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The Autobiography of Bruce Wayne
by Alan Brennert, artist Jim Aparo

Originally told in the Brave and the Bold title in which Batman teamed up with different guest stars in each issue.  #197 teamed up the "Earth 2" Batman turning to his old foe, the Catwoman.

It should be explained that Earth 2 was a parallel universe inhabited by the original Golden Age heroes, when DC respected its roots and would not think of declaring all previous incarnations invalid.  The idea of Earth 2 allowed the characters to change, grow and find resolutions that were not thought possible in the main continuity. 

The Earth 2 Bruce Wayne is the one who began his career in 1940 and fought a Catwoman who first appeared in Batman#1. 

 

This story, set in 1955 after they had known, fought and flirted for fifteen years, finds him turning to her when exposure to Scarecrow toxin has cut him off from everyone he considered an ally.  In the course of the tale, they come to terms with their mutual feelings, but the closer they grow, the closer Selina is to disappearing along with anyone else Bruce has felt connected to.  In the end, he chooses connection.  They will wed and have a daughter, Helena Wayne who becomes The Huntress.

 

This story is rightly held up as The Greatest Batman Story Ever Told and is the final tale collected in a volume by that title.  As always, the present DC Comics does all it can to create confusion and make it difficult for modern readers to learn of, read or collect those works which prove the worth of an earlier era and contradict their revisionist history.  If you are unable to find Brave and the Bold #197 and wish to get the reprint in The Greatest Batman Story Ever Told, you must take care to get the 1989 "Greatest Batman Stories" and not the 2005 version with the same title full of Frank Miller and Denny O'Neil.

 

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