The Batman and Daredevil team up

This is a weird one, let’s not beat around the bush.  Not the two paired together — that I can see, but the circumstances of the pairing.  In this (obvious) non-canon adventure, Matt Murdock (Daredevil) and Harvey Dent (Two-Face) knew of each other as fellow lawyers.  There’s no explanation or mind-warping needed.  The two former best lawyers in their respective cities were buddies or acquaintances back in the day.  DC’s Gotham City and Marvel’s New York City both exist, they both occupy this same universe, and the Batman/Daredevil duo will beat up bad guys together in the one-shot Daredevil and Batman: Eye for an Eye, written by D.G. Chichester and drawn by Scott McDaniel.  These two wrote and drew Daredevil together for about three years in the early ’90s, back when Daredevil was happy and his whole life hadn’t shattered into the thousands of tiny miserable pieces that occurred about a decade later.  Let’s take a look at their initial confrontation, which of course involves a fight – can you imagine the outrage if those two didn’t try to concuss each other?

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It’s drawings like that above that remind me just how scary Batman is supposed to be.  Strangely, for someone with the name “devil” in his superhero moniker, Daredevil’s costume may be one of the least scary in comic books.  Maybe Daredevil just needs a cape, something Marvel superheroes severely lack in their ranks.  Actually, while we’re on this subject — of the original Justice League members, three of the seven have capes (Batman, Superman, and Martian Manhunter).  That’s a 42% capes to no capes.  But of the original six Avengers (and I’m counting Captain America), only Thor is brave enough to wear one.  That’s only 16% of members wearing capes.  And honestly, this is almost certainly the most useless information you’ll read all week.

Oh, and now Daredevil and Batman have their brief tussle:

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Here’s the beauty of Batman: he knew from the start that Daredevil was working on the same case he was.  There is absolutely zero reason for him to fight Daredevil, and it should be noted, he did it anyway.  Because he’s a crazy person.  You can blame his ambush on wanting to “test” Daredevil or whatever, but our Dark Knight just felt like punching another superhero.  Seriously, he made a claim of wanting to ask Daredevil questions, but he also didn’t ask anything before attempting to tackle him either.  And you see how they both enjoyed it?  Two insane superheroes are going to team up to hunt down two insane supervillains.

They’re not done being jerks to each other.  Actually, it never stops the entire fifty pages of this issue.

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I wouldn’t say Batman’s against rehabilitation as he admits above — he is the same man who brings escaped supervillains back to the mental hospital they stay at every few months they break out.  The main story line involves DC’s Two-Face and Marvel’s Mr. Hyde teaming up to do something with poison or bombs or technology or whatever — I didn’t read the non-superhero parts that carefully. Instead, I became fascinated by Daredevil and Batman’s neverending crusade of seeing who has the biggest schlong.  We get it — you’re both alpha males and the very best of the best of superhero-ing. Isn’t it about time the two of you kissed?

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That’s right — Batman doesn’t even give Daredevil a ride.  Luckily, our Marvel superhero jumps from rooftop to rooftop to get to the same crime scene at the exact same time as Batman’s fastest car in the world.  But I don’t want to write 100% snark.  Despite their differences (mainly the cape), they’re both still kind-hearted superheroes out to protect the innocent, dish out justice, and punish the wicked.  This page sums it up nicely for me in the melodramatic fashion I look forward to in my comic book stories:

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I’m skipping thirty-ish pages to the very last scene.  As you can expect, they win.  Two-Face and Mr. Hyde are safely locked up once more thanks to the tireless detective work/skull bashing of our two protagonists.  But as they celebrate their victory, why not end their time together like most crossovers do, with the two warmly embracing a bro-hug as Batman softly musses up Daredevil’s hair.  Right?  Please?

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Then they kiss.


The vengeance of Catwoman, Pt. 2

You’ve had a tough year.  Everyone’s going on Facebook and Twitter bragging about how amazing 2014 was for them, but you’re still angry and bitter.  It’s understandable – stuff happens beyond your control and if choices are available, you sometimes make terrible choices in dealing with it. Sometimes I’m still amazed at how poor my decision making skills are and I’m in my late 20s.  But today, put all that aside.  What you want is Catwoman showing this jerk Thief exactly what happens when he thinks he can uproot and destroy her life.  Oh, how he’s wrong.  Today, Catwoman makes no bad decisions, only satisfying ones.

