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Quote1 It is true, you know! There is no man your equal-- therefore, you are the only man I can love! Quote2
-- Talia al Ghul src

Origin

Talia was the daughter of Melisande and Ra's al Ghul, leader of a secret worldwide organization. Unfortunately, Talia witnessed the murder of her mother at an early age, at the hands of a man called Quinlan, who Ra's had raised as his own son.[1]

Like this, Talia was raised by Ra's and she travelled the world with him, learning from his intellect and skills. She excelled in managing his criminal and legitimate operations, and she was eventually appointed as Ghul's primary heir.

Batman

Talia first met Batman when he rescued her from Dr. Darkk, the current president of the League of Assassins. It was then that Batman learned that Talia was the daughter of Ra's and that he and Darrk have had a falling out in business. Darrk turned against Ra's and tried to eliminate Talia in revenge, but Batman foiled Darrk's plan and when he was being taken back to the authorities, Talia shot and killed Darkk to save Batman's life.[2]

Talia's love for Bruce is revealed

Talia's love for Bruce is revealed

Talia was then apparently kidnapped and her father, Ra's, sought Batman's help to find her, knowing that Dick Grayson, Robin, had also been kidnapped in the same way Talia was. Batman agreed to help Ra's find Dick and Talia; but as time passed, he learned that it had all been a quest to test his skills. It was all Ra's plan as a final test of Batman's suitability as an heir, since Talia had fallen in love with the Dark Knight.[3]

Afterwards, Talia learned that her father had been killed by one of his scientists and she started a quest to find and kill the man. However, Talia didn't know that Ra's was revived and that the scientist had a formula which could be turned into a plague. When she cornered the scientist, she was stopped by Batman and they left the rogue scientist to die from his own weapon. Finally, Ra's and Talia were reunited and Batman noticed Talia's readiness to kill, which disturbed him.[4] Talia was then sent on a mission to prevent Batman from interfering with Ra's activities and she pretended to join the Caped Crusader in order to throw off his investigations. Despite her efforts, Batman managed to learn the truth about Ra's crimes, starting their longtime rivalry. However, Batman showed some concern about having Talia as an enemy, and knowing that Batman had feelings for her made her happy, but she remained by her father's side.[5]

Prisoner of Love

Prisoner of Love

When Batman travelled to Switzerland with the purpose of capturing Ra's, Talia became aware of his intentions and with Ubu's help, she prepared Ra's body for his "return". Batman arrived at their hideout and Talia informed him about Ra's death. As Batman was leaving, Talia joined him, but before she left, she activated a machine that started the process of resuscitation by placing Ra's body into the waters of the Lazarus Pit.[6] When Ra's returned to life, Talia was the only person who could calm him from the madness caused by the Lazarus Pit and she helped him escape from Batman. Talia and Ra's travelled to one of his desert bases, but Batman soon located them. Ra's challenged Batman to a duel to the death, and Talia couldn't help but cry at the sight of her loved ones fighting each other. Batman was eventually defeated after he was stung by a scorpion and was affected by its lethal venom. Ra's left Batman to die, but Talia provided Batman the antidote behind her father's back. When Batman recovered, he finally captured Ra's, but he spared Talia, leaving her in the desert with a well-deserved parting kiss.[7]

Not long after this, Talia posed as a servant for the Penguin, hoping to steal the loot from the criminal. Her ultimate goal was to use the money to release her father from prison and rebuild his empire, but in the end, she helped Batman capture the Penguin and left empty handed.[8]

Bat-Murderer

Afterwards, Talia gathered a small gang and organized a heist in Gotham in order to steal some valuable jewels. During the crime, they were stopped by Batman and in order to escape, Talia tossed her gun at the Dark Knight. Unfortunately, she was shot in the back and the bullet killed her instantly.[9] However, her "death" was part of a plan in order to turn the Gotham City authorities against Batman. Talia was not actually dead and eventually, she revealed herself to Batman, once he was a wanted criminal and she tried to get him to join her and command Ra's empire. Batman refused, but before he could capture Ra's, he was forced to save Talia from a burning circus tent, allowing Ra's to go free. Talia served as enough evidence that Batman had been framed and she was subsequently placed under police custody while Batman's name was cleared.[10]

