Saturday, February 03, 2007

Profile: Talia al-Ghul

Talia al-Ghul
First appearance: Detective Comics #441, May 1971

Current status: a villainess, thanks to possible manipulation by ways of both her father Ra’s al-Ghul and half-sister Nyssa.

Was subjected to the following act of discrimination: in Batman: Death and the Maidens, she was captured and brainwashed by Nyssa as part of a revenge plot against Ra’s, but was actually part of a larger plot in which Ra’s plotted to convince or brainwash both daughters into accepting roles as leaders of his League of Assassins, and the Demon gang. She disavowed her love for Batman during this time and turned against him as a result of the torture she underwent at the hands of Nyssa (who appears to have since been killed by Cassandra Cain).

What’s wrong with how this was done? They ruined one of the best anti-heroines in comics, and one of the best recurring characters in the Batbooks. All of this was apparently done to coincide with “events” leading up to Infinite Crisis, and as a tie to Villains United. That could explain in part why I wouldn’t buy that miniseries even if I were paid the money for it.

The whole premise involving Nyssa, while we’re on the subject, is decidedly offensive, since it depicts her as even more one-dimensional in her whole notion of revenge than Magneto, who, like her, was also written as a Holocaust survivor. And something tells me that the reintroduction of Talia and Bruce Wayne’s son, Damian, into continuity in “Batman and Son” was also ill-advised.

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