As Thief (that’s his actual supervillain name) plans the final parts of his dastardly supervillain schemes, it’d just be unfortunate if someone was gathering evidence of him committing crimes while he was out of costume with his face in full view of a camera.  Very unfortunate.

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Remember what Calculator said last time?  This new guy Thief’s state of the art.  His plans, his robberies, his equipment, and everything about him is so far above Catwoman’s old timey methods so much so that Thief isn’t even on Batman’s radar, and that dude’s like the Big Brother of Gotham. So as you see everything fall brilliantly into place for Catwoman’s revenge, don’t forget that while Thief may be a better thief, he simply can’t compete with Catwoman in the qualities she really shines in: insanity, bloodlust, and holding deep unwavering grudges.

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Good triumphs over evil (and rubs it in), and the reason we read these issues as the final article of the year.  Currently in the post-DC reboot New 52 Catwoman’s eternal story – her as the eventual mafia queenpin of the Gotham city underworld – we can learn something important from these dozen-ish pages below that’ll apply to our modern day stories: no one screws with Catwoman.  No one.

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I’m showing you a massive portion of this issue – probably more than I’m allowed. But I want you to remember all of this when you look back (for some of you) just how awful 2014 might have been and what 2015 will be.  You’ll be Catwoman and this new year will be that mess of a man who thought he was better than she was.  Next time 2015 attempts to stomp on your self-esteem, your ability to handle crap, or the frustrations heaped upon you as you attempt to accomplish your goals – you’ll be Catwoman and all that bullshit will be this disgusting failed supervillain.

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You think I’m done.  I’m not.  Her revenge isn’t yet.  As the solid black panel above signals Thief’s unconsciousness, he’s free to leave the mansion once he awakes.  Catwoman’s gone.  No one’s around.  Because Gotham city’s version of revenge?  It doesn’t end with a lecture and a beating.  No sir.  I hope your 2015 is wonderful.  You deserve it.

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The vengeance of Catwoman, Pt. 1

As Catwoman’s solo series reached its final act in its final ten or so issues, the upcoming reboot meant everything they did wasn’t going to have any lasting effect or major changes to the character, so why not have some fun?  Why not have Catwoman do what she does best?  That’s right: anger and vengeance.  In a delightful revenge tale, a new thief (called Thief) invades Gotham to take Selina Kyle’s place as the number one burglar, and unfortunately, illegal turf wars usually mean taking out whoever happens to be on the turf first.  We pick up with Catwoman #72-74, #79-80, written by Will Pfeifer and drawn by David Lopez — the issue immediately after she gives up her child.  Our dear protagonist wakes up to an empty apartment:

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See how good Thief is?  He and his team ransacked her entire place — including the bed she was sleeping in — while she snoozed.  But they made a mistake.  With no supporting cast, no equipment, no goals, and all the time in the world, Catwoman now has the ability to devote every waking moment to taking down this new bad guy.  No seriously, she has nothing else to do.  Her calendar is completely empty — every day now gets circled for vengeance.

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Oh, and besides an empty calendar, she also has no mask, whip, traps, or anything that made her a superhero.  She’ll need them.  Batman without his cowl is just Bruce Wayne.  While she scrounges up a few of her essentials in a home robbery I’m skipping, it’s not as if she’s on bad terms with any of her friends.  Let her get Batman to help her out (and he would drop everything to do so).  That dude has dozens of safe houses, sidekicks, and almost certainly a spare Batgirl costume/utility belt she could borrow until her new stuff gets re-made/returned.  But nope, she has to do everything herself. Underestimating her buddies seems to be a popular trait for angry Gotham superheroes.  Keep note that her threatening Calculator (the Oracle for bad guys) comes with an unintended side effect:

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Calculator drugged her coffee, which is one of the requirements for being a bad guy when one is overweight and has a ponytail.  As you can imagine, Thief — pictured above– doesn’t shoot and kill her.  He’s a supervillain and we all know superheroes always win in the end.  But you’ve noticed a few things different about Catwoman lately, right?  Besides the baby thing.  She’s wearing shoes with flames on them.  Her hair is long, brunette, and well-kept.  She actually got punched by a henchman. That’s right — it’s time for that moment where she finally gets her crap together after twenty issues of her being off her game.  Also, I’ve provided the page where Calculator tells her exactly going on:

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And yes, you’d figure Catwoman’s revenge would be short, sweet, and full of monologues about how wrong Thief is for doubting her.  Don’t worry, we’ll get to that.  Unfortunately, this is also the same issue the Suicide Squad captures Catwoman for the DC event Planet Salvation where all the DC supervillains get shipped off to the alien planet.  The poor girl can’t skip out on major events like that. So readers would have to wait a few months for the Planet Salvation tie-in to end.  But finally, four issues before her series comes to an end, she’ll get her revenge.  Which I’ll show you next time.  It’s worth it.

