A slew of DC Comics characters have been put through the wringer in the pages of Batman, as the mysterious The Designer created an epic conundrum for Gotham City. The series' latest issue saw that plan come to a very specific head, as Batman figured out the truth behind The Designer's actual machinations. While that reveal might not have been what fans were expecting, the repercussions of it did end up being pretty significant -- especially for two iconic DC Comics characters. By the issue's end, the fates of two beloved Gothamites were (seemingly) thrown into disarray. Spoilers for Batman #93 below! Only look if you want to know!
While much of the issue saw Batman physically going toe-to-toe with The Designer - only to realize his foe's true identity - other parts of the issue chronicled other characters in the story's web. This included Catwoman, who was digging into the truth of Bruce Wayne's finances, in hopes of transferring the money to herself as part of The Designer's plan. At the same time, Harley Quinn was engaging in a fight with Punchline, The Joker's new sidekick who clearly has a bone to pick with Harley. As Punchline began to muse about how Harley failed The Joker - and society as a whole - Harley tried to assure Punchline that The Joker would ultimately hurt her. Punchline didn't dispute that, and then proceeded to slit Harley's throat. Punchline then ordered her and The Joker's goons to throw Harley into the sewers, while she was beginning to choke blood.
Then, towards the issue's end, The Joker revealed that he'd been plotting to "break" Catwoman, once she had unlocked all of the account numbers to transfer Bruce Wayne's fortune to himself. This culminated in Punchline seemingly shooting Catwoman, who cried out for Batman as she began to slump over.
So, are Catwoman and Harley Quinn really dead? Knowing the popularity of both characters - and the events that are to come in the pages of DC Comics - that might not be the case. For one thing, the preview for Batman #94 hints that Catwoman and Batman's relationship is "shattered" -- and while that would technically be true if Selina was dead, it still feels like there's something more behind that reveal. There's also the nature of Tom King's upcoming Batman/Catwoman maxiseries, which seemingly still takes place in the main continuity and follows the relationship beats that King originally had planned for the couple.
In terms of Harley Quinn, she is indisputably too popular and beloved of a character to kill off in this way, especially as her solo series heads for a landmark 75th (and final - for now) issue in August. It's pretty safe to assume that we will see the return of Harley Quinn, although the brutal nature of Punchline's attack on her definitely leaves the specifics that up for debate.
What do you think of Catwoman and Harley Quinn's fates after Batman #93? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!