Talia al Ghul (DC)|
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Talia was the younger daughter of Ra's al Ghul, considered heir to his empire despite her independent streak.
She entered Batman's life when he rescued her from Dr. Ebenezer Darkk, who had recently split from Ra's League of Assassins. After her rescue, she shot and killed the man who had affronted her father. Batman's arrival caught her attention, and after telling the Demon's Head of this heroic figure, began a relationship that mixed passion with betrayal, love with deceit, and left the Dark Knight with a son.
The entire Dr. Darkk incident was considered a test for Batman, gauging his suitability to assume control of the league and run Ra's operation. Ra's had Robin kidnapped, then introduced himself to Batman in the Batcave, noting that his own daughter was kidnapped in the same way. Batman's investigation and rescue of the pair convinced Ra's that Batman was a suitable heir, but the Dark Knight rejected the offer of Talia and Ra's business.
From the beginning, Talia found herself drawn to Batman despite their differing views of the world. His outright rejection of her father's offer, and subsequent efforts to dismantle the league, only seemed to encourage her own independence. When Batman and Ra's dueled in the desert, he was struck by a scorpion; as he lay dying under the blazing sun, she slipped him the antidote.
Little has been recorded about her early years or even who her mother was. She was clearly well educated in the arts and sciences in addition to being trained in weaponry and martial arts. She never knew her older half sister, Nyssa Raatko, and seemed to have been raised in isolation, under a's watchful eye. Her mother, of mixed Asian and Arabic descent, met the Demon's Head at the Woodstock Festival in 1969. One account indicated that the woman's name was Melisande, and that she was killed by one of Ra's servants, Qayin. Another account left the woman nameless and said she died from a drug overdose. Over the next several years Talia would turn up in Batman's life as ally or opponent, as the situation dictated. He continued to acknowledge but resist the attraction between them. At one point Ra's ga sed Batman, and when he awoke the Dark Knight discovered that Ra's had performed a marriage ceremony for him and Talia. The marriage remained unconsummated at that point: The Caped Crusader escaped and refused to acknowledge the bond. At some later point they did finally admit their attraction and love, which resulted in another ceremony, followed by the birth of their son, Damian.
However, he continued to reject Talia so Ra's had her betrothed, instead, to Bane. She rejected the international brute, and after Batman defeated him, Ra's agreed that he was unworthy of his "only" daughter. Talia remained affectionate toward her "detective" but gave up on thoughts of a life together. Instead, she changed her focus toward charting her own destiny.
She abandoned her father and, using the name Talia Head, accepted Lex Luthor's offer to run LexCorp when he took office as president of the United States. To seal the deal, she provided Lex with a disk containing details of her father's operations. Once she took over the conglomerate, Talia fed incriminating information about Luthor's operations to Superman and Batman, which helped lead to the president's downfall. She then sold off parts of the company to Wayne Enterprises.
Talia returned to the family business when she was befriended by Nyssa, who proved to be her considerably older half sister, preserved, like their father, by the Lazarus Pits. Nyssa tortured Talia, killing and resurrecting her, using the moments of madness provided by a pit to turn Talia into her agent. In time, Talia located her father and finally killed him. Nyssa and Talia then assumed control of the League of Assassins. The changes hardened Talia's attitude toward Batman; she now opposed him more than allying herself with the Dark Knight. Additionally, after Batgirl killed Nyssa, Talia took control of the league, setting herself up as one of the most dangerous people on Earth.
The five-foot-eight woman used her newfound position of Demon's Head to become a founding member of Lex Luthor's Society, a band of super villains dedicated to wiping out the planet's super heroes. She toured the world, recruiting members, punishing those who refused membership, and opposing the heroes whenever they turned up. After the events known as Infinite Crisis, Talia began her own schemes, which included obtaining Kirk Langstrom's Man-Bat formula and creating an army of man-bats. She intended to obtain weapons of mass destruction from the British military, sending her son Damian to distract Batman. In the end, Batman stopped the plan as Damian chose his mother over his father, and the pair seemingly died in an explosion. However, they survived the explosion, although her son was injured and required a transplant of his major organs.
(aka Talia Head)
First Appearance: Detective Comics (1937) #411
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