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Comic Book / Talia Al-Ghul

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Talia Al Ghul (arabic:Vanguard of the Demon) is a DC Comics character commonly associated with Batman as both a villain and Love Interest. She was created by writer Dennis O'Neil and artist Bob Brown and Dick Giordano. She made her debut in Detective Comics #411 released on May 1971.

Talia is the daughter of Ra's Al-Ghul and was raised from birth to be part of his criminal empire, in both administration and combat. She grew up to be a shrewd leader and excelled in managing his criminal and legitimate operations and became his most skilled, loyal and trusted advisor which led to her being appointed as his primary heir, although her status as a woman still made her an unsuitable heir in his eyes and his ultimate goal for her is to find a suitable mate to give him true male-born heir, with the most famous candidate being Batman. While Batman is uninterested in Ra's plans, he has often demonstrated actual romantic feelings for Talia.


Talia is known for being one of Catwoman's primary competitors for Batman's Love Interest and oft-regarded as his second great love. And like Catwoman, being on opposite sides keeps them apart. Talia is often conflicted by her loyalty to her father and her love for Batman. She will often pick one over the other, only to change her mind again later. Ra's whole-heartedly approves of the relationship between Batman and Talia, but only insofar as it will produce him an heir should Batman himself comply. He finally got his wish when Batman and Talia had a one-night-stand (or she raped him, Depending on the Writer) and she gave birth to Damian Wayne. However, Damian later defected and Talia had him cloned. Then the clone later kills Damian, who later gets better. In other realities, Bruce and Talia's son is Ibn al Xu'ffasch, and he does take over for Ra's; in a mild twist, Ibn is a benevolent leader.


Talia is most commonly depicted in an Anti-Villain light or as an A Lighter Shade of Grey to her father, but Depending on the Writer she has also been depicted as a cruel and ruthless villain with little redeeming qualities. She's normally not above co-operating with Batman or other heroes if it would serve her own ends, and has firmer ties to the rest of The DCU villain community than her father, such as taking over for Lex Luthor as CEO of LexCorp upon his election as president or being one of the core members of the Secret Society of Super Villains.

Talia Al Ghul has appeared in other works:



    Video Games 

Tropes which describe Talia Al-Ghul:

  • Abusive Parents:
    • She was trained from birth to be a skilled assassin and leader by her father, so yeah. She also implies that he was distant.
    • Depending on the Writer she herself can be one to Damian, sometimes depicting her training of him as the same Training from Hell she suffered under Ra, or having her see Damian as just a weapon she happened to gave birth to. Not to mention the time she went completely crazy and had him murdered (but he got better).
  • Action Mom: Giving birth to Damian has not made her any less of a badass.
  • Adaptational Consent: Exactly how willing Bruce was during the encounter that produced Damian has flip-flopped between writers, with it originally being shown as her drugging and raping him, but after the New 52 relaunch it was retconned into a consensual relationship — albeit with Bruce being immediately creeped out about a child being the specific goal after he's told — which now seems to be the official version.
  • Affectionate Nickname: She calls Bruce Wayne "Beloved".
  • Amicable Exes: Seems to have become one with Bruce in Batman (Rebirth). After Catwoman beats her in a sword fight, a wounded Talia al Ghul crawls up to Batman and they act rather friendly with each other despite her attempting to kill him earlier that day. She also approves of Selina being Bruce's fiancée.
  • Anti-Villain: At her best, she's usually this, being more pragmatic and A Lighter Shade of Grey than her cruel father and assisting Batman on occasion if their goals align.
  • Asian Babymama: She's an exotic "oriental" woman (usually a vague mixture of Arab and Chinese, sometimes with some Eastern European ancestry thrown in) who ultimately bears The Hero's lovechild. However, Talia is given a lot more characterization than most examples of this trope.
  • Badass Normal: She's a deadly assassin that does not have any supernatural abilities, save for access to Lazarus Pits.
  • Betty and Veronica: The (relative) Veronica to Catwoman's (relative) Betty for Batman's Archie. Gotham City Sirens states that they are the only two women that hold a place in Batman's heart, although Unreliable Narrator is likely present, as he's shown feelings for other women, such as Zatanna and Silver Saint Cloud.
  • Big Bad: Revealed to be this for the Batman Incorporated stage of Grant Morrison's Batman epic in Leviathan Strikes.
  • Brainwashed and Crazy: Getting killed and resurrected countless times will do that to anyone.
  • Cain and Abel: Talia and her sister, Nyssa Raatko have had many problems; including Nyssa killing and reviving Talia numerous times with a Lazarus Pit. Nyssa also once killed Ra's (even though for Ra's, Death Is Cheap, due to the Lazarus Pits). Nyssa Raatko is later killed by the League of Shadows with a car bomb.
  • Chosen Conception Partner:
    • Talia has chosen Batman as her ideal breeding partner and mate.
    • Nyssa, Talia's sister, once chose Tim Drake, but failed.
  • Conflicting Loyalty: Talia's anguish stems from her desire to please her father and live happily with her beloved Batman.
  • Convenient Miscarriage: In the graphic novel Son of the Demon. Said novel's canon level has ping-ponged back and forth. Ultimately averted with Damian though.
  • Daddy's Girl: Talia is extremely loyal to her father and has dedicated most of her life in service to him. Although over time, she finds his ruthless and genocidal plans to be too much and has sided against him on several issues.
  • Daddy's Little Villain: She often flip-flops between loyalty to her father and to her "beloved". She foils his 'destroy the written word' scheme, a lackey shoots her in the leg and the lackey is fed to lions.
  • Dark Action Girl: Talia is an athlete at the peak of physical conditioning and has been trained in many forms of martial arts since birth. She is also quite proficient with most hand weapons and is an excellent hand-to-hand fighter.
  • Dark Chick: For being her daddy's right hand, and her romantic tension with The Hero.
  • Dating Catwoman: Arguably the most famous example to Batman after the Trope Namer herself. It's been said that the only woman Batman has ever truly loved besides the aforementioned Catwoman is Talia.
  • Depending on the Artist: Due to her Mixed Ancestry of Arabic and Chinese descent Talia' has been depicted with a variety of different skin tones and facial features. Sometimes she's caucasian with no traces of her Mixed Ancestry, sometimes Ambiguously Brown with Arabic features and others with eastern Asian features. Her eye color is prone to change too. Her long, slick brown hair being her most consistent feature.
  • Depending on the Writer: Her characterization pingpongs around from writer to writer. At her best, she’s an Anti-Villain who genuinely loves Bruce and Damian but has a hard time playing by their rules. At her worst, she’s an irredeemable monster who’s worse than her dad.
  • Dissonant Serenity: No matter how upset, enraged, or surprised she gets, she almost always looks completely calm and seductive. Even when her son is critically injured after an explosion at sea, her orders for help are as calm as though she were ordering lunch at a restaurant.
  • Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: In some continuities, Damian is the product of Talia drugging Batman and having her way with him. Batman himself never calls it a sexual assault, but he is clearly not happy with her. This was originally a retcon of a story in which Damian's conception was consensual.
  • The Dragon:
    • She's frequently Ra's Number Two in his criminal empire, although sometimes other villains in the league outrank her.
    • She also was this for Nyssa during the brief time she became the new Demon's Head.
  • Dragon Ascendant: After Ra's death in "Death and the Maidens" and Nyssa's death in "One Year Later" she became the sole heir to the Al Ghul criminal empire... until Ra came Back from the Dead.
  • Femme Fatale: Beautiful? Check. Seductive? Check. Deadly? Double-check.
  • Glass Cannon: Much like Harley and Ivy, she isn't very resilient when it comes to physical fights and relies on her Amazon Brigade to protect herself. But she can definitely dish out a lot more than she can take.
  • Graceful Loser: In Batman (Rebirth), Talia doesn't seem that bothered by being beaten by Catwoman, implying the whole conflict between them was a Secret Test of Character to see if Selina was worthy of being his bride and she even ends up giving them her blessing.
  • Hypocrite: She hates Ra's for trying to control her destiny, apparently not realizing she does the exact same thing to Damian.
  • It's All About Me: The centre of Talia's world is someday ruling the earthly paradise Ra's promises with her destined partner and their son at her sides. That she wants to achieve this through absolutely no compromises on her part does not endear her to neither Batman nor Damian.
  • I Want My Beloved to Be Happy: In "Hush", she was perfectly content to let Batman have his romance with Catwoman. Though that was mostly because she was not threatened, as she considers it simply a matter of fact that Batman is destined to marry her someday.
  • Jumping Off the Slippery Slope: Much like her father, too much time in the Lazarus Pit eventually takes its toll on her mental state and moral fiber.
  • Loving a Shadow:
    • The more villainous and unhinged incarnations of Talia portray her affections directed solely at "the Bat," Bruce as a pillar of righteousness among ordinary men, rather than "the Man," Bruce's goodhearted yet imperfect humanity hidden under his mask.
    • In a platonic way, with Damian; She loves him, but that falls short compared to her love for who she wants her son to be.
  • Mama Bear: Mess with her son and you won't live long enough to regret it. Eventually subverted in Batman Incorporated v2 when she becomes an outright Abusive Parent Evil Matriarch.
  • Mad Scientist's Beautiful Daughter: Talia to Batman, but rare for the trope, Ra's approves. But only because Talia might be able to seduce Bruce into becoming his successor, or at least produce a grandchild that will.
  • Mind Rape: At the hands of her own half-sister, no less.
  • Misanthrope Supreme: Played With. While perhaps not to the extent of her father, she notably never objects to his plans to kill the majority of the world population. Often, she outright agrees that it has to be done.
  • Mixed Ancestry: Talia's of Arabic and Chinese descent.
  • Most Common Super Power: Shown to have quite a buxom bust.
  • Ms. Fanservice: Talia is a Head-Turning Beauty and a frequent source of fanservice. Her outfits usually range from Form Fitting Spy Catsuits to exotic Stripperiffic outfits that expose her navel, legs and cleavage.
  • Not Even Bothering with the Accent: In the video games and the animated series, her "accent" is anything but Persian.
  • Peek-a-Bangs: Her iconic hairstyle has her eyes frequently disappear behind her bangs, which helps reinforce her "shady" nature.
  • Really Gets Around: Though she's never had strong romantic feelings for anyone other than Bruce, she has had many other lovers, including named character such as Bane, Azrael, Deathstroke and Jason Todd.
  • Red and Black and Evil All Over: When she finally dons a super-villain costume, it's a plain, all-red jumpsuit with a black Dr. Hurt-esque mask.
  • Sex Goddess: She's a seductress and is sometimes portrayed as a very satisfying lover. At one point in Batman (Rebirth), she is shown leaving her own personal harem orgy consisting of both men and women who are all passed out in a haze behind her in bed while Talia herself still looks no worse for the wear, likely due to her enhanced stamina.
  • Sleight of Tongue: At the conclusion of "The Saga of Ra's al Ghul", Batman is stung by a scorpion while fighting a duel against Ra's. Talia lingers by the dying Batman, saying she wishes to give him one last kiss. However, she uses the kiss to give him an antidote to the scorpion venom, allowing him to recover hours later.
  • Stalker with a Test Tube: Grant Morrison's Batman made Talia much more concerned with the idea of having Bruce's child and retconned the consensual encounter between them that conceived a child into Talia drugging and raping Bruce in order to produce an heir in Damian which was then changed back to consensual sex in the New 52.
  • Statuesque Stunner: Talia is a Head-Turning Beauty and stands 5'8"
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: She is the Girly Girl to both her sister Nyssa and Catwoman's Tomboy.
  • Villainesses Want Heroes: Talia Al Ghul takes the cake, on one instance trying to utterly destroy Batman, kill his "family" and ruin everything he'd ever worked for... because he wasn't paying attention to her.
  • Woman Scorned: Her entire Leviathan scheme's motivation was "Batman rejected me". After she gives him an ultimatum about finally joining her and Damian to rule the world and he refuses, she says she'll destroy his world. She follows through.


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