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The story of Catwoman’s daughter

I know, it’s Christmas today. Everyone’s full of joy and ham and football and Jesus, and then I come along to end your holiday season with this total bummer of an article today. I apologize, but we have to cover this before our big Catwoman finale on Monday and Wednesday. Plus, it’s a great story. From various pages of Catwoman #53-72, written by Will Pfeifer and drawn by David Lopez, today I’ll attempt to explain the whole Catwoman’s daughter thing.  It begins as you’d expect all pregnancies would:

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Luckily, DC enacted their One Year Later event at this same time (where every comic automatically shifted one year forward) so we didn’t have to get twelve issues of a visibly pregnant Catwoman whipping bad guys or awkwardly jumping across rooftops.  The baby, named Helena, just popped into the story — and the father?  Dead.  It’s all hers.

So how in nineteen issues of comics did we get from this joy seen above, from Catwoman giving up crimefighting, devoting herself to motherhood, and becoming a role model for her infant child, to this childless, fiery, vengeful vigilante we saw last article?  Well, you know that superhero life.  It involves lots of this:

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The child doesn’t die.  Don’t worry about that.  But how much longer in the series until she does? If DC would kill off poor Aquababy, they’d wipe out Catbaby faster than you could ask, “Who’s Aquababy?”  In the DC universe, our characters narrowly avoid death practically every ten to twenty pages.  And babies?  Very few of them know martial arts or other methods of defending themselves. But I want to take this moment as a “what if?”  If Catwoman and Batman could get their crap together and actually function as two people in a healthy relationship, it’s not foolish to think that canon (not even alternative universe) Bruce Wayne and Selina Kyle could have a happy nuclear family.  Did you laugh as I wrote those last words?  I know.  Catwoman knows.  Batman knows everything.   But still, it’s nice to dream.

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Batman even fakes Catwoman and her child’s death.  Because while I’m no expert on child-rearing, it’s better if supervillains don’t attempt to kidnap or maim the child you’re raising.  Spoiler alert: Catwoman’s not satisfied.  How could she?  It’s not as if the bad guys won’t find out about her one day.  And it turns out bad guys are really good at holding grudges.  Plus, best case scenario for the child of a superhero?  That kid also becomes a superhero, dodging gunfire and fireballs for a few years until killed off in a major event to bring pain to their more famous parent’s dramatic life.

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Batman places the kid up for adoption.  Helena gets adopted.  We never hear from her again.  And thus I bum out your Christmas spirit after a night of drinking eggnog lattes and dancing around the Christmas tree (I don’t actually know what people do on Christmas). In summary, don’t have children. I think that’s the message of this arc.

Oh, and because of the DC universe reboot and de-aging of Catwoman from the (probably) mid-30s she is here to a sleeker 23 years old, this story never happened.  Except in your heart, of course.

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Next time, we’ll raise your spirits with a story of Catwoman’s life ruined once more by a new thief out to claim his stake in Gotham.  Then I’ll find a story about puppies and sunshine and flowers, I promise.


Catwoman with superpowers, Pt. 2

We left Catwoman last time with the delightful discovery that she can brush off bullets and punch panthers across rooms. It’s good to be Catwoman. And in this weird alternative Earth of hers, what’s not to enjoy about being indestructable and all-powerful? That’s right: nothing.  Unless you happen to be the buzzkill of the DC universe.  In all the chaos of teleporting the bad guys to the planet Salvation, one Justice Leaguer also hitched a ride.

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You know the best part of superpowers?  The freedom.  No longer does one have to cartwheel and backflip out of the way of normal death machines.  Or hide and cry if one’s not an Olympic-level vigilante.  So let this alternative Earth’s Batman try to uncharacteristically mow down our protagonist. Let him try.  Can you already feel the joy coming from our dear Selina?

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Remember when Batman went crazy and slightly evil because he suddenly had the ability to protect everybody in the world and his overwhelming/warped sense of justice forced him to do so? Catwoman’s not wired that way.  She can be things Batman can’t, like happy, and more importantly, all the joy you and I would feel from being infamous, invincible, and not caring about anyone who wanted to do silly futile stuff like stop us from doing whatever we want when we want to do it.

