Saturday, July 19, 2008

It might surprise you to know that, while The Dark Knight's Batman schmoozes up to his starcrossed lover, Rachel Dawes, the comic book version has spent the last few years as an emotionally barren shell of a man with an ironic dependency on an inner-circle of familial allies - despite being emotionally bankrupt - and on a path of self-destruction. *breath*

Yes! By some bizarre twist of fate - it seems the man who dedicates himself to the singular vision of total justice, delivered with a fist, is prone to lashing out violently at the ones he loves. The following catalogue is but a few of the recent features we've detailed, where Batman has turned his iron-hand on, it seems, mostly, well, mostly Catwoman.
We always hurt the ones we love, eh? I'm going to assume that's at least partly true, as Frank Miller is nowhere to be found, and none of these depictions are of whores, or strippers.

Batman #614 (June 2003)
"The Joke" Loeb/Lee

Don't let the Joker cover fool you!
This is not a tale of bizarre, homo-erotic, sado-massochism!

When Batman's childhood friend re-enters his life, the Dark Knight is forced to once again reflect upon the effects of Gotham City on the ones he loves. When Harley Quinn and a mob of armed goons attempt to loot an opera, Dr. Thomas Elliot finds himself unwilling to cooperate with the crook's demands, leading him to take pursuit when a memento of his deceased mother is taken.

Batman arrives in the alley outside, only to find Elliot dead, and the Joker's twisted grin looming over him. Hell hath no fury like a Batman scorned, and when his girlfriend Catwoman tries to talk him down, the tough love is delivered with swift accuracy!

Catwoman #22 (August 2003)
"Meanwhile" Brubaker/Derington/Stewart

Love does funny things to people, especially testosterone-feulled vigilantes and jaded private eyes. Okay, so technically this isn't a battle between Batman and a loved one, but the cause, as if you couldn't guess, is the rivalry Batman and Slam Bradley share over the affections of Selina Kyle, aka; Catwoman.

Things get rough when the two detectives get personal, and before long, it's on for young and old -- literally!

Bradley finds him sorely outclassed against a fighter much younger, and considerably more skilled, but to Batman's amusement, the old time slugger refuses to go down! It might not be the showdown of the century, but it's a classic throwdown you've got to admire!

Batman #629 (August 2004)
"Shotgun" Winick/Nguyen

Love might do funny things to people, but there's nothing funny about the effects of a brand new metamorphasis in the Scarecrow! Dr. Crane has undergone a transformation akin to Jekyll and Hyde, giving birth to a brand new persona dubbed the Scarebeast!

The Scarebeast might have the strength, power, and reslience of Solomon Grundy, but the Dark Knight's real problems start when he falls victim to an organically secreted fear toxin to which he has no immunity!

The Batman remains coherrent enough to escape to the Batmobile, but as the toxin's effects begin to set-in, he finds himself haunted by ghosts of a past ready to return! The former boy wonder, Jason Todd, has escaped death and declared war on Batman, but when Tim Drake arrives, the fear-addled Batman might have trouble telling the difference!

Solo #1 (December 2004)
"Date Knight" Cooke/Sale

It's an Infinite Wars favourite, and another fine example of the unique relationship shared between Batman and Catwoman!

The romantic and sexual tensions of the two emerge as Catwoman takes her dark desire on an evening tour of Gotham City. The stoic hero does his best to foil his favourite gal at every turn, pursuing her from the scene of a museum robbery, to the romantic vista of the city skyline, and even through an expensive restaurant.

The pair dine-and-dash as Catwoman has her way, eventually sealing the eve with a kiss -- the perfect razz to get under the Batman's skin!
The superstar teaming of Darwyn Cooke and Tim Sale really bring amazing life to a script that's little more than a short skit!

JLA #118 (December 2005)
"Crisis of Conscience" Johns/Heinberg/Batista

While Batman explores trust issues with the Justice League exposed after it's revealed they tampered with his memories; Catwoman is once again the one close enough to bare the brunt of the Batman's ire!

Okay, sure. He is under the telepathic control of one of the Justice League's oldest foes - Despero - but, come on. I mean, the whole mind control thing didn't fly for Hank Pym!

The sins of the League come back to haunt them as dissention provides the perfect opportunity for Despero to strike, and to make matters worse for team-Gotham, also falling under the villain's spell is former GCPD Detective, John Jones, aka; Martian Manhunter!

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