Is There Any Good Left In Talia al Ghul?

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Posted by No_Name_ (17403 posts) - - Show Bio

A little over a year ago we looked at BATMAN INC.: LEVIATHAN STRIKES prior to the release of the second volume of BATMAN, INC. by Grant Morrison and artist Chris Burnham; a series that launched over the Summer. In it we questioned not only whether this is the last we would be seeing of Talia, but also, why the she had been acting completely out of character when the previous series ended. Who was Talia, and, why had she changed so much?

Needless to say, unlike we predicted, this was not the death of Talia al Ghul: in fact, it was just the beginning. In his BATMAN, INC. series Grant Morrison completely changed Talia's character, setting seeds early on during his run on BATMAN that allowed her to change a full 180 degrees. She went from fighting alongside other female heroines The last eight issues of BATMAN, INC. have molded her into being one of the most vindictive, evil and hateful of Batman's rogues. Not only that, but it also defined the way the character viewed her son, Damian Wayne. So who is Talia? Is she really this hateful or is she a women possessed and fueled by the rage of being spurned by the "World's Greatest Detective"? If you haven't read BATMAN INC. #8, beware there be spoilers below!

== TEASER ==

Over the years we have seen Talia, the daughter of a man who had made it his mission to defeat the "World's Greatest Detective," evolve. She has endured tremendous shifts in her character's identity, changing not only her motives from one extreme to another but also her end. She loved Batman and wanted him, and then hated him and wanted only to defeat him. She wanted to build a family with him, and then she wanted to destroy him. She wanted to break from her Father, and then she wanted to save his life. In the last two years of Batman comics alone, Talia has undergone all of these emotions and perspectives leaving many fans wondering if she the creators behind her story and character actually know who Talia is. If you read BATMAN, INC. #8 then you may have noticed that in this issue alone, Talia undergoes a huge range of emotions, and Morrison covers everything from a passionate hate and resentment for Batman, to feeling a moment of weakness overcome her -- even if only for a brief moment. Yet it is this one panel that really says the most of anything else we see in this issue, isn't it? It actually gives us a real look at Talia's identity and leads us to question whether or not beneath all that crazy, she actually has a heart.

One of the most revealing issues of this series was the second issue of BATMAN INC., which took a closer look at Talia's character and identified the certain things that made her tick. It was an issue that focused primarily on the character through her early years as the daughter of one of the most wealthy and powerful men in the DC Universe, Ra's al Ghul, and identified how his methods and motives shaped her from a young girl into adulthood. n this issue we saw that Talia was a young girl who wanted nothing more than to love her Father once. Following Ra's death and his dip into the Lazarus Pit, we caught a glimpse of a very young and distraught Talia, mourning her Fathers death only to be met with a backhanded slap that left her bloody and broken both physically and emotionally. This scene is a reflection of the way Ra's methods impacted her, and they are parallel to the way that Talia raises Damian. Talia was taught and groomed to be a supremely powerful and focused student of martial arts, war, and the arts; and Talia raises Damian in a very similar way. In her youth, Talia loves her Father. She admires him. In the second issue of this series there is a very telling scene depicting Talia as a young girl, drawing a picture of her Father while he stands further away, his eye locked on the horizon. In this scene and in that moment it is clear that these two characters were not connecting. She was a child yearning to be loved, adoring her Father unconditionally, and he wanted only to groom her for success, no matter how cold hearted it might seem. There is a parallel between this relationship and the relationship between Talia and Damian. The question remain, though, does she love him?

It is unclear, looking at the last eight issues of this series, whether it is love that Talia feels for Damian. Throughout this series she has used the character as a pawn in her own game, doing all she could to use him to bring Bruce closer into her trap. Yet in that final moment, on the last page of this issue, Talia comes full circle, doesn't she? She reverts to that tenderness she felt when she showed her own father affection as a little girl. She succumbed to that feeling of brokenness and emptiness that overwhelmed her and forced her to tear up. You could argue that Talia is not that cruel, but that this is all she has known. That as a child she was a mere pawn in her Father's game until she grew up and refused to be used any longer. That the training she forced her son to undergo was what she felt was necessary because it's all she knew, and it's what she had to endure. But that deep down, she is human and she is a mother and she does feel affection. Deep down, perhaps, that Talia we met in issue #2 as the young girl who knew how to love is still there. She has been stifled, but, there is still a glimmer of good inside this very complicated character.

