Originally Posted by KRIM
All true, however even back in the early days of Bob Kane/Bill Finger, Bruce never failed to have a woman on the side. In 'Shadow of the Monk' he was juggling both Batman and an engagement to Julie Madison. When that ended, he moved onto other girls such as Vicki and Silver. So history hasn't shown a truly isolated Bruce Wayne. It's obvious his heart is penetrable, but it's keeping that relationship that's proven to be the obstacle.
As you say, the enticement to live a life with Selina makes their dynamic so interesting. But I'd go beyond that and say the desire to simply live and be happy, are the ultimate forbidden fruits. If Bruce were a pure pragmatist, there is no drama when he is faced with the decision to go after it. He would have already made up his mind and rejected it completely. But if there's a small part of him that thrives for it, then you create that cognitive dissonance which raises the emotional stakes.
Wonderfully said. Even in the old stories though, Bruce was always talking the superhero rhetoric about not letting those women become a part of his life. He isolates himself. He is a pragmatist because he manages to refrain from that, manages to curb his emotions for the utilitarian cause. It isn't easy, and in the best stories we get a sense of how hard the sacrifice was for him. We have, however, yet to see this in the romantic life of Nolan's Batman/Wayne. Rachel Dawse was always someone he ached for. One is lead to believe, at the end of TDK, whether Batman's lack of a romantic life in the more well-known stories are because of the things that happened with Rachel. The suggestion was there.
Julie Madison, of course, and then there was Linda Page. You know it's interesting but I remember a dialogue between society-boy Bruce and recently-turned-worker-girl Linda, and in it she tells Bruce how he needs to work for the betterment of society, like she has. Bruce acts aloof, and brushes it off. But Linda maintains that he is inherently a good person, but never acts on it. The whole thing reads like that scene where Bruce and Rachel meet in Batman Begins
upon his return, and I wouldn't be surprised if the filmmakers had some kind of inspiration from it.
We usually credit Tim Burton as the more 'Golden Age' centric director of the Bat-films, but some of those original characterisations and motifs are still present in all incarnations of the character. At least they manage to seep through. It will be interesting to see how Batman's love-life is portrayed this time.