We all remember when 2016’s The Killing Joke depicted Batman and his young protege, Barbara Gordon, having sex on a roof, right? Apparently, the creators of The Lego Batman Movie watched that controversial, Batgirl-bra-bearing scene and murmured, “Yes, this is the kind of superhero content we want as well.”
The film’s newest TV spot indicates that Batman has a huge crush on Barbara Gordon, who, in the Lego-verse, is apparently an adult and runs Gotham’s police department. According to a t-shirt she wears in the spot, Barbara also attended “Harvard for police,” and is creeped out that Batman is training a young ward who isn’t his son. Okay, fair. So she’s an adult woman.
However, it wasn’t the age difference between Batgirl and Batman that wigged Gotham fans out when Killing Joke premiered. The fact that Batman trained Batgirl in vigilantism, combat, and detective work before pursuing her sexually, and then rejecting her post-coitus, was the skin-crawling part of the sex scene. Although we don’t know how Barbara will become Batgirl in The Lego Batman Movie, it’s possible that she’s not Batman’s student this time around.
It’s also worth pointing out that The Batman Lego Movie, much like the first Lego Movie, is (most likely) an alternate universe (AU) story told from the point of view of a child. That set-up would explain, for instance, why Will Arnett’s version of Batman can’t cook for himself, bathes in a dolphin swimming pool, and isn’t actually interested in caring for Robin. To a child, it’s pretty plausible that Batman would hook up with Batgirl — their names are similar, so it’s kosher, right?
The success of The Lego Batman Movie will depend on whether fans of the character are willing to stretch their fanboy imaginations to enjoy some AU content. The film will touch on the broader themes associated with Batman — loneliness, comical aversion to guns, immense wealth — without getting bogged down in the militant mythos that most comic book adaptations find themselves choking on. So, should Batman try and bone Batgirl in most canon adaptations? Not unless you’re into ephebophilia. Can Bruce Wayne have a crush on an adult version of Barbara Gordon if they’re both made of Legos? Fine, sure. Just don’t be surprised when legions of fans angrily tweet about it.