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How good of a mood does one have to be in to see Superman and figure, y’know, why not?  Let’s take him.  Back home she had her friends and belongings taken away by people who want to kill her then teleported to a prison planet to waste away with other baddies, but here?  Oh, the freedom.  It’s basically a world created from her current deepest desire — a perfect world for the crap Catwoman’s current going through (which, and spoiler alert, it sort of is exactly that).  Because in what other scenario could you possibly imagine where Catwoman does this?

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We can use the same summary we use about Daredevil comics of the past three to four years: sometimes it’s just nice to see Catwoman win, because those last dozen issues or so before this arc have been rough for the poor girl.  Plus, this is the third time she’s beaten Batman — which might be saying more about her fantasies than anything else (I’m just saying, in the most non-offensive way possible, that the whip of hers isn’t just for crimefighting).  And as for the icing on the cake?

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Don’t think we’ve forgotten about our green buzzkill earlier.  I know it’s to save her life and bring her back into the real world so she doesn’t die in a desire-driven alien machine, but Martian Manhunter can be such a downer sometimes.  As Catwoman accepts the reality of her situation, at least she recognizes it like the badass she is.  That’s all I ever want in a comic book character.

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I briefly mentioned before that someone torched all her belongings earlier.  Next time, she gets her revenge.  It’s going to be bloody.


Catwoman with superpowers, Pt. 1

About three months ago, we looked at the issues where Batman briefly gained Superman’s powers. Spoiler alert: it goes badly.  In a weird (what’s the version of racism for those with superpowers?) power-ist way, those superheroes without anything extra shouldn’t gain the abilities that throw their systems into whack.  Like Batman not doing stuff like sleeping or eating or anything not related to the eternal quest of solving every world’s problem.  And today, his on/off-again girlfriend gets her turn with invincibility, super strength, etc.  Luckily for readers, she’s also unstable and not emotionally healthy enough for anything above a leather outfit and a whip.  We’ll read the excitement together within the pages of Catwoman #75-77, written by Will Pfeifer and drawn by David Lopez.

So in the miniseries Salvation Run, all the supervillains get rounded up and teleported to a different planet called Salvation.  Bad guy problem officially solved — and everyone goes.  From the Joker to Cheetah to Metallo to Deadshot to Captain Cold to Gorilla Grodd to Poison Ivy to Vandal Savage, etc. You get the idea; like eighty of them were captured and sent to Salvation.  And they all would have stayed there miserably forever if Lex Luthor wasn’t teleported with him.  Oh well.  Anyway in the midst of all that, Catwoman stumbles onto some machine generator thingie and it transports her here:

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That’s right — it’s an alternative Earth.  To say that Catwoman’s mental state the past few years has been wavering would be an understatement.  She lost pretty much her entire supporting cast, including her actual daughter and everything she ever owned or stole.  So unlike Batman who sits on a stack of infinite money and loving allies, Catwoman doesn’t really have anything left to lose.  So all that cat-and-mouse chase that I assume activates her lady boner’ll have to be put aside today.

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Oh, and she totally did kill Black Mask.  That’s another previous article of mine if you have a bunch of free time today.  Now for the next five pages or so, she avoids rocket launchers, gunfire, and helicopters until she can action-movie-esque crash though a window.  And Catwomen from every Earth and dimension are all so rude.  I imagine a skintight uniform can only press against your diaphragm for so long before one’d be snippy with whoever comes across one’s path.  Like a person at dinnertime who skipped breakfast and lunch.

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What’s going on?  This Catwoman can’t afford to repair her costume yet can afford to feed two grown panthers?  Plus — while totally cool — a clawed up costume’s impractical.  One good cartwheel and the costume tears open, exposing herself to whatever do-gooder she’s kicking in the face.  While I do have many questions about what’s going on in this alternative-Gotham, most of them have to do with Catwoman’s costume.  Like why is she wearing a dog collar?  But now let’s watch our Catwoman discover something else about herself in this world:

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Catwoman’s sister Maggie becomes a nun and eventually a crazy vengeful nun because of that Black Mask incident.  The poor girl didn’t stand a chance when she arrived in Gotham.  I figure anyone who comes to this city without at least a green belt in karate will be maimed or killed within weeks of arriving.  Statistically speaking, anyway.  Just like the Arkham Asylum doctor/guard fatality rate is in the high 90% range or the 100% chance Batman showing up at your abandoned dock right after you announced to your superstitious partner that he’s just an urban legend.  But I did promise you superpowers today.  I promise to deliver:

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I’m stopping here today.  Catwoman just realized in this world, she’s a more attractive Superman, which is a dream we all have.  What’s going on with this Gotham?  Is there a catch?  Is she going to fight Batman, Superman, Flash, and Green Lantern at the same time?  At least for the third question: hell yeah she is.