Some time after this, Talia was part one of Ra's plans and she was responsible for kidnapping Batman and taking him to Ra's private yatch, where Talia and Batman were married under Ra's traditions. However, Batman didn't consummate the marriage and he managed to stop Ra's plan. In the final confrontation, Talia saved Batman once again from being murdered by her father's henchmen, but she left Gotham alongside the Demon.[11] Talia also played a small role on Ra's plan to gain total control of the League of Assassins when she drugged Batman to keep him out of the way between Ra's and the Sensei.[12]

Lazarus Affair

The events described in the "Lazarus Affair" section are exclusive to the Earth-One continuity.
Most of these events were altered or removed after the Crisis on Infinite Earths.

A short time later, Talia travelled to Gotham in order to assist Batman on his crusade against crime.[13] Her ulterior motive was to gain Batman's trust in order to stay with him after her father's apparent demise.[14] Talia became involved with an enemy of Bruce Wayne, who was a former employee of her father. Although she claimed that she was trying to help Bruce, she was actually checking upon the man's business.[15] Talia and Batman soon developed a romantic-working relationship and they journeyed across the globe trying to find a mysterious enemy who wanted to ruin Batman. Their trip continued until they arrived in Hong Kong and Bruce was trapped by the enemy,[16] who was none other than Ra's al Ghul. Talia was aware of her father's plan and she tried to keep Batman away from harm, but when her body started to age to reflect her real age of 150 years old, she was forced to return to her father's side in order to regain her youth, betraying Batman in the process.[17]

Talia revives in the Lazarus Pit

Talia revives in the Lazarus Pit

Her betrayal was caused out of necessity and Talia helped Batman escape from Ra's traps, regretting her previous actions. One of Ra's henchmen shot Talia, almost killing her because of her meddling. Ra's murdered the fool and he took her to the Lazarus Pit, where Talia was revived, but her defection from her father's side caused a final confrontation between Batman and Ra's, in which Ra's apparently died. Talia and Batman escaped Ra's headquarters in Infinity Island, just as the whole island was destroyed during a volcanic eruption. After these events, Talia decided to leave Bruce and find her place in the world, alone.[18]

Eventually, Ra's was resurrected and Talia teamed-up with Batman to stop his genocide plans. Talia rescued Robin as Batman confronted Ra's, but once again the confrontation ended with Ra's apparent death. Grieving for her father, Talia chose to remain in isolation, away from Batman.[19] This however, didn't last for much, as Talia was soon summoned to Gotham, where she learned of a big conspiracy to murder Batman. She joined forces with the Dark Knight and with Catwoman, although reluctantly, and together they stopped several of Batman's greatest foes on two occasions.[20][21] Afterwards, Talia worked with Batman to stop the Penguin from spreading a lethal drug stolen from Ra's.[22]

Son of the Demon

Talia was eventually drawn to Gotham City after she learned that the international terrorist known as Qayin was operating in the city. While in Gotham, Talia came across Batman and the two of them worked together to bring down the criminal. Their quest brought them to meet with Ra's, and Batman learned that Qayin was the man who murdered Talia's mother.

Bruce and Talia

Bruce and Talia

After Ra's and Batman agreed to work as allies to bring down Qayin, Batman finally consummated his marriage with Talia[11] in a night full of passion. A few weeks later, Talia learned she was pregnant and shared the news with Batman and Ra's. Althought they were joyous about the news, Batman decided to stop the manhunt for Qayin as to protect Talia and their baby. Talia's desire for revenge was stronger than her love and in order to get Batman's help, she lied to Bruce about a miscarriage. The news sent Batman into a vengeful rage, which culminated in Qayin's death by his own hands. Althought the mission was accomplished, Talia couldn't stand revealing her lie to Bruce and she allowed him to believe they had truly lost their son, while also forcing him to remain away from her.[1]

Months later, Talia gave birth to the boy who would become Damian Wayne.

