Grant Morrison is known to be a master of turning things on their head, particularly when it comes to some of our most beloved characters. For him, the DC Universe and its properties are his giant play pen, and he can do with them virtually what he wants. Or so it seems. So what is Morrison planning to do with Batman next?
About a week ago DC Comics announced that they would begin publishing what they called the "Second Wave" of "The New 52." Essentially, books that were not doing as well in sales would be swapped out for new titles starting May, 2012. The announcement also listed some of the upcoming new books the publisher is planning to release, including the highly anticipated return of Grant Morrison's BATMAN, INC.
Since Morrison's BATMAN, INC. went on hiatus late last year, Bat fans have been waiting for news of when Morrison would return to finish his story. It's no wonder, either, since the man left so many questions about the Bat family and the future of the character unanswered. This May, Morrison will return to BATMAN, INC. So with that in mind, we decided to look at where he last left The Dark Knight.
After reading through BATMAN INCORPORATED: LEVIATHAN STRIKES I am beginning to think Morrison has more twists and turns up his sleeve than any of us are expecting, and one of those major twists will involve Batman's old flame, Talia al Ghul. If you have not yet read BATMAN INCORPORATED: LEVIATHAN STRIKES you may want to do so before you read any further.
Talia al Ghul is a very unique character. Since we first met her, Talia has struggled to find the balance between the two men in her life: her allegiance to her father and her undying love for Bruce Wayne. Through everything, no matter how often she disagrees with Bruce, she continued to demonstrate her love for him. Which is why her final appearance in BATMAN INCORPORATED: LEVIATHAN STRIKES seems so out of character for her.
At the end of that story we find out that Talia is "Leviathan," that she is and has been the force in opposition to Bruce and that she has built herself an army that would rival her father's League. Taking on the name "leviathan," which is defined as a one of the seven demons of hell, in Demonology. There are references made to Leviathan in the Torah, in Ancient Middle Eastern lore and in Christianity. The thing is, Talia has never referred to herself as "The Demon Head." So is this really Talia al Ghul?
During Morrison's run on Batman we witnessed the 'Resurrection of Ra's Al Ghul' crossover event. During that story a wounded and decrepit Ra's al Ghul captured Damian and plotted to transfer his soul into Damian's body; essentially using Damian as a vessel. Now, Ra's can't transfer into any body, only that of a relative. This is why Damian would have been such a good choice. During this story both Batman and Talia teamed up in order to save Damian from that fate, and Ra's was forced to transfer into his son, The White Ghost. However, Ra's was dissatisfied with the White Ghost as a host. Could it be that this was a temporary solution for Ra's until he found a more suitable host?
Looking at the language in those last few pages of BATMAN: LEVIATHAN one thing is certain, this did not sound like Talia. Bragging about her power and the countless assassins she has under her command certainly does not sound like the Talia al Ghul who had always worked under her father. Based on the language, Talia sounds a lot like Ra's al Ghul. The fact that Talia refers to Batman as "Detective" only serves to reinforce this theory. It would make sense that Ra's would be going after Batman and placing a bounty on Damian's head since Batman did, after all, "take something from" Ra's; namely, Damian. Ra's plans from the start of the resurrection crossover was to use Damian as a vessel.
Could it be that Ra's transferred into Talia, albeit temporarily? If so, this wouldn't be the first time. In an episode of 'Batman Beyond' titled 'Out of the Past,' Ra's transfers his soul into Talia. Kind of creepy, right? Do you think this is plausible? Are you looking forward to BATMAN, INC.?