry the two characters because there's been a sort of unwritten rule surrounding Batman for many years: He's just not allowed to be happy.
In fact, DC doesn't let any of the Batman characters enjoy happiness for long, as DiDio acknowledged during a 2013 panel at Baltimore Comic-Con.
After fans complained that a wedding didn't happen in the Batwoman title (after that character was also engaged), DiDio said the Batman editorial office had a mandate in place prohibiting any of the Batman characters from being happy.
"[Characters who fall under the Batman office] shouldn’t have happy personal lives. They shouldn't," DiDio said. "They put on a cape and a cowl for a reason. They're committed to being that person. They're committed to defending others at the sacrifice of their own personal instincts.
"For me, that's a very important statement to make, and that's something that we reinforce, because if you look at the characters in the Batman family, their personal lives kind of suck - Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson … Tim Drake, Barbara Gordon and Kathy Kane," DiDio said.
“It’s wonderful that they try to establish personal lives, but it’s also just as equally important that they put it aside because they know what they're accomplishing as a hero takes precedence over everything else.
"That is our mandate, that is our edict, that is our standard with our characters," DiDio said. "We reinforce this with every single one of the books, with every single one of the writers."
Granted, this statement was made during the "New 52," when even Superman's marriage was eliminated. But more recently, the Batman books have gone out of their way to establish that Bruce Wayne cannot be Batman and also be happy. During Scott Snyder and Greg Capullo's Batman "Superheavy" storyline in 2015-2016, Bruce was temporarily living a peaceful life in a sort of forced retirement. But Gotham City couldn't survive without him, and Bruce had to discard his own happiness to go back to his life as Batman.
Besides the mandate against happiness, there's also a sense that if Batman marries Catwoman, it's the sort of drastic step in Bruce's life that can't be undone - or at least not undone without consequences.
Just ask Marvel. The company is still getting a lot of flack from Spider-Man fans for magically erasing the marriage between Peter Parker and Mary Jane. In a 2008 story originally written by J. Michael Straczynski in Amazing Spider-Man - then famously rewritten by Marvel executives - a magic character made a new reality where Spidey's marriage never existed.
Even Straczynski wasn't a fan of the messy elimination of the character's marriage, despite being involved in the Spider-Man revamp.
"This is an argument we had over and over at Marvel about Spider-Man, and there really isn't a good answer to it," he said. "You can tell good stories with them married, and good stories with them single. It's really a function of what the company wants to do with them, and the image they want to present.
"Really, the only difference between the two [being married or not married] is that if they're single, they can fool around with other folks," he said. "But if it's a monogamous relationship, and they're never going to date others, then there's really not a compelling argument not to have them married."
That question of monogamy is a key question to answer when considering the marriage of Selina and Bruce. DC's "Rebirth" initiative is supposed to return the company's characters to their "core concepts." Is DC's "Rebirth" version of Bruce Wayne sticking to the "core" concept of being one of Gotham City's most eligible rich bachelors, while Selina Kyle sticks to being a feline femme fatale? Or are Batman and Catwoman going to return to a different part of their "core," to a time when they were a monogamous, married man and woman?