Tom King's Batman/Catwoman comic will launch in December, unfold across 3 timelines
After being announced over a year ago, Batman/Catwoman #1 finally has a release date. Writer Tom King and artist Clay Mann's highly-anticipated 12-issue deep dive into Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle's on-again, off-again romance will launch Dec. 1, DC Comics announced Thursday. Not only that, but the publisher also revealed what the story will actually be about.
Batman/Catwoman picks up after Batman #85 — which was King's last issue on the main Batman book and ended with Batman pledging his love to Catwoman — and follows the rooftop-loving couple's relationship across three different timelines. The first one, the past, jumps back to when they fell in love (hopefully, we'll finally get a definitive answer on if they met on the street or on a boat!). The second one takes place in the distant future shown in Batman Annual #2 where Bruce has died after a long marriage to Catwoman, who embarks on a mission of revenge following his passing. Finally, the third timeline is set in the present and the return of Bruce's ex-girlfriend Andrea Beaumont, a.k.a. Phantasm, the villain from the iconic Batman: The Mask of the Phantasm, who threatens Bruce and Selina's rekindled relationship.
"Beaumont's return calls into question how each character chooses to operate in their costumed, and personal, lives, and any move by Phantasm could change the fate of Bruce and Selina's future," reads the official summary from DC. "The only other person besides Bruce and Selina to have been along for the whole ride has been the Joker, and what he did in the past is going to have direct consequences on today and tomorrow. Batman’s greatest foe will intervene any time Batman and Catwoman try to take steps towards peace — he already robbed fans of a Bat/Cat wedding celebration! Any change in the Caped Crusader’s life will be matched with the chaos of the Clown Prince of Crime…"
Even though Batman/Catwoman is building off of his Batman run, King views this project as a completely separate beast. "It’s fair to say that on some level I am kind of done with Batman," King told EW in December after Batman #85 came out. "The Batman that will exist now will be James’ Batman, not mine. If you want good Batman, read James Tynion and [Tony Daniel's run on Batman], because it’s gonna be awesome. That’s where the story goes. What I have to say about the characters, I’ve said it. If you read this 85-issue story and never pick up Batman/Catwoman, you’ll still get my version of Batman. That said, Batman/Catwoman’s gonna be the best book ever! It’s my chance to do a Dark Knight Returns, something that completely stands on its own, a complete testament to who these characters are that defines or redefines them for generations, and is done with complete freedom."
He continued: "Between this and Strange Adventures, I’m moving into a new phase of my career where I’m going more ambitious than I’ve gone before. I set up a bunch of rules for myself, and now I’m trying to break those rules and be even more artsy-fartsy than I’ve been. I’m trying to make great comics and do for someone else what Charles Schulz did for me."
Check out covers from three different Batman/Catwoman #1 covers below: one from Clay Mann and series colorist Tomeu Morey; the second, a variant by Jim Lee, Scott Williams, and Alex Sinclair; and a third from Travis Charest.