Tag Archives: Talia

Today’s Super Comics — JLA #43-46 (2000)

In which it’s confirmed that the Justice League’s most dangerous member is…Batman.

Mark Waid took over the writing on JLA with #43, and he kicked off with a superb four-part storyline that pitted the team against Ra’s al Ghul at his smartest. Ra’s, with his focus on reducing the global population in order to “save” the planet, is a great choice for a JLA foe, and his scheme here is a clever one—broadcasting a signal that interferes with the brain’s ability to comprehend the written word and, later, the spoken word. Rid humanity of language, and the resulting disasters will thin out the population in no time.

He knows beforehand the JLA will oppose him, and he’s not overly familiar with most of the members, except for Batman. And he’s well aware of Batman’s weaknesses.

The plot gets going right away when Bruce Wayne discovers his parents’ coffins have been stolen, which is a perfect way to keep Batman distracted for a while. Then Ra’s al Ghul’s daughter Talia and his men proceed to enact Batman’s emergency protocols against each member of the JLA, one at a time. Turns out Batman has maintained files on how to non-lethally incapacitate his teammates, such as dosing Aquaman with a fear toxin to make him terrified of water and making the Martian Manhunter flammable. Secretive soul that he is, Batman has neglected to ever mention this project to any of his teammates who have placed their trust in him.

That’s the true brilliance of Waid’s story—the main obstacle to thwarting a global threat is a protagonist’s own fatal flaw. It’s a great way to keep character at the center of the story without interfering with the stars’ respective solo series.

And didn’t I just recently say that Batman was a jerk during this time? See?

Writer: Mark Waid

Pencilers: Howard Porter and Steve Scott

Inkers: Drew Geraci and Mark Propst

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: back issues; Comixology

Appropriate For: ages 11 and up

Today’s Super Comic — Batman: Son of the Demon (1987)

One of the challenges with Batman is he’s so skilled and experienced that it can be difficult to put him in a situation where he learns something new.

But the Son of the Demon graphic novel places him in roles entirely new to him—marriage and impending fatherhood. And, it so happens, this is the one situation that can compel the stubbornly dedicated Batman to rethink his life’s priorities.

Batman and old enemy Ra’s al Ghul join forces against a common threat, during which Batman stops denying his attraction to Ra’s’ daughter, Talia. This isn’t a quick mission; Batman spends many weeks away from Gotham helping to train and lead Ra’s’ people against this terrorist plot—long enough to conceive a child.

Given Batman’s origins, it makes perfect sense that this would change him. He doesn’t want his child to ever suffer through losing his parents like he did.

Of course, being a comic book starring one of the most popular characters of all time, there can be only so much change by the end. But this book does a better than most of presenting at least the illusion of character growth. Within the context of just this graphic novel, Batman journeys far from home, has new experiences, and returns home sadder and wiser.

The pace is maybe a little too fast due to page-count constraints, but it’s a great arc that fits the character well.

Writer: Mike W. Barr

Artist: Jerry Bingham

Publisher: DC Comics

How to Read It: Comixology; Batman: Son of the Demon graphic novel

Appropriate For: ages 15 and up