What do you think of Talia al Ghul? Do you think there is some good in her left, or do you think she is just completely crazy? Do you feel that Talia loves Damian, or that the character was merely a pawn in her game?

#1 Posted by Cavemold (1684 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope. No way she can ever be a good guy

#2 Edited by BR_Havoc (1331 posts) - - Show Bio

Honestly I feel there is no good left in Talia and that Damian was a pawn in her plan. I think there was a time were she loved him but once he left her for Batman she grew to hate him. She was never the best mother actually she was a pretty crappy one then again Batman is a pretty terrible parent. I guess both are so consumed with defeating each other they failed to do there duty as parents.

Also should it not be did Talia love Damian? I mean since he is deceased?

#3 Edited by Trevel8182 (754 posts) - - Show Bio

She's always been a crazy bitch.

hear Grant Morrison talk about her and Damian's death in this interview he did with Kevin Smith and Geoff Johns

#4 Posted by Batnandez (511 posts) - - Show Bio

Yeah she was in love with Bruce but more in an scary, creepy way

#5 Posted by Fhiz (496 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope. That's why she's probably going to die. Bruce was at two graves on page 1 of Batman, Incorporated #1. We know one is Damian's (as seen in this week's Detective Comics and Worlds' Finest) and I can only think of one person who'd be buried next to him.

#6 Posted by mightypug78 (354 posts) - - Show Bio

no, she fallen completely. if there was ever a time i condone batman killing someone, that time would be now.

#7 Posted by dondave (38636 posts) - - Show Bio

what issue is the first image from if I may ask?

#8 Edited by johnny_spam (2037 posts) - - Show Bio

Wasn't it Death and The Maidens by Greg Rucka that made Talia fully evil in the first place? I just assumed Grant Morrison figured that she was already a villain and just ran with it. He did say in Kevin Smith's podcast that we just witnessed love turn to hate. It is an interesting point that Talia witnessed Ra's in the pit more than once in her life it probably affected the way she views death in general letting her not see the full value of life.

Nyssa's torture of Talia doesn't seem to be mentioned much in the stories but I think it was big moment in Talia's history and does provide some explanation to as why her character went bad. To me it does not feel all that out of character that she is now evil.

I just see her relationship with The Heretic her own way of having Damian to love and raise he is a Damian that is fully his mother's son with no Batman or Dick Grayson to influence him.

If Batman breaks his one rule it is on her.

#9 Posted by ssj2DeadPool (213 posts) - - Show Bio

Talia is hot

#10 Posted by SupBatz (1790 posts) - - Show Bio

Hate Talia under Morrison's pen. Last time I saw her written in a way that I enjoyed was Arkham City.

#11 Posted by colonyofcells (2038 posts) - - Show Bio

I hope Talia and Batman can continue to manufacture more babies.

#12 Posted by Dark_Guyver (2384 posts) - - Show Bio

I think having your own child killed is as bad as a person can get. Probably no coming back from that.

#13 Posted by TheMultiverse (143 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope, it's written in stone now (or until the next super reboot) Talia is evil. Even if she turns out to be responsible for Damians return, ..she'll still be evil.

#14 Posted by Black_Claw (3014 posts) - - Show Bio


There is no way in hell there can be some good in her after pulling a stunt like that.

#15 Posted by End_Boss (738 posts) - - Show Bio

@Dark_Guyver said:

I think having your own child killed is as bad as a person can get. Probably no coming back from that.

This. Even if she relented and brought Damian back... You still made the decision to assassinate your own child. Cold as ice.

#16 Posted by OmgOmgWtfWtf (7040 posts) - - Show Bio

She is crazy. I don't think she's really that evil. She did mourn 'kind of' when she killed Damian. Her view on the world is twisted. In her mind she was doing Damian a favor in a sense because by following Bruce's ideal he was doomed to be flawed, like Bruce himself.

#17 Posted by comicace3 (6121 posts) - - Show Bio

Nope. I hate her. She's dead to me. She evil. She's a b*tch. She evil to the core. She's also hot... but that not the point.... end of session.

#18 Posted by Perfect 10 (1120 posts) - - Show Bio

of course there is still good in her but she has started down this path and must reach its end. who knows what she will do once she's accomplished all she's set out to do

#19 Posted by sturmritter (58 posts) - - Show Bio

The portrayal of Talia in Batman Beyond indicates that she is, if not entirely reformed, at least attempting to make amends for her father. Since that would be future canon, I can safely say that she is "On the Road" towards being good. :)

#20 Posted by Dud317 (292 posts) - - Show Bio

I wouldn't count her out of the good guy bracket just yet. Can we all agree that Morrisson has a plan for every aspect of his stories? Why else would he include the "moment of weakness"? It's like in movies. It's not just there to fill a chunk of page. It's deliberately being shown to us as readers. Unfortunately, this would also indicate that to the best of her knowledge, it was Damian and not another clone. I'm not saying she's on the level, just that its there for a reason.

