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In the recently released Batman movie "The Killing Joke", the writers shocked viewers while attempting to add romantic depth to Bruce and Barbara's relationship. The scene that people found most shocking was the scene where Batman and Batgirl go from arguing to fighting to hooking up on a rooftop. This is especially creepy when Batgirl's main relationship in the comics is with Dick Grayson, Batman's adopted son.

Creepiness aside, is there any precedent for this relationship? From what I have heard or read it seems like the writers took it from somewhere, but I am not sure from where.

Are there any other examples of a Batman - Batgirl relationship besides the one given in "The Killing Joke Movie"?

  • Was Dick really adopted? I thought he was just Bruce's ward. – infixed Dec 12 '16 at 14:41
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There was one hinted at in the DC Animated Universe cartoons, which was confirmed in associated comics.

A 1999 episode of Batman Beyond1 implies a past relationship between the two:

Barbara: Dick finally got fed up living in Batman's shadow. He decided to leave. He was hurt when I chose to stay behind with Bruce.

Terry: As his partner. (Gordon's grin widens.) His girlfriend? (Gordon's grin widens even further, leaving McGinnis shocked.) Whoa!

Batman Beyond Season 1 Episode 12: "A Touch of Curaré"

This relationship is also hinted at in other DCAU properties, most notably in the TV movie Mystery of the Batwoman2:

Barbara: I just saw the news and was wondering if you got a new partner. Someone a little older?

Bruce: I have no idea who she is.

Barbara: Because if you had, I'd be really upset...because I thought you and I were, you know...

Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman (2003)

The comic series Batman Beyond 2.0, released in 2014, explored the relationship in a little more detail, revealing that Bruce and Barbara had an intimate relationship while Dick was in Blüdhaven, and that Barbara got pregnant:

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Barbara: I'm seven weeks pregnant.

Bruce: [beat] I'll have to congratulate Dick.

Barbara: He's only been back for three.

To the best of my knowledge, there has never been a romantic relationship between Bruce and Barbara in any of the mainstream comic continuities.


1 For the uninitiated, Batman Beyond was part of the DC Animated Universe, a shared continuity of cartoon shows and TV movies that aired between 1992 and 2006. Batman Beyond was a sequel to the wildly popular Batman: The Animated Series (and its direct sequel, The New Batman Adventures), and is set about 40ish years later

2 Thanks to starpilotsix for reminding me of this in comments

  • If I'm not mistaken, in the DCAU movie Batman: Mystery of the Batwoman, Batman and Barbara were actually dating, so it's a bit more than a rumor, but still not a comics source. – starpilotsix Dec 12 '16 at 15:33
  • @starpilotsix I recall a scene where they're on the phone and Barbara says something about getting together when she comes back to Gotham from university, and Bruce pretends he's going through a tunnel as an excuse to hang up; I don't recall any direct confirmation, but it's been a while since I've seen it – Jason Baker Dec 12 '16 at 15:37

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