Bane

After Bane entered the League of Assassins, Talia's father, Ra's al Ghul, considered Bane a potential heir to his empire and wanted his daughter to marry Bane. However, Talia rejected the international brute, regarding him as merely a cunning animal compared to the more cultured intelligence of his predecessor. After Batman defeated Bane, Ra's agreed that Bane was unworthy of his "only" daughter.

Red Hood

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Talia and the revived Jason Todd

After Jason Todd's death at the hands of the Joker, Batman brought his body back to Gotham and buried him with the rest of the Wayne Family. However, Jason was resurrected after the time altering event related to Superboy-Prime. Although Jason returned to life, his body and mind were still broken from the Joker's attack.

Out of love for Batman and the desire to make him love her again, Talia took Jason to her father and Jason spent months in the care of the League of Assassins. Although his body recuperated, Jason's mind was shattered. Seeing no other way to help him, Talia took Jason to the Lazarus Pit and threw his body in while her father was regenerating himself. Jason was fully revived in both body and mind. Immediately afterward, to spare Jason her father's wrath, she aided in the boy's escape. Talia aided Jason financially and provided information in order to help him recover his life back.[23]

LexCorp

Talia, disillusioned with her father and his plans, left him to run LexCorp for Lex Luthor during Luthor's time as President of the United States. Although she seemingly supported Luthor, Talia was secretly working to undermine him, anonymously leaking news of his underhanded dealings to Superman. When the time came for Luthor's downfall, she sold all of LexCorp's assets to the Wayne Foundation, leaving Luthor penniless and his crimes exposed to all.[24]

Death and the Maidens

Seeking vengeance against her father for his abandonment of her, Ra's' other daughter, Nyssa Raatko, planned to use her considerable wealth and resources to kill Ra's by befriending, kidnapping, and brainwashing Talia, turning her into a weapon to kill their father. To this end, she captured Talia and using a Lazarus Pit, killed and resurrected her in rapid succession, leaving Talia virtually broken from the trauma of dying and resurrecting again and again in so short a time. Rendered apathetic by her time in the Nazi concentration camps and unable to feel anything, Nyssa also planned to assassinate Superman with Kryptonite bullets she stole from the Batcave, hoping that, by uniting the world in one moment of tragedy, she would manage to feel something once more.

While Batman was successful in preventing the assassination of Superman, he was unable to stop Nyssa from killing Ra's. This, in turn, was actually part of a greater plan concocted by Ra's, who wanted to ensure that his daughters would accept their destinies as his heirs, and take up his genocidal campaign. Realizing and accepting this, Nyssa and Talia become the heads of The Demon and led the League of Assassins, with Talia disavowing her love for Bruce Wayne as another result of her torture at Nyssa's hands. The two sisters both declared Batman their enemy.

Villains United

Talia became one of the core members of the third Secret Society of Super-Villains, along with Lex Luthor (who was secretly Alexander Luthor, Jr. in disguise), Black Adam, Doctor Psycho, Deathstroke, and Calculator.[25] Nyssa later explained to Batgirl that Talia's membership was part of one of Nyssa's plans to take over the planet and bring about world peace and equality. Nyssa attempted and failed to recruit Batgirl to her new League of Assassins, and the Society failed to achieve its goals.[26]

One Year Later

After Nyssa's apparent death at the hands of Cassandra Cain, Talia became the sole Demon's Head. However, the League of Assassins had apparently splintered and Cassandra Cain had gained partial control.

To the surprise of Batman, Talia introduced him to his son, a boy named Damian who she bore in secret and was raised by the League of Assassins. Talia placed him in the care of Batman as part of a grand scheme involving ninja man-bats and the kidnapping of the British Prime Minister's wife. Batman was unsure whether Damian was truly his son, but he attempted to deal with the spoiled, hot-tempered child anyway. Damian, effectively raised to be an assassin, killed a criminal and nearly killed Tim Drake, the newest Robin. Shortly afterwards, father, mother, and son confronted each other on a ship which was destroyed by a torpedo. Talia and Damian survived the explosion, but Damian was severely injured and underwent a transplant of all his major organs.

