New Batman Origin Story Features Catwoman as a Serial Killer

Batman #46 features versions of Batman and Catwoman we've never seen before, as the Dark Knight is born in a particularly bloody manner.

Major Batman spoilers await.

Tom King’s latest Batman arc, “The Gift,” which is drawn by the excellent Tony S. Daniel, might be the writer’s craziest story yet. With only two issues, King has spun a tale of time travel and alternate realities that could easily be turned into a graphic novel — or perhaps a spinoff series. You see, “The Gift” introduces readers to versions of Batman and Catwoman we’ve never seen before. 

After Booster Gold decides to give Batman a disastrous wedding gift — the life of his parents — time is forever altered. Bruce Wayne never becomes Batman and Gotham is engulfed in violence. Instead, Dick Grayson, fueled by the death of his parents, has become a bloodthirsty, gun-toting Batman who shoots to kill. 

Bruce, on the other hand, now lives happily with his parents, watching from Wayne Manor as their city burns on the horizon. In issue #45, Booster tries to convince Bruce to go back to his life as Batman in order to fix time, but he refuses, destroying Booster’s AI companion Skeets, which takes away Booster’s ability to time travel. 

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So Booster has to hatch another plan in #46. One year later, Booster frees Selina Kyle from Arkham Asylum and creates a Catwoman costume for her that definitely resembles Michelle Pfeiffer’s makeshift dominatrix suit from Batman Returns. There’s something different about this version of Selina, though: she doesn’t talk beyond meowing and hissing… And she might be a serial killer. Er.

Still, Booster thinks it’s a good idea to set up a meet-cute between this unstable Catwoman and Bruce. But our time-traveling protagonist isn’t ready for the massacre which ensues as a result. When Booster and Catwoman arrive at Wayne Manor, the Cat immediately slits Alfred’s throat as he tries to call security. She then pounces on Thomas Wayne and murders him with her claws. Batman shows up and shoots Booster Gold and Catwoman, who manages to first slice off the Dark Knight’s fingers. 

As Martha Wayne runs to her dead husband, one of Batman’s stray bullets hits and kills her. Bruce, faced with so much death, shoots Batman in the head. The final panel features Bruce on his knees, surrounded by his dead loved ones and three costumed freaks. Before Booster fades, he hopes that all of this death will be enough to turn Bruce back into Batman.

With only four issues left before Batman and Catwoman’s wedding in issue #50, we know things are going to turn out alright, but it’s still fascinating to see King dishing out such a daring story that completely changes Batman’s origin and ties Catwoman directly to it. In a way, it’s Catwoman who gives birth to Batman in this alternate reality. It looks like these two really were meant to be together…

Batman #46 is out today. Check out the conclusion of “The Gift” in issue #47, which is out on May 16.