Batman/Catwoman, Tom King's long awaited follow-up to his Batman run with artist Clay Mann, has finally arrived! The ambitious series has three distinct time periods throughout including: The past, when the Bat and Cat first fell in love with each other; The present, where they've tied the knot but an old flame returns to potentially ruin things; and The Future, where Cat is out for revenge in a world where Bruce has passed away. A wrinkle in their plans in each of these times is none other than the clown prince of crime himself, The Joker. In addition to making Mask of the Phantasm canon the issue also features a pointed reference to that animated film's version of The Joker, Mark Hamill. Spoilers below!
The "future" section of the series sees an older Selina Kyle reuniting with an unknown old friend. Though his identity isn't first revealed, the pair reminisce about the old days, talking about their kids and the circumstances of how Bruce died. By issue's end it's revealed that this old friend is in fact none other than The Joker, retired to a trailer park in Florida, with both now eager to kill the other with Batman no longer in the picture.
Now that we have all that we can point out the deep cut Easter egg embedded in the issue, which frankly could be coincidence, but perhaps isn't. The Joker reveals in his talks with Selina that one of his children is named "Nathan," something he shares in common with voice actor Mark Hamill, who famously brought The Joker to life in Batman: The Animated Series and Mask of the Phantasm. We already know that Tom King clearly has an affinity for Mask of the Phantasm based on what he's chosen to include in this series, but it runs even deeper apparently as he brings the real life children of that Joker into DC canon.
The second issue of Batman/Catwoman isn't scheduled to arrive until February of 2021. The full solicitation for the next issue reads:
"Phantasm has come to Gotham City! Andrea Beaumont, the one-time love of Bruce Wayne, is looking for her lost child, and she's pretty sure The Joker is involved. So, who better to have as an ally than Batman? And what better way to get to Batman than through Catwoman? It's a knotted history for this costumed quartet, spanning past, present, and future. What The Joker did to Selina Kyle at the beginning of her career will have deadly consequences at the end of their lives. Tom King's ultimate tale of the Dark Knight kicks into high gear as the story roars down the avenues only hinted at in the pages of Batman."