Talia was prompted to read the history of Ra's al Ghul to her son, Damian, by a mysterious figure from Ra's past: the White Ghost, who was in fact Talia's half-brother, Dusan al Ghul. Unbeknownst to Talia, the White Ghost planned to use Damian as a vessel for Ra's' return. However, Talia and Damian managed to escape before the plan was completed. After the escape, Batman confronted the White Ghost; he fought Batman, but ended up falling into a Lazarus Pit.[27]

Batman R.I.P.

Soon, Talia learned that Batman had been captured by an organization called the Black Glove and gathered a small party from the League of Assassins to investigate her beloved's disappearance. Talia arrived at Wayne Manor with the League and her son Damian; where they deactivated several traps and saved James Gordon in the process.[28] Talia and her men went to Arkham Asylum, but they noticed a big explosion before arriving at the place. Suspecting that Batman might be injured, Talia decided to take vengeance on the Black Glove and all its members.[29]

Battle for the Cowl

After Batman's death, Talia learned that the Suit of Sorrows was stolen from the Batcave and she summoned the Seven Men of Death to retrieve the Suit from the Order of Purity. While they created a distraction, she snuck into the Order's headquarters and attacked Azrael, the Order's protector, using the Sword of Salvation.[30] A wound from that sword isn't lethal and so Talia was forced to fight Azrael once again, but convinced him to listen the story about the curse of the Suit of Sorrows. Talia took Lane to her place and informed him that the Suit of Sorrows drives the man who wears it insane, then she allowed Lane to leave with the suit at his own risk.[31] However, she was soon visited by Nightwing, who informed her that he had allowed Lane to work as Azrael under his supervision. During this meeting, Nightwing took the Sword of Salvation from Talia and gave it to Azrael.[32]

Batman: Reborn

Talia was placed on the new Society's inner circle by Libra. Despite Talia's interaction with the new Society, she still behaved lovingly and was almost devoted to Batman. Following the events of Final Crisis during which Bruce Wayne "died", Talia left her son Damian in the care of Dick Grayson who eventually became the new Batman. Dick appointed Damian as the new Robin and Talia continued to aid Damian when he was severely injured, still hoping that he would return to her side.

After Grayson freed Damian from his responsibilities, Talia revealed to her son that she had begun cloning him after realizing that he had completely sided with his father's circle during their confrontation. She was too much of a perfectionist to love her son after he defied her in such a manner, and Talia declared him no longer welcome in the House of al Ghul.

Batman Incorporated

She was later revealed to be the mastermind behind the Leviathan Organization, a shadowy organization formed to oppose Bruce's "Batman Incorporated" project. She placed a bounty of $500,000,000 on Damian's head, and declared war on Batman.

Powers

Abilities

  • Although this character was originally introduced during DC's Earth-One era of publication, their existence following the events of the 1985–86 limited series Crisis on Infinite Earths remains intact. However, some elements of the character's Pre-Crisis history may have been altered or removed for Post-Crisis New Earth continuity, and should be considered apocryphal.
  • The exact history of the New Earth Talia has not been revealed thus far. In several alternate reality versions, such as the graphic novel Batman: Birth of the Demon (1992), explain how Ra's al Ghul met her mother, who was of mixed Chinese and Arab descent, at the Woodstock Festival. Talia's mother later dies of a drug overdose. This version contrasts the early history listed in Batman: Son of the Demon (1987), which states that Talia's mother was named Melisande and was murdered by a former servant of Ra's, named Qayin. Both of these stories are told from the perspective of an adult Ibn al Xu'ffasch, who does not exist in the DC Universe.

Related


Footnotes


Batman Villains 0003
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Batman Villain(s)
This character, team or organization, is or was primarily an enemy of the Batman, or the Batman Family as a whole. This template will categorize articles that include it into the category "Batman Villains."

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League of Assassins member
This character is or was a member of the League of Assassins, a international organization of the world's greatest killers, operating both for hire and their own agenda, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "League of Assassins members" category.

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Secret Society of Super-Villains member
This character is or was a member of the Secret Society of Super-Villains, a cadre of super-villains who band together to accomplish feats no one super-villain can do alone, in any of its various incarnations. This template will categorize articles that include it into the "Secret Society of Super-Villains members" category.