#21 Posted by Cypher4 (74 posts) - - Show Bio

How is this even a question? She killed her own child. It doesnf matter what she does ever again. Nothing will ever changd that.

#22 Posted by Durakken (1593 posts) - - Show Bio

who cares? Nothing in Batman inc fits into continuity nor does it make sense self contained... Why should anyone care about poorly executed things?

#23 Edited by (207 posts) - - Show Bio

Talia's "moment of weakness" was Batman INC. issues 1-8. Crying after her son was brutally murdered (by her assassin) is just normal. As far as pure depravity, she's actually tied with the joker in my eyes for all the atrocities she's ordered Leviathan to commit. They're just two nutcases that are obsessed with Bruce and I'm already tired of both of them.

And to answer the thread's question NO. Talia has a 100% evil rating

#24 Posted by StMichalofWilson (3954 posts) - - Show Bio

I say she's crazay.

#25 Posted by Fantasgasmic (1071 posts) - - Show Bio

She's gone. What good there was in her died when she killed her son. The tear she shed at the end of Batman Inc. #8 was the last of her humanity slipping away.

#26 Posted by Miss_Garrick (1757 posts) - - Show Bio

She broke Bruce more than the Joker or Bane ever could. This woman was responsible for the death of her own child!! She has crossed the line and will NOT be forgiven!

#27 Posted by fodigg (6146 posts) - - Show Bio

Gonna be hard to walk this one back but hell, they've done it with so many villains in comics. Why not?

#28 Posted by RedOwl_1 (1664 posts) - - Show Bio

@comicace3 said:

Nope. I hate her. She's dead to me. She evil. She's a b*tch. She evil to the core. She's also hot... but that not the point.... end of session.

Pretty much that, f*cking b*tch can f*cking die and end p in f*cking hell and stay there forever, I wouldn't mind. I would love to see she death and psychologically dance in her f*cking grave >:U I'm a heterosexual woman so I can't tell you if she's hot or not, I just want her to die >:D

#29 Edited by secondfallen616 (119 posts) - - Show Bio

Sorry Sara (my fave"comic-book gurrl" forevahs' btw) but i dont give a flip about rationalizing Talia's actions. SHE. NEEDS. TO. DIE. Period. Exclamation Smash! A couple tears and feeling quesy dont equal getting to keep breathing air, Batcave guano-dust maybe but not oxygen. Shes the exception to the "I never kill" rule, has to be..........

#30 Posted by ForeverMan (150 posts) - - Show Bio

From what I've seen there is no turning back for Talia now, not until whenever they decide to have her use the Lazarus Pit to bring Damian back and even that will probably just end up punctuating how evil she is.

That last bit of regret she showed should be the last we see of her decent humanity IMO. Otherwise her character just becomes pathetic, because she deserves no pity tbh.

#31 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

At this point with Talia gone I truly think she has no humanity left, but its debatable whether she actually had any to begin with. I think she's just that spurned old lover who just loves to toy with the one that spurned her at this point, even if the one thing that linked her forever to her detective now no longer exists.

#32 Posted by Jawshco (244 posts) - - Show Bio

Talia isn't real. I don't mean to say that in an obtuse way. The writers haven't made her character have any real consistency through out her history. Some critics will get annoyed when they see characters acting out of character, but I don't have any emotional investment in Talia to even feel that annoyance because she just isn't a real character to me. So I honestly don't think there is an answer to question right now. There won't be until DC creates a more solid direction for this character.

#33 Posted by HexThis (903 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't get Talia at all these days. I don't know if this is Morrison going down a Xorn/Magneto route where he hates her and want us to as well (if so, job well done) but I also just don't understand her agenda at all.

#34 Posted by NightFang (10150 posts) - - Show Bio


#35 Posted by Avenger85 (1973 posts) - - Show Bio

There is no coming back from this, and if Batman does not kill her for it then he should simply retire permanently.

But, this is equally Batman's and Talia's fault. Batman should have taken time off fighting crime and raised his own damn son with Talia. But the guy was simply too busy doing his own crimefighter thing, and the two of them were so much at each other's throats that in the end it was the poor little guy who suffered for it.

