Oh hi there, shirtless Ra’s! Oh, and you have your own Robin now too!
Sinnersheart, this is especially for you, but I couldn’t find your ‘ask’ button (my glasses are off right now, derp) and I figured you might not be the only person who wants to know.
Ra’s al Ghul dated Black Canary in Birds of Prey #31-35. The arc is written by Chuck Dixon, who felt the need to include yet another scene in which a guy saves a woman from being attacked by a moray eel. O_O
-Ra’s looking (deliberately on part of the creators) kinda like Aristotle Onassis
-the al Ghul family loveboat
-Talia wearing a dress that features a really conspicuous cluster of jewels right at her crotch for some reason
-Ra’s wearing flippers and shorts
-Talia rolling around on a bed like a cat and talking to Dinah about (Dinah) becoming her stepmother
-Ra’s proving that he really doesn’t know how to court a modern (badass) woman
-Oracle heading out into the fray LIKE A BOSS
-the al Ghul family getaway motorboat
Basically, the storyline is so cheesy it hurts, but I love it.
It’s a panel from “Demons,” a DCAU story which is now collected in Mad Love and Other Stories.
All of them. :)
In terms of the animated series, her first episode of BTAS, “Off Balance”, was absolutely delightful. Watching it as an adult, I’m surprised by how sexually suggestive it is. “The Demon’s Quest” and “Avatar” are also great, though they both make Talia a fair bit gentler than she actually is. Her appearance in STAS is closer to her contemporary characterization. She hangs herself from the Daily Planet clock to get Superman’s attention — awesome.
As for the DCAU comics, The Batman Adventures #13 is adorable, and is actually a pretty good depiction of her relationship with Bruce.
Yes! (zomg love your blog)
Tales of the Demon (trade that collects the first ten years of Talia’s appearances)
Batman: Son of the Demon
“The Prison” (now collected in The Strange Deaths of Batman)
Hush (she’s not in it for long, but her scene is awesome)
Death and the Maidens (I will never like the art in this one, but it’s an interesting story)
Batman & Son (the beginning of her recent role as a straight-up villain from hell)
Batman #330-335 (“The Lazarus Affair”)
Bane of the Demon (TRIGGER WARNING: threatened sexual assault)
Batman: No Man’s Land #0
President Luthor #0
Batman Annual #25
Red Hood: Lost Days
These are my favourites containing strong Talia scenes. :)
If there’s anything anyone wants to see me try, don’t worry if it doesn’t actually exist in the comics. I’m up for it. :)
Ah, yes. When Ra’s took the name Raymond, dressed up like Aristotle Onassis, and whisked Dinah away on his loveboat. (And no, for anyone who hasn’t read it, that’s not headcanon - that actually happened. The story also featured an adorable Talia rolling around on a bed like a cat and talking to Dinah about Dinah becoming her stepmother.)
For some headcanon, I don’t like the idea of Ra’s being so creepy as to have an uninformed affair with someone, so in my version of events, Dinah secretly suspected Raymond was Ra’s al Ghul. After all, everything about him seemed to point toward it—his vase resources, his loyal servant and other devotees, his strange intimate knowledge of past and global events, his secrecy, and finally, his daughter. Furthermore, her anger at Oracle and some of the others in the superhero community has left her a little embittered about them as a whole. After that falling out combined with the Ollie fiasco, she didn’t want to admit to herself that she might have actually fallen for a criminal, especially not one of Ra’s’ caliber, so she went along with the ruse, finding that Ra’s actually treated her a lot better than Ollie did (let’s face it, folks, Ollie can be kind of a jerk).
She knew the affair couldn’t last, but she wanted happiness while she could get it, and Ra’s certainly provided the escape from the world she was looking for. Living on the yacht with Ra’s, Talia, and their servants, Dinah came to realize two things: A) Ra’s was actually a skilled and thoughtful lover, and B) Talia is quite a manipulative woman with her father and devotees. Knowing that Talia is also working for LexCorp at this time (that’s canon), Dinah uses her free time on the yacht not only for personal reflection but for investigating Talia’s reasons for being there. She can’t, after all, rid herself of her heroic instincts, and she suspects that Talia is using her father in order to gain access to information or resources for Lex.
However, both the affair and Dinah’s self-appointed mission are cut short when Ra’s reveals his dark side over their conversation about children (in the actual comic, he does come off as rather misogynistic there). Insulted, Dinah knows she can’t go on with this any longer and plots to leave, only to be interrupted when Ra’s and Talia forcibly take her to the Lazarus pit to “heal” her of her infertility (which really did happen in the actual canon).
Though Dinah now regrets the affair and won’t speak of it to anyone, she believes she has a unique insight into Ra’s and his methods of persuasion, for of all the heroes, she alone has personally experienced how charming he can actually be.
And she still thinks he’s hot.
She probably also regrets not stealing one of Talia’s dresses.
DC Women Kicking Ass has just reminded me that that Talia and Babs did actually interact in Birds of Prey #50. I’d completely forgotten about that one.
