"Every Epilogue Is a Prelude": As the sun sets on Gotham, Selina Kyle is putting on her Catwoman attire, preparing to hit the rooftops. As she gets ready, someone is asking Batman why he does not fly. He explains he has a plane, but this person means to fly unaided. In a world of ma
Synopsis for "Every Epilogue Is a Prelude"
As the sun sets on Gotham, Selina Kyle is putting on her Catwoman attire, preparing to hit the rooftops. As she gets ready, someone is asking Batman why he does not fly. He explains he has a plane, but this person means to fly unaided. In a world of magic and advanced science, he could easily find a way to fly for real. Bruce agrees that he actually could fly for real if he wanted to. It turns out that the conversation is from earlier that morning, when Batman and Gotham Girl were talking about what she should do with herself. Her family is gone, her fear is removed, and all the power in the world...at least until she lets that power kill her. That night, Selina heads out over the streets as Catwoman.
Back in the morning, Claire and Bruce continue their conversation. Claire considers being a superhero, like another flying protector, but Bruce feels it is better to be on the ground that in the air. She considers abandoning the hero life and being normal, considering her brother Hank was the one who wanted to be a hero. She only went along because she wanted to be her brother. She asks Bruce if he could be normal, but he answers with another question: What's normal? She explains her definition: not saving anyone, but simply existing. Understanding what she means, Bruce says that he can't. Claire is confused, because she had hoped Batman would be able to tell her what she should do. She expected him to tell her to leave this life and live as long as she can, so he does. However, it still doesn't help. At night, Batman spots Catwoman and begins chasing her.
Back in the day, he tells Claire that Alfred never told him what he should do after his parents died. Claire asks if that is true, and he says no: Alfred always tried to tell him what to do. He didn't approve of his war, but Bruce ignored him as if he never said a word. She then asks if he likes his life, and he responds that whether he likes it or not is irrelevant. She decides to ask if he likes being someone who says things like that, and he tells her he isn't Batman because he enjoys it. He is Batman because he is Batman. She then asks a deeper question: if his parents would have wanted him to be Batman.
At night, Bruce is still chasing Selina across the city. In the daytime, he is asking Claire what she wants. However, what she wants is for him to tell her what to do. Bruce can't understand why his opinion matters so much to her, and she explains that it's because Batman matters. He asks her if she wants to be a hero, and she asks if wearing a costume is being a hero. he tell her it isn't but most people who do it want it to be that simple. When she asks about he rest of the costume-wearers, he tells she wouldn't want to be them. She then asks if he is part of that group, and he says no. He states that he can't stop doing this, but she has that choice. Before she decides, he makes sure she knows that he isn't happy. Claire already knows that, but he tells her the part she doesn't know. While Bruce tries to be happy, it never works out.
During the night, Bruce and Selina are still running across rooftops, back in the morning, Claire takes a moment to do something should have done already: thank him for everything he went through to help her. Bruce replies by explain why he doesn't fly. He feels that lie is too short to waste on doing things that don't need. After thinking about what she needs, Claire makes a decision. After everything Bruce did for her, she decides can't not do the same thing for others. With that she resolves to be a superhero, or at least something close. To help her along her path, Bruce decides to send her to Europe to learn to fight without her powers so she can live longer.
Before he can leave, Claire asks him why he fails at happiness. His answer is simple: he is afraid. With all of the super-powered people flying around, he feels that not being afraid makes him insane. Since insanity worse for him than fear, he settles for fear. Claire lets him know that it is okay to feel fear, because it gives people the chance to battle fear and be brave. She then challenges him to think on what he wants to do. He tries to remind her that his desires are irrelevant, but she cuts him off, and agrees that it isn't about his wants.
At night, Bruce finally catches Selina, rather than try to take her in, he talks to her. He tells her that the day they met, after he recovered the diamond she stole, Bruce Wayne bought the diamond and held onto it all this time. Selina is surprised that he had it, and he explains that he kept it because he knew he would need it. He needed it the same way he needs her in his life. As the two unmask, Bruce openly admits to being afraid. Despite the fear, he takes a knee and professes his love for Selina. Taking her hands and holding a diamond ring, Bruce asks Selina to marry him.
Appearing in "Every Epilogue Is a Prelude"
- Alfred Pennyworth (Mentioned only)
- Bane (Mentioned only)
- Gotham (Mentioned only)
- Martha Wayne (Mentioned only)
- Superman (Mentioned only)
- Thomas Wayne (Mentioned only)
- Psycho-Pirate (Mentioned only)
- Batplane (Mentioned only)
- This issue is reprinted in Batman: The Bat and the Cat: 80 Years of Romance.