Batman Confirmed Gotham City's Juiciest Romances with a Bang

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Batman #117 and Nightwing #86, now on sale

While romance isn't the most obvious element of the Bat-Family,  it's long been a reoccurring element of the extended group of heroes. While Batman himself is more focused on his crusade and protecting Gotham, other members of the group have refocused on their relationships.

Two of the most important romances in Gotham City have been officially and openly confirmed for the rest of the Bat-Family to see -- with Dick and Barabra's relationship upgrade becoming common knowledge in Nightwing #86 (by Tom Taylor, Robbi Rodriguez, Adriano Lucas, and Wes Abbot) while Batman #117 (by James Tynion IV, Jorge Jimenez, Tomeu Morey, and Clayton Cowles) revealed how Ivy and Harley openly reuniting saves Gotham.

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The chaos of Fear State has been spreading throughout Gotham, and is complicated further by Queen Ivy. But while she's tempted to bring the entire city down, Harley Quinn ends up being crucial to stopping her. Having found the more innocent side of Ivy, Harley fuses them back together to fully restore Poison Ivy. Ivy expunges some of her overloading power to help the city -- and then embraces Harley in a kiss, reaffirming their romance. It's a big step for Harley and Ivy, who's had a number of false starts over the last few years. Having become increasingly prominent in other mediums (such as the Harley Quinn animated series), it gives Harley another reason to continue her path towards being fully accepted as a more heroic figure, and it gives Ivy someone who can rein in her more destructive ideas.

Likewise, another Bat-Family romance is openly confirmed in Batman #117. Despite having their own dramas and romantic interests over the last few years, Barbara Gordon and Dicky Grayson have been continuing the romance they reignited during the course of Dark Nights: Death Metal. The two's romance has been at play in Nightwing, and has increasingly become openly recognized by the Bat-Family. This now includes Cassandra Cain and Steph Brown, who are reunited with their teammates in Nightwing #86. While reunited with Dick, Barabra, and Tim Drake, the two young women find out that Dick and Barbara have been romantically reunited -- something both women are openly supportive of.

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It's a nice reaffirmation of the romance at the heart of the Bat-Family. Largely unrelated by blood but committed to one another through purpose and ideology, the Bat-Family has always had some inklings of romance, in particular with the sidekicks. While Bruce himself is in a romantic limbo at the moment with Catwoman -- with the pair agreeing to take some time off to recenter in the aftermath of the Joker War crossover) -- the rest of the Bat-Family has been rediscovering their passions. Tim Drake has a potential new boyfriend Bernard Dowd, while even Damian Wayne has possibly found young love in the form of Flatline in Robin. Dick and Barabra being openly embraced as a romance is a reminder of how much skill the group has when they work together

With Harley more or less a member of the extended Bat-Family now, she also brings her own dedication and romance to the fold. If she's lucky, her influence could help Ivy grow more heroic in her own ways, potentially setting up a future where Ivy could fully transform from a villain into a heroic ally. The Bat-Family has always been about people overcoming trauma and pain, and finding others who they can rely on to fight alongside them. Romance might not be the element the group is the most well-known for, but it's one of the most quietly important. By reuniting with Ivy, Harley may have actually saved all of Gotham -- and all with the power of love.

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Brandon Zachary (4193 Articles Published)

Brandon Zachary is an Associate Writer with Comic Book Resources and has written for CBR since 2018. He covers breakouts on comics, film, television, video games, and anime. He also conducts industry interviews, is a Rotten Tomatoes certified film critic, and knows SO MUCH about the X-Men. For requests, comments, or to hear his pitch for a third Avatar series that incorporates robots, you can contact him through [email protected].

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