Throwback Thursday: Talia al Ghul’s Early Days of Subterfuge & Romance

Talia al Ghul has become a dangerous woman in comics who was originally introduced as a love interest for Batman. Created by Dennis O’Neil and Bob Brown, Talia is the daughter of supervillain Ra’s al Ghul, the “Head of the Demon” and leader of the League of Assassins. Far from being a two-dimensional romantic plot device, she is an antiheroine who blurs the line between being one of Batman’s allies and pushing beyond the boundaries into villainous deeds. She and Batman are forever linked by their son, Damian Wayne, the current Robin.

Talia’s first appearance was 50 years ago in Detective Comics #411 (May 1971). She was introduced when Batman rescued her from Dr. Darrk, who had kidnapped Talia when he turned on Ra’s al Ghul after failing a mission and being marked for death. The story did not have a fairy tale ending with Batman and Talia riding off into the sunset once he saved her. Instead, she ended up shooting and killing Darrk to save Batman.

Her next appearance was in the “Daughter of the Demon” story when she and Dick Grayson/Robin were kidnapped. Ra’s al Ghul went to the Batcave, thereby revealing that he knew Batman’s secret identity as Bruce Wayne. Another revelation came once Talia and Robin had been rescued and Batman learned that the whole kidnapping was a set up. Ra’s planned the ruse because Talia was in love with Batman and Ra’s wanted to determine if Batman would be a suitable husband and worthy of becoming the next leader of the League of Assassins. Though Batman returned her feelings he rejected the offer to join the League, but that didn’t stop Ra’s and Talia from considering Batman to be her husband.

In the Son of the Demon graphic novel, Batman married Talia for real this time and she became pregnant with Damian. Batman was almost killed while protecting her, prompting Talia to believe that they should not be together because she didn’t want him to die defending her. She faked a miscarriage, the marriage was dissolved, and later continuity revealed that she had put the baby in an orphanage.

Since then, Talia has been torn between her allegiance to her father and the League, her affection for Batman/father of her son, and forging her own path within the DC universe.

Keep an eye on PREVIEWSworld.com's TwitterFacebookYouTube, or Instagram for more character profiles! And if you're interested in more Talia al Ghul tales, head to your local comic shop and check out the following.

DC COMICS
(W) Grant Morrison (A) J. H. Williams, Tony S. Daniel, Ryan Benjamin, Jesse Delperdang, Jonathan Glapion, Mark Irwin, Sandu Florea, Saleem Crawford, John Van Fleet (A/CA) Andy Kubert
These tales from BATMAN #655-658, 663-669 and 672-675 introduce Damian Wayne! Plus, Batman and a group of global heroes face a killer on a mysterious island, and Batman relives an adventure in the life of young Bruce Wayne: the hunt for his parents' killer.
In Shops: Jan 29, 2014
SRP: $19.99
DC PREVIEWS Page #125
DC COMICS
(W) Greg Rucka (A/CA) Klaus Janson
Collecting the classic nine-issue miniseries! A dying Ra's al Ghul must beg Batman for help against a woman who once shared his life. In exchange, he offers the Dark Knight the chance to speak with his dead parents! But what they say to him will profoundly affect both the man and the hero. This collection includes behind-the-scenes unused art and sketches by artist Klaus Janson.  
In Shops: Jul 11, 2018
SRP: $19.99
DC PREVIEWS Page #133
DC COMICS
(W) Grant Morrison (A) Yanick Paquette, Frazer Irving, Jason Masters, Cameron Stewart, Scott Clark (A/CA) Chris Burnham
Grant Morrison's Batman saga is collected here in its entirety in stories BATMAN, INCORPORATED #1-8, BATMAN, INCORPORATED: LEVIATHAN RISES #1, BATMAN, INCORPORATED VOL. 2 #1-13 and BATMAN, INCORPORATED SPECIAL #1. After Bruce Wayne publicly announces the worldwide franchise of Batmen, he is joined in the war on crime by Knight and Squire, El Gaucho and Batwing. But as soon as Batman creates his own crimefighting force, another organization rises to challenge him: Leviathan. As the war between the two forces reaches its apex, Bruce Wayne will face the greatest tragedy of his life.
In Shops: Jan 07, 2015
SRP: $125.00
DC PREVIEWS Page #154
DC COMICS
(W) Judd Winick, Jeph Loeb (A) Doug Mahnke, Paul Lee, Shane Davis, Eric Battle, Tom Nguyen, Cam Smith, Rodney Ramos, Wayne Faucher, Lary Stucker, Mark Morales, Jim Lee, Scott Williams (CA) Jock
  • Written by JUDD WINICK
    Art by DOUG MAHNKE, PAUL LEE, SHANE DAVIS, ERIC BATTLE, TOM NGUYEN, CAM SMITH, RODNEY RAMOS and WAYNE FAUCHER
    Cover by MATT WAGNER
    For the first time, DC Comics collects the entire, original Red Hood saga from BATMAN #635-641 and 645-650 and BATMAN ANNUAL #25, in one massive trade paperback.
    Batman is confronted with a hidden face from the past - it's the return of the vigilante Red Hood, who appears to be Batman's one-time partner, Jason Todd, the same Jason Todd who died many years ago. But the Red Hood's violent ways pit him against the Dark Knight in his hunt for the very person responsible for his death: The Joker.
    On sale AUGUST 17   384 pg, FC, $29.99 US
  • In Shops: Aug 24, 2011
    SRP: $29.99
    DC PREVIEWS Page #118
    DC COMICS
    (W) Patrick Gleason (A) Tom Nguyen (A/CA) Patrick Gleason, Mick Gray
    THE FIRST COLLECTION OF THE NEW DC SERIES IS HERE!
    Before he was Robin, Batman's son Damian Wayne was raised by his mother, Talia al Ghul, to lead the vicious League of Assassins. In these stories from issues #1-6 of his new solo series, plus the Sneak Peek story from CONVERGENCE: WORLD'S FINEST COMICS #2., the son of Batman has freed himself from that destiny and is about to embark on a globe-spanning quest to atone for the horrible acts he committed during the most brutal portion of his old life, The Year of Blood!
    In Shops: Mar 23, 2016
    SRP: $22.99
    DC PREVIEWS Page #113

    This article originally appeared in Gemstone Publishing’s e-newsletter Scoop.

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