12 May 2007

The Friends and Foes of Batman - Talia al Ghul

Talia al Ghul (تاليا الغول in Arabic) is the now-estranged daughter of supervillain Ra's al Ghul, and a love interest of Batman. Her father, the leader of a worldwide criminal empire, considered Batman the man most worthy to marry Talia and to become his heir and encouraged a relationship between Talia and Batman in hopes of recruiting him as his successor. Talia admires Batman in his drive, determination, and nobility, but was always torn between him and the love for her terrorist father. It is natural that Batman is uninterested in the criminal empire, but he has shown considerable interest in Talia. Talia has appeared in several episodes of Batman: The Animated series, and also in a twisted episode of Batman Beyond. Sadly, a chance for a recurring female role in the new series of Batman films was not developed for her.

In her youth, Talia traveled with Ra's around the world. He taught her hand-to-hand combat as well as the use of most conventional weapons, from swords to guns. She helped him in the management of his various organizations. Talia first met Batman in the story when he rescued her from Dr. Darkk, apparently the leader of the League of Assassins. It was eventually revealed that the League was just one part of Ra's al Ghul's organization, The Demon, and that Darkk apparently turned against Ra's after failing in a mission. Talia ended up shooting and killing Darkk to save Batman's life.

Later when Dick Grayson was kidnapped, Ra's al Ghul entered the Batcave, revealing to Batman that he knew Batman's secret identity and saying that Talia was also kidnapped along with Dick. Batman went with Ra's to search for Dick and Talia; in the end, it was revealed that Talia loved Batman and that the entire kidnapping was a setup designed by Ra's as a final test of whether Batman's suitability as an heir. Though Batman rejected Ra's offer, he nevertheless returned Talia's feelings.

At one point, Ra's al Ghul successfully enlisted Batman's aid in defeating a rogue assassin who had murdered his wife. During this story line, Batman married Talia and she became pregnant. Batman was nearly killed protecting Talia from an attack by the assassin's agents. In the end, Talia concluded that she could never keep Batman, as he will be continuously forced to defend her. She faked a miscarriage, and the marriage was dissolved. In reality, Talia gave birth to a son. The child was left at an orphanage, adopted, and given the name Ibn al Xu'ffasch. The only clue to the child's heritage is a jewel-encrusted necklace Batman had given to Talia which Talia left with the child.

Later it was revealed that during his travels in Russia in the 18th century, Ra's al Ghul met a woman by whom he had a daughter named Nyssa. Ra's abandoned Nyssa at a crucial time. She was tortured, and her entire family killed in a concentration camp during the Holocaust. Seeking vengeance, Nyssa planed 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. Nyssa also planed to assassinate Superman with kryptonite bullets she stole from the Batcave.

While Batman was successful in preventing the assassination of Superman, he failed to stop Nyssa from killing Ra's. This was actually part of a greater plan concocted by Ra's 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 became the heads of The Demon, with Talia disavowing her love for Bruce Wayne as another result of her torture at Nyssa's hands.

After Nyssa's apparent death, Talia became the new Demon's Head. The child of Talia and Batman was reintroduced. He had been trained by The League of Assassins. Talia gave him back to Batman who was unsure whether this was 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, seemingly, Tim Drake, the newest Robin.

Villain Profiles:

Ra's al Ghul

Talia al Ghul

The Dark Knight returns in 433 days!

3 comments:

Dragulf said...

SR 128 days --> 200M
SM3 8 days --> 200M

Woot!

I never did read the batman comic but Ra's and company sound like a meaty adversary.

Chip Chief said...

Those Al Ghuls sure know how to party.

Is that 128 days the actually number!?

Dragulf said...

I believe so, they kept it in theaters till it hit 200M then dropped it immediately domesticly..