Editor’s note: Catch up on Bianca’s previous dating adventures here.
This is a topic of discussion that has somehow found itself in every first date that I’ve ever been on. I’m not quite sure if it’s the Dark Knight tattoo on my wrist or the multiple times I reference Batman on my online dating profiles and blog that prompts the question, “So… you like Batman huh?”
“Yes, I love him,” I say. “But I love the villainesses even more.”
Some form of “Really? Care to elaborate?” then follows, which leads into this geeky tirade of me discussing the different personalities of my three favorite Gotham City Sirens (aptly, the three featured in the series bearing the same title) — Catwoman, Poison Ivy, and Harley Quinn, showing my dates that I spend more time thinking about comic book characters than I should. But if they’re not into it, then it’s not going to work out.
It’s my personal belief that most girls in NYC are able to channel their inner Gotham villainess, whether they know it or not. Now of course, there are more than just the three — you’ve got Zatanna, Talia Al Ghul, and probably a plethora that have been created that I don’t even know about. But I don’t really fux around with those. Let’s not complicate comic book character theories more than they already are.
Looking for a hero in your life, you can think about things aspirationally. Which character am I like the least? Whose powers would I like to embody? Or you think about the characters that you relate to the most. Rich kid with all the gadgets? Batman or Iron Man. Shy, nerdy type coming into his newfound ‘manliness’? Oh hey, Spider Man.
I’m not one to identify with the women superheroes, however. I hate Wonder Woman, and Batgirl and Supergirl both suck, IMO. Instead, growing up, I’ve learned to love the villainesses of these books — with powers that make them an equal match to their male superhero counterparts. It started with Poison Ivy, and just progressed from there, after which I realized I’ve felt akin to more than one super villainess at different points in my life, mostly pertaining to guys. These are my theories on the Gotham City Sirens, and how I came about realizing that women can be each in the dating world (particularly in a burgeoning dating metropolis).
This dating character is easy to peg (even after Uma Thurman completely butchered the character in that movie with Mr.Freeze). She has no heart for men, or mankind in general. She’s cold, and fights for her world (of plants — which, in our world, can be compared to selfishness). Her seductive prowess is strong, fueled by the pheromones she naturally produces, and her kiss is deadly with the lethal toxins in her lips. She is what Hall & Oates would call “a man-eater”.
Now I wouldn’t say that every girl in NY has been a man-eater at some point in her life, but I definitely have been. I mean all it really takes is that one guy under your belt that you strung along, as he followed you like a lovesick puppy, knowing fully well that you were going to eventually destroy him. Yet you keep him around because you can. I’m willing to bet that almost every girl has encountered this at least once- even if it was in grade school.
In this state, you feel strong, and powerful, and very in control. You may want to live your life like this forever, because you like the idea of not showing any true feelings, avoiding the vulnerability to heartbreak. It’s great! However, unlike Ivy, we are humans and being heartless cannot be sustained in this world (unless you truly are a monster.) It’s a phase that is fun to slip in and out of, and might be necessary between times of being a Harley (to be explained below.) But if you continue to live like a transformed Pamela Isley, you probably won’t feel fulfilled in your love life.
Plus: The 7 Types Of Non-BFs
Not too many people know about Harley Quinn. I actually familiarized myself with this loveable character via Batman The Animated Series, which is one of my favorite childhood cartoons (along with My Little Pony.) Harley, formerly Dr. Harleen Quinzel, was The Joker’s psychiatrist at Arkham Asylum. She fell in love with the madman, turning her into the devoted henchwoman, ready and willing to do anything by his side. She’s fun! She’s giggly! She’s up for an adventure! Everyone loves Harley because she’s bubbly yet dangerous- all the reasons why I love her. Make a joke, kick some ass, giggle a bunch, and get away with it all. The thing is she’s also really pathetic- which I think most people forget, or overlook, or even find sort of endearing.
The sad thing about Harley is that she’s so blinded by love. She’s smart and completely capable of being a villain on her own, yet has this dying need to live her life for The Joker. As Ivy says, “She sees it as passion, she sees it as love, but it’s not. It’s addiction.” The Joker has her wrapped around his little finger, ready to do whatever he says. He uses her, he manipulates her, he tries to kill her more often than not. Every now and again she realizes this and snaps out of it out of it (usually with the help of Ivy), but then he does the little things that make her believe that he actually cares, and reels her back in. She can’t get him out of her head. Her whole world revolves around him.
As wonderful as it is to sort of be manic and pixie like Harley is, being Harley also means that you’re in a terrible one sided relationship that you probably shouldn’t be in. We’re all smart enough to see it when it happens to other people, but it’s extremely difficult to see it for ourselves. There is, was, or will be that guy that you feel like you need to change your life for — who you WANT to change your life for — but who doesn’t appreciate you for what you are worth. In that case, you have become Harley. Let’s hope that you have a wonderful best friend like Ivy, who can help you realize you don’t need that bozo, and that you can move on (to your own DC adventures!)
Catwoman is the most well-known villainess in the Batman world, and one who has taken many different forms, characters, and backstories in the books, movies, and cartoons. It’s easy to argue several different kinds of foils that she could be to Batman, but in my point of view, being the Catwoman to someone’s Batman creates the perfect relationship.
There’s been a long standing love/hate affair between the cat and the bat. I’ve often joked, that if they were characters in a rom-com it would be titled “Foes with Benefits”. It’s a bit sad that in the Gotham City world they can’t ever actually be together, but that’s sort of the beauty of it all. Catwoman has her own thing, and Batman has his. To me, their wit, intelligence, fighting skill, stealth, and use of tools are about equal — with the exception that Batman lived a privileged life and Catwoman did not (as depicted in the third installment of Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy). In their fight for good or evil (both of which are subjective to each), they find each other, and even though they should hate each other for reasons that the outside world provides, they find love. In many cases in the books, Catwoman will pull a heist to get Batman out, sort of like she’s planning a date. A fun crime driven date. They play this back and forth game — not unlike the give and take you play with a partner who sort of gets you but isn’t just like you.
I’m a bit biased in my opinion of what the perfect relationship would be. Most people probably think the perfect relationship is both partners playing for the same team and sticking by each other’s side (ahem, Wonder Woman and Superman — what the hell is that, by the way? Let’s not even go there.) I’m too rebellious to let someone have me completely, but I’m so intrigued by this uncontrollable desire to be with someone that society/the general public wouldn’t see as right for you. I love that they live their lives separately, yet together in the corrupt city of Gotham. They work together when it works for them, and they fight when one is doing something the other doesn’t agree with. There’s no unfulfilled infatuation like with Harley, or careless destruction of feelings/beings like with Ivy. We can get into some really weird emotional backstories that have happened in the comics, but I’d like to just leave this at that.
In analyzing these characters I’ve come to realize that at the end of the day I don’t want to be a cold heartless bitch forever like Ivy, and I certainly don’t want to be a pathetic love-struck being with no life of my own like Harley. What I’m looking for is the guy who will pull the inner Catwoman out of me, and with each passing date and each passing encounter I find myself asking the question in my mind, “Are you my Batman?”