“I was riding a motorcycle”August 9, 2011
I was going to save my comments on the first official picture of Anne Hathaway as Catwoman (or at least as Selina Kyle) released over the weekend from The Dark Knight Rises website, and work it into a Cat-Tale like I usually do, but neither the current tale nor the next one lends itself to that kind of aside. So why wait?
Cat-Tales Intermezzo: The Goggle Picture
The Justice League transporter flashed in the Batcave and to the naked eye, it appeared Batman had started to move before he had completely materialized. It was only long experience with the League’s teleportation process that enabled him to safely exit the pad before the system had powered down. By the time the last reset light switched from red to green, he had completely scanned and searched the cave and was half-way up the stairs to the manor.
“Alfred!” he called out he instant he saw him—and before Alfred could process Bruce having come up from the cave in full costume. “Is Selina home? Has anything else happened?”
“Sir? I believe she is in the morning room,” Alfred said blandly.
There was no answer, only the spectacle of Batman running at full speed across the great hall as if he was tracking down Joker.
“Catwoman!” he called out—although there was really nothing of her nighttime persona in the way she was reclining on the loveseat: her shoes off, feet up, and her laptop resting against her knees, no sign of anything feline anywhere around her.
She registered his costume instantly however and sat up at once, taking an earbud out of her ear and setting the laptop aside as she asked “What’s wrong?”
“When was the first time we met?”
“First encounter. When and where?”
“December 18th, Cartier.1 Why?”
“That’s your version, now the real one.”
“You mean your painfully literal male idea of ‘first time’ as—”
“Top of the train station, October 10th, don’t bellow at me,” she said as if it were one long word.
There was an infinitesimal release, the equivalent of an audible sigh of relief from anyone else. Then he said “Let me see your sapphire.”
“Oh, that’s what we’re doing,” she said, holding out her hand. “It doesn’t work that way, Bruce. When I was dimension hopping into alternate timelines and parallel universes2, I found myself wearing whatever that world’s Selina Kyle put on that morning. The subtle differences in the ring were how I knew I wasn’t on my world.”
“And if you were an alternate Selina, it would still be your ring,” he said evenly. “But you wouldn’t have known about the dimension hopping.”
“Ah. So did I pass the test? Am I me?”
“Combination to the bedroom safe?”
“181-71-986, you changed it in May, now what’s going on?”
This time the exhale was audible, not an actual sigh, but still an audible expulsion of breath. His body seemed to lose density, and for the first time, a hint of Bruce Wayne’s voice surfaced under the fierce Bat-gravel.
“Were you—I can’t believe I’m asking this—wearing goggles this afternoon?”
“You mean in TriBeCa, I told you I had a little excitement coming out of Megu, some gunfire, tiny explosion and then I had to book it getting away from the—”
“Selina, you are currently the most downloaded fully-clothed woman on the internet. There is a picture of you wearing goggles. It’s getting so much traction it showed up on my media sweeps at the Watchtower.”
She tilted her head.
“Did you see the rest of that picture? I was riding a motorcycle. I had four Yakuza on my tail, the bike was there, the bullets were flying, the restaurant was ready to blow and—”
“But you’re wearing goggles.”
“I was riding a motorcycle.”
“But you hate the goggles.”
“I’d also hate grit, bugs and shrapnel flying into my eyes. I’d really hate being blinded and crossing the center lane into an oncoming bus.”
“Don’t you wear goggles when you ride a motorcycle?”
“I have to get back. Clark is covering for me.”
“You left monitor duty because of this?”
“Selina, do you think I can’t tell the difference between a photoshopped fake in the Gotham Post and the actual you wearing a pair of actual goggles?”
“I was riding a motorcycle!”
“I thought we had another cosmic crisis on our hands, alternate dimensions leaking through. I thought you’d either been replaced by one of those AU dopplegangers, or you were both here and you’d be ready to kill her if you could track her down.”
“I can’t believe you’re more worked up about the goggles than the fact that I stole a bike.”