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Holy Bassinet Batman!

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Originally, Tom King was slated to write Batman for 100 issues. That number was cut down to 85, but then it was announced that King would be writing a Batman/Catwoman mini-series that would build on Bruce and Selina's relationship. The promotional images released for Batman/Catwoman featured an image of the villain from Mask of the Phantasm. Even people who weren't fans of the Bat-Cat relationship were pumped to see what Tom King would do with the fan favorite villain. The mini-series was slated to be released in January of this year, but was pushed back so that Clay Mann would be available to draw the entire run. Since then, no new information has been released...until today.

Earlier today, Tom King teased a new detail on Twitter of the upcoming Batman/Catwoman mini-series. In a tweet, King shared a picture of Batman and Catwoman standing on a rooftop in costume. Sounds pretty unremarkable, until you look a little closer. In the picture, Catwoman is obviously pregnant. Although this new detail reveals a possible plot line of the mini-series, there's no telling what direction that plot will take. As an avid fan of Tom King and a long time reader of Batman, I've got some thoughts on this subject. I'll delve into those in just a moment, but first a little background information on King's Batman run up until this point.

The central theme of King's Batman run was “Can Bruce Wayne be happy and still be Batman?” Throughout the series, King focused on examining the character of Bruce Wayne. Along the way, we got a ton of really cool Batman moments, but King's stories always led back to the man beneath the cape and cowl. In the second story arc, King introduced Selina Kyle (Catwoman) as Bruce's love interest. Subsequent story arcs explored the history between these two characters and King used their rekindled relationship as a means of exploring his central question. The two were going to get married in issue 50, but this was foiled by the machinations of Bane. By the final issue Batman and Catwoman are once again engaged and Bruce has realized that he may indeed be able to have a healthy relationship with the woman he loves and keep his vow to fight crime as Batman.

After reading King's entire run, I expected the Batman/Catwoman mini-series to pick up where the series left off. I assumed it would explore Bruce trying, and possibly failing, to find the balance between his marriage and Batman's crusade against crime. The possibility of the plot of Mask of the Phantasm factoring in to the mini-series seemed to suggest that Batman's romantic past would contribute to the obstacles he and Catwoman faced. Now that King has tweeted the picture of a pregnant Selina, I'm hoping that the mini-series explores her and Bruce's future within the DC Universe. Readers of his run may already have an idea of what that future could look like.

Batman Annual #2, “Date Nights and Last Rites,” shows Bruce and Selina's relationship, within the framework of King's overall story, from their first encounter through their final moments. Toward the end of Annual #2 the reader is introduced to Bruce and Selina's daughter Helena, who has donned the Batwoman costume and succeeded Batman as the protector of Gotham City. After seeing the picture King tweeted, I hope that Batman/Catwoman mini-series is done in the same style as Annual #2. I would love to see the second half of that issue's story flushed out into a longer narrative. It would be awesome to see Bruce and Selina molding their daughter into the next caped crusader. This is an idea that has never been fully explored. In the New 52 era there was a version of Helena in the Earth 2 and Earth2: Society comics. In those stories though, Helena Wayne became Huntress and we only saw glimpses of her relationship with her parents. Tom King is the perfect writer to take Helena Wayne in a new direction while giving her back story a new spin and adding depth to her character.

The concept of Bruce and Selina's daughter being introduced into the current continuity of the DC Universe opens up all sorts of possibilities, especially with Mann on artistic duties. Acrobatic training scenes, Bruce talking Helena through missions via her earpiece, Helena facing villains with Batman's moves and Catwoman's ingenuity. Considering King's character focused style of storytelling, there is also potential for compelling interactions between Helena and the rest of the Bat-Family. Team ups with Orphan, competition with Damian, goofing off with Dick, being babysat by Barbara. All of course written in King's thoughtful and provoking style. My imagination is on overdrive just thinking about all the possibilities.

To take this speculation a step further, we should also consider DC Generations, which is set to be the next era of storytelling from the publisher. It's rumored that the “5th Generation” of this new era will focus on new heroes taking up the mantle of the classic heroes. I would love to see this generation of Batman stories feature Helena living up to her father's legacy as Batwoman. Or following in Red Hood or her mother's footsteps and becoming an anti-hero who is able to play both sides while still fighting for justice. As I've been writing this piece, a crazy idea has popped into my head. I think it would be interesting to see Helena as Batwoman with Terry McGinnis from Batman Beyond as her Robin. Not only would that be a completely new direction to take the characters in, but it also lines up with DC's ongoing mission to tell new stories while embracing their rich history. This would be a great opportunity for DC to give existing characters or new characters the chance to embrace the legacy of their predecessors in unexpected and original ways.

I personally don't have a Twitter account, but days like today, I highly consider signing up for one. My favorite contemporary comic book writer tweeted a teaser for a mini-series I've been looking forward to for months. With a single picture, King has renewed my excitement over the eventual release of Batman/Catwoman. As much fun as it is to imagine the possibilities, I'm sure whatever King comes out with will still be surprising. No matter what direction the story presented by this mini-series goes in, it's sure to be well thought out and full of character driven plot points.