Wondering where billionaire playboy Bruce Wayne finds the time for romance is like wondering why no-one notices that Clark Kent is Superman with glasses: questions that destroy the fragile reality of comics, and make ‘em no fun for anyone. Instead, let’s take a look at the ten greatest romances of The Dark Knight’s comic book life – other than darkness, vengeance, and the night, of course.
10. Julia Pennyworth
Look, I’ll be frank up front: this is on here only because Batman dated his butler’s daughter. Seriously. Julia Pennyworth was the daughter of Alfred and a French resistance fighter during World War II named Mademoiselle Marie. She was named that of course in case you were wondering if she was French. She was eventually retconned out of resistance, and sadly, did not have a pencil thin mustache like her Dad.
9. Jezebel Jet
Like Bruce Wayne, Jezebel was incredibly rich, a fact they bonded over by doing rich people things like skiing, and eating pandas. Not true about the pandas, but they did also bond about the fact that both their parents were killed in unfortunate, violent accidents. This led to Bruce telling Jezebel about his more batty-eared identity… And then she turned out to be the evil pawn of the Black Glove Society, a team of supervillains who successfully drove Batman insane. She probably should have put that in her LavaLife profile, huh?
8. Pamela Isley
Pamela Isley, a.k.a. Poison Ivy, one of Batman’s deadliest villains falls squarely under the header of “Love Interest” rather than girlfriend. At first, Ivy’s infatuation with the Bat was one-sided, but over time – or perhaps many, many applications of various plant-based love potions – Bats has started to return the flirtation… Though he has yet to go all the way into Bat on Plant action.
7. Vicki Vale
Possibly Bruce Wayne’s most famous girlfriend, due to the original Batman movie, Vicki Vale was actually a minor love interest in the 1950s. Around the release of the movie, though, the reporter for the Gotham Gazette returned to prominence as Bruce’s “one true love.” Clearly modeled on the Lois Lane/Clark Kent relationship, Vale could never put up with Wayne’s frequent absences, and they broke up. She still pops up from time to time, but we were never really into her, so, whatever. Dudes.
6. Silver St. Cloud
A sentimental favorite of many fans, Silver St. Cloud is a rich socialite who’s unique for one very, very good reason: she figured out that Batman was Bruce Wayne. And yes, very few characters in the history of the comics have ever done that, you guys, despite the fact that you’d probably recognize your friend Steve in a second, even if he was fighting criminals in an over-sized rodent costume. Two other fun facts about St. Cloud: she’s one of the only women to really break Bruce’s heart, leaving him before he could leave her; and she’s the first woman in continuity who definitely had, er, relations with Bruce. I’m not saying she took his virginity, but let’s say she did, because it’s funnier that way.
5. Sasha Bordeaux
Another sentimental favorite, Sasha Bordeaux was hired as Bruce Wayne’s protector and bodyguard by WayneCorp. Naturally, Bruce tried to avoid her as much as possible, until she fell in love with him. Like how it works in real life. Sasha and Wayne were both wrongly thrown into prison, bringing them closer together, and igniting his own feelings… Only to have Sasha seemingly killed in front of him. She was actually taken in by the secret intelligence agency Checkmate, and eventually reunited with Batman, sharing one long overdue kiss.
4. Wonder Woman
Only the briefest of relationships, but it somehow works, right? Batman and Wonder Woman shared a few dates in the Justice League of America comic, and have referenced their dalliance a few times since. It never panned out, but Wonder Woman is too much of a powerful figure to date any regular wormy guy; and Batman is too much of a loner to ever really bond with a woman. The two of them came together in their loneliness, and we’d love to see more of this.
Another relationship cut off way too soon, the JLA’s resident magician briefly flirted with Bruce Wayne. The two actually knew each other since childhood, as Zatanna’s father Zatara trained Bruce in escapology. The way Paul Dini wrote the relationship, the flirty, funny Zatanna disarmed Bruce, and actually started to bring him out of his shell. A relaxed, funny Batman probably wasn’t the best idea for the comics in the long term, though, and Zatanna’s proposal of a date was shot down by the typical, “I don’t want to bring you into my world, Zatanna.” Say it with a growl, it sounds better.
2. Talia al Ghul
It’s hard to argue that Talia al Ghul is one of Bruce’s top love interests given that they have a son together, Damian Wayne. Talia is the daughter of the semi-villainous Ra’s al Ghul, and the two fell in love while Batman was under the tutelage of her father. One of the few loves of Batman’s life who accepts with or without the mask, Talia now has been brainwashed to hate Bruce, so we don’t see long term prospects for the relationship. Unless perhaps a certain Damian Wayne would like to Parent Trap the two? Just a suggestion, DC. Call me.
1. Selina Kyle
The best love interest Batman has ever had? Easy: dark vengeance. If there was a number two, though, it would be Selina Kyle, a.k.a. Catwoman. The semi-reformed villain is the only character who can keep up with both Batman and Bruce Wayne. Sure, they’ve had their share of issues, and have occasionally tried to kill each other. But Selina knows Bruce like no other character, and calls him on things that no one else would question. Basically, Catwoman is a female, happier Batman with a touch of evil. He keeps her criminal ways in check, and she makes him a more well rounded, less brooding guy. Like any good relationship, the two make each other better by being together.