 


Batman loves Zatanna

I know, it’s shocking that a billionaire with a bodybuilder’s physique and genius intellect would have so many paramours.  But you should sit down, because I have one more to show you.  The superheroes Batman and Zatanna (real name Zatanna Zatara) didn’t officially become childhood friends until 2007.  Paul Dini redefined their relationship to go back a few extra decades, skipping all that stuff like spending twenty issues with a will-they-won’t-they-show-vulnerability-or-kiss scenario. Nope, all the awkwardness disappeared as soon as its revealed their parents were chummy.  So today, partially to answer all those curious Batman fans and partially because articles about superhero relationships tend to get more hits (and I’m shameless), we’ll take a look at their potential coupling from Detective Comics #833-834, written by Paul Dini and drawn by Don Kramer as well as Detective Comics #843-845, written by Dini and drawn by Dustin Nguyen.

First, here’s the pivotal childhood friendship thingie I mentioned earlier:

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Which brings us to that panel above.  Turns out when supervillain Dr. Light learned about the Justice League’s family members, Zatanna mind-wiped him.  Batman tried to stop her and she mind-wiped him too.  So the two aren’t on great terms right now.  Unfortunately, there’s some magician causing crime in Gotham City, so Batman has to call his former buddy to help out.  Luckily, since Batman has always been one to wear his heart on his sleeve and discuss problems with his teammates in a rational and open environment — sorry, I’m thinking of Superman.  Batman continues to be a jerk:

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So Zatanna can come along to stop a magician as long she uses no magic, essentially making her a liability instead of any sort of asset.  It’s like saying, Flash, we want you to stop this murderer, but please don’t run.  You know exactly how this is going to go.  Zatanna doesn’t, but that’s because she’s a wizard and not a psychic.

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I’m not showing you this to build suspense.  Obviously Zatanna doesn’t die and Batman breaks free in an overly dramatic fashion.  But I have to show you this scene, if only because their friendship can’t be mended until Batman realizes that hey, it turns out everyone makes mistakes now and then. Except for Superman — he’s as perfect as he is good looking.

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Batman may be a jerk, but morally he’s on the right track.  Also, this is a man who has difficulty coping with emotional trauma — y’know like how his parents died so he started an eternal quest for justice while dressed as a bat.  But at least Zatanna can take joy in Batman’s admission that, yes, occasionally he may also make a tiny, insignificant oopsie.  Like as in him not trusting her because of justified proof that he shouldn’t.  I’m Team Batman when it comes to the mind-wipe debate.  But it’s Zatanna that makes this next scene so great:

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Unclasp that hand from your heart.  Y’see, while Batman needed to learn he could trust his friend again, Zatanna beat him to the punch — no matter their relationship, she never lost her trust in him. Boom, take that Batman.  So with their friendship appropriately healed, the actual romantic stuff can begin.  You’d think it’d be the slow build up a monthly serial would do, but Dini knows how busy you are.  He gets right to the issue on everyone’s mind — will these two attractive superheroes do it?  By it, I mean sex.

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Flirting always get interrupted by bullets in the comic book universe.  It’s a great story involving the new Ventriloquist/Scarface that has been building for a good five or six issues now.  I’m skipping it, but as for the two dating?  It’s a simple idea, it’d be accepted by fans, and Batman could use a post-coital smile every now and then after spending every night ripping away robbers from their crying victims.  But everything comes down to Batman’s one defining trait that Zatanna has to come to terms with: he’s a mess.  A gigantic, horrific mess of a person.

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Sorry, everything’s been a tease.  They don’t actually date.  But we all know Batman would eventually break her magical heart — it’s always going to be Catwoman in the end.  Because she’s also a mess.  Another gigantic, horrific mess of a person.  Those two deserve each other.  No, seriously:

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Honestly?  Zatanna can do better than Batman.  She’s not broken, and deep down, Batman needs someone to fix.