In this storyline, Barbara and Dinah try to rescue a young meta girl (Madison) whom Talia (now working as CEO of LexCorp) seems to have bought or abducted for her own villainous purposes. Talia actually has some funny moments in it.
Thanks for the reminder! I can’t believe I forgot about that one.
(We see in Gotham City Sirens #2 that Talia arranged for Selina to meet her in Nepal to be trained in mental techniques to keep Batman’s identity a secret. My headcanon pairing for them takes place during that time.)
Selina’s training takes a week. Since she hasn’t been trained in anything even remotely like this since childhood, unlike Talia, even a week is a short time, and so Talia keeps her isolated in her Nepal base for its duration, keeping a close eye on her at all times. Selina resents this, but never one to back down from a challenge, she’s determined to prove to her romantic rival that she can do this. Furthermore, she knows it’s for Bruce’s good too. At first Talia approaches Selina’s training as she has seen her father deal with his new devotees in the past, but the respect she feels for Selina (as evidenced in Hush) makes it too personal for her to remain emotionally distant. Eventually they find themselves talking about Bruce himself. Talia, with her limited experience with romantic relationships, is somewhat startled to find that some of Bruce’s behaviors and quirks aren’t unique to him, and are in fact, according to Selina, common to most men. Talia starts to realize that, while she’s had the experiences of an empress under her father’s rule, she really doesn’t know that much about normal people and normal relationships, and while she won’t admit it, it makes her admire Selina a little more.
She becomes fixated on this new perspective on Selina, and can’t really understand why. During one of their next rounds of hypnosis, when Talia is completely alone with her and testing her mind’s resistance, she’s overcome by an urge she has never experienced before and kisses her. Selina goes rigid, startled, and Talia realizes that Selina has proven a far better student than she’d imagined and has actually resisted Talia’s attempt to hypnotize her. Talia stares at her, shocked, and affecting the arrogant face she so often wears when she doesn’t want to be questioned, kisses her rival again. Selina reciprocates, and their training session soon turns into something entirely different.
“Now there’s something else we share,” she tells Selina on the last day, as she sends her former rival, student, and lover toward the jet that will that return her to Gotham.
I am not at all ashamed to say that I had way too much fun writing that one. :)
They don’t really interact in the DCU comics. I’m hard-pressed to think of a single interaction they’ve ever had. They’ve been involved in some of the same situations but always seem to miss each other, which I think is a waste.
However, in the DCAU comics, Barbara has a similar relationship to Talia that Dick Grayson does, acting as the witty young foil to Talia’s nefarious plans.
I would love to see some badass grown-up Barbara vs Talia in the DCU.
Bruce actually met Talia BEFORE the events of Detective #411. During a mission that took Batman to Central Asia, he encountered a group of assassins, whom he did not yet know were part of Ra’s al Ghul’s League. Talia, still rather young (Denny O’Neil puts her at 19 when Tec #411 happened, so I’d say around that age), has taken point on the mission, but since they’re trying to be as inconspicuous as possible, she’s dressed like all the others, including a mask. They’re intercepted by Batman, who easily disables most of the assassins except the most highly-skilled ones, whom Ra’s has also tasked with protecting Talia. Talia doesn’t shy away from the fight and soon, as Batman overpowers her men, finds herself fighting the Dark Knight one-on-one. Though he is a few years older and far exceeds her in brute strength, her agility, speed, and ruthless fighting style make her a tough opponent. She gets several good hits in, easily pinpointing Batman’s weaknesses. Intrigued by Batman’s ability to keep up with her and his theatrical appearance and style, Talia nonetheless realizes that this guy in a bat costume is no ordinary man and that, despite her unwavering confidence her own abilities, she won’t be able to kill him here, at least not with any personal weapon. She escapes by setting off an explosion just as a League helicopter arrives overhead, grabbing onto a rope ladder that has been dropped for her. As she hangs onto the ladder, she catches a glimpse of Batman emerging from the burning rubble and smiles to herself, deciding to break into her father’s records to find any information he might have on this “Batman.” (Ra’s, of course, is perfectly aware that his daughter has cracked the security on his personal records.) She is pleased to find that the “Batman” has caught her father’s attention already and that Ra’s knows his real identity.
While secretly planning a visit to Gotham, where she intends to arrange a more personal meeting with Bruce Wayne, Talia sets herself up to be kidnapped by Dr. Darrk in order to exact revenge on him for betraying her father. She is pleasantly surprised when she is “rescued” by Batman. Both men underestimate her because she’s a young woman and Talia uses that to her advantage, playing the innocent female victim to Batman’s chivalric knight. (These are the events of Detective #411.) After this encounter, Ra’s is willing to take his daughter’s strange attraction to the Detective into account and engineers the plot of Batman #232. It isn’t until afterwards, when Bruce becomes aware of Talia’s true nature, that he realizes the assassin he fought must have been her.
Bruce and Talia never acknowledge their first meeting to each other, though they both know the truth of it.
And I’ll give you random headcanons about it
Preferably involving a member of the al Ghul family, because they’re kind of my thing.