Really tragic ending, but someone's gotto pay for ordering Damian's death.

#36 Posted by I_Stay_Puft (58 posts) - - Show Bio

Bruce Wayne sure can pick them. Maybe Bruce needs somebody as flawed as he is to make him feel better in a way.

#37 Posted by consolemaster001 (5899 posts) - - Show Bio

No, the only likeable version of her was in arkham city

#38 Posted by Ren_ (1678 posts) - - Show Bio

Not a chance.

#39 Posted by TDK_1997 (15007 posts) - - Show Bio

She is crazy and she will be remembered as a villain but I think in the end she is going to see how things really are and would stop doing those crazy things.

#40 Posted by 202122 (1145 posts) - - Show Bio

nope she is just the worst

#41 Posted by Nathaniel_Christopher (1683 posts) - - Show Bio

She killer her own child. Literally nothing else she does after this matters. She's evil.

#42 Posted by JamDamage (1118 posts) - - Show Bio

I would think she'll be portrayed as having a good side again. At least a good side toward Batman. It really wasn't until Grant Morrison that Thalia has ever been portrayed as just plain evil or as I like to call her, "A FU&KING BITCH!" She has always come off as "I'm only rotten because my daddy is watching and I don't want him to cut me off because that means he might kill me." Who can blame her. Ras has stated that he's, how old did he say he was again? 2000 thousand years old? What ever it was. If I had Ras's money, power, league of assassins, and the connections he had. I can easily say that I would banging quite a few women without trying to come off like a himbo, manwhore, or player................SCREW THAT!! Of course I would, but who cares, I wouldn't care. I'm Ras Al Ghul. Leader of the League of Shadows. I'd have a harem. If I was Thalia I'd be wondering how many sister I had running around the planet I didn't know of because of how old my dad is. I'm surpised, even in the comics, that one hasn't popped up. Even in Batman the animated series we got to see one of Ras' sons from that Old West days that faught Jonah Hex, and it made sense. What ever. My point is this. Until Ras was declared dead (we all know he'll be back someday) and also until Grant Morrison started writing Batman, Thalia was never as evil as she truly is now. The whole "Taking over where my father left off" is a new thing in a sense. Sure Morrison has been on Batman for some years now, but every other writer never wrote her as being the villain she is now. Even Catwoman was considered a total villain back in the day. Look how many times she went from Batmans allie to enemy before DC and the fans finally said screw it. Just make her a hero now. Anti-hero, but hero none the less. Any time you get your own comic series monthly, not a mini-series, you're an anti-hero instead of a villain. Deathstroke has tinkered on this line of un-balance a couple of times because of his popularity. Atrocitus is there right now. I'm still waiting for a Sinestro on going. It could happen. Seeing him as a Green Lantern again has been intriguing but we have our answer now. It can work. He can be a Green Lantern again. Magneto is a good guy. Deadpool is the biggest example. Not only has he hadhis own on going 3 times, two together and along with the many mini-series and but he's been partnered up with Cable. A hero. He's also been a member of X-Force, and is a Thunderbolt. She'll be good again, and Batman loves pussy so he'll except her if she says sorry.

#44 Posted by Avenger85 (1973 posts) - - Show Bio

@ApatheticAvenger: Hopefully with Talia and her dad splattered all over the walls, by Batman's own hands.

#45 Posted by Rumble Man (11118 posts) - - Show Bio

She needs a violet lantern ring

#47 Posted by BlueLantern1995 (2448 posts) - - Show Bio

Talia can do evil and be evil but when push comes to shove, she'll always be a hero.

#48 Edited by diarraharris3 (17 posts) - - Show Bio

Since the 2011 reboot I feel the 2 characters that were "mishandled" were Talia and Victor Friez. With the way they have been brought back I don't see any interesting aspects to them that would make a writer want to write about them. Humanity has left Talia and now all Mr Freeze is just another Arkham nutcase. Since Grant Morrison is leaving it will be interesting when they bring her back and when they do will she be 1 note or will the writer "Retcon" out some elements.

#49 Posted by Emperormeister734 (821 posts) - - Show Bio

She said "A moment of Weakness that all" That tear shows the last sign of good in her, she killed Damian, who pleaded with her to end this madness, went beyond crossing the line.She may have war with the Batman but I never thought it would involve her ending her son's life.

#50 Posted by SlickyMike88 (226 posts) - - Show Bio


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