Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice had plenty of flaws, but the movie had a very big silver lining: it gave millions of fans their first taste of a Batman/Wonder Woman relationship. It seems that Zack Snyder and the DC Extended Universe isn't done with the "WonderBats" pairing, as the first Justice League teaser contained a few moments of gentle flirting between Bruce and Diana.
DC has teased a Wonder Woman and Batman pairing in both the comics and cartoons, but has inexplicably shied away from coupling the two characters together. Perhaps its because of the logistical challenges, or because DC doesn't typically put Batman in long term relationships, or maybe it's because they know the unavoidable truth: once Wonder Woman goes Bats, there's no going back.
Let's take a look at the history, the chemistry, and the future of the most natural and obvious pairing in all of comics.
They Already Have 'In Canon' History
DC first teased the idea of a Batman and Wonder Woman relationship during Joe Kelly's run on JLA. After sharing a kiss in ancient Atlantis, Batman and Wonder Woman briefly considered dating. However, Wonder Woman decided against it after realizing that the relationship could either go really well or really poorly. Ultimately, Wonder Woman and Batman chose not to risk their friendship over a relationship that wasn't a "sure thing."
Most "WonderBats" fans fully got behind the 'ship because of the Justice League and Justice League Unlimited cartoons, which teased a Wonder Woman and Batman romance for years. In addition to the occasional flirtatious banter, the lingering glances, and the occasional unexpected kiss, the Justice League cartoons showed exactly why the characters worked well together. Wonder Woman wasn't intimidated by Batman's stony demeanor and Batman trusted Wonder Woman enough to let her see his flirtatious and playful side.
While there was plenty of mutual flirting between the pair, fans got to see exactly how much Batman cared for Wonder Woman in the episode "This Little Piggy". After the sorceress Circe transformed Wonder Woman into a pig, Batman agreed to exchange "something precious" in order to get her back. That "something" turned out to be a soul-baring performance of "Am I Blue" in front of a crowd of dozens of people. Batman was willing to put aside the persona and mystique he had built around himself and show his "true self" in order to save Wonder Woman, a fitting analogy for his relationship with Diana.
They're More Similar Than Different
On its surface level, Batman and Wonder Woman seem like a bit of an odd couple. Wonder Woman is a Greek demi-goddess raised in an isolated female warrior culture, while Batman is the weird child of unchecked crime and unlimited wealth. Wonder Woman strives to set an example for those she protects, and Batman uses intimidation and fear to advance his goals. But despite their vastly different backgrounds, the two heroes aren't that different.
After all, Batman and Wonder Woman were both raised apart from their peers and embarked on an unlikely quest with daunting, almost impossible goals. Batman fights a one man war against the out of control criminal element in his city, while Wonder Woman wants to use the Amazon message of peace (which often contradicts with her warrior mentality) to unlock humanity's true potential.
But the similarities don't end there. Both are warriors and superheroes who can operate in solitude but work best with allies and friends. They're both natural leaders with sharp tactical minds, they're among the best fighters in the world, and they both fly cool jets. Wonder Woman and Batman come from different worlds, but they are kindred spirits. Both have the heart of a warrior and are pushed by the circumstances of their upbringing to reach for impossible dreams.
Their Relationship Works
Batman and Wonder Woman are kindred spirits, but they each approach the world in wildly different ways. Batman uses intimidation and fear to advance his goals, even around his friends and allies. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman relies on kindness first and turns to violence as a last resort. But those attitudes are actually weirdly complimentary to one another.
Wonder Woman possesses an infinite patience that's perfect for dealing with Batman's intimidating airs and cold attitude. No amount of pushing or angst would drive Wonder Woman away, as long as Wonder Woman wanted to be to be with him. Let's face it: Batman is a longterm project, and Wonder Woman might be the only person with the patience to see it to the end.
All those layers to Batman present something intriguing in Wonder Woman, too. There's a mystery to Batman that tends to draw women in, but they've all been turned away by his incessant drive and...well, the fact that he's so, so broken inside. Wonder Woman might be the one person in the world who can see the good in Batman, while not getting turned away from the accepting the bad.
As for Batman, his relationships tend to collapse due to a lack of trust. He's either unwilling to bring his romantic partner fully into his world or he can't bring himself to trust completely. Wonder Woman presents the perfect solution to both issues. Wonder Woman instantly fits inside his crazy weird world of crimefighting. Even if their relationship were to go public, there's not a lunatic in Arkham who could really threaten Wonder Woman, not even on their worst, most deviant day. And she's perhaps the most genuine person in the world, armed with a lasso of truth that makes lying to her impossible. If there is one person in the world who Batman can trust, it's Wonder Woman.
They Inspire One Another
As I said at the beginning of this article: once Wonder Woman goes Bats, she won't come back. It's not that Wonder Woman needs Batman (or vice versa), but ultimately I don't see how the characters would walk away from that relationship unchanged. In some way, Batman and Wonder Woman represents each other's current mission and goals.
For Wonder Woman, Batman is a perfect representative of "man's world." He's been broken by crime, struggles with his emotions, and is frustratingly confusing. But for all that anger, confusion, and angst, there's also virtue. Batman protects the innocent, he helps the less fortunate, and he's driven to do good. Batman is a good man, bent by the world but not broken. He needs to be fixed, but he's not beyond help.
For Batman, Wonder Woman is proof that a better world does exist. She's the compassion, the inner strength, and hope sorely missing from Gotham City and Batman's life. Wonder Woman is a living avatar for the things that Batman fights for, a ray of hope in the darkness that's constantly threatening to consume both Gotham City and Batman's soul.
There's probably a multitude of reasons why DC has shied away from a full-on Batman and Wonder Woman pairing, but the company should consider embracing the potential these characters have together instead of shying away from it. A Batman/Wonder Woman pairing would be the natural result of a friendship built on mutual respect for each other's skills. Batman and Wonder Woman could bring out the best in each other and give creative teams so much room for growth and development. "WonderBats" fans have been pining for DC to pull the trigger for over a decade, and it looks like the "ship" is about to get a lot more crowded after Justice League comes out next year.
Suicide Squad is now in theaters; Wonder Woman is coming on June 2, 2017; followed by Justice League on November 17, 2017; The Flash on March 16, 2018; Aquaman on July 27, 2018; Shazam on April 5, 2019; Justice League 2 on June 14, 2019; Cyborg on April 3, